Post Doctoral Research Associate

The long-wavelength macromolecular crystallography beamline I23 is a unique facility for solving the crystallographic phase problem, using the small anomalous signal from sulphur present in native protein crystals. This will be of increased importance for projects where protein labelling with anomalous scatterers is not feasible. In addition, the absorption edges of biologically important elements such as Ca, K, Cl, S and P are accessible, allowing element assignment even at low resolution by comparing anomalous difference fourier maps above and below the absorption edges. Over the past months a number of difficult projects could be solved and currently the beamline is in an optimization phase with an increasing number of friendly users.

We are seeking a highly motivated PDRA to carry out innovative research using long-wavelength macromolecular crystallography. In addition, the successful candidate will play an active role in the commissioning of the beamline and also assist users with their experiments on the beamline.

As the beamline will be tunable over a large wavelength range not accessible at any other MX beamline (down to λ = 5.9 Å), this position will allow setting up novel experiments to push the boundaries of MX at synchrotrons. Potential projects are the investigation of the optimal wavelength for native phasing as function of crystal size, testing and improving of analytical absorption correction software based on X-ray tomography, evaluation of different data collection and processing / scaling protocols or establishing MAD experiments using the strong anomalous signal from the uranium M-edge. Candidates are encouraged to indicate their personal research interest exploiting the unique capabilities of the instrument in the application.  

The Rutherford Appleton site with its world leading facilities, including Diamond, ISIS and CLF offers a multidisciplinary environment. Together with the suite of five existing MX beamlines, the electron Bio-Imaging Centre (eBIC) and the Membrane Protein Laboratory (MPL) embedded in Diamond, the adjacent Research Complex at Harwell houses a range of life and physical science activities, including both CCP4 and state of the art structural biology laboratories providing exceptional opportunities for synergies and collaborations. If you enjoy working as part of a highly motivated team, this position will offer you a great opportunity to contribute to this unique project and to work at a world-class facility.

For further information please contact:

Business Area
Life Science
Salary range (Full Time)
£32,805 to £38,593 per annum (Discretionary range to £44,382)
Post Type
Full time / Fixed term
3 years
Closing Date
Ref No


Other information


Where appropriate for the role, we will consider flexible working arrangements and secondment opportunities (e.g. for fixed-term contract positions).

Diamond are members of the Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion and we have achieved the Athena SWAN Bronze award and Disability Confident Level One. Women are underrepresented and so 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.