Organisation STFC
Organisation Detail Science and Technology Facilities Council
Reference Number IRC242522
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.

ISIS is the world’s leading pulsed neutron and muon source for research in the physical and life sciences. Situated at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire, the accelerator based facility provides research into physics, chemistry, materials science, geology, engineering and biology and is the most productive research centre of its type in the world.

Employing some 360 engineers and scientists, the success of ISIS depends critically on support staff and the reliability of the component parts. To address reliability issues, the ISIS Performance Improvement Section investigates and implements ways of improving machine down time. The First Line Diagnosis tool (FLD) was set up to develop fault analysis pathways for the ISIS Operations crew to help reduce the time to diagnose and repair faults. Following on from the initial release, further development of the web based tool onto a new and improved platform, interfacing to SharePoint and other systems are required and we need to recruit versatile support staff, with an engineering and computing skill set, to work within this small but expanding team.

You will work with the section leader, performance improvement engineer and all operational staff to facilitate ongoing project development, implementation and support. Maintaining and upgrading FLD will form a large part of your work during the year, however this post presents many opportunities to be creative and innovative within new and ongoing projects.

Summary of Key Duties & Responsibilities:

  • to learn about the ISIS technical systems on a broader level so as to contribute to section initiatives
  • to contribute to research, planning, development and evaluation to ensure the progress and success of ongoing Performance Improvement section projects and initiatives including FLD and a growing list of new initiatives
  • to provide ICT support, investigating and suggesting software improvements
  • to help develop some IT systems (software development)
  • to help in some authoring of content for FLD using appropriate software
  • to communicate with technical staff for information gathering purposes.

Knowledge, Skills and Experience

You will have a working knowledge of computing and coding to an undergraduate level. You must be able to grasp engineering concepts so as to provide value to the team in discussions about performance improvements. You must be well organised, particularly when managing many activities in parallel; you must be able to balance priorities and deadlines effectively and will need to work well in a team and be innovative when developing new resources and solving problems. You should demonstrate good interpersonal skills when working with people at different levels.

As the successful applicant, you must be enthusiastic about science, engineering and computer science matters relating to the post and be able to convey your enthusiasm clearly. You must show an interest in the computing side of science and engineering through some coding and development skill and you will need to have a confident and professional approach when presenting information.



  • at university on an undergraduate degree course and requested to take a year out of studies to gain experience within industry 
  • undertaking electrical/electronic engineering or computing based degree
  • aiming to achieve at least a 2:1
  • right to live and work in the UK.

Knowledge, Skills and Experience



  • demonstrate a developing skill and knowledge of an engineering or computing discipline
  • demonstrate a developing skill and knowledge of computer information systems including: database management, web infrastructure and learning new software packages
  • demonstrate a developing skill and knowledge of computer coding for example: Java, HTML, CSS, C++, SQL
  • ability to recognise and develop improvements to simple working practices and processes
  • demonstrate strong interpersonal skills with an ability to work effectively in a professional environment.

Personal Skills, Qualities and Attributes


  • good communication skills demonstrated in the writing of CV and covering letter
  • demonstrate team working capabilities.

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: