Surf Instrument Scientist
24 Nov 2014




The ISIS Large Scale Structures Group is seeking an Instrument Scientist to support the science programme on the Surf neutron reflectometer and more widely within the group.


SURF is a high throughput neutron reflectometer designed for the study of free liquid surfaces, soft matter and materials science. It is situated on the ISIS First Target station and has been operating since 1995. The instrument has a wide ranging science program and serves a large community of both UK and international users.

SURF is a world class instrument which delivers a high flux and broad simultaneous wavelength band (0.55-6.5Å). 

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 for the second Target Station Project

List of Duties / Work Programme / Responsibilities

A full-time vacancy exists to assist in the development and running of the SURF instrument. The position represents an excellent opportunity to develop both collaborative and personal scientific research programmes exploiting the capabilities of neutron reflectometry in the areas of hard/soft condensed matter or the life sciences. In addition to assisting with the development and running of SURF the successful candidate will be expected to develop the user community and deliver new scientific capabilities to the LSS instrument suite through contributions to sample environment or software.

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 SURF. 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.



•         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.

Knowledge and Experience


•         Experience of Neutron Reflection and/or X-ray Reflection

•         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.

•         Experience of Small Angle Neutron Scattering, Grazing Incidence Scattering or small angle X-ray scattering techniques.

•         Evidence of a publication record in relevant science areas: hard/soft condensed matter, life sciences, etc. commensurate with experience

•         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 ~2x2m2 floor area.


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:  Robert Dalgliesh ( or John Webster (

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