Organisation STFC
Organisation Detail Science and Technology Facilities Council
Reference Number IRC246487
Location Warrington See on Map
Salary £26560
Date Posted 31 August 2018
Grade UKRI-Band C
Contract Type Graduates
Hours Full Time
Closing Date 28 October 2018
Interview Date

Brief Description

Salary: £26,560
Grade: UKRI-C
Contract Type: Open-Ended
Hours: Full Time
Closing Date: 28th October 2018


The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is one of Europe’s largest 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, technology and Engineering. To find out more about STFC please watch one of our videos:

STFC is one of nine organisations that have been brought together to create UK Research and Innovation (UKRI); a new organisation with a vision to ensure the UK maintains its world-leading position in research and innovation.

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 new level in a dynamic, creative, collaborative culture.

The Accelerator Science and Technology Centre (ASTeC), based at Daresbury Laboratory in Cheshire, is a centre of excellence for research and development on advanced particle accelerators. We work with the top particle accelerator laboratories around the world to deliver innovative and cutting-edge research facilities, pushing the science and technology frontier forwards.

The next generation of advanced particle accelerators – in particular free electron laser (FEL) light sources –require particle bunches with femtosecond duration and timing stability.  Ultrafast laser and optical systems are a critical component of realising the challenges of femtosecond particle acceleration, in terms of both generating and characterising the quality of the particle bunches.  The Femtosecond Lasers and Timing (FLT) group within ASTeC is responsible for developing technology including: femtosecond laser-based sources from the UV to far-IR for particle beam generation and manipulation; temporal and spectral characterization of laser, electron and FEL photon sources; and femtosecond synchronization of laser and electron sources.

Summary of Key Duties and Responsibilities

A key component of advanced particle accelerators and accelerator-driven light sources is the transport and characterisation of femtosecond pulses of radiation to and from different points, for example delivery of photons to experimental stations in support of user exploitation.  As an Optics Scientist you will contribute to the design and commissioning of photon transport and diagnostic systems operating over a wide spectral range, extending from the far-infrared to the UV and x-ray regions.

You will work closely with experienced staff, developing both theoretical and hands-on practical skills required to realise these systems.  In support of this you will have access to state-of-the-art metrology equipment in a laboratory dedicated to the characterisation of optical components. 

You will also take part in operational shifts on the CLARA electron accelerator, working with laser experts to optimise the delivery of UV femtosecond pulses to the CLARA photoinjector and the impact of the transport on accelerated beam properties.

This role is ideal for someone looking for a good balance between theoretical (including computational) and experimental work, with the opportunity to make a real difference to ongoing and future accelerator developments on the Daresbury campus.  There will be the opportunity to travel to international conferences to present your work and collaborate with other leading international accelerator institutions.

Responsibilities include:

  • design, prototyping and commissioning of photon transport and diagnostic systems, involving:
    • computer optical simulation
    • mechanical design (in collaboration with professional engineers)
    • theoretical and practical optics.
  • perform experiments and analyse data using equipment in the ASTeC optics metrology laboratory
  • experimental and shift work on the CLARA particle accelerator, helping to understand the relationships between beam quality and photon transport
  • development and implementation of operational procedures, including automated feedback to stabilise photon transport systems.

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 (S) and Interview (I) Criteria



  • obtained first degree bachelors or Masters, (not doctorate) in a relevant subject (e.g. Physics) in either 2018 or be due to receive it in 2019 (S)
  • expected or have achieved a 2:1 or above (S&I)
  • the right to live and work in the UK (S)
  • sound theoretical understanding of the physics of optics (S&I)
  • good practical or experimental skills in engineering or physics (S&I)
  • good problem solving skills, showing a desire to achieve goals and meet deadlines (I)
  • willingness to learn and to seek advice and guidance (I)
  • able to work as a team member and on self-initiative (I)
  • good communication skills, including the ability to explain scientific concepts effectively and write scientific reports(I)
  • enthusiasm for science and engineering (I).


  • degree containing an optics component (S)
  • practical experience in optics (S&I)
  • strong mathematics element to degree training (S)
  • experience with high-level mathematical packages, e.g. Matlab (S)
  • experience in Labview or other instrumentation codes (S)
  • understanding of basic practical project management techniques (I)
  • good planning and time management skills (I)
  • willingness to participate in Public Engagement activities, to engage the public with the work that goes on within STFC (I)
  • 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
  • STFC offers a benefits package designed to provide an excellent work/life balance including 30 days’ annual leave, 10.5 public and privilege holidays, flexible working hours and an exceptional pension scheme
  • 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.

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.

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 2018 or be due to receive it in 2019
  • expected 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 ongoing basis until our assessment centres are filled.

The closing date for this role is 28th October 2018. The assessment centre for this vacancy will be held in January 2019 at Daresbury Laboratory in Cheshire.

To find out more about our graduate assessment process please visit:

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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