Organisation STFC
Organisation Detail Science and Technology Facilities Council
Reference Number IRC242549
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 Central Laser Facility (CLF) OCTOPUS (Optics Clustered to OutPut Unique Solutions) Facility at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory provides access to cutting-edge molecular and cellular optical imaging and microscopy techniques for the scientific community. This is a comprehensive imaging facility containing a mixture of bench-top and commercially available microscopy systems. OCTOPUS currently offers a range of imaging techniques including super-resolution microscopy (fluorescence microscopy with the resolution beyond the diffraction-limit, such as Structured Illumination Microscopy (SIM), Single Molecule Localisation Microscopy (PALM and STORM), and Stimulated Emission Depletion (STED) Microscopy), multidimensional single molecule microscopy (single particle tracking colocalisation, single particle Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) Microscopy and single particle polarisation, and 5 nm resolution fluorescence localisation with photobleaching (FLimP)), confocal microscopy (Fluorescence-lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM), FRET, and multiphoton), light sheet microscopy and optical tweezers. The modular nature of OCTOPUS allows the development and exploitation of new advanced imaging techniques as they become available, to address grand challenges in the biology, chemistry and material science areas. Biological and chemical laboratory facilities and expertise in sample preparation are in integral part of the OCTOPUS activity. Further information can be found following this link:

Summary of Key Duties

You will work as part of a user operation team, collaborating and assisting scientific researchers from universities and industry to deliver a variety of projects scheduled in the OCTOPUS user operation programme. Furthermore, you will be expected to carry out a specific project to develop and extend the imaging capabilities in the OCTOPUS. In particular, both the operation and research duties will focus on sample preparation and optimisation and image acquisition, quantitative analysis and rendering in the field of super-resolution microscopy.

You will be expected to gain hands-on experience of optical microscopy and imaging techniques. Full training will be given in all aspects of general laboratory work and the operation of specialised equipment and lasers.


  • working with facility users in planning and delivering of experimental programmes, data acquisition and data analysis
  • development of super-resolution microscopy technique and instrumentation within the facility
  • working with other members of the facility team to ensure a coordinated approach across the different microscopy techniques (including acquisition, management and analysis of data).

Knowledge, Skills and Experience:

  • good standard of spoken and written English
  • good interpersonal & communications skills
  • ability to search the scientific literature
  • use of computers for scientific purposes, including data analysis.




  • 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 or other organisation
  • right to live and work in the UK
  • at least 2 years’ undergraduate degree study
  • good A-level results.


  • A-level results have one or more As in natural science subjects
  • the first 2 years’ University grade 2.1 or above.

Knowledge, Skills and Experience


  • good understanding in natural science subjects.


  • laboratory experience
  • programming skills.

Personal Skills, Qualities and Attributes


  • good interpersonal and communications skills.


  • good team working capability
  • the willingness to learn new skills.

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: