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Scientist in charge of the beamline PROXIMA-1

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.

The PROXIMA-1 beamline (, which opened in 2008, mainly serves the structural biology community in France and Europe. Equipped with a 3-circle goniometer, an EIGER-X 16M detector, a sample handling robot, and facilities for rapid analysis of diffraction data, the beamline has contributed to the resolution of more than 1,700 crystal structures deposited in the PDB. The PROXIMA-1 team, under the responsibility of the beamline manager, currently comprises two scientists, an assistant engineer, a post-doctoral student, two PhD students and an engineering apprentice. The group also benefits from the support of an engineer, in charge of the industrial programme of the beamline, and an associate scientist, expert in cryo-electron microscopy.

The PROXIMA-1 works in collaboration with the PROXIMA-2A beamline, which uses a microbeam and completes the spectrum of techniques available at SOLEIL for structural biology. In a similar context, this activity will benefit in 2024 from the installation of a TITAN-KRIOS electron microscope, the operation of which will be coordinated and managed by the PROXIMA-1 team. Finally, the upgrade of SOLEIL will offer, in the medium and long term, new opportunities for development and internal and external collaborations, with the aim of consolidating a strong focus on integrative biology, while making the most of the strong local ecosystem.


The beamline Manager is responsible for organising the operation of the PROXIMA-1 beamline and the cryo electron microscope in close collaboration with the electron microscopy team at the I2BC (Gif-sur-Yvette). The beamline manager will be expected to continue, and possibly strengthen, the beamline’s activities, primarily towards the user programme and the group's internal research themes. He/she will have to maintain the quality and performance of the instruments at the highest level, with the help of his/her team and the specialist support groups at SOLEIL. In particular, the beamline manager will be expected to make proposals for any updates and/or changes to the beamline thematic areas in the context of the SOLEIL upgrade (SOLEIL II).



  • Managing the team members and monitoring their careers.
  • Managing the budgets associated with the construction, operation, and maintenance of the beamline.
  • Representing the beamline at SOLEIL organisational meetings.
  • Technical evaluation and programming of users on the line - allocation of local contacts in an equitable manner.
  • Making proposals for improvements and developments to the beamline.
  • Representing the line and SOLEIL at scientific conferences to present the beamline to target communities, to communicate about the line's specific features or new properties, and to attract new users or user communities.
  • Interacting with users of the line as and when required, both as a scientific expert and as a synchrotron methods expert.

The Beamline Line Manager will conduct an original research activity (either a scientific project highlighting the characteristics of the beamline or methodological). He/she will pursue an appropriate scientific life according to the time available and organisational possibilities.

  • Establishing a research theme, drawing on collaborations within and/or outside SOLEIL as appropriate
  • Writing up results in scientific journal articles, presenting results at national and/or international conferences (posters or oral presentations).
  • Participation in internal and/or external expert committees.
  • Participation in scientific conferences related to the research developed, or research prospects.
  • Advising and arbitrating on requests from team members to attend scientific conferences.
  • Submitting grant applications for scientific projects, including for the use of instruments specific to SOLEIL and/or present on other major research instruments.
  • Providing advice and assistance in the submission of grant applications and scientific projects by members of the beamline team.
  • Reviewing scientific articles (peer-review).
  • Supervision of junior researchers in training, depending on project opportunities and existing funding (training of apprentices, Masters-level students, PhD students or post-docs), after discussion and approval by SOLEIL management.

The beamline Manager will ensure compliance with SOLEIL's specific procedures concerning the reception of external scientists and the safety of users and members of the PROXIMA-1 team.



The position is aimed at a PhD holder or equivalent with at least 10 years' experience in X-ray bio-crystallography. Knowledge of the physics and instrumentation of synchrotron beamline in the field of hard X-rays will be an important asset for this position.

Essential knowledge and skills Possible additional knowledge and / or skills
  • In-depth knowledge of the determination of macromolecular structures by bio-crystallography, including computer tools dedicated to data analysis and structure interpretation.
  • Strong experience in instrumentation (diffractometry, detection) associated with a structural biology platform (preferably at the synchrotron) and electron microscopy.
  • Basic knowledge of a programming language used at SOLEIL, preferably Python.
  • Ability to design and manage a structural biology project, write funding applications and scientific articles.
  • Management of a team with a wide range of skills.
  • Knowledge of the properties of synchrotron radiation and optics applied to an X-ray diffraction synchrotron beamline.
  • Knowledge and experience of electron microscopy techniques applied to biology.
  • Methods of expression, purification, and crystallisation of biological macromolecules.
  • Experience in microfluidics.
Qualifications required Techniques used
  • Time management.
  • Good communication skills within the team, with other SOLEIL groups and with external partners and users.
  • Willingness to participate in the SOLEIL II project and the upgrade of the beamline
  •  knowledge of beamline instrumentation (one or more of vacuum, control and acquisition electronics, control and acquisition computing, detection, cryogenics, robotics, etc.).

  IV.General Conditions

This offer is for a permanent position under French law. The salary will be based on the general salary grid for SOLEIL and determined based on qualifications and work experience.

The position is open for people with disabilities, open for CNRS and CEA personnel, academic personnel, and other French state personnel in secondment.