PDRA/Senior PDRA in X-ray Microscopy (10323)

    • Application Deadline
      18 July 2024
      (application date has expired)
    • Job Salary
      £35,500 to £52,500 per annum (depending on experience)
    • Website

    The role

    The Rosalind Franklin Institute is a national research centre, funded by the UK government through UK Research and Innovation, dedicated to bringing about transformative changes in life science through interdisciplinary research and technology.

    The water window X-ray microscope project is an exciting new EPSRC-funded collaboration between the University of Southampton's School of Chemistry and Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC), the Rosalind Franklin Institute (RFI), and the Central Laser Facility (CLF) at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratories. The project will design and construct a lab-scale soft X-ray microscope for biological imaging using soft X-rays generated using ultrafast lasers and applying coherent diffractive imaging techniques.

    As a post-doctoral research associate within the correlated imaging theme of the Rosalind Franklin Institute, you will be part of a multidisciplinary team constructing a new laser laboratory at the Rutherford Appleton Labs in Harwell, home of the most powerful femtosecond lasers in the UK, and of the Rosalind Franklin Institute (RFI), a new UK research institute with a focus in biological imaging using several complementary modalities and radiations. The lab will be based around a new generation of femtosecond laser sources which produce high energy femtosecond pulses in the infrared at average powers that are a factor of 100 higher than typical femtosecond lasers.

    This role is one of two with the other being based at Southampton University in the School of Chemistry which will focus on the development and application of computational algorithms for processing the soft X-ray scattering data produced by experiments in the new ultrafast X-ray lab at Harwell. This initial team will later be expanded to include two further post-doctoral roles.


    This role will involve the construction and operation of a new ultrafast laser laboratory on the Harwell campus for biological imaging applications. Key areas for development are the generation of high flux water window X-ray pulses, and the construction and operation of an experimental scattering chamber for imaging with coherent X-rays. The applicant will work with a new high average power femtosecond laser source and oversee the development of efficient methods for generation of highly-coherent soft X-rays in the water window with high efficiency.

    Please note this role is available at either Postdoctoral Research Associate or Senior Postdoctoral Research Associate level, which will attract different salary bands:

    - Postdoctoral Research Associate £35,500 - £43,500 per annum (depending on experience)

    - Senior Postdoctoral Research Associate £42,500 - £52,500 per annum (depending on experience)

    In return we offer:

    - 25 days holidays plus bank holidays and Christmas holiday shutdown

    - Generous pension scheme (employer’s contribution currently up to 18%)

    - Group Life Assurance (also known as Group Life Insurance or Death in Service)

    - Hub building with state-of-the-art laboratories

    - Training and development opportunities for staff at all levels

    - Bus pass discount scheme and good transport links to Oxford and surrounding areas

    - Cycle to Work Scheme

    - Access to employee discount platform (Perkbox)

    - Occupational Health and wellbeing support including Employee Assistance (24/7 support and counselling)

    - Health Cash Plan

    - Subsidised canteen and food outlets on campus

    - Free on-site parking

    - Campus location in beautiful countryside with social and sports clubs open to staff

    About us:

    The Rosalind Franklin Institute is a new national Research Centre, funded by the UK government through UK Research and Innovation, dedicated to bringing about transformative changes in life science through interdisciplinary research and technology.


    The Franklin is based in Harwell Campus, UK’s innovation hub and well-established as one of the leading science and innovation campuses in Europe.

    The Franklin’s underlying aim is to produce the best science for research today, and this means resolutely embracing a diverse team, who have a wide range of experiences, skills and knowledge to push forward on the innovative work our institution delivers. Both our work and our institution are better for it. For further information, view our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy.

    At the Rosalind Franklin Institute we welcome applications from all around the world!

    To be considered for this role, please send a CV and cover letter through explaining why you think you are the right person for this job. Please including information about your education and work experience.

    Closing date: Please be aware that applications are accepted on an ongoing basis until the position is filled; therefore, we reserve the right to close this vacancy earlier if required.

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