Organisation STFC
Organisation Detail Science and Technology Facilities Council
Reference Number IRC242495
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 30 October 2017
Interview Date

Salary: £18,946
Grade: RC-STU
Contract Type: Fixed Term for 1 year
Hours: Full Time
Closing Date: 30th October 2017
Interview Date: 28th and 29th November 2017


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.

We choose the best technologies we can to develop software that meets the latest needs of our customers who are world-leading scientists and engineers.

Computing is essential to the science that STFC supports. We have placement opportunities for enthusiastic software developers to join the Facilities Business Applications group. We develop and maintain unique web-based software and are also responsible for the National Laboratories SharePoint farm.

We are based in STFC’s neutron and muon department, ISIS. ISIS is a world-leading centre for research in the physical and life sciences at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory near Oxford. Our suite of neutron and muon instruments gives unique insights into the properties of materials on the atomic scale. Software lies at the heart of many ISIS activities.

This year we have the opportunity for 2 sandwich students to join our growing team to help develop business software used by the ISIS facility and other large scientific facilities across STFC’s National Laboratories. You will benefit from working on software used across many departments but also, by being embedded in a scientific department, be close to the action!

Summary of Key Duties

As part of a team you will be involved in all stages of the software development lifecycle, from requirements capture through modelling, coding, testing and deployment. This will give first-hand experience of developing a product from conception through to maintenance using Agile and DevOps techniques. This placement will enable you to work on various software solutions that meet the evolving needs of our internal and external users.

You will benefit from working in a supportive team and have exposure to advanced programming methods in the real-world.

Training will be provided as necessary. In addition to a full induction and “on the job” training, students will have opportunity to subscribe to professional online tutorial sites, attend conferences, undertake various soft skills training, and take part in our organisation-wide Early Careers conference where you can network with other students and graduates.


During your placement you will be expected to:

  • communicate and work with fellow software engineers within the team on a daily basis
  • communicate with users, scientists and management to understand their requirements and translate these into a specification
  • design software solutions making use of various modelling techniques such as UML and mock-ups
  • write clear, well-structured (mostly object oriented) code that implements the design and is easy to maintain
  • write unit, integration and front-end tests following team practices
  • take an active role in meetings including team meetings and code reviews
  • take responsibility for ensuring your code passes all existing tests and new tests and that it deploys correctly to our test server
  • deploy software solutions to production using our continuous integration server
  • write documentation for technical and non-technical users
  • support our users (internal and external) in using existing and new systems (2nd and 3rd line support)
  • use a variety of tools and technologies used by the team to develop software (e.g. GitHub, Slack, Jenkins, IDEs such as IntelliJ IDEA, NetBeans and Visual Studio, Oracle and SQL Server databases, application/web servers such as Payara and IIS, various languages including Java, Java EE, Spring, C#, web services - SOAP and RESTful- ASP.NET, HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript libraries).

Knowledge, Skills and Experience

This placement will give you the opportunity to put into practice the things you have learned at university and give you brand new skills and exposure to enterprise technologies perhaps not taught at university.

As a starting point we expect you to have:

  • a strong academic background with very good module grades at university so far
  • a good understanding and experience of programming in Java, C# or similar language
  • a good understanding of relational database theory and SQL.

We also expect you to be able to:

  • work with others on projects and solve problems of varying complexity together
  • approach your work positively, with an open mind and be organised
  • write and speak clearly in a way that is suitable for your audience
  • take initiative and work effectively with limited supervision at times.



  • 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-levels or equivalent qualifications or experience
  • studying for a degree in computer science, software engineering or any other degree with a strong element of computer programming
  • completed this short online programming exercise: .

Knowledge, Skills and Experience


You should have as a minimum:

  • experience of object oriented software development in Java, C# or a similar language
  • knowledge of relational database design and SQL.


You may also have one or more of the following:

  • knowledge of database environments such as Oracle and SQL Server
  • knowledge of modelling and design tools such as UML
  • knowledge of web services and XML/JSON
  • interest in User Experience (UX).

Personal Skills, Qualities and Attributes


You should have:

  • good communication skills both verbal and written
  • ability to give an example of good team working capabilities and be open minded and flexible in relation to the type of work assigned to you
  • the willingness to learn new skills, both technical and non-technical
  • good organisational skills
  • excellent problem solving skills
  • ability to take initiative and to work effectively with limited supervision at times.

Experience does not have to be paid experience. For example, it could be some project you have done as part of a university module, a personal project or an open-source/volunteer project you have contributed to.

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.

You can apply for up to three Sandwich student placements; this will require you to complete ONE application form however please ensure that you upload the application form to all three placements and save the relevant reference number (e.g. IRC205817) in the filename of each application that you upload.

Closing date: 30th October 2017
Interview/assessment date: 28th – 29th November 2017

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: