Muon Instrument Scientist (3 year post)

The ISIS and RIKEN-RAL Muon Groups are seeking an Instrument Scientist to support and develop muon group instruments and pursue a research programme which includes use of the muon technique.

ISIS has five muon spectrometers for condensed matter and molecular studies using the muon spin rotation/relaxation/resonance technique. Two of these are located on the Japanese RIKEN-RAL Muon Facility on one side of the ISIS experimental hall, and a further three are located on the European Muon Facility on the other side of the ISIS hall.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, and modelling hydrogen behaviour in, for example, semiconductors or proton conductors. Further details can be found at (for RIKEN-RAL) and (for ISIS muon group).

We require an instrument scientist to support visiting scientists in their research, to maintain and develop the muon instrumentation, and to develop their own research programme which, at least in part, will make use of the muon method. This post is jointly funded by RIKEN and ISIS, and the postholder will support muon experiments on both the RIKEN muon facility and the European muon facility at ISIS in equal measure.

This is a three year post in the first instance.

List of Duties / Work Programme / Responsibilities

1. Support for visiting scientists using the ISIS and RIKEN muon instruments. This will include liaison with visitors on all aspects of their experiments, proactive support for experiments during visits to enable researchers to gain the most from their muon experimental time, and subsequent help with data analysis as required.

2. Maintenance and development of one of the spectrometers, including helping to ensure the spectrometer is in a fit state for user experiments, calibration at the start of experimental periods, scheduling of accepted experiments through liaison with visiting research teams, and development of the spectrometer and associated sample environment equipment according to experimental and scientific needs.

3. The continuation or development of a personal and collaborative programme of original research that will include the use of the muon method in areas of condensed matter physics or chemistry.

4. Promotion of the muon technique through, for example, presenting research which employs the muon method at conferences and through publications.

5. Contributing to the corporate activities of the ISIS and RIKEN muon groups as they arise, for example helping with training courses using the muon method and contributing to larger instrument development projects.

Contacts and Communication

The post will be based at ISIS within the ISIS and RIKEN muon groups. The post-holder will be expected to work with the other group members who are working on other aspects of the muon technique or muon instrumentation. The post-holder 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-holder will be involved with, and will give technical and scientific support to, research groups from the UK, Japan and elsewhere who will come to ISIS to use the muon technique – (s)he 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.


Shortlisting Criteria


  • Degree or equivalent qualification in a physical science
  • PhD, or about to receive a PhD, in a relevant science area (for Band E several years post-doctoral experience is required)
  • Scientific research experience, including publication record reflecting a personal and collaborative science programme, likely gained and arising from PhD work (Band D) or through postdoctoral work (Band E)
  • Experience in one or more of the following: muon spectroscopy; neutron scattering; magnetic resonance methods; research at large-scale science facilities


  • Experience of the muon technique
  • Experience of high-pressure techniques for condensed matter studies
  • Experience of cryogenic systems used for condensed matter studies
  • Demonstrable ability to run a personal scientific research programme (essential for Band E appointment)

Interview Criteria


  • Aptitude for understanding scientific instrumentation beyond that of end-user
  • Computer literate (comfortable with use of PCs beyond standard Microsoft packages – ability to become familiar with the ISIS PC-based data acquisition systems)
  • Ability to work as part of a team
  • Good oral and written communication skills
  • Ability to take initiative and to work effectively with limited supervision at times
  • Problem solving ability
  • Good organisational skills
  • Desire to continue to develop personal and collaborative research programme
  • Good interpersonal skills to interact with group members and visiting researchers


  • Awareness of health and safety issues relevant to the post
  • Able to explain scientific concepts to those less familiar


Salary: £ 28,383 - 43,164 (depending on experience)
Grade: D-E
Contract Type: Fixed term (3 years)
Hours: Full Time 
Closing Date: 6 Jan 2015


For an informal discussion about this role please contact:  Philip King (

To apply for this post, please use the 'Apply' link on the Top Careers website.
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