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Muon Instrument Scientist

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We now have new opportunities for two instrument scientists to join the ISIS Muon Group.

Science and Technology Facilities Council

Salary: £31,305 to £43,300 per annum

Hours: Full time or Part time

Contract Type: Open Ended.

Location: Science and Technology Facilities Council, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory Harwell, Oxfordshire

 

Background

The ISIS Neutron & Muon Source is a world-leading centre for research in the physical and life sciences at the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. Our suite of neutron and muon instruments gives unique insights into the properties of materials at the atomic scale. We support a national and international community of more than 3000 scientists for research into subjects ranging from clean energy and the environment, pharmaceuticals and health care, through to nanotechnology and materials engineering, catalysis and polymers and on to fundamental studies of materials.

The ISIS Muon Group operates six muon spectrometers for condensed matter and molecular studies using the muon spin rotation / relaxation / resonance technique. These spectrometers are used by researchers from around the world for muon measurements in the areas of magnetism, superconductivity, charge transport, molecular and chemical studies, modelling hydrogen behaviour in, for example, semiconductors or proton conductors, and elemental analysis using negative muons. Further details can be found at http://www.isis.stfc.ac.uk/groups/muons.

We now have new opportunities for two instrument scientists to join the ISIS Muon Group. The instrumentation operated by this group is currently undergoing an exciting period of development, with plans for new and state-of-the-art instruments (for both positive and negative muon studies). The group are also developing novel calculation methods, such as density functional theory (DFT) techniques, to help with the understanding of experiment results. To support these activities, we are looking to appoint an instrument scientist with a particular interest in instrumentation and technique development (Post 1), and another with a focus on computational methods (Post 2).

Key Responsibilities

You will be a full member of the muon group and be expected to work with the other group members developing aspects of the muon technique. You will also be involved with, and will give technical and scientific support to, research groups from the UK and overseas who will come to ISIS to use the muon technique – you will need to be able to explain experimental details to researchers with much less experience of muon methods. You will have regular contact with ISIS technical and support groups, and will need to liaise closely with these groups as these experiments are carried out. You will also be expected to develop your own research programme which, at least in part, will make use of the muon method, and will be expected to publicise your work by publishing in peer-reviewed journals and at international conferences. You will be encouraged to look for opportunities to collaborate with ISIS staff working on neutron methods, and to develop wider collaborations with research groups outside of ISIS. Whilst experimental support by muon group instrument scientists is carried out across all muon spectrometers, you will be given specific responsibilities for one particular facility instrument.

For Post 1: you will be expected to make a significant contribution to the development of novel instrumentation for muon instrumentation and experiments. The post holder will likely contribute to work in areas such as beamline and instrument modelling (using software tools such as TURTLE and GEANT4, G4Beamline), the development of novel highly segmented detector arrays for high data rate instruments, and the development of novel instrumentation for negative muon experiments (such as elemental analysis through muonic X-rays).

For Post 2: you will help the muon group in their development of advanced computational techniques, such as DFT methods, to aid analysis and understanding of muon experimental results. You will be expected to work closely with user groups and with the STFC Scientific Computing Department to identify key problems and help plan solutions, and to publicise novel computational tools and make them accessible to the wider muon community. 

Contacts and Communication

The posts will be based at ISIS within the ISIS muon group. The post-holders will be a full member of the muon group and be expected to work with the other group members who are working on other aspects of the muon technique or muon instrumentation. The post-holders will have regular contact with ISIS technical and support groups, and will need to liaise closely with these groups as experiments are carried out. The post-holders will be involved with, and will give technical and scientific support to, research groups from the UK and overseas who will come to ISIS to use the muon technique – they will need to be able to explain experimental details to researchers with much less experience of muon methods. The post-holder will be expected to publicise the muon method through work in peer-reviewed journals and at international conferences.

Personal Skills and Attributes

A PhD (or about to obtain) in a relevant physical science or equivalent experience

While experience of the muon technique is highly desirable, applications from candidates with experience of other magnetic resonance methods and/or spectroscopic techniques, or neutron scattering, would be welcomed.

See the Person Specification for further details of the post’s requirements

Any other Relevant Information

These are a permanent posts within the ISIS Muon Group.

Due to the nature of ISIS experimental running, some out-of-hours work on evenings and at weekends will be required to support visiting researcher experiments.

You will be required to be a monitored radiation worker

Person Specification

The following criteria will be assessed at Shortlisting (S), at Interview (I) or both (S&I):

Qualifications

Essential:

·      Degree or equivalent qualification in a physical science (S)

·      PhD, or about to receive a PhD, in a relevant science area, or equivalent experience (S&I) (for Band E several years post-doctoral experience are required).

Knowledge and Experience

Essential:

·      Scientific research experience, including publication record reflecting a personal and collaborative science programme, likely gained and arising from PhD work (Band D) or through post-doctoral work (Band E) (S)

·      Potential (Band D) or demonstrated ability (Band E) to lead a personal scientific research programme (S&I)

·      Aptitude for understanding scientific instrumentation beyond that of end-user (S&I)

·      Computer literate (comfortable with use of PCs beyond standard Microsoft packages – ability to become familiar with the ISIS PC-based data acquisition systems and comfortable using scripting languages, such as Python) (S)

·      Experience of developing scientific instrumentation for experimental work (essential for Band E appointment and Post 1) (S&I)

·      Strong interest, possibly with demonstrable experience, in developing advanced calculation methods, such as DFT, in an area relevant to the position – Post 2 (S&I)

·      Awareness of health and safety issues relevant to the post (S&I)

Desirable:

·      Experience of leading a development programme in an area relevant to Post 1 or Post 2 (accordingly) at a large user facility

·      Experience of the muon technique (essential for Band E appointment) (S&I)

·      Experience of the negative muon technique (muonic X-rays) for materials (Post 1) (S&I) and/or experience of beamline modelling (Post 1) (S&I)

·      Experience of running experiments at a large user facility (desirable at Band D, essential for Band E appointment) (S&I)

·      Experience of applying for funding to support a personal and collaborative research programme (S&I)

Personal skills and Qualities

Essential:

·      Ability to work as part of a team (S&I)

·      Good oral and written communication skills (S&I)

·      Ability to take initiative and to work effectively with limited supervision at times (S&I)

·      Problem solving ability (S&I)

·      Good organisational skills (S&I)

·      Desire to continue to develop personal and collaborative research programme (S&I)

·      Good interpersonal skills to interact with group members and visiting researchers (S&I)

·      Able to explain scientific concepts to those less familiar (S&I)

Special Requirements

Essential:

·      Available to work outside of normal hours when experiments require this (S&I)

·      Ability to work in classified radiation areas (S&I)

·      Willingness to travel overseas (S&I)

The Science and Technology Facilities Council is a world-leading multi-disciplinary science organisation where curiosity-driven, blue-skies thinking meets practical, application-led science and engineering. Our goal is to deliver economic, societal, scientific and international benefits to the UK and its people – and more broadly to the world.

One of Europe’s largest research organisations, we’re trusted to support, enable and undertake cutting-edge projects in an amazing diversity of fields. Through world-class facilities and people, we’re driving ground-breaking advances in science, engineering, computing and technology. Our research seeks to understand the Universe from the largest astronomical scales to the tiniest constituents of matter, yet creates impact on a very tangible, human scale.

For more information about STFC please visit https://stfc.ukri.org/

You can also visit our careers site https://www.stfccareers.co.uk/

How to Apply

Online applications only for this role. Please submit your CV and a covering letter which clearly outlines how you fulfil the criteria specified along with your motivation to join STFC and the role you’re applying for. Ensure that the job reference number is included in the filename description of each document uploaded. Note that failure to address the above criteria or submit your application without a covering letter may result in your application not being considered.

About UKRI

UK Research and Innovation brings together the nine organisations to create an independent organisation with a strong voice for research and innovation, and a vision to ensure the UK maintains its world-leading position in research and innovation. More information can be found at www.ukri.org.

Additional Information

Organisation: Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) - ISIS

Contract Type: Open Ended

External Closing Date: Dec 6, 2020

Minimum Salary: Pound Sterling (GBP) 31,305

Hours: Full-time / Part-time

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