Organisation STFC
Organisation Detail Science and Technology Facilities Council
Reference Number IRC248676
Location Didcot See on Map
Salary £19136
Date Posted 26 February 2019
Contract Type Student - Year in Industry
Hours Full Time
Closing Date 24 March 2019
Interview Date

Brief Description

Salary: £19,136
Contract Type: Fixed Term (12 months)
Hours: Full Time
Closing date: 24th March 2019
Interviews for this role will be held in April at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire.

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.

We choose the best technologies we can to develop software that meets the latest needs of our customers who are world-leading scientists and engineers.

Computing is essential to the science that STFC supports. We have placement opportunities for enthusiastic software developers to join the Facilities Computing group. These placements are in our teams that develop and maintain unique web-based software and are responsible for the National Laboratories SharePoint farm. Other teams in the group deliver IT services and infrastructure.

We are based in STFC’s neutron and muon department, ISIS. ISIS is a world-leading centre for research in the physical and life sciences at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory near Oxford. Our suite of neutron and muon instruments gives unique insights into the properties of materials on the atomic scale. Software lies at the heart of many ISIS activities.

This year we have the opportunity for 2 sandwich students to join our growing teams to help develop business software used by the ISIS facility and other large scientific facilities across STFC’s National Laboratories. You will benefit from working on software used across many departments but also, by being embedded in a scientific department, be close to the action!

Summary of Key Duties

As part of a team you will be involved in all stages of the software development lifecycle, from requirements capture through modelling, coding, testing and deployment. This will give first-hand experience of developing a product from conception through to maintenance using Agile and DevOps techniques. This placement will enable you to work on various software solutions that meet the evolving needs of our internal and external users.

You will benefit from working in a supportive team and have exposure to advanced programming methods in the real-world.

Training will be provided as necessary. In addition to a full induction and “on the job” training, you will have opportunity to subscribe to professional online tutorial sites, attend conferences, undertake various soft skills training, and take part in our organisation-wide events where you can network with other students and graduates.


During your placement you will be expected to:

  • communicate and work with fellow software engineers within the team on a daily basis
  • communicate with users, scientists and management to understand their requirements and translate these into a specification
  • design software solutions making use of various modelling techniques such as UML and mock-ups
  • write clear, well-structured (mostly object oriented) code that implements the design and is easy to maintain
  • write unit, integration and front-end tests following team practices
  • take an active role in meetings including team meetings and code reviews
  • take responsibility for ensuring your code passes all existing tests and new tests and that it deploys correctly to our test server
  • deploy software solutions to production using our continuous integration server
  • write documentation for technical and non-technical users
  • support our users (internal and external) in using existing and new systems (2nd and 3rd line support)
  • use a variety of tools and technologies used by the team to develop software (e.g. GitHub, Jenkins, IDEs such as IntelliJ IDEA, NetBeans and Visual Studio, Oracle and SQL Server databases, application/web servers such as Payara and IIS, various languages including Java, Java EE, Spring, C#, web services - SOAP and RESTful- ASP.NET, HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript libraries).

Knowledge, Skills and Experience

This placement will give you the opportunity to put into practice the things you have learned at university and give you brand new skills and exposure to enterprise technologies perhaps not taught at university.

As a starting point we expect you to have:

  • a strong academic background with very good module grades at university so far
  • a good understanding and experience of programming in Java, C# or similar language
  • a good understanding of relational database theory and SQL.

We also expect you to be able to:

  • work with others on projects and solve problems of varying complexity together
  • approach your work positively, with an open mind and be organised
  • write and speak clearly in a way that is suitable for your audience
  • take initiative and work effectively with limited supervision at times.–12-months-on.aspx

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 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)
  • A-levels or equivalent qualifications or experience (S)
  • studying for a degree in computer science, software engineering or any other degree with a strong element of computer programming (S)
  • experience of object oriented software development in Java, C# or a similar language (S&I)
  • knowledge of relational database design and SQL (S&I)
  • good communication skills both verbal and written (S&I)
  • ability to give an example of good team working capabilities and be open minded and flexible in relation to the type of work assigned to you (S&I)
  • the willingness to learn new skills, both technical and non-technical (I)
  • good organisational skills (S&I)
  • excellent problem solving skills (S&I)
  • ability to take initiative and to work effectively with limited supervision at times (S&I).


You may also have one or more of the following:

  • interest in User Experience (UX)(S&I)
  • knowledge of database environments such as MySQL, Oracle and SQL Server (I)
  • knowledge of modelling and design tools such as UML (I)
  • knowledge of web services and XML/JSON(I)

Experience does not have to be paid experience. For example, it could be some project you have done as part of a university module, a personal projector an open-source/volunteer project you have contributed to.

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.

Interview/assessment date: will be April

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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