Muon Instrument Scientist (open-ended)

The ISIS Muon Group is seeking an Instrument Scientist to support and develop muon group instruments and pursue a research programme which includes use of the muon technique.

The ISIS Muon Group operates three muon spectrometers for condensed matter and molecular studies using the muon spin rotation/relaxation/resonance technique. The instruments form part of the ISIS pulsed neutron and muon source located at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire in the UK, a world-leading centre for research in the physical and life sciences. 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 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. Whilst experimental support by muon group instrument scientists is carried out across the three muon spectrometers, this post will be given specific responsibilities for one particular instrument.

List of Duties / Work Programme / Responsibilities
1. Support for visiting scientists using the ISIS 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 muon group 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 muon group. The post-holder 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-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 and overseas 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.
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.




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)

Knowledge and Experience


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)

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)


Experience of the muon technique

Demonstrable ability to run a personal scientific research programme (essential for Band E appointment)

Experience of running experiments at a large user facility

Awareness of health and safety issues relevant to the post

Personal skill and Qualities


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


Able to explain scientific concepts to those less familiar

Special Requirements


Available to work outside of normal hours when experiments require this

Ability to work in classified radiation areas


Willingness to travel overseas


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


For an informal discussion about this role please contact:  Adrian Hillier (

To apply for this post, please use the 'Apply' link on the Top Careers website.
Bookmark and Share
Skip to the top of the page