Organisation STFC
Organisation Detail Science and Technology Facilities Council
Reference Number IRC245888
Location Didcot See on Map
Salary £30357 - £41988
Date Posted 18 July 2018
Grade RC-E
Contract Type Open Ended
Hours Full Time
Closing Date 31 August 2018
Interview Date

Brief Description

Salary: £30,357 - £41,988                         
Grade: RC-D or RC-E (depending on experience and qualifications)
Contract Type: Open-Ended
Hours: Full Time (would consider splitting the post between 2 part-time staff at 50% of full time each).
Closing Date: 31st August 2018

About us:

The Quantum Sensors Group within the RAL Space Imaging Systems Division was established in 2014 to position STFC at the forefront of the development of quantum sensor technologies for space applications. The foreseeable and considerable growth in the quantum sector called for an in-house capability in the engineering and space-qualification of technologies for space applications of quantum atomic interferometers, clocks and emerging secure communications techniques. The group has established a Cold Atoms laboratory, enjoys an increasing portfolio of project work and now needs to expand to be meet growing project demands and to further develop our capabilities.

About the role:

RAL Space is looking for an experienced Cold Atom/Quantum Optics Physicist to contribute to our increasing project portfolio, initially in the development and commissioning of the RAL Space Atom Interferometer and its optimisation for space applications. 

Your duties will be as follow:

  • design and documentation of technologies and experimental facilities relating cold atom interferometers, atomic clocks and other quantum sensors
  • contribute to the establishment of partnerships with research institutes, universities and industry in the field of quantum sensors
  • contribute to project reviews, design reviews and progress meetings, within the UK and abroad
  • write specifications, test plans, test reports and other documentation as required
  • lead in and/or contribute to proposal preparation and costing
  • interact with external customers/suppliers during visits
  • report to the Quantum Sensors Group Leader, the Imaging Systems Division Head, Divisional Group Leaders and senior project staff as appropriate.

Organization Description

UK Research and Innovation is a new entity that brings together nine partners to create an independent organisation with a strong voice for research and innovation, and a vision to ensure the UK maintains its world-leading position in research and innovation. More information can be found at

The Science and Technology Facilities Council is a world-leading multi-disciplinary science organisation, and our goal is to deliver economic, societal, scientific and international benefits to the UK and its people – and more broadly to the world.

Shortlisting Criteria:


  • postgraduate experience in the area of Atomic Physics or Quantum Optics
  • first degree in Physics, Engineering or equivalent
  • excellent written, oral and presentational skills
  • experience presenting at conferences
  • good PC literacy skills; Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint being essential.


  • PhD in Cold Atom Physics or Quantum Optics
  • experience with experimental manipulation of cold atom gases, atom laser cooling techniques, laser spectroscopy
  • knowledge of cold atom physics, Bose-Einstein condensates, quantum sensors
  • good knowledge of the use of analytical and modelling tools (Matlab, Mathematica, etc.)
  • knowledge of CAD tools (Autodesk Inventor. Solidworks, etc.)
  • good knowledge of programming experiment control systems
  • experience dealing with external suppliers and customers.

Interview Criteria:


  • inventive and lateral thinking
  • excellent attention to detail
  • highly self-motivated
  • able to work individually and/or as part of a team
  • excellent verbal communications skills including the ability to explain technical concepts effectively
  • diligent
  • ability to work in a cleanroom environment
  • willingness to travel within the UK and abroad.


  • ability to lead and manage small teams.

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 (

To enable us to hire the very best people we will conduct a full and comprehensive background and pre-employment check as an essential part of the recruitment process.

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:

Online applications only, please submit a covering letter and CV, ensuring that the IRC reference is included in the file name description of each document uploaded. No Agencies.

The closing date for applications is 31st August 2018.

We want to make our application process as easy for you as we possibly can. If you experience any problems in applying for this job, or have any feedback for us about the application process, please contact our Recruitment Hotline on 01793 867000 (8.30am – 5.00pm Monday to Friday). Please quote the appropriate IRC reference number when calling.

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