Associate Staff Scientist opening in the Gas Phase Photochemistry group, LCLS, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Dear colleagues,

We have a job opening for an associate staff scientist in the gas phase photochemistry group at the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS), SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. We are looking for a suitable candidate to perform and support experiments using time-resolved soft X-ray spectroscopy and both time-resolved electron and X-ray diffraction methods. The detailed job description can be found below or under this link:

Review of applications will begin on April 25th, 2022.

The associate staff scientist is the entry level for the staff scientist career path at SLAC (see below for more details). Please forward this email to any suitable candidate. I would be happy to answer any additional questions.

Best wishes,

Thomas Wolf

SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory is seeking an Associate Staff Scientist to join the Gas Phase Photochemistry group within the Science, Research and Development (SRD) Division at the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS). The primary research focus of this group concerns ultrafast electronic and structural dynamics in isolated quantum systems primarily using three unique  instruments at LCLS: soft X-ray spectroscopy at the time-resolved atomic, molecular, and optical physics (TMO) instrument, time-resolved X-ray scattering experiments at the coherent X-ray imaging (CXI), and Megaelectronvolt electron scattering experiments with the ultrafast electron diffraction (MeV-UED) instrument.

This position will help support user science and beamline operations at TMO, CXI, and MeV-UED, develop new science capabilities and related instrumentation for the facility, with a focus on charged particle spectroscopy, coherent diffractive imaging with X-rays and MeV electrons, and XAS/XES techniques, and is expected to develop a successful self-led scientific research project/portfolio. LCLS is currently undergoing a major upgrade to a high-repetition rate X-ray source, which will open transformative new opportunities for investigations of ultrafast gas phase photochemistry at the TMO instrument. In parallel, the relativistic electron source of the UED instrument is also undergoing an upgrade to higher repetition rates, which will substantially increase its capabilities for investigating structural dynamics in dilute samples.

The candidate is expected to (1) join the MeV-UED instrument team, but also to (2) support and perform experiments at the other two x-ray instruments. Candidates with a strong background in ultrafast diffraction or X-ray spectroscopy are specifically encouraged to apply. It is expected that the candidate will develop a collaborative and strong user support framework within the UED and the Gas Phase Photochemistry teams for optimal use of the facility. The candidate is expected to engage in scientific research, and help to develop new scientific directions. Additionally, the candidate will also help define and lead the Early Science Program for LCLS-II and LCLS-II-HE in partnership with researchers at SLAC, Stanford University and the wider LCLS User community. They will help define the R&D projects that fully exploit the new capabilities of the LCLS-II, LCLS-II-HE, and MeV-UED enabled instruments, ensuring the facility remains at the forefront of international research in these areas

Note: This position is posted at the Associate Staff Scientist level. The Associate Scientist position is a 3-to-5-year fixed term position for a recent graduate or post-doctoral fellow and is the entry level in the Staff Scientist career path. The Associate Scientist position is scheduled to be assessed after the 3 to 5-year period with the possibility of appointment to the Staff Scientist level.

Applicants should include a cover letter, a statement of research including a summary of accomplishments, a curriculum vitae, a list of publications, and names of five references for future letters of recommendation with the application. Review of applications will begin on April 25, 2022. Later applications may be considered at the discretion of the search committee.

SLAC is a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) laboratory operated by Stanford University and based in Menlo Park; CA. Due to COVID-19-related curtailment of on-site activities, the job duties for this position may be required to be performed from home until full site access is restored.

Specific responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Participate in planning and performing forefront experiments in ultrafast X-ray science using the LCLS.
  • Participate in science, research and development within the Gas Phase Photochemistry group at LCLS.
  • Participate in and organize activities around the UED and other instruments involved in gas phase photochemistry research
  • Support expansion of the capabilities of LCLS.
  • Collaborate with other SRD scientists and other Divisions within LCLS.
  • Disseminate research results through peer reviewed publications and presentations at scientific meetings.

What we expect you to bring:

  • Ph.D. in Chemistry, Physics, or a related field.
  • 0 – 2 years of research experience in ultrafast science.
  • Experience with gas phase experimental techniques.
  • Experience supporting a complex user facility and/or R&D environment.
  • Experience developing and delivering research activities, including progress reports, proposals, requirements documentation, and presentations to diverse stakeholders.
  • Research record as evidenced by a publication record commensurate with level of work experience.
  • Ability to develop, design and test new scientific instrumentation.
  • Strong analytical and computation skills.
  • Demonstrated organizational skills and ability to multi-task and complete assignments.
  • Effective communication and writing skills to prepare and present technical and scientific documentation.
  • Ability to carry out independent research, collaborate closely with colleagues conducting experimental research, and participate in the writing of scientific proposals to fund research.
  • Ability to work independently and in a team environment.
  • Ability to work and communicate effectively with a diverse population.

In addition, preferred requirements include:

  • In-vacuum sample delivery
  • Femtosecond lasers
  • Experience with soft x-ray spectroscopy at XFELs.
  • Experience with electron and X-ray diffraction measurements
  • X-ray instrumentation development and operation
  • Time-resolved methods
  • Processing and analysis of large data sets.

SLAC Employee Competencies

  • Effective Decisions: Uses job knowledge and solid judgment to make quality decisions in a timely manner.
  • Self-Development: Pursues a variety of venues and opportunities to continue learning and developing.
  • Dependability: Can be counted on to deliver results with a sense of personal responsibility for expected outcomes.
  • Initiative: Pursues work and interactions proactively with optimism, positive energy, and motivation to move things forward.
  • Adaptability: Flexes as needed when change occurs, maintains an open outlook while adjusting and accommodating changes.
  • Communication: Ensures effective information flow to various audiences and creates and delivers clear, appropriate written, spoken, presented messages.
  • Relationships: Builds relationships to foster trust, collaboration, and a positive climate to achieve common goals.

Physical requirements and working conditions:

  • Consistent with its obligations under the law, the University will provide reasonable accommodation to any employee with a disability who requires accommodation to perform the essential functions of the job.

Work Standards:

  • Interpersonal Skills: Demonstrates the ability to work well with Stanford colleagues and clients and with external organizations.
  • Promote Culture of Safety: Demonstrates commitment to personal responsibility and value for environment, safety and security; communicates related concerns; uses and promotes safe behaviors based on training and lessons learned.  Meets the applicable roles and responsibilities as described in the ESH Manual, Chapter 1—General Policy and Responsibilities:
  • Subject to and expected to comply with all applicable University policies and procedures, including but not limited to the personnel policies and other policies found in the University’s Administrative Guide,
  • As an organization that receives federal funding, SLAC and Stanford University have a COVID-19 vaccination requirement that will apply to all university employees, including those working remotely in the United States and applicable subcontractors. To learn more about COVID policies and guidelines for Stanford University Staff, please visit

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