South East


The Crystallography Group at ISIS operates nine neutron instruments for diffraction and imaging studies, performing world class powder and single crystal diffraction measurements.  

In the contest of the Endeavour project, which will bid for significant capital investment at ISIS for a suite of new instruments and major upgrades to the current facilities, the Crystallography Group has a project for extending the single crystal neutron diffraction capabilities at the facility, with an upgrade of the existing SXD instrument and the construction of a new instrument LMX.  

The single crystal upgrade program will allow to perform diffraction experiments beyond the capabilities currently offered by the suite of instruments within the ISIS Crystallography Group, widening the breath of science covered by the single crystal diffraction instruments to include large molecules from functional materials to small proteins. This upgrade program is an unique opportunity to further expanding the neutron user community and fill the gap between supramolecular chemistry and structural biology! 

Summary of Key Duties & Responsibilities:

The objective of this post is carrying out Monte Carlo simulations in order to optimize the final designs of the SXD and LMX instrument, taking advantage of the recent developments in neutron guide and detector technologies. Simulations will start from existing initial design and focus in particular on the optical neutron path, flux at the sample position and expected count rates for a given specific resolution. The project will offer the student the opportunity to work at a world leading facility, learn about neutron diffraction methods and instrumentation and gain firsthand experience of the use of Monte Carlo methods to optimize a sophisticated design with many variables. 

After learning about the application of single crystal diffraction methods, current instrumentation at neutron facilities worldwide and methods to simulate their performance using Monte Carlo methods, the student will: 

  • Assess the current initial outline specification (flux, resolution, etc) for the SXD and the LMX instrument at ISIS, in collaboration with members of the ISIS Crystallography Group and selected external researchers 
  • Perform Monte Carlo simulations (mainly with the McStas software) of the predicted performance of both instrument, to assess moderator requirements and optimize design parameters such as flight path, guide geometry and detectors position 
  • Benchmark the Monte Carlo simulations by comparing the predicted performance of SXD and LMX with experimental test data 
  • Write a report about the simulations done and the results acquired

In order to apply for this role you must have:  


  • At university, enrolled on an undergraduate degree course and required or have requested to take a year out of studies to gain experience within industry  
  • Right to live and work in the UK  
  • Good written and oral English language skills  
  • Basic experience with computer programming 


  • Basic knowledge/use of computer simulations  
  • Basic knowledge of diffraction methods 

How we support EDI in the workforce 

At UKRI, we believe that everyone has a right to be treated with dignity and respect, and to be provided with equal opportunities to thrive and succeed in an environment that enables them to do so. We also value diversity of thought and experience within inclusive groups, organisations and the wider community.  

Disability Confident Employer

As users of the disability confident scheme, we guarantee to interview all disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria for the vacancy/ies. We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us to request accommodation. 

How to apply 

Online applications only preferred for this role. Please submit a CV and covering letter which clearly outlines how you fulfil the criteria specified along with your motivation for UKRI and the role. Ensure that the job reference number is included in the filename description of each document uploaded. Note that failure to address the above criteria or submit an application without a covering letter may result in the application not being considered. Assessment will only be based upon the content of your submitted covering letter and CV and not the ‘experience’ section of the application. 

UKRI seeks to ensure it creates and maintains a system of openness, fairness and inclusion – a collaborative, trusted environment, which is attractive to and accessible to everyone who is interested in developing their career with us. 

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Didcot, Oxfordshire


South East

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