Organisation STFC
Organisation Detail Science and Technology Facilities Council
Reference Number IRC242548
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 is a world-leading centre for research in the physical and life sciences. It supports a national and international community of more than 2000 scientists who use neutrons and muons for research in physics, chemistry, materials science, geology, engineering and biology. It is the most productive research centre of its type in the world.

Summary of Key Duties

The European Spallation Source (ESS) will be the next generation of pulsed neutron source generating new science and innovations for a sustainable society. It is currently under construction in Sweden and when finished will be the most powerful pulsed neutron source in the world.

When completed the ESS will be ‘big science’ producing ‘big data’ and this role is directly involved in creating a solution to handle this data. The solution will be based on Apache Kafka and will be responsible for collecting all the experiment data produced across all the neutron instruments at the ESS. Once collected the data will need to be stored and distributed in near real-time to upstream clients, such as data analysis tools, data visualisers and file writers.

As part of the UK’s contribution to the ESS, the Data Streaming Team at ISIS are collaborating with the ESS to develop this critical system for collating and distributing experiment data.

You will join the Data Streaming Team as a full-time developer on this challenging project and your duties will be to:

  • develop core software for the data streaming project (C++ and Python)
  • help integrate the new software into ISIS’s existing data collection framework
  • assist in the support and maintenance of the system both at the ESS and ISIS
  • work in collaboration with colleagues at ISIS and the ESS.


You will be expected to:

  • communicate and work with fellow software engineers, scientists, engineers, and management including writing documentation for technical and non-technical users
  • design and implement solutions making use of appropriate techniques and tools
  • write clear, well-structured code that implements the design and is easy to maintain
  • test and deploy your solutions, including helping to provide support after release
  • take an active role in both technical and non-technical meetings.

Knowledge, Skills and Experience

As a starting point we expect you to have:

  • a strong academic background and be on track to gain a First or 2:1 in computer science, software engineering or any other scientific/engineering degree
  • experience of developing software, preferably using object oriented techniques, with good knowledge of development tools or experience of using/writing scientific computational software
  • the ability to learn quickly on the job
  • a professional approach with a “can do” attitude.

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
  • demonstrate a systematic and analytical approach to problem solving
  • 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.

Knowledge, Skills and Experience


  • be studying computer science, software engineering or a scientific/engineering degree
  • experience of developing software, preferably using object oriented techniques, with good knowledge of development tools
  • experience of developing in one or more of C++, Java and Python.


  • experience of development on both Windows and UNIX platforms
  • understanding of Agile software development processes
  • knowledge of software development tools for version control, automated testing and build automation
  • interest in big data technologies, such as Apache Kafka
  • experience of developing in Java.

Personal Skills, Qualities and Attributes


  • demonstrate good communication skills, able to influence people at all levels
  • demonstrate good team working capabilities
  • creative and proactive attitude to problem solving with an analytical and logical approach
  • ability to work independently
  • the willingness to learn new skills, both technical and non-technical
  • demonstrates a drive and determination to achieve results
  • open minded and flexible in relation to the type of work assigned to them
  • good organisational skills and ability to take initiative.

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: