Organisation STFC
Organisation Detail Science and Technology Facilities Council
Reference Number IRC250525
Location Didcot See on Map
Salary £30782 - £42576
Date Posted 16 August 2019
Grade UKRI-Band E
Contract Type Fixed Term Appointment
Hours Full Time
Closing Date 17 September 2019
Interview Date

Brief Description

Salary: Band D £30,782 - £33,459 Band E £38,318 - £42,576
Grade: UKRI - D or UKRI E
Contract Type: Fixed Term (3 years)
Hours: Full Time/Part Time (minimum 30 hours)
Closing Date: 17th September 2019
Interview Date: Late September/Early October 2019


Central Laser Facility (CLF) is one of the world’s leading laser centres, providing scientists mainly from the UK and continental Europe with access to an unparalleled range of state of the art laser technology.  The CLF has around 180 staff and its function - user facility, international research – makes it a very friendly, outgoing, externally facing sort of place.  It has a welcoming and inclusive culture, and you will find that people will naturally help and support you.

The CLF is building a new laser centre - the Extreme Photonics Applications Centre (EPAC) and is seeking new team members to help to build this and to contribute to our existing facilities. EPAC is an £81M facility that will use lasers developed by our team to drive new types of novel particle and radiation beams that can be applied to a wide range of problems in science and industry. We are looking for people like you, scientists and engineers at all stages of their careers to be a part of our friendly and enthusiastic team in the following areas (details are below):

As part of UK Research and Innovation, the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is one of Europe’s largest research organisations and operates at a number of sites within the UK, including RAL and many more around the world. RAL is home to about 1,200 staff that work with a community of more than 10,000 scientists and engineers mainly from the research sector, which spans the scientific spectrum including energy, security, materials healthcare, life-sciences and the environment to address important challenges facing society.

STFC is an award winning employer and RAL is a superb place to work – there is pioneering work going on all around the site and the environment, facilities and conditions are excellent.  RAL has a real buzz and the people working here have a profound sense of pride in what they achieve.  Alongside an excellent working environment and comprehensive continued professional development STFC offer’s a benefits package designed to provide an excellent work/life balance. This includes 30 days’ annual leave, 10.5 public and privilege days, Christmas shut down, flexible working hours, a workplace nursery, an exceptional career average defined benefit pension scheme, and social and sporting activities and societies. Full details can be found on STFC’s careers pages

As a CALTA Laser Scientist you will join the CLF’s Centre for Advanced Laser Technology and Applications (CALTA) to contribute to the development of “next generation” laser systems operating at high repetition rate.  You will contribute to mechanical and optical design, construction of opto-mechanical systems, experimental testing and characterisation of components, and the design and delivery of complete systems. 
Job Role areas will include:

  • You will contribute to the laser system (100 Hz DPSSL) development by investigating and researching into novel solutions to technical bottlenecks 
  • You will research and develop schemes that will enable the scaling of energy of the laser
  • Depending on experience you will be responsible for the operation, management and upgrade of 10 J DPSSL (DiPOLE) laser system
  • You will be working to deliver a new DPSSL pump laser for the EPAC project
  • You will present your work at conferences and publish in appropriate journals.

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

Essential Band D

  • A degree in physics or a closely related subject (S)
  • Experience in the operation and development of laser systems (S&I)
  • Experience in scientific instrument development and design (S&I)
  • Able to work as part of a team (I)
  • Good command of written English (S)
  • Good verbal communication skills (I)
  • Able to see novel solutions to problems (I)
  • Able to show initiative (I)
  • Able to multi-task and prioritise against a heavy work load and achieve demanding targets (S)
  • Responsible approach to health and safety (I).

Desirable Band D:

  • A completed or close to completion of PhD in physics, optoelectronics or equivalent research experience (S)
  • Experience in ultrafast laser science and OPA development (S&I)
  • Experience in Diode Pump Solid State Lasers (S&I)
  • Proficiency with MATLAB (S&I)
  • Good knowledge of optics (I)
  • Management skills (S)
  • Willing and able to work flexible hours and/or overtime (I)
  • Willing and able to travel internationally to conferences and to visit collaborators (I)
  • Willingness to present at conferences (I).

Essential Band E - the Band D essentials plus:

  • A PhD in physics (or equivalent relevant experience) (S)
  • Post Doctoral research experience (or equivalent relevant experience) (S&I)
  • Track record of publication in peer-reviewed journals (S&I).

Desirable Band E - the Band D desirables plus:

  • Experience in development of laser diagnostics and pulse characterisation (S&I)
  • Experience in Ultra short pulse generation, amplification and compression (S&I)
  • Experience in scientific instrument development and design (S&I)
  • Experience with Zemax or other equivalent optical design software (S&I)
  • Previous experience in the management of projects and/or people (I)
  • Previous safety responsibilities (I).

UKRI supports research in areas that include animal health, agriculture and food security, and bioscience for health which includes research on animals, genetic modification and stem cell research. Whilst you may not have direct involvement in this type of research, you should consider whether this conflicts with your personal values or beliefs.

To enable us to hire the very best people we will conduct a full and comprehensive pre-employment check as an essential part of the recruitment process on all individuals that are offered a position with UKRI. This will include a security check and an extreme organisations affiliation check.

Employee Benefits
UK Research and Innovation recognises and values employees as individuals and aim to provide a pay and rewards package that motivates staff to perform to the best of their ability. The reward package includes a flexible working scheme, a Career Average Revalued Earnings pension scheme, 30 days annual leave allowance and a number of other benefits.

Developing Talent
We are committed to developing employees in their roles throughout their career. Learning and development plans enable employees to continue their professional development through training and development opportunities such as e-learning, classroom training and on-the-job experiences. We encourage our employees to share their learning across teams and organisations.

Equal Opportunities
We strive to make decisions based on individual merit and ability. We welcome applications from all sections of the community and promote equality of opportunity in accordance with the Equality Act 2010. As holders of Disability Confident Employer status, we guarantee to interview all applicants with disabilities who meet the minimum criteria for the vacancy.

Online applications only. Please submit a covering letter and CV ensuring that the IRC reference is included in the filename description of each document uploaded. Please note that failure to address the above criteria or submitted without a covering letter may result in your application not being considered.

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