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DISCO beamline manager


SOLEIL is the French national synchrotron facility, located on the Saclay Plateau near Paris. It is a multi-disciplinary instrument and research laboratory whose mission is to conduct research using synchrotron radiation, to develop cutting edge instrumentation on the beamlines, and to make these developments available to the scientific community. SOLEIL synchrotron, a unique tool for both academic research and industrial applications across a wide range of disciplines including physics, biology, chemistry etc., opened in 2008. It is used annually by thousands researchers from France and abroad. SOLEIL is based on a synchrotron source that is state-of-the-art both in terms of brilliance and stability. This large scale facility, a partner of the Université Paris Saclay, is a “publically owned” private company, founded by the CNRS and the CEA.

This position is assigned to the DISCO group of the Experiments Division.

The DISCO beamline, opened in 2009, serves cell biology, biochemistry, chemistry and heritage science communities in France and Europe. With three experimental branches for far ultraviolet fluorescence imaging (DUV), mass spectrometry (APEX) and circular dichroism (SRCD), the DISCO beamline has welcomed a community of over 600 unique users over a 12-year period. The DISCO team, under the responsibility of the head of the beamline, currently consists of 2 scientists, a scientist seconded from INRAE, 1 assistant engineer and 2 post-doctoral fellows. The position of head of the DISCO beamline will be open from September 2021 onwards.

I. Mission

The beamline manager is responsible for the operation of DISCO. The beamline manager is expected to continue, and strengthen further, the activities of the DISCO, on both aspects, users programme and in-house research activities. He/she will have to maintain the quality and performance of the instruments at their highest level, with the help of his/her team and the expert support groups of SOLEIL. In particular, the beamline manager is expected to propose any possible relevant updates and/or changes of the science thematic axes in the context of a SOLEIL upgrade. This mission includes notably,

  • Management and supervision of the beamline team and follow-up of their careers ;
  • Management of the budgets associated with the operation and maintenance of the instruments ;
  • Beamline representation in SOLEIL organizational meetings ;
  • Technical evaluation and scheduling of the user programme – assignments of local contact duties within the team in a fair and transparent manner ;
  • To make proposals for scientific and technical improvements and evolutions of the light line and to ensure an efficient and constructive communication with the scientific management ;
  • Representing the beamline and SOLEIL at scientific conferences to introduce the beamline to target communities, to communicate on the specificities or new properties of the beamline, and to attract new users or user communities ;
  • Regular interactions with users according to their needs, as a scientific and synchrotron method expert.


He/she will conduct an original research project (either methodological or a scientific project taking full advantage of the assets of the beamline). He/she will pursue an appropriate scientific activities according to the time available and the organisational possibilities. This mission includes notably,

  • Establishing a research theme, relying on collaborations inside and/or outside SOLEIL with, if appropriate, the contributions of the Heliobio community of SOLEIL's biology/health beamlines ;
  • Writing articles in scientific journals, presentation of results at national and/or international conferences (posters or oral presentations) ;
  • Participating in internal and/or external expert panels ;
  • Participating in scientific conferences related to the research developed, or research prospects ;
  • Advising and arbitrating requests by team members to attend scientific conferences ;
  • Submitting applications for external funding of scientific projects, including the use of specific instruments of SOLEIL and/or present on other major research instruments.
  • Providing advices and support in the submission of funding applications and scientific projects by the members of the team ;
  • Peer-reviewing of scientific articles ;
  • Supervising and training young researchers according the opportunities offered by various programmes and frameworks (training of apprentices, master students, PhD students or post-doctoral fellows), after discussion and validation by SOLEIL management.

He (she) shall ensure the respect of all SOLEIL specific procedures concerning the hosting of external scientists as well as the safety of the users and the members of the DISCO team.

II. Qualifications and experience

The position is aimed at a person with a PhD or equivalent degree and a minimum of 10-year professional experience in a synchrotron facility with an expertise in one of the technique developed at one of the branches of the beamline and an understanding of the other two. Knowledge of synchrotron research and instrumentation in the low energy range will be an asset. Habilitation to conduct research will be appreciated.

Basic knowledge and skills required

Possible additional knowledge and/or skills

  • In-depth knowledge of at least one of the experimental techniques developed on the DISCO beamline, of sample preparation and analysis methods and of the exploitation of associated data.
  • Strong experience in synchrotron instrumentation and in instrumentation associated with one of the experimental techniques used on the DISCO line.
  • Ability to design and manage a project in biological sciences, and to write funding applications and scientific papers.
  • Ability to develop strong partnerships, in particular with the biology and biomedicine communities.
  • Management of a team with a broad range of skills.
  • Knowledge and understanding of the properties of synchrotron radiation and of optics.
  • In-depth knowledge of the biology communities at broad that can be attracted to the synchrotron and the ability to develop strong partnerships with these communities.

Description of the specific skills required for the position

Required qualities

Techniques/means used

  • Time management.
  • Good communication and interpersonal skills within the team, with other SOLEIL groups and with external partners and users.
  • Strong motivation in the upgrade project of SOLEIL as a whole.
  • Description of the techniques specific to the position
  • Even if the beamline manager will be supported in his/her tasks by his team and by the SOLEIL support groups, it is highly desirable that beyond his/her scientific skills, the candidate continues to develop his/her knowledge and skills in scientific instrumentation as well as the mastery of SOLEIL's generic computer and administrative tools (Sunset, JIRA, etc...)


This offer is for a permanent contract.

The position is open to CNRS and CEA staff, or universities, or other civil servants on secondment.

Deadline : August 31st