Organisation STFC
Organisation Detail Science and Technology Facilities Council
Reference Number IRC246649
Location Didcot See on Map
Salary £19136 - £19136
Date Posted 04 September 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
Interview Date: 27th - 29th November 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. To find out more about STFC please see one of our videos:

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 Central Laser Facility based at the STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory is a world leading, cutting edge research department containing high power lasers, Vulcan and Astra Gemini, as well as materials sciences and life sciences groups using medium and low power lasers. Researchers from the UK, EU and other countries world-wide come to use our facilities to carry out experiments requiring high power lasers on a variety of applied and blue skies topics, such as ion source development for medical application, fusion mechanisms for energy, x-ray source development for ultra-fast imaging, laboratory astrophysics, photo-induced nuclear reactions, to name a few.

Summary of Key Duties & Responsibilities:

From the outset, our research scientist will be tasked with developing techniques to find the optimum laser conditions for coupling a diode pumped laser driven system with matter or plasma, and for momentum transfer. This concept is of fundamental physical interest to many fields of laser matter interaction, but also has many real word applications such orbital space debris removal. Our field is one that is quickly evolving, and the candidate’s research will be based on applying the latest published research to current state of the art laser facilities.

To investigate this, the candidate will have the ability to develop analytic models for our physical understanding of the mechanism and will have access to numerical simulation codes and modest computational resources.

Should suitable laser time become available, the candidate will have the opportunity to plan for an experimental investigation on a high power laser system and potentially conduct one, where they will field diagnostics, which they will collaborate on developing to investigate the new ablation techniques they identify. The candidate will also be responsible for developing analysis algorithms for the experimental data in Matlab for example.

The candidate will have the opportunity to identify possible paths forward for the research as the project evolves. We therefore require a motivated candidate, with a strong interest in applying their individual and obtained knowledge to drive the research project forward.

This is an opportunity to become a fully active team member in our research group, and to contribute to a fast growing research field.

Contacts and Communication:

The position is in a team environment working directly with researchers and PhD students in the Experimental Science group, as well as target area teams and external researchers from mostly UK/EU universities.

Personal skills and attributes:

You must have a good grasp of basic physics concepts (e.g. optics, electromagnetism), be able to apply your knowledge to new topics and be adept in the lab. An interest and previous experience in programming is useful, but not essential. Good communications skills are essential, the ability to work autonomously and in a team. Drive and an enthusiasm for science are definitely a positive attribute. The ability to manage self and others would be beneficial.

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



  • at university, enrolled on an undergraduate degree  in physics, applied physics, engineering physics, or natural sciences with high physics content  and required or have requested to take a year out of studies to gain experience within industry (S&I)
  • right to live and work in the UK (S)
  • degree to contain lab work modules (and have achieved good grades to date overall). (S&I)


  • programming skills/interest in programming(S)

 Knowledge/skills and experience


  • good understanding of basic physics concepts (optics, electromagnetism, lasers) (I)
  • good practical laboratory skills (this will be tested by a simple practical exercise). (I)


  • appreciation/awareness of Health and Safety (I)

Personal skills/qualities


  • drive and enthusiasm (I)
  • open minded and flexible in relation to the type of work assigned to them (I)
  • good communication skills (I)
  • ability to listen (I)
  • ability to apply knowledge (I)
  • the willingness to learn new skills, both technical and non-technical (I).

This role will involve working in tight spaces where access is restricted and will involve standing for extended periods. Successful candidates will also be required to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) such as goggles, glove and a face mask. 

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.

STFC Sandwich Student Application Form

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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