Cornell University, CLASSE

Position Title: MacCHESS Staff Scientist
Position Type:Other
Position Location:Ithaca, New York 14853, United States [map] sort by distance
Subject Areas: Physics / Biophysics, Biological Physics, Biology, Chemistry
Appl Deadline: (posted 2024/01/01, listed until 2024/03/26)
Position Description:    

*** the listing date or deadline for this position has passed and new applications are no longer accepted. ***

Job Title: MacCHESS Staff Scientist

Position Summary

The Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source (CHESS) is an internationally-recognized research facility that provides high intensity x-ray beams and state-of-the-art instrumentation to scientists and students from university, government and industrial labs around the world. These groups employ CHESS to conduct research in areas ranging from biology, physics, and chemistry to mechanical and structural engineering, advanced manufacturing, environmental science, materials science, and cultural heritage.

CHESS is seeking a Ph.D. level scientist to work with a dynamic, interdisciplinary team in structural biology at the (Biological Small Angle X-ray Solution Scattering (BioSAXS) station at CHESS. This includes both support of users performing routine BioSAXS experiments and the development of novel techniques in X-ray scattering as applied to structural biology. User support includes continuing developments to maintain a state-of-the-art facility. Novel techniques are developed in collaboration with scientists who need capabilities beyond the current standard methods. BioSAXS has a strong history of hosting experiments on samples ranging from typical protein and nucleic acid solutions to model membranes to nanoparticles (for drug delivery) to cell nuclei. Techniques employed include static and flow-cell SAXS, chromatography-coupled SAXS, cryo-SAXS, anaerobic SAXS (maintaining a sample under oxygen-free conditions from preparation through placement in the X-ray beam), and high-pressure SAXS. High pressure is a current focus area, using both a static pressure cell and a system that maintains high pressure throughout a chromatography-coupled experiment.

The BioSAXS staff scientist will occasionally be called upon to assist at the MacCHESS Flexible Crystallography (FlexX) station. Areas of particular interest are crystallography at (1) ambient temperature, including serial techniques, and (2) high pressure, in a diamond anvil cell (DAC) or using the high-pressure cryocooling technique, especially for the trapping of intermediate states of reactions in crystallo. Recent achievements include development of a suite of equipment for fixed-target serial crystallography and installation of a DAC specially designed for MX. The successful candidate will serve as a staff scientist supporting in-person and remote users of the MacCHESS high-energy diffraction and scattering beamlines, and will actively contribute to developing next-generation synchrotron light source technology and techniques.

This position is jointly funded by two CHESS sub-facilities, the NSF-funded Center for High-Energy X-ray Sciences at CHESS (CHEXS, an NSF-supported program) and the Macromolecular Diffraction Facility of the Cornell High-Energy Synchrotron Source (MacCHESS, an NIH-supported National Resource) and will involve collaborative projects and beamline/user support across both programs.



  • Support an active user community, including users from NSF, NIH, Industry and Academia, who are engaged in employing X-ray techniques to characterize a variety of biological systems.
  • Creatively contribute to the development of new BioSAXS synchrotron methods and techniques, from experimental hardware to data reduction and analysis required by users.  
  • Build and maintain effective working relationships with multiple stakeholders, including facility users, funding agencies, and collaborators at other institutions. This includes promoting and disseminating MacCHESS/CHEXS developments and capabilities to the structural biology community.
  • Maintain individual record of scholarship and contribute to the scholarly output of the lab through internal research highlights, publications in peer reviewed journals, grant and report writing, and presentations at national and international conferences.
  • Mentor students and postdoctoral researchers in synchrotron and BioSAXS techniques.

Essential Qualifications

  • Ph.D. or equivalent in structural biology, biophysics, chemistry, or a related field and 5-10 years post-PhD experience.
  • Interest and ability to work in a multidisciplinary research environment.
  • Solid record of scientific publications and achievement.
  • Passion for contributing to an environment that builds individual and organizational effectiveness.
  • Ability to communicate effectively with technical experts, operations staff, and researchers at all levels, including students, postdocs, interns, and facility users.
  • Experience with complex experimental instrumentation.
  • Proficiency in science communication, written and oral, formal and informal.


Preference will be given to applicants with a background in BioSAXS and/or biological high-pressure studies, particularly geared towards structural biology and involving scattering or diffraction techniques, especially using large user facilities. Experience analyzing large experimental datasets is also an asset.

The initial appointment is for three years and can be renewed based on satisfactory performance and availability of funds. For additional information or questions, please contact MacCHESS CHEXS Program Director Jennifer Wierman ( The deadline for applications is March 26, 2024. Please apply by submitting all materials to this AJO listing.


Compensation:  The Salary Range for this position is $90,000 to $125,000.

A complete application will include the following material:

  • Cover letter
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • List of Publications
  • Statement of Research summarizing examples of recent research, and areas of interest for future work, especially involving synchrotron radiation and BioSAXS science and/or high-pressure biology
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation


Cornell University is an innovative Ivy League university and a great place to work. Cornell's inclusive community of scholars, students and staff impart an uncommon sense of larger purpose and contribute creative ideas to further the university's mission of teaching, discovery and engagement. Cornell provides great benefits that include comprehensive health care options, generous retirement contributions, educational benefits (Employee Degree, Tuition Aid, Cornell Children’s Tuition Assistance Programs), access to wellness programs, and employee discounts with local and national retail brands. Our time away from work provisions include 22 days of vacation and 13 holidays, including winter break from December 25th through January 1st. Cornell has been nationally recognized as an award-winning workplace for our health, wellbeing, sustainability, and diversity initiatives. For more information, follow the link: Benefits at Cornell.


The Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source (CHESS) is one of the most advanced scientific facilities in the world, and its pioneering capabilities are helping to keep the United States at the leading edge of scientific research. Located on the central campus of Cornell University in New York State, CHESS is internationally recognized for providing high intensity X-ray beams and advanced instrumentation to scientists and students around the world. The lab is comprised of seven state-of-the-art beamlines, each of which routinely hosts world-leading research in physics, chemistry, biology, environmental sciences, materials science, cultural heritage, and engineering. CHESS is a world leader in innovation for complex sample environments including in situ heating and loading, accelerators, detectors, and x-ray optics and plays a key role in many medical discoveries and scientific breakthroughs, including research that received Nobel Prizes in Chemistry in 2003 and 2009. The 2018 CHESS-U upgrade has expanded the lab’s capabilities to allow scientists to address the most pressing global challenges facing our society. CHESS is committed to engaging with industry, academia and government through its funding from the National Science Foundation, Air Force Research Lab, National Institutes of Health, and New York State.


Cornell University embraces diversity and seeks candidates who will contribute to a climate that supports students, faculty and staff of all identities and backgrounds. If you don’t meet 100% of the job qualification, but see yourself contributing, please submit an application. We strongly encourage individuals from underrepresented and/or marginalized identities to apply. Diversity and Inclusion are a part of Cornell University’s heritage. We are a recognized employer and educator valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities. We also recognize a lawful preference in employment practices for Native Americans living on or near Indian reservations. Cornell University is an innovative Ivy League university and a great place to work. Our inclusive community of scholars, students, and staff impart an uncommon sense of larger purpose, and contribute creative ideas to further the university's mission of teaching, discovery, and engagement.

Familiarize yourself with Cornell’s COVID-19 workplace guidance as well as the university’s COVID-19 services and information

Employment Assistance:

For specific questions about the position or application process, please contact the Recruiter listed in the job posting or for general questions email

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EEO Statement:

Diversity and Inclusion are a part of Cornell University’s heritage. We are a recognized employer and educator valuing AA/EEO, and we do not tolerate discrimination based on any protected characteristic, including race, ethnic or national origin, citizenship and immigration status, color, sex/gender, pregnancy or pregnancy-related conditions, age, creed, religion, actual or perceived disability (including persons associated with such a person), arrest and/or conviction record, military or veteran status, sexual orientation, gender expression and/or identity, an individual’s genetic information, domestic violence victim status, familial status, marital status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state, or local law. We also recognize a lawful preference in employment practices for Native Americans living on or near Indian reservations in accordance with applicable law. 

Cornell University embraces diversity and seeks candidates who will contribute to a climate that supports students, faculty, and staff to all identities and backgrounds. We encourage individuals from underrepresented and/or marginalized identities to apply.

Pay Ranges:

The hiring rate of pay for the successful candidate will be determined considering the following criteria:

  • Prior relevant work or industry experience.
  • Education level to the extent education is relevant to the position.
  • Academic Discipline (faculty pay ranges reflects 9-month annual salary)
  • Unique applicable skills.

Application Materials Required:
Submit the following items online at this website to complete your application:
And anything else requested in the position description.

Further Info:
email address
134 Newman Lab
Cornell University
Ithaca NY 14853