Organisation STFC
Organisation Detail Science and Technology Facilities Council
Reference Number IRC242492
Location Didcot See on Map
Salary £18946 - £18946
Date Posted 25 August 2017
Grade RC-STU
Contract Type Student - Sandwich Course
Hours Full Time
Closing Date 05 February 2018
Interview Date

Salary: £18,946
Grade: RC-STU
Contract Type: Fixed Term for 1 year
Hours: Full Time
Closing Date: 5th February 2018
Interview Date: Ongoing


The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is one of Europe’s largest science research organisations. We’re trusted to support, enable and undertake pioneering projects in an amazing diversity of fields. Through world-class facilities and people, we’re driving ground-breaking advances in science and technology.

Each year we offer opportunities to undergraduate sandwich students to gain practical experience, working alongside technical experts at the forefront of scientific research. We offer an invaluable experience with exposure to world class science and technology and the opportunity to develop working relationships that continue well after your placement has finished.

You will be employed by the world leading ISIS Pulsed Neutron and Muon Source at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory to deliver software for analysis of data from ISIS instruments. We offer a friendly and supportive team environment, a generous holiday allowance, flexi-time, on-site restaurant and sports and social club.

You will work within the Mantid project, an international collaboration that is developing analysis software for neutron and muon instruments within a contemporary structured programming framework. The Mantid project is an open-source development that is developed and supported by a core project team of developers across three countries. As a professional software project, Mantid was highly commended at the UK IT Industry Computing Awards in the Project Excellence category for the best not for profit product.

Summary of Key Duties

The four sandwich student positions within the team will focus on the development of software for the analysis of data measured on neutron scattering and muon instruments. Your contributions will be actively used to support new experiments on the facility’s instruments, enabling new insights in materials science.

A sandwich student project will involve:

  • working with beamline scientists from within an ISIS group to deliver algorithmic customisations and changes to base workflows
  • generating and adapting user interfaces which execute the aforementioned algorithms and workflows
  • identifying and optimising runtime performance in key areas
  • working to improve a technique area across all international collaborating facilities.

If time permits, there may be the opportunity to become involved in other aspects of the Mantid project, whether coding algorithms, working to enhance the platform or writing reports. This position is a chance to gain highly sought-after software engineering skills within a major national scientific laboratory.


You will be responsible for:

  • agreeing software requirements with facility scientists
  • implementing algorithms and GUI components in modern C++ and Python
  • building, testing, documenting and maintaining solutions using modern software engineering techniques
  • regular liaison with facility scientists to ensure the developed code meets scientific requirements
  • working closely with other team members to share skills and knowledge
  • participating in outreach activities where appropriate, e.g. meetings with user groups or external collaborators.

In all cases, a more senior developer will be available to offer support and guidance.

Knowledge, Skills and Experience

The placement would be suitable for a student studying for a degree in Computer Science or a related discipline. A track record of object-oriented programming (ideally in C++, but training is available) and a keen interest in physics or mathematics would be advantageous.




  • at university, enrolled on an undergraduate degree course and required or have requested to take a year out of studies to gain experience within industry 
  • right to live and work in the UK 
  • A Level (or equivalent) in a scientific or technical area.


  • A Level (or equivalent) in a subject with substantial computer programming content.

Knowledge, Skills and Experience


  • experience of computer programming.


  • knowledge of C++ and/or Python
  • experience of object-oriented programming
  • interest or experience in physics or mathematics.

Personal Skills, Qualities and Attributes


  • good communication skills
  • ability to work as part of a team
  • willingness to learn new skills, both technical and non-technical
  • open-minded and flexible in relation to the type of work assigned to them.


  • good problem-solving abilities
  • proactive and willing to take ownership of tasks.

In addition to the competitive salary, an excellent index linked pension scheme and generous leave allowance are offered. Full details of offered benefits can be found on STFC’s careers pages.

From April 2018, STFC will be part of UK Research and Innovation. UK Research and Innovation will bring together the seven Research Councils, Innovate UK and a new organisation, Research England. The aim is to create a system that maximises the contribution of each of the component parts and creates the best environment for research and innovation to flourish. The vision for the new organisation is to be the best research and innovation agency in the world. More information can be found online here.

Applications are handled by UK Shared Business Services. To apply please download the application form and save it to your pc. You must upload the completed form and a covering letter to support your application. Please save all your documents with the IRC reference number in the filename and your name.

STFC Sandwich Student Application Form

You must be on a sandwich degree and be taking the industrial placement as a recognised sandwich year to be eligible. You must also have the right to work in the UK. Please ensure that you include a reference from your University as part of your application form.

The closing date for applications is 5th February 2018 however applications will be reviewed and considered on anon-going basis until this vacancy is filled. The interview/assessment date for this vacancy is to be confirmed and will be done via video over Skype.

We want to make our application process as easy for you as we possibly can. If you experience any problems inapplying for this job, or have any feedback for us about the application process, please contact our Recruitment Hotline on 01793 867000 (8.30am –5.00pm Monday to Friday). Please quote the appropriate IRC reference number when calling.

Closing date: 5th February 2018

Interview/assessment date: Ongoing

As this job does not fulfil the Home Office Code of Practice criterion for obtaining sponsored migrant worker status we will be unable to apply for sponsorship for anyone not eligible to work in the UK.  At interview, all shortlisted candidates are required to bring with them identification documents and original documents that prove they hold or can obtain the right to work in the UK. You can check your eligibility here: