Beamline Scientist – High Performance (MX3) Beamline

Recruiting the following position now!
Beamline Scientist – MX3 (4 years fixed term)

  • Fixed Term Position Available with a possibility of long-term appointment 
  • A Competitive Salary Package will be offered commensurate with qualifications and experience | Generous Employer Superannuation Contribution
  • Opportunity to apply your expertise and professional skills in a unique facility.

BRIGHT is the exciting new ANSTO program that will design, install and commission 8 new beamlines at the Australian Synchrotron over the next 7 years. The BRIGHT Program’s objective is to deliver to ANSTO new world-class research infrastructure.

About this position

The Beamline Scientist – High Performance Macromolecular Crystallography (MX3) Beamline is responsible for aiding in the scientific design of the beamline; contributing to the procurement and acceptance testing of major beamline components; assisting in the integration of components and systems into the MX3 beamline and end stations. You will also be required to perform the duties of a Beamline Scientist in support of the operational User Program on the MX3 beamline at the conclusion of hot commissioning.

As part of your role you will be required to engage and manage the interactions with key stakeholders and the user-community to provide technical and scientific direction to the beamline construction project.

Reporting to the Lead Scientist, your extensive experience with MX beamlines, including beamline automation, programming (in languages such as Python), solid structural biology experience and your excellent interpersonal and communications skills will be essential to this role.

There is a potential for this role to contribute in the post-implementation phase of the project and possibly be a long-term appointment.

Skills and experience in the following areas are essential:

  • A PhD in biology, structural biology, biochemistry or physics, with an emphasis on protein crystallography.
  • Two or more years postdoctoral research experience in the area of protein crystallography.
  • Extensive experience in using synchrotron beamlines.
  • Thorough knowledge of macromolecular crystallography beamlines, equipment and control systems.
  • Expert in protein crystallography including data processing and analysis software.
  • Demonstrated ability to produce scientific outcomes.
  • Ability to develop scientific collaborations with external groups.
  • Experience managing projects.
  • Effective communication skills and proven ability to liaise with people at all levels. Ability to clearly and effectively instruct and transfer knowledge to users and colleagues.
  • Initiative, drive and the ability to work both supervised and unsupervised.
  • Ability to troubleshoot problems on complex systems in real-time. 

Desirable skills include:

  • Experience as a beamline scientist or in running an analogous user-based facility.
  • Hands-on technical capability.
  • A track record of successful beamline or instrument development.
  • Experience with scientific programming, developing hardware and controls systems.
  • Experience with Python and/or EPICS.

Benefits of working at ANSTO

We are a centre of excellence with a reputation for attracting and retaining high calibre staff offering employees the following benefits and opportunities: 

  • Investing in our employees by supporting tertiary studies and encouraging job opportunities 
  • Offering work/life balance including flexible working arrangements, salary packaging benefits, generous superannuation and great working conditions 
  • Providing an extensive range of leave provisions including paid recreation leave, 16 weeks maternity leave and special leave which covers cultural, moving, funeral and emergency leave 
  • Promoting health and wellbeing programs offered by ANSTO through regular onsite employee health and wellbeing programs, including annual men’s and women’s health screening programs.

Diversity and Excellence

In order to solve great challenges, we need great minds and great teams. At ANSTO, we understand that diverse teams produce better outcomes – and we value the merit that a diverse perspective can bring to our team. We encourage people from diverse backgrounds to apply for our roles including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, primary carers, those with a disability, and women in STEM. ANSTO is a charter member of the Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) initiative and is proudly taking action to create a gender-inclusive workforce.

The MX3 BRIGHT Beamline

The High Performance Macromolecular Crystallography (MX3) is designed to be a world-class high flux microfocus MX line for studies of protein structure and function. The endstation will be optimised for single crystal and serial crystallography. MX3 will complement the existing MX1/MX2 beamlines and will be able to measure high quality data from small and weakly diffracting crystals. MX3 will also be capable of in-tray screening, breaking the current bottleneck in crystal production. The beamline will be highly automated providing automated crystal location, data collection and merging (this will include unattended data collection).

The MX3 beamline optics will be equipped with state-of-the-art double-multilayer monochromator (DMM) that will provide monochromatic beams with energy bandpass of a less than one percent. A horizontal prefocussing mirror and secondary source aperture (SSA) will be used along with a set of KB mirrors in the endstation to produce a full beam of 8x2µ at the sample that can be reduced to 2x2µ by closing the SSA. The full beam will have a flux of more than 6e13 (ph/s) making the MX3 beam capable of fast serial crystallography. The endstation will be equipped with a high precision goniometer, sample changing robot and large pixel-array detector. The endstation will also contain equipment for fixed-target and injector serial crystallography.

The MX3 beamline will extend the structural biology capability at the Australian Synchrotron to cover small and very weakly diffracting crystals.  This will allow experiments that are currently marginally feasible on the existing MX beamlines (such as small GPCR crystals or use of fast injectors/serial crystallography) to become viable. This beamline will enable Australian researchers to keep pace with the advances in the field of crystallography. 

Examples of this include:

  • Membrane proteins such as G-coupled protein coupled receptor (GPCR) systems.
  • Large protein complexes
  • Large proteins such as viral capsids

The core capabilities of the MX3 beamlines will encompass:
  • Diffraction studies of small, weakly diffracting protein crystals
  • Automation to allow rapid collection from large numbers of crystals
  • Serial crystallography
  • In-tray screening and collection
  • Automated data collection, reduction, merging and analysis for samples in near real time

For further information and to apply 
If this position sounds exciting and you are ready for a challenge, please visit and follow the links to the Current Vacancies page. Please view the Position Description, complete the application form and submit your application online. 

For further technical information relating to this position please refer to the Position Information Package or contact Dr Tom Caradoc-Davies on +61 4 34 307 453 or ******* For all other queries please contact the HR Shared Services Team on +61 2 9717 3359.   
To be eligible for appointment, applicants will require a security and medical assessment.

Applications close: 19 July 2020