Organisation STFC
Organisation Detail Science and Technology Facilities Council
Reference Number IRC246547
Location Didcot See on Map
Salary £19136 - £19136
Date Posted 31 August 2018
Contract Type Student - Sandwich Course
Hours Full Time
Closing Date 28 October 2018
Interview Date

Brief Description

Salary: £19,136
Contract Type: Fixed Term (12 months)
Hours: Full Time
Closing Date: 28th October 2018

The ISIS Neutron and Muon Source Materials Characterisation Laboratory (MCL) boasts a wide range of instrumentation and analytical equipment used by the ISIS User community and staff, as well as other research staff on the RAL campus. This suite of instruments allows a wealth of physical property information to be obtained. The instruments include a Single Crystal X-ray Diffractometer, Powder and thin film X-ray Diffractometers, an X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometer (XRF), an Atomic Force Microscope, a Magnetic Property Measurement System (SQUID), Physical Property Measurement System and a Kerr microscope.

This position will offer the student an excellent opportunity to use and develop the skills they have acquired at university whilst learning many new ones on the way. The main focus of the work will be method development, so that the lab’s full capability can be exploited. The student will also have the opportunity to get involved with a number of collaborative science projects with ISIS Users and Staff.

Summary of Key Duties & Responsibilities

Within the laboratory support team you will develop the following new methods:

  • commission and optimise a Laue X-ray instrument for aligning crystals in preparation for further offline and ISIS beamtime experiments.
  • develop methodology for a new single crystal X-ray diffractometer to aid in pre-screening of ISIS beamtime samples.
  • variable temperature AC. Transport measurements for solids on the Physical Property Measurement System (PPMS)
  • commission and optimise a method for an X-ray diffraction (XRD) utilising a new furnace capable of high pressure, in situ reactive gases and high temperature measurements.
  • build and develop a Ferromagnetic Resonance experiment suitable for an experimental setup on one of the neutron beamlines.  This will involve pursuing new research into methods not currently available at ISIS.
  • develop further the ferromagnetic resonance experiment currently employed in R53 for low temperature studies of thin films.
  • develop methodology for a benchtop X-ray diffraction instrument (XRD) suitable for pre-screening samples and complimentary measurements to beamline instruments, with exploring its full capabilities of different options and temperature stages.

You will be expected to test these methods on a range of samples and produce documentation for use by future users of the instrumentation. You may also have the opportunities to attend neutron beamline experiments, aid website development, and learn new techniques in the other ISIS support laboratories.

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


  • 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 (S)
  • right to live and work in the UK (S)
  • current 2:1 science degree results or above
  • enrolled on a Science degree course
  • laboratory Experience, analytical instrumentation knowledge
  • good Communication skills
  • the willingness to learn new skills, both technical and non-technical
  • open minded and flexible in relation to the type of work assigned to them
  • strong oral and written presentation skills. 


  • work experience
  • understanding of lab safety
  • attention to detail, strong interest in physical sciences
  • highly self-motivating

Interview Criteria


  • laboratory experience, analytical instrumentation knowledge
  • good communication skills
  • willingness to learn new skills, both technical and non-technical
  • open minded and flexible in relation to the type of work assigned to them
  • strong oral and written presentation skills.


  • work experience
  • understanding of lab safety
  • attention to detail, strong interest in physical sciences
  • highly self-motivating

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 page.

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.

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 copy of your CV. Please save all your documents with the IRC reference number in the filename and your name.

Please right click on this link and select ‘save target as' to save the application form to your desktop ...

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: 28th October 2018

Interview/assessment date: 27th – 29th November 2018

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:

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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