Organisation STFC
Organisation Detail Science and Technology Facilities Council
Reference Number IRC246575
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 - 1 year
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.

The Centre for Environmental Data Analysis (CEDA)

The Centre for Environmental Data Analysis (CEDA), within STFC’s RAL Space Department, serves the environmental science community hosting data centres providing access to datasets ranging from computer simulations of future climate to the latest satellite-based observations of the earth. CEDA is involved in a number of collaborative projects working with organisations including the Met Office, European Space Agency, and NASA developing software and systems to facilitate access to, and analysis of, environmental data. Our data and computing services are hosted on the world-class multi-petabyte parallel processing and storage facility JASMIN (, incorporating cloud and High Performance Computing technologies.

Summary of Key Duties & Responsibilities

CEDA can offer a 1-year Sandwich Student Software Development post to a candidate interested in gaining first-hand experience of working in a vibrant field of scientific data handling and delivery.

Within a Linux-based computing environment you will work primarily with the Python programming language. Web and scientific programming may also be required, depending on experience, using a range of other languages such as Java, JavaScript, C and FORTRAN.

CEDA develops and manages a range of data-centric activities that this post might be involved with, including:

  • web applications/services to allow scientists to discover and access data sets
  • services for processing and analysing Atmospheric Science and Earth Observation data including parallelisation and workflow management
  • the JASMIN cloud platform and associated tools
  • cataloguing tools to enable searching and browsing of detailed scientific metadata
  • data analytics, visualisation and sub-setting tools
  • packaging and deployment tools.

Within CEDA a wide variety of technologies and tools are being employed/explored. These include:

  • web: Django, Pyramid, Tomcat, Bootstrap
  • databases: PostgreSQL, SQLite, ElasticSearch, Apache Solr
  • processing/parallelisation: Platform LSF batch compute scheduler, OGC Web Processing Service
  • packaging/deployment: Python Pip and virtualenv, RPM, Conda, Docker
  • virtualisation/cloud: OpenStack, object store technologies, container orchestration technologies e.g. SWARM, Kubernetes
  • data: cf-python, Iris, Matplotlib, NetCDF4, R, CDO, NCO.


The role will involve a range of tasks that might include:

  • maintenance of existing software systems
  • development of scripts and tools to perform data management and analysis
  • design and development of larger software systems/applications
  • development of Django (python) web-applications and web APIs
  • interactions with scientists/developers
  • development of tools for working with large data sets and batch processing systems
  • exploratory work with new technologies.

For more information about the role please contact Ag Stephens (

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

NOTE: criteria will be assessed through shortlisting (S), at Interview (I) or both (S&I).


  • 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)
  • currently undertaking a degree in Computer Science or Engineering, or another relevant scientific discipline with a strong mathematical component (S).
  • able to work comfortably at a work station for most of the working day (S)
  • experience of programming in Python (S&I)
  • experience of working in a Linux environment (S&I)
  • knowledge of software development principles, including writing and testing code (S&I)
  • interest in supporting the scientific community (S&I)
  • self-motivated, with good problem-solving and analytical skills (S&I)
  • able to work well in a team and willing to learn new skills and work on a variety of tasks (S&I)


  • robust software engineering methodologies including test-driven development, code review and continuous integration (S&I)
  • experience with web development frameworks particularly Django (S&I)
  • exposure to NoSQL database solutions such as Elastic Search and Apache Solr (S&I)
  • exposure to software for the deployment of virtualisation and cloud computing infrastructure e.g. OpenStack, VMware, Docker, and object store technologies (S&I)
  • technologies for parallel processing for example, Hadoop (S&I)
  • exposure to meteorology, climate science, Earth sciences, Earth observation or scientific computing (S&I)
  • experience of working with scientific data (S&I)
  • experience of working with Big Data (S&I)
  • good communication 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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