Share this Job

Technical Scientific Officer

Requisition ID:  4425

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Open Ended
Posted Date: 


We are a world class research-intensive university. We deliver teaching and learning of the highest quality. We play a leading role in economic, social and cultural development of the North East of England. Attracting and retaining high-calibre people is fundamental to our continued success.


Salary: £30,942.00 - £40,323.00 

Closing Date: 20 April 2020


The role


This is an exciting opportunity to join the SAgE Faculty Analytical Facilities team as the X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) Technical Scientific Officer.


You will join a dynamic, cross-disciplinary Faculty Analytical Services team, with a drive to enhance research capacity and capability in materials surface analysis. You will be responsible, in conjunction with the academic lead and the Faculty Analytical Facilities Manager, for the provision of expert services, principally in the X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy field.  Duties include, but are not limited to, maintenance of equipment, providing a comprehensive service supporting academic and research staff with advanced technical advice to progress research projects, teaching and project work for UG, PGT and PGR students. You will also be expected to manage certain aspects of Infrastructure, Estates, Sustainability, and Health and Safety.


You should have demonstrable experience of working collaboratively with technical, academic and research colleagues as well as experience of supporting learning and teaching activity. We are looking for someone who is creative and can think independently to solve complex problems relevant to the role. You should be able to work under minimum supervision, engaging with the wider technical services and take pride in your own performance.



The role will be responsible in conjunction with the academic lead and the Faculty Analytical Facilities Manager for the provision of an expert service in the planning, organisation and management of the Faculty laboratories in their designated areas of responsibility and expertise. You will be the main liaison for the end users within their area of X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, ensuring a comprehensive service which meets the Faculty of SAgE objectives. This will include supporting academic and research staff with technical advice to progress research projects, and support for teaching and student projects where applicable.


This role will also support the Faculty Analytical Facilities Manager with the management of the wider technical services and some aspects of Infrastructure, Estates, and Health and Safety


Informal enquiries can be made to Wendy Bal, Faculty Analytical Facilities Manager via email: wendy.bal@ncl.ac.uk.


For more information about the XPS facility, please click here


For more information about the SAgE Faculty, please click here

Key Accountabilities


  • To have expertise on equipment and techniques to support specific high value teaching and research activity.
  • Manage, operate and maintain the X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) (both hardware and software) . This to include day to day management of an efficient “hands on” XPS service and booking system; provision of software support and advice for XPS data analysis; assisting and advising users on the selection, design and execution of experimental techniques; determining daily the schedules of analysis to ensure efficent use of the facilities; archiving data. The operation of AFM, SEM, ToF-SIMS, HIM and STM microscopy equipment is desirable.
  • To manage services to external users, including data acquisition and XPS analysis.
  • To support the Faculty Analytical Facilities Manager with the planning, organisation and administration of the estate and wider technical services within their teams area of responsibilty. To ensure the effective maintenance, security and facility management of the SAgE Faculty/School in their area of expertise, including third party arrangements. To lead on discrete estates related projects, including university wide initiatives. 
  • In conjunction with the SAgE Faculty/School ensure satisfactory maintenance, repair and calibration of all equipment and instrumentation within their area. To assist in the forward planning to upgrade and replace equipment. In collaboration with the SAgE Faculty/School Operations teams, to assist in the maintainenace of the School’s asset register for planning and insurance purposes.
  • Monitor and maintain safe working environment to Health and Safety guidelines in conjunction with the School Safety Officer. Attend local safety committees for their areas of responsibility.
  • Ensure sound financial accounting whilst maintaining best value principles by maintaining records relating to: the recharging of technical time where appropriate; and materials and stock items especially where used for teaching and research.

The Person (Essential)


Knowledge, Skills and Experience

• Substantial work experience in a scientific or relevant work environment.
• Up to date and detailed knowledge of Health and Safety policy and procedure in a laboratory setting
• Ability to implement and manage change with demonstrable recent experience and skills in client management, and the ability to develop good working relationships across all stakeholders and teams
• Proven written and verbal communication skills
• High level planning, organising and technical problem solving skills, with a proactive and innovative approach to problem solving utilising excellent prioritisation skills, and the ability to delegate tasks
• Evidence of project management and experience of financial budgetary management.
• Good numerical skills and the ability to manipulate, analyse and present information for management use.
• Experience of working collaboratively with academic staff.
• Hands on experience in modern XPS methods and familiarity with XPS hardware and software
• Experience of SEM, HIM, ToF-SIMS, Scanning Probe Microscopies. DESIRABLE
• Experience in the maintenance of vacuum and UHV equipment and experience in the design of mechanical pieces and CAD software (AutoCAD/Inventor) DESIRABLE
• Professional Registration DESIRABLE


Attributes and Behaviour

Thinking strategically
• Has the ability to see the “big picture”, to think strategically and to manage complex problems and issues.
• Sees the bigger picture
• Able to create a vision for own area and explain how it fits in with the overall strategic vision of the University
• Understands and makes sense of complex or conflicting data and different perspectives of stakeholders and University areas/faculties/etc
• Works through the implications of situations in order to identify the most appropriate way forward in order to meet strategic goals
• Uses analytical techniques to break down complex problems into component parts

Embracing Change
• Recognises the need for change and is forward looking.
• Promotes the benefits of change to others and regularly comes up with new ideas.
• Has the willingness to adopt new ways of working and to make improvements.
• Accepts the reality and requirements of change as part of achieving organisational goals
• Is able to achieve change at individual and functional level
• Reviews and revises plans to meet with changing circumstances
• Is supportive of others during change
• Develops and implements new ideas

• Works collaboratively with others, plays a positive role in teams and establishes and grows relationships across the project where different skills, expertise and opinions are valued.
• Respects the expertise and contribution of others even if own opinion is different
• Shares relevant and useful information with others Keeps other team members up to date with progress
• Gets involved with team tasks
• Willing to help others and share workloads
• Supportive of team decisions
• Asks others’ opinion
• Encourages others to get involved
• Talks about other team members in a positive way
• Respects the value that different views bring to the team


Developing Talent
• Motivates and develops self and others to achieve high performance. Demonstrates a positive approach to developing skills and general performance.
• Personally involved in supporting the development of others – acting as a coach, mentor or trainer
• Provides feedback identifying areas for development and recognising good work
• Actively manages and supports staff through the PDR process, promotions and reward mechanisms.
• Helps others to recognise their own strengths and weaknesses
• Gives timely and constructive feedback
• Gives “on the job” support and training, looks at enabling skills transfer


Planning and organising
• Manage time and resources by prioritising and organising effectively.
• Identifies quickly what is important and prioritises accordingly
• Establishes clear roles and responsibilities for self and others
• Maintains flexibility in work plans to allow for changing circumstances
• Works in a planned and structured way
• Ensures all activities are completed on time
• Uses systems and tools to ensure records and audit trails are clear and up to date



• Degree or equivalent level qualification in a suitable STEM subject or significant vocational experience, demonstrating development through progressively more demanding, relevant roles.
• PhD in a relevant subject (life sciences, engineering etc.) and substantial theoretical and practical XPS experience DESIRABLE.


Newcastle University is committed to being a fully inclusive Global University which actively recruits, supports and retains staff from all sectors of society.  We value diversity as well as celebrate, support and thrive on the contributions of all our employees and the communities they represent.  We are proud to be an equal opportunities employer and encourage applications from everybody, regardless of race, sex, ethnicity, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, age, disability, gender identity, marital status/civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, as well as being open to flexible working practices.


Requisition ID: 4425


The University holds a silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of our good employment practices for the advancement of gender equality.  The University also holds the HR Excellence in Research award for our work to support the career development of our researchers, and is a member of the Euraxess initiative supporting researchers in Europe.