The Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS), a directorate of SLAC and the world’s first hard x-ray free electron laser, seeks a Research Associate with a background in sample introduction for serial data collection to join the Sample Environment and Delivery group within the LCLS Hard X-Ray department.

Members of this department are responsible for developing new instrumentation and methods as well as performing innovative ultrafast experiments using hard x-ray beams from LCLS. The SED Department specifically focuses on sample preparation, characterization and delivery.

SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC) is one of the world’s premier research laboratories, providing an internationally leading capability in the form of its accelerator based light sources and its science programs.

Please Note – due to COVID-19 related curtailment of on-site activities, the job duties for this position will be required to be performed from home until full site-access is restored. 

Job ID 4077

In this position, you will primarily support the development and integration of methods for sample introduction of biological samples at LCLS and will also support the user experiment program. You will participate in and contribute to efforts involving the characterization and testing of sample introduction methods for solutions and suspensions as well as help to automate sample introduction at the LCLS beam lines. You will have the opportunity to collaborate with researchers at SLAC and Stanford University working on simulations and theoretical frameworks of the underlying physics. The successful candidate should be curious, motivated and self-driven.

Note: The position is a 2 year fixed term with the possibility of renewal. Assignment duration is contingent upon project needs and funding.

To be successful in this position you will bring:

  • A Ph.D. (or its equivalent in research skill and subject knowledge) in physics, engineering, biochemistry, or related field in demonstrated coursework and research experience with sample preparation, characterization and delivery. (Candidates currently pursuing a PhD or recently graduated with relevant post-graduate research background are encouraged to apply)
  • Experience with sample introduction for serial data collection at x-ray sources.
  • Demonstrated experience as evidenced by a publication record commensurate with level of work experience.
  • Ability to carry out independent research.
  • Strong analytical and experimental skills.
  • Effective written and verbal communication skills.
  • Ability to work and communicate effectively with a diverse population.

In addition, preferred requirements and experience include:

  • User facility operations and research.
  • X-ray crystallography, especially serial methods.
  • X-ray scattering techniques.
  • Script writing and data analysis using Python
  • Experience in automation

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. May work extended hours during peak business cycles. The ability to travel to synchrotron and XFEL facilities around the world to perform experiments

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,


  • Classification Title: Project Scientist
  • Job code: 0112
  • Duration: Fixed Term - 2 years