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Instrument Scientist / Postdoc - Small Angle Neutron and X-ray Scattering KWS-3/X

Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
Closing date
28 Jul 2024

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Job Type
Employment - Hours
Full time

Job Details

Work group:

JCNS-4 - Neutronenmethoden

Area of research:

Scientific / postdoctoral posts

Job description:

Your Job:

We are looking for a highly motivated postdoc to join the small angle neutron scattering (SANS) team as a 2nd instrument scientist at the KWS-3, , focusing on SANS diffractometer and the new KWS-X (SAXS/WAXS/USAXS) diffractometer, , with a metal jet light source. Both instruments are operated in the user program. This position is not only to support the users but also to strengthen the user community in the field of soft-matter, biological systems, food and also porous materials. Additionally, we are looking to intensify our contacts with industry and industrial applications. In this position you will have the opportunity to perform your own high-profile research in close cooperation with JCNS-1 (located in Jülich). Your duties and responsibilities within this position:

  • Provide local contact support for users of the neutron KWS-3 and X-ray KWS-X instrument of JCNS at MLZ
  • Intensify and widen industrial contacts and industrial applications by networking
  • Supporting users during the experiment and during the analysis of the results
  • Conduct and disseminate world-class research via publications and conference presentations in the fields mentioned above
  • Represent and actively work on increasing the user base at MLZ

Your Profile:

  • Master’s and subsequent PhD degree in one of the fields mentioned above like biophysics, physical chemistry, polymer science or a related discipline
  • A proven track record in neutron / X-ray scattering research preferably SANS / SAXS and modelling of polymer and protein structures would be a distinct advantage
  • Proven collaborations with industry would round your profile
  • Passion for networking and contacting new users
  • Very good command of written and spoken English
  • Initiative character, creativity, good interpersonal, communication and presentation skills, result orientation and analytical skills
  • Ability to work independently and as a player in the SANS team
  • Readiness to work on-call-duty during the user operation periods

Our Offer:

We work on the very latest issues that impact our society and are offering you the chance to actively help in shaping the change! We support you in your work with:

  • Exciting working environment on an attractive research campus, ideally situated close to the city of Munich
  • The position represents an excellent opportunity to carry out research using neutron scattering in a multidisciplinary team at MLZ
  • The possibility of using a wide range of complementary techniques and laboratories both at MLZ in Garching as well as at Forschungszentrum Jülich
  • Promoting professional development through participation in national and international conferences and through various training programs
  • Flexible working hours in a full-time position (39 hours/week) with the option of slightly reduced working hours
  • 30 days of annual leave and provision for days off between public holidays and weekends (e.g. between Christmas and New Year)

In addition to exciting tasks and a collaborative working atmosphere at Jülich, we have a lot more to offer:

Place of employment: Garching (Munich)

We offer you an exciting and varied role in an international and interdisciplinary working environment. The position is for a fixed term of 2 years, with possible long-term prospects. Salary and social benefits will conform to the provisions of the Collective Agreement for the Public Service (TVöD-Bund), pay group 13-14, depending on the applicant’s qualifications and the precise nature of the tasks assigned to them.

We welcome applications from people with diverse backgrounds, e.g. in terms of age, gender, disability, sexual orientation / identity, and social, ethnic and religious origin. A diverse and inclusive working environment with equal opportunities in which everyone can realize their potential is important to us.

This research center is part of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers. With more than 42,000 employees and an annual budget of over € 5 billion, the Helmholtz Association is Germany's largest scientific organisation.


The Helmholtz Association contributes to solving major challenges to assure the future of our society. With more than 39,000 people on staff in 18 national research centres, the Helmholtz Association is Germany’s largest scientific organization. The name Helmholtz stands for concerted research in which networks form the key principle behind inquiring thought and action. Concerted research is efficient and flexible.

The profile of the Helmholtz Association

The Helmholtz Association performs cutting-edge research which contributes substantially to solving the grand challenges of science, society and industry. To succeed in meeting these responsibilities, Helmholtz concentrates its work in six research fields: Energy, Earth and Environment, Health, Key Technologies, Matter, as well as Aeronautics, Space and Transport. Within each of these fields, research programs are developed by our scientists and regularly evaluated by renowned international experts. Their evaluation forms the basis for the programme-oriented funding that is allocated to Helmholtz research. Within the six research fields, Helmholtz scientists cooperate with each other and with external partners – working across disciplinary, organizational and national borders.

Promoting young academics

Helmholtz scientists, a high-performance infrastructure and modern and efficient research management are the ingredients to the Helmholtz Association‘s success and global impact.
Promoting young researchers is a major priority for the Helmholtz Association. Its qualification schemes for young researchers are geared mainly towards PhD students, postdocs and young managers. The Helmholtz Association has set high standards for its talent management. Its strategy begins with targeted recruitment of highly qualified staff at all levels, followed by comprehensive support aimed at further developing their potential. Ensuring equal opportunities is an essential element in all talent management activities undertaken by the Helmholtz Association.

The Helmholtz Graduate Schools and Research Schools at almost all Helmholtz Centres provide doctoral students with the general and specific skills and training they need, as well as ample opportunity to network with other working groups. The period following a doctorate is decisive in determining the direction and success of a scientific career. For this reason, we are about to establish Career Centers for postdoctoral researchers in the Helmholtz centres and a mentoring programme for especially gifted PostDocs in order to foster career orientation. This equips young researchers with the skills they need to go on to head a Helmholtz Young Investigators Group, for example. As a Young Investigator Group leader, junior scientists can independently set up their own group to conduct research in their specialist field.

Within its talent management strategy, the Helmholtz Association pays special attention to the increased recruitment of talented female scientists both from Germany and abroad. To this end, there are currently two funding programs supporting this policy Funding of first-time appointments of excellent women scientists (W2/W3)’ and ‘Funding to recruit top-level international women scientists (W3)’.

The increasing complexity of the content, structures and framework conditions of scientific work today requires researchers to organise their projects, their employees and, of course, themselves in a highly professional and effective way. In response to these demands, we have set up the Helmholtz Management Academy to provide junior leaders in science with professional management training. Furthermore, the Helmholtz network provides a platform for the alumni of the Helmholtz Management Academy and Mentoring programme to come together and share their experiences of leadership, career development and lifelong learning.

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