Organisation STFC
Organisation Detail Science and Technology Facilities Council
Reference Number IRC242621
Location Didcot See on Map
Salary £26297 - £26297
Date Posted 31 August 2017
Grade RC-C
Contract Type Graduates
Hours Full Time
Closing Date 30 October 2017
Interview Date

Salary: £26,297
Grade: RC-C
Contract Type: Open-Ended
Hours: Full Time
Closing Date 1: 30th October 2017
Assessment Centre Date 1: 12th & 13th December 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.

Our graduates join us in a permanent position, starting a real job from day one. Graduates enjoy two years of formal soft skills together with technical training and development, as well as a direct route to professional accreditation. STFC graduates have the opportunity to build on their degree, taking their understanding, knowledge and skills to a whole new level in a dynamic, creative, collaborative culture.

We are looking for graduates to support the development of new software in three different departments within STFC.

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 3000 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.

Technology department ( provides advanced technology and engineering in support of both STFC funded activities and international projects. A key element of our expertise is in the design, manufacture and operation of advanced detectors and instrumentation. This includes data acquisition software and detector control systems that integrate with various scientific environments.

At the Central Laser Facility ( our work is helping to inspire solutions to everyday problems; from developing new energy sources to help us meet our energy needs – without adding to our greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, through new technologies that keep us safe in an uncertain world, to finding new ways to see beneath the skin to diagnose cancer and bone disease. Our work in laser science is providing novel solutions to some of the greatest challenges facing the global community.

Summary of Key Duties
We need graduates to support us in the development of new software and systems for:

  • managing our user and experiment programme (mainly web development)
  • experiment control (e.g.  laser system control  and motion control) and data acquisition
  • real-time and embedded systems (interfacing with advanced imaging sensors, detectors and complex digital electronics systems)
  • scientific data location, analysis, simulation and visualisation.

Your role will be based on your interests and strengths, so you do not need to know about all these areas!

As part of a team you will be involved in all stages of the software development lifecycle, from requirements capture through modelling, coding, testing, deployment and running high quality production services. You will get to work in a range of teams and projects including Agile/Scrum and DevOps teams. You will be given real responsibility and ownership.

You will be expected to:

  • communicate and work with fellow software engineers, customers, scientists, engineers, and management including writing documentation for technical and non-technical users
  • design 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
  • participate in the wider department and STFC graduate training programme.

Once you are settled in, you will also be expected to:

  • lead work packages and projects through to completion
  • help colleagues with less experience get up to speed
  • supervise/mentor junior colleagues.

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

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 with significant exposure to object oriented programming and with a good knowledge of development tools
  • 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.

If you have the experience, knowledge, and skills that we are looking for then we want to hear from you. We would also like to know what specific areas of software development interest you or you have experience in.

For some specialisms (e.g. real-time and embedded systems) a good A Level (or equivalent) grade in mathematics would be highly desirable. For other specialisms (e.g. web software) knowledge of web services or relational database design would be advantageous.

Please see Job Requirements for our shortlisting criteria. Please note that in addition to uploading your CV and a cover letter you should complete and upload an application form ( and complete the following online test:

You should demonstrate in your application that you have the following qualifications, knowledge, skills and experience, and personal skills and qualities.



  • expected or have achieved a 2:1 or above for an honours degree in computer science, software engineering or any other scientific/engineering degree 
  • obtained first degree bachelors or Masters (not doctorate) in either 2017 or be due to receive it in 2018
  • the right to live and work in the UK 
  • complete this online programming test:
  • download, complete and upload the application form:

You may also have:

  • a membership of an appropriate professional institution and degree that meets educational requirements for chartered status with appropriate professional institution
  • a Minimum of three A-levels at grade C or above (or equivalent e.g. BTEC/international examinations)
  • a good A Level (or equivalent) grade in mathematics or strongly mathematical subject.

Knowledge, Skills and Experience
Very strong candidates will likely have experience from a sandwich or vacation placement or internship, but experience does not have to be paid experience. For example, it could be a project you have done as part of a university module, your final year project, a personal project, or an open-source/volunteer project you have contributed to.

You will have one, but not necessarily all, of the following attributes:

  • experience of object oriented software development in Java, C#, C++, C, Python or similar
  • experience writing scientific computational software.

You may also have one, but not necessarily all, of the following attributes:

  • knowledge of software development tools, methodologies and best practices
  • knowledge of relational database design and SQL
  • experience in software development on both Windows and UNIX platforms
  • experience in software development on embedded and/or real-time platforms (e.g. RaspberryPi or Arduino) and interfacing with hardware (e.g. sensors, actuators).

Personal Skills, Qualities and Attributes


  • good communication skills and the ability to influence people at all levels
  • demonstrate good verbal communication skills
  • demonstrate good team working capabilities
  • give detail of an example of when you have worked in a team.

STFC’s Graduate scheme is accredited by the; Institution of Mechanical Engineers, the Institution of Engineering and Technology, the Institute of Physics and the British Computer Society. You’ll get the chance to work on cutting-edge projects with international collaborators.

We offer 30 days leave allowance, plus 10.5 public and privilege holidays. Full details of offered benefits can be found on STFC’s Career Pages.

Every graduate is provided with a mentor to help support them through the graduate scheme and to become chartered. Providing you perform well and make good progress with your training plans, you will be promoted after two years with us, receiving a significant salary increase.

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.

In order to apply for this role you must have:

  • obtained your first degree bachelors or Masters, (not doctorate) in a relevant subject in either 2017 or be due to receive it in 2018
  • expect to or have achieved a 2:1 or above
  • the right to live and work in the UK.

Please apply online only. Please submit a CV and cover letter outlining your suitability for this role.

Please ensure that your name and the IRC reference are included in the file name description of each document uploaded. Please also state where you saw this role advertised. No Agencies.

We recruit on a rolling basis therefore we recommend you to apply as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. Applications will be reviewed and considered on an on-going basis until our assessment centres are filled.

Rolling Closing Date 1: 30th October 2017

To find out more about our graduate assessment process please visit our Graduate Page.