Post Doctoral Scientist (Muons)

ISIS is a world centre for research in the physical and life sciences at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory near Oxford in the United Kingdom. Our suite of neutron and muon instruments allows the properties of materials to be understood at the atomic scale.

The ISIS Muon Group ( operates three 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 areas such as magnetism, superconductivity, charge transport, molecular and chemical studies, and modelling hydrogen behaviour in, for example, semiconductors or proton conductors.

The EU, under the Horizon 2020 programme, is funding a project (SINE2020) seeking to stimulate new science and innovation with neutrons and muons, focussing particularly on the upcoming ESS facility in Sweden. Further information about this project and associated work can be found at http://sine2020.euand As a technique complementary to neutron scattering, the development of muon spectroscopy is a key part of this project, with work in areas such as detector technologies, DFT methods, e-Learning, in-situ techniques and novel sample environment being funded.

A postdoctoral research assistant is required to work on this project, with a particular focus on developing novel sample environment for applying radio-frequency techniques to muonium chemistry. You may also be involved in other aspects of the SINE2020 project, and will be expected to play a role in supporting and publicising the overall µSR work programme. 

User support will be an important part of the job as UK and overseas teams come to ISIS to use novel equipment and techniques developed during this project, as will outreach to promote these techniques to the wider research community. There will be ample opportunity to develop a personal and collaborative research programme.

List of Duties / Work Programme / Responsibilities
1. Leading activities to develop novel sample environment equipment to exploit radio-frequency techniques in muonium chemistry. Making use of this equipment to apply novel methods (such as RF or avoided level crossing) to solve relevant problems in physical chemistry or chemical spectroscopy.
2. Supporting external groups coming to ISIS to use these new techniques by working with them to ensure they understand the equipment and then helping to match their experimental requirements to the capabilities of the kit.
3. Supporting and promoting other µSR activities within the project, perhaps working with groups contributing in other areas. Contributing to management activities, which might include organising formal meetings, producing written reports and supporting a website.
4. Promoting the muon technique by publishing results in peer-reviewed journals and making presentations at international conferences. Engaging in outreach to promote muon techniques to the wider research community. 
5. Developing a personal and/or collaborative programme of original research, likely to involve using the muon method in areas of chemistry or condensed matter physics.
6. Contributing to the corporate activities of the ISIS muon group as they arise by, for example, helping with training courses using on the muon method and contributing to larger instrument development projects.

Contacts and Communication
The post will be based at the ISIS facility (located at the Rutherford Appleton Lab, Didcot, UK) within the ISIS muon group, and you will be expected to support activities associated with the SINE2020 project seeking to develop the muon technique. 

While working on the project, you will be expected to support research groups from the UK and overseas who will come to ISIS to exploit these new methods – you will need to be able to explain experimental details to researchers with much less experience of muon methods. You will be expected to contribute to management activities associated with the project, which will include liaising with partner organisations through formal meetings, written reports and a website. 

You will be expected to engage in outreach that will include publicising project activities through peer-reviewed journals and at international conferences.
You 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. You will have regular contact with ISIS technical and support groups, and will need to liaise closely with these groups as new experiments are carried out.

Personal Skills and Attributes
While experience of the muon technique is highly desirable, applications from candidates with experience of other magnetic resonance methods and/or spectroscopic techniques would be welcomed. Many of the novel muon methods associated with this project involve aspects of physical chemistry / radio-frequency spectroscopy / DFT methods, and experience in one or more of these areas is highly desirable.

For more information and to apply, click here.

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