Organisation STFC
Organisation Detail Science and Technology Facilities Council
Reference Number IRC242497
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.

The ISIS pulsed neutron and muon source at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory near Oxford is a world-leading centre for research in the physical and life sciences. ISIS produces beams of neutrons and muons to study materials at the atomic level using a modern suite of neutron and muon instrumentation. Visiting scientists use neutrons and muons for research in physics, chemistry, materials science, geology, engineering and biology.

The ISIS Controls Group (part of the Accelerator Division) manages the hardware that controls the ISIS ion source, linear accelerator and synchrotron which in combination accelerate protons into the ISIS targets to produce neutrons. From the Main Control Room shifts of ISIS crew manage the operation of the ISIS accelerators for continuous runs of between seven and nine weeks, and respond to alarms and alerts from the hardware.

Summary of Key Duties
While the software used to manage the ISIS accelerators is robust and reliable, its user interfaces have lagged behind the latest developments. The sandwich student assigned to the project will initially work on two user interface projects:

  • develop an alternate web interface to the existing system which generates alarms and alerts for the ISIS crew
  • improve and develop the web interface to the existing long-term data logging system.

The successful candidate should expect to liaise with the developers responsible for systems used to aid in tracking and diagnosing faults, in order to integrate their work with those systems.

Developing from this initial start, the sandwich student will be expected to use the software tools they have developed to make other ISIS status and control information available through similar web interfaces.

This placement will involve the specification, design, programming, testing, deployment and documentation of software solutions to meet the user interface requirements of the ISIS crew. As well as the technical skills required to meet these requirements, the candidate will be expected to liaise with the ISIS crew and other developers as required and to iterate and revise their designs in light of input and requirements from those personnel.

Knowledge, Skills and Experience
The candidate should be studying computer science, software engineering or any other IT related discipline, combined with significant exposure to software development. Experience of object oriented software development in Javascript or a similar language is essential. Knowledge of relational database design and SQL, and of other web technologies and frameworks are highly desirable. Some knowledge of imperative/structured languages such as C and Basic is also desirable for interfacing with underlying hardware interfaces if required. The candidate should expect to learn about current web technologies and development environments as required.



  • 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 
  • undertaking an IT or computing related degree
  • right to live and work in the UK.


  • aiming to achieve at least a 2:1.

Knowledge, Skills and Experience


  • a software development or computing discipline
  • experience programming, including Javascript or a similar object-oriented language.


  • knowledge of relational database design and SQL
  • knowledge of  web technologies and development frameworks
  • experience with imperative/structured languages such as C and Basic.

Personal Skills, Qualities and Attributes


  • ability to work with other developers
  • ability to adapt based on feedback from other developers and users.


  • good communication skills demonstrated in the writing of CV and covering letter.

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: