Srd Div. Director [Senior/ Distinguished Staff Scientist] 

 Link to job posting

Job Requisition #: 3370
Classification Title: Staff Scientist- Senior
Location: Menlo Park, CA (HQ)
# of openings: 1

Position Summary


The Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) is an internationally preeminent science facility, operated by Stanford University at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory on behalf of the Department of Energy, Office of Science. This facility provides world-leading scientific capabilities to a global user community, covering a very broad research portfolio that includes the investigation of advanced materials and chemical catalysts for clean energy systems, drug discovery for modern pharmaceuticals, and fundamental studies of extreme states of matter.

This is a pivotal time for LCLS, and a rare opportunity to shape the scientific nature and direction of the facility. We are nearing completion of LCLS-II, representing more than a billion dollars of investment in a new accelerator complex that will increase the X-ray repetition rate and average power by almost 4 orders of magnitude. LCLS-II will transform our ability to observe electronic and molecular dynamics, with a new suite of end stations being designed to make optimum use of the new sources. A subsequent upgrade to enable the delivery of high energy X-rays (LCLS-II-HE) is also underway, opening up the study of rare, transient and heterogeneous systems with atomic resolution and femtosecond precision. 

LCLS is renowned for driving continual improvements in the capabilities of its X-ray source, instrumentation and associated technologies, coupled to deep engagement with our domestic and international user community to anticipate and meet their scientific needs in the short-term (via experimental delivery) and in the long-term (via prioritized facility development).

We are now seeking a scientific leader who can sustain and enhance these activities for the LCLS-II and LCLS-II-HE era and lead our Science, Research and Development (SRD) Division. Reporting to the Associate Laboratory Director (ALD) for LCLS, the SRD Division Leader provides top-level leadership to our beamline scientists and associated technical areas, including detectors and sample delivery and functions as a member of the LCLS leadership team. This position will also serve as a senior scientist and define research frontiers and directions in the field of X-ray ultrafast science.


  • Provide scientific direction to the group of ~30 LCLS beamline scientists, to guide and develop their careers and maximize the scientific benefit provided to our experimental user program. Oversee all aspects of hiring, performance management and staff development.
  • Oversee and optimize the scientific role of LCLS in the design, planning, execution, analysis and publication of  experiments.
  • Working with the wider LCLS team and user community, identify prioritized research directions for LCLS that will deliver internationally leading results at a scale commensurate with the level of investment and ambition of our laboratory and sponsors. This includes the identification of facility developments, experimental campaigns, and the use of in-house beam time and research activities.
  • Plan, commission and exploit the identified developments, and establish appropriate mechanisms for oversight of optimized deployment, ongoing effectiveness and future improvement to meet the evolving LCLS needs.
  • Drive the continual development of in-house scientific excellence, innovation and adventure in our scientific and technical staff.
  • Foster a highly collaborative, positive, respectful and inclusive culture in all aspects of our work.
  • Arbitrate any proposed changes to the scope of planned or ongoing experiments to optimize scientific impact consistent with operational constraints and the decisions of our peer-review process.
  • Ensure the SRD team has the appropriate staff, skills, knowledge and abilities to deliver its mission both now and in the future – consistent with financial and operational constraints.
  • As part of the LCLS leadership team, and a senior member of SLAC, provide proactive strategic and operational solutions to deliver the wider LCLS/SLAC strategy.
  • Engage all parts of the LCLS user community, including our staff and the local SLAC/Stanford research teams, to solicit advice and active engagement in LCLS scientific objectives, operations and development.
  • Reach out to the wider research community to inform and expand the user base for LCLS to ensure long-term alignment to the nation’s most compelling scientific objectives.
  • Oversee a complete set of robust, fair and productive working practices and processes to achieve the mission of SRD, including delivery of scope consistent with the agreed budget and schedule.
  • Other duties as assigned by LCLS/SLAC management.

NoteThis position is a dual posting at the Senior or Distinguished Staff Scientist level. Where appropriate, consideration may be given to a faculty appointment via a separate parallel assessment process. Appointment at the Senior or Distinguished Staff Scientist level is a regular-continuing position and requires an achieved recognition of leadership internationally, as a result of original developments in field of expertise.

Applicants should include a cover letter, a statement of research including brief summary of accomplishments, a curriculum vitae, a list of publications, and names of three references for future letters of recommendation with the application. Potential applicants who wish to discuss the position in more detail may contact the LCLS Director, Prof Mike Dunne at   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


Education & Experience:

Ph.D. in a scientific field strongly related to LCLS science, with at least 10 years of post-Ph.D. professional experience including:

  • Extensive body of research, development, or applied work that is internationally acknowledged to have defined major advancements in research.
  • Substantial experience in delivering complex, multi-year technical projects.
  • Extensive experience leading and managing scientific and technical research groups.
  • Proven record of independent research including publications in major journals and conference presentations in x-ray science

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Define research frontiers and directions. Innovate, develop, and apply advanced technical principles, theories, concepts, and highly advanced technologies.
  • Proven ability to mentor junior staff and peers, with a strong focus on career development.
  • Work and communicate effectively with a diverse population.
  • Define, prioritize and deliver a complex portfolio of research programs.
  • Interpersonal skills that can secure the trust of a broad research community and manage any conflicts in a manner that reinforces our strong commitment to a respectful, inclusive and diverse workplace.
  • Successfully manage organizational and cultural change in a complex environment
  • Commitment to safety as an overarching priority.

SLAC Manager Competencies:

  • Team Effectiveness: Effectively motivates team members and fosters a diverse and collaborative team environment; leverages team members’ strengths for overall team effectiveness; incorporates insights to improve team operations.
  • Purpose & Vision: Articulates a clear vision of expected outcomes; inspires others to execute work plans and feel a sense of purpose and ownership for the mission.
  • Builds Trust: Earns trust and credibility from team members, peers and stakeholders; demonstrates SLAC values of respect and integrity.
  • Relationships: Builds relationships to foster trust, collaboration, and a positive climate to achieve team, department/directorate and lab goals.
  • Communication: Ensures effective information flow to various audiences; delivers clear and appropriate written and verbal communications; makes clear and impactful presentations to a variety of internal and external audiences.
  • Navigates Complexity: Manages a multitude of information and complex circumstances to discern what is most important; demonstrates effective problem-solving, decision-making, and takes appropriate action, even in difficult situations or with conflicting data.
  • Results through Others: Achieves expected results by effectively delegating and managing the work of others.
  • Aligns Priorities: Ensures planning and prioritization of resources and work efforts; ensures alignment of direct and matrix reports to support organizational goals and business plans.
  • Applies Lab Acumen: Maintains understanding of lab efforts and direction as well as current research and trends, considers technology and customer impacts, and contributes relevant, informed ideas to lab growth.
  • Self-Awareness: Seeks feedback from others and takes ownership of, and actions to address what is learned; recognizes impact on others and adjusts as needed; pursues continuous learning opportunities; implements a meaningful development plan.


Consistent with its obligations under the law, the University will provide reasonable accommodation to any employee with a disability who requires accommodation to perform the essential functions of his or her job.


May work extended hours depending on operational or research needs.


  • Interpersonal Skills: Demonstrates the ability to work well with Stanford colleagues and clients and with external organizations.
  • Promote Culture of Safety: Demonstrates commitment to personal responsibility and value for environment, safety and security; communicates related concerns; uses and promotes safe behaviors based on training and lessons learned.  Meets the applicable roles and responsibilities as described in the ESH Manual, Chapter 1—General Policy and Responsibilities:
  • Subject to and expected to comply with all applicable University policies and procedures, including but not limited to the personnel policies and other policies found in the University's Administrative Guide,