10. November 2013 - Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
Instrument Scientist
Instrument Scientist for Larmor
10. November 2013 - Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
Instrument Scientist
Instrument Scientist for Larmor
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)

Didcot, UK


LARMOR is a multipurpose instrument designed to enable high throughput time-of-flight Small Angle Neutron Scattering (SANS) with polarisation and the development and exploitation of spin-echo scattering techniques. It is being constructed as part of the second phase of instrumentation on the ISIS second target station with first neutrons anticipated during 2014. The Spin-Echo system will be developed by TU-Delft in collaboration with ISIS as part of a 5 year multi-million Euro project funded by the Netherlands.

As a high throughput SANS instrument Larmor will be competitive with SANS2D and other world leading SANS instruments over a simultaneous Q range of 0.004 to >0.5Å-1 suitable for a broad range of soft matter science.

Larmor precession techniques for the study of large scale structures, high resolution crystallography and dynamics have progressed significantly in recent years with new instrumentation being constructed at a number of neutron sources. The collaboration between ISIS and TU-Delft that delivered OffSpec now aims to continue this trend by delivering a highly flexible instrument to explore new possibilities and to fully exploit existing techniques. LARMOR aims to enable this while maintaining and developing the existing SANS technique and community. We are looking for world-class scientists and instrument developers who can make major contributions to our current and future research programmes and who will develop these techniques to enable the study of a broad range of scientific themes.

The Large Scale Structures Group provides neutron scattering facilities and expertise for the study of surface and interfacial phenomena across a diverse range of research areas such as polymers, colloids, biological systems and magnetic/superconducting thin films. The Group currently supports 7 neutron instruments (small angle neutron scattering and reflectometry) and is designing and constructing 2 further instruments (including LARMOR) for the second Target Station Project

Job description

List of Duties / Work Programme / Responsibilities

A full-time vacancy exists to assist in the development and running of the LARMOR instrument. The position represents an excellent opportunity to develop both collaborative and personal scientific research programmes exploiting the capabilities of small angle neutron scattering and diffraction in the areas of hard/soft condensed matter or the life sciences. In addition to assisting with the development and running of LARMOR the successful candidate will be expected to lead the advancement of data reduction and analysis tools for Larmor precession and SANS techniques

Contacts and Communication

The successful candidate will interact extensively with visitors both from higher education institutions and industry. This will take the form of enabling, leading and expanding the scientific programme for LARMOR. External representation will also range from presenting their own scientific work at conferences to strategic engagement with stakeholders regarding future directions.

Internally, the candidate will be expected to contribute to and lead aspects of the LSS scientific programme and actively represent the group in its interactions with other ISIS and STFC science and technology groups.

Personal Skills and Attributes

The position requires a PhD in experimental hard or soft condensed matter. Extensive experience of small angle neutron scattering, neutron spin-echo techniques, neutron reflection or Small angle X-ray scattering techniques is required. Detailed knowledge and experience of neutron polarisation and spin echo techniques is desirable. An interest in state of the art instrumentation, neutron optics and data analysis is also desirable.

Good interpersonal and presentation skills are essential.

Any other Relevant Information

The successful candidate must expect to perform some work out of normal working hours, including weekends, during ISIS running cycles. The work also requires the ability to work in a radiation area and occasional ravel within the UK and overseas.

In addition to the competitive salary, an excellent index linked pension scheme and generous leave allowance are offered. Full details of offered benefits can be found at http://www.scitech.ac.uk/About/Vacs/Employee%20benefits/RAL_DL_ChilB%20_EmpBens.aspx

Requested Profile



  • PhD in experimental hard or soft condensed matter or a related science (or imminent awarding of)


  • Post-doctoral experience in a relevant scientific area: hard/soft condensed matter, life sciences, neutron spin-echo etc.

Knowledge and Experience


  • Experience of Small Angle Neutron Scattering, Neutron Reflection, Neutron Spin-Echo or small angle X-ray scattering techniques.
  • Potential for development of a personal scientific programme
  • Working knowledge of one or more of the standard computing languages used within the group (e.g. Python, Fortran, C, C++, Java, Visual Basic, Labview etc)


  • Post-doctoral experience in relevant science areas: soft condensed matter, life sciences, etc.
  • Evidence of a publication record in relevant science areas: hard/soft condensed matter, life sciences, etc. commensurate with experience
  • Experience of polarised neutron and spin echo techniques
  • Experience of instrumentation control and development

Personal skill and Qualities


  • Good interpersonal communication and presentation skills, ability to interact effectively with staff and ISIS users at all levels.
  • Ability to work collaboratively and individually to support the user community
  • Flexibility to occasional requests to work out-of hours to support users
  • Responsible attitude to personal safety, and the safety of others

Special Requirements


  • Medically fit for, and willing to, work in classified radiation areas (classified worker status)
  • Willing to work with chemicals and/or biological material in the ISIS chemistry and biology laboratories.
  • Willing to work with high power laser systems.
  • Willing to work at heights (>3m) behind appropriate safety barriers
  • Willing to work in relatively confined spaces ~2×2m2 floor area.

Dr. Robert Dalgliesh

How to Apply

Online applications only. No CV’s or Agencies.

The closing date for applications is 17th November 2013. The interview date for this vacancy will be week commencing 20th January 2014.

Applicants who are unable to apply on-line should contact us by telephone on 01793 867000.

17. November 2013
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