HeXI (Electron Diffraction) Principal Beamline Scientist

About Us

Diamond Light Source is the UK’s national 3rd generation synchrotron science facility. By accelerating electrons to near light-speed, Diamond generates brilliant beams of light from infra-red to X-rays which are used for academic and industry research and development across a range of scientific disciplines including structural biology, physics, chemistry, materials science, engineering, earth and environmental sciences. 

Diamond is one of the most advanced scientific facilities in the world, and its pioneering capabilities and talented staff are helping to keep the UK at the forefront of scientific research.  

About the Role

Diamond is a leader in the development of cutting-edge facilities for the life sciences. In collaboration with the Rosalind Franklin Institute and the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology we have received funding from Wellcome Trust to develop a high energy electron crystallography instrument to complement the other MX beamlines at Diamond.

We now have new opportunity for a HeXI Principal Beamline Scientist (PBS), which will lead the design, construction and implementation of the HeXI beamline in close collaboration with the VXMm beamline team and other engineering support groups. You will also supervise a small team to establish a competitive research programme which exploits the capabilities of HeXI and Diamond.  

The post is underpinned by funding for a post-doctoral research associate linked to the role, subject to a suitable case being made to support research and development within the group. Furthermore, Diamond has a successful PhD programme and is strategically partnered with a number of doctoral training centres across the UK providing  the opportunity for PhD studentships (https://www.diamond.ac.uk/Careers/Students.html). You will have access to state-of-the-art laboratories for structural and cellular biology embedded at Diamond and within the Research Complex at Harwell to pursue your research. 

Instrumentation and software development is facilitated by dedicated support from Diamonds computing, engineering and scientific software groups as well as partnerships with CCP4 and the recently established Rosalind Franklin Institute (who are close partners of the HeXI project) amongst others. We expect candidates to apply for external grant funding through national and international funding agencies to take full advantage of the stimulating and exciting research environment at Diamond. 

The HeXI project goals are to utilise existing expertise in the development of high throughout end-stations for macromolecular crystallography and combine them with advanced electron accelerator technology to develop a dedicated electron diffraction facility for structural biology. The beamline will enable both standard and serial crystallography data collection and optionally some imaging capabilities can be explored and developed. 

The macromolecular crystallography (MX) group at Diamond comprises 7 world-class MX beamlines with unique capabilities and is complemented by dedicated beamlines for BIOSAXS, CD, X-ray imaging and spectroscopy, IR-microspectroscopy and the UK’s national Cryo-EM centre (eBIC). The MX group at Diamond established the first dedicated synchrotron-based labs for X-ray fragment screening (X-Chem) and membrane proteins (MPL).  In addition, the UK XFEL hub provides a focus for XFEL work, engaging UK users in serial crystallography experiments around the world, and directs UK developments at the SPB/SFX instrument at the European XFEL. The MX group has a strong software development programme which includes development of the DIALS integration software package, ISPyB/SynchWeb and automation pipelines. 

For informal queries about the role, please contact Gwyndaf Evans. Gwyndaf.evans@diamond.ac.uk  

About You

You will hold appropriate first and higher degrees or demonstrate significant equivalent experience. 

Suitable candidates will demonstrate significant experience of crystallography or electron diffraction methods, and have a good working knowledge of electron microscopy and/or electron accelerator technologies and electron guns.

Experience of structural biology techniques, serial crystallography and programming, especially python and java, will benefit your application. 

You will demonstrate skills in managing a small team, as well as a managing a budget and other resources for research and operations and upgrade projects. 

You will have demonstrated ability to develop a research programme, and to lead significant projects. 

You will display excellent interpersonal, communication and presentational skills, to interact effectively with staff and stakeholders at all levels. 


Diamond offers an exceptional benefits package to support staff in achieving a positive work/life balance. This includes 25 days annual leave plus 13 days of statutory and company holidays, along with flexible working hours and an excellent pension scheme. Staff also have access to a range of amenities on site including a nursery, cafes, a restaurant and sports and leisure facilities. A relocation allowance may also be available where applicable. 

To Apply

Applicants are required to outline their suitability for this role via the online application process. Please also state where you saw this role advertised. 

Diamond is a thriving international organisation, attracting a diverse range of talented individuals from around the world. Our staff currently comprises 39 nationalities and we welcome applications from everyone interested in joining us.

Business Area
Full Time Salary
£55,097 to £64,821 per annum (Discretionary range to £74,545)
Post Type
Full time / Fixed term
5 years
Closing Date
Ref No


Other information


Where relevant, and possible for the role, we will consider flexible working arrangements and secondment opportunities.

Diamond attract talented individuals from around the world and currently employ 39 different nationalities.  Reflecting trends in our sector we employ more men than women (78% men and 22% women as at 5 April 2019). Therefore, in accordance with law and good practice, we particularly welcome applications from suitably qualified women. 

If you are disabled and would like to be considered under the Guaranteed Interview Scheme, please let us know via the online application process.

Diamond are members of Working Families (the UK’s work-life balance organisation), we have also achieved the Athena SWAN Bronze award and Disability Confident Level One.