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Director General

SOLEIL is the French national synchrotron radiation facility, located 20 km from Paris, at the heart of the fast-growing Paris-Saclay Science and Innovation Campus. 

Based on a 2.75 GeV source, SOLEIL is a world-class facility offering 29 beamlines, covering a wide range of the electromagnetic radiation spectrum, from infrared to hard X-rays. It is a multidisciplinary instrument and a research laboratory, whose missions are conducting state-of-the-art research programs using synchrotron radiation and developing instrumentation and data management strategies to keep the beamlines at the highest international experimental standards. SOLEIL is planning a major storage ring upgrade to transform in the coming years the synchrotron into a 4th generation high brilliance synchrotron light source. This source upgrade will be mirrored by upgrades of the beamlines portfolio, including the installation of some completely new instruments. The science case of the new SOLEIL will enable scientists and engineers to undertake highly innovative research across a wide range of fields, as tackling challenges in Energy, Environment and Health research.
SOLEIL, a world class tool for both academic research and industrial applications, is presently used by over 8,000 researchers from France and abroad, across a wide range of disciplines including biology, chemistry and physics. The SOLEIL research facility has a governance based on a "civil" no-profit French company, is jointly funded by CNRS and CEA, employs around 500 staff and is a partner of the Université ParisSaclay. 

The Management Team of SOLEIL is composed by the General Director, the Director of the Administration Division, the Director of the Accelerators and Engineering Division, two Directors of the Science Division – one for Life Sciences and one for Physical Sciences, respectively, and the Director of the IT Strategy Division. The SOLEIL company operates under the supervision of the SOLEIL Council. 

The SOLEIL Council is now seeking to recruit the General Director for the period 01/09/2024 to 31/08/2029.


The General Director is the chief executive of SOLEIL and its legal representative. The postholder decides on the planning, co-ordination and execution of the Company’s objectives as defined in its Statutes, and prepares and implements decisions of the SOLEIL Council.
The main responsibilities of the Director General are to: 

  • Act as the representative of the company (legal and scientific), and represent the facility in all aspects towards its stakeholders and in the European and international scientific context ;
  • Coordinate the Management Team activities ;
  • Lead the major storage ring upgrade of SOLEIL and associated instrumental lines ;
  • Lead the definition and implementation of the medium- and long-term strategy for the further development of the company, in coordination with the shareholders and user community ;
  • Act proactively to attract funds and to develop opportunities for the facility ;
  • Optimize the organizational structures and processes of the Company ;
  • Be responsible for the implementation of the SOLEIL program, including the operation of the facility, the development of its scientific and technical programs and the implementation of the annual budget ;
  • Enable a safe, excellent, efficient, reliable and smooth user operation ;
  • Manage and act as an example for the staff, and cooperate trustfully with the employees’ representation ;
  • Promote internally the development of leadership culture, diversity and equal opportunities policies ;
  • Promote ethics, integrity and sustainable development ;
  • Be responsible for the communication with the public concerning scientific, technical and procedural affairs involving SOLEIL, and for the internal communication of information to the staff.


In accordance with the SOLEIL Statutes, the Director General shall be initially appointed for a period not exceeding five years. This appointment can be renewed upon decision of the Council.


Candidates are expected to have :

  • Records of distinguished performance and leadership in scientific research with a strong background in X-ray photon science ;
  • Experience at senior level of management of scientific facilities and/or large scientific projects, in particular in the context of SOLEIL upgrade ;
  • Understanding of the principles and of the legal framework of the SOLEIL corporate governance ;
  • Strong organizational skills and ability to work in a complex multidisciplinary and international environment ;
  • Excellent communication skills, with institutional stakeholders, the scientific community as well as with the broader public ;
  • Cooperative leadership style and ability to inspire and engage the staff.

The working languages of SOLEIL are French and English, and therefore fluency in both languages is considered a major asset.


SOLEIL is in a key position to contribute to the development of scientific disciplines by designing unique experiments in collaboration with leading universities and institutions. It has a strong tradition of developing highly innovative instrumentation, is involved in several dozens of Regional, National and European projects, and in supporting a large number of student and post-doctoral programs. With a strongly international user community, SOLEIL is also actively involved in several international collaborations and networks.
SOLEIL fosters an open and welcoming policy at all levels in the organization. SOLEIL is committed to internationality, diversity and equality, and as such encourages applications from women and minorities.
The remuneration package comprises a competitive salary, a comprehensive pension scheme, and medical, educational and other social benefits.
More information can be obtained from the present SOLEIL Director General ( or the SOLEIL Chief Financial Officer (


For further information on the Synchrotron SOLEIL, please visit 

Applicants will send in one pdf-file to a motivation letter, presenting achievements in research and management.
Please add a CV in English, as well as a list of publications and of Referees that can be confidentially contacted by the Search and Selection Committee, an ad-hoc committee appointed by the SOLEIL Council.

Deadline for application: October 27th 2023.
Interview date: Monday December 18th 2023.