Organisation STFC
Organisation Detail Science and Technology Facilities Council
Reference Number IRC246566
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
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.

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.

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.

ISIS is a world-leading centre for research in the physical and life sciences at the STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory near Oxford in the United Kingdom. Our suite of neutron and muon instruments gives unique insights into the properties of materials on the atomic scale.  We support an international community of more than 3000 scientists conducting research into subjects ranging from clean energy and the environment, pharmaceuticals and health care, through to nanotechnology and materials engineering, catalysis and polymers, and on to fundamental studies of materials.

A 70 MeV H- linear accelerator and 800 MeV proton synchrotron are the backbone to neutron production at ISIS.  The accelerators operate at 50 Hz and accelerate 2.5x1013 protons per pulse.  Once at 84% of the speed of light the protons are extracted to one of two tungsten targets where spallation neutrons are produced.

This sandwich student role is based within the Synchrotron Group of the Accelerator Division where beam physicists are responsible for setting up and optimising the ISIS accelerators, as well as conducting R&D projects focussed on improving accelerator performance and designing future machines.

Imperfections in the magnetic lattice of the accelerator result in beam trajectories deviating from the ideal central orbit. Measuring and correcting the beam orbit throughout the accelerator chain is vital in optimising machine performance.

Working as a physicist within the synchrotron group you will test and implement a method of beam trajectory correction which has been used at numerous accelerators around the world (CERN PSB, Fermilab Booster amongst others).  This technique requires modifying linear accelerator lattice models, using Methodical Accelerator Design (MAD) software developed at CERN, according to results from a measured orbit response matrix.  Initial studies will focus on the ISIS beam injection line and the method could also then be applied to the extraction lines and synchrotron. 

Key tasks:

  • research the LOCO (linear optics from closed orbits) correction method 
  • measure and create response matrix for the ISIS injection line
  • improve linear lattice models of the injection line, using MAD software, based on measured matrix
  • test new correction techniques during dedicated accelerator development time and compare to existing correction techniques
  • develop operational software tools (using IDL/LabVIEW) for implementing LOCO methods on ISIS
  • provide updates and reports at appropriate meetings
  • produce written documentation for the project

It is expected that at all times you will demonstrate the core STFC values of striving for excellence, working and collaborating effectively as a team, working with inspiration, trust and transparency whilst always treating others with respect. 

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 and Interview 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)
  • 2:1 or above over the completed portion of a physics degree course (S)
  • experience in computer programming (IDL / Python / C++ / LabVIEW etc) (S)
  • good communication skills (S&I)
  • demonstrate good team work capabilities (S&I)
  • willingness to learn new skills, both technical and non-technical (I)
  • well organised, with a logical approach to work and good time management (I)


  • background knowledge, and interest in, particle accelerators (through degree module choices, visits to laboratories etc) (S&I)
  • high quality technical written reports (S&I)
  • high quality oral presentation skills (S&I)

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.


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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