Organisation STFC
Organisation Detail Science and Technology Facilities Council
Reference Number IRC250794
Location Didcot See on Map
Salary £19404
Date Posted 09 September 2019
Contract Type Student - Sandwich Course
Hours Full Time
Closing Date 27 October 2019
Interview Date

Brief Description

Salary: £19,404
Contract Type: Fixed Term (12 months)
Hours: Full Time
Closing Date: 27th October 2019
Interview Date: Interviews will be held during the week commencing 25th November 2019


STFC - ISIS - Liquid structure simulation - Industrial Placement 

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. For more information on STFC please view one of our videos -  

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 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.

STFC consists of several distinct departments which each focus on a different specialism within science, technology, innovation and support, yet work together to achieve STFC’s grand ambitions. Different departments may look for placement students with similar skills, so you should consider which role/s are most suitable to you, and apply for up to two of these. See all our current industrial placement vacancies here.

The ISIS Pulsed Neutron and Muon Source is a world-leading centre for research in the physical and life sciences. Within ISIS, the Disordered Materials group focuses predominantly on the structural properties of liquids and glasses, as determined by total neutron scattering techniques. They study a wide-ranging variety of condensed matter including disordered crystalline solids (e.g. metal alloys, functional materials, and nanoparticles), bulk liquids and their mixtures, and materials under confinement. Analysis of the data collected on the group’s instruments typically involves reduction of the raw collected data followed by modelling of the underlying system by atomistic simulation techniques. This last step allows a full interrogation of the structural aspects of the systems under study and underpins the majority of scientific output of the group. Recent examples include a study linking differences in hydrogen bond length to sweetness in sugars, an analysis of how confinement in nano-pores changes the structure of liquid benzene and an investigation of how Martian soils can keep water as a liquid well below its freezing point.


New molecular simulation code, developed within the disordered materials group for the analysis and interrogation of experimental data, is currently undergoing testing prior to release to the user community. You will contribute to the ongoing testing programme, focusing on specific advanced problems of scientific interest to users and members of the group. This will involve working with existing experimental data, constructing appropriate simulations within the new code, and calculating the appropriate quantities and observables from the results. You will produce guides (local and online) in order to deliver learning resources for the new software to the user community. This will accelerate roll-out of the new software and its new capabilities, and help to generate new, leading scientific publications within the Disordered Materials field.

The scientific problems may include, but are not limited to:

  • Proof-testing the new code on “simple” systems (simple liquids and glasses)
  • Studying liquid adsorption in porous materials (e.g. metal organic frameworks, zeolites)
  • Testing coarse-grained scattering models, allowing analysis of scattering experiments on larger length scales (e.g. colloids, polymers)
  • Simulation of complex multiphase systems through the use of novel multiple-box methodologies.

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 Criteria (S) and Intevriew Criteria (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)
  • Knowledge of physical chemistry and chemical structure and/or condensed matter physics (S&I)
  • Good time management and the ability to work to deadlines (I)
  • Ability to independently manage problems, and take responsibility for their solution (I)
  • Ability to communicate complicated ideas clearly both written and verbally (I)


  • Knowledge of computational chemistry and/or condensed matter simulation techniques (e.g. Monte Carlo, molecular dynamics, DFT) (S&I)
  • Understanding of neutron or X-ray scattering and/or diffraction (S&I)
  • A-level grades A/B (or equivalent) in one or more of Chemistry or Physics and A-levels in Maths (S)
  • Ability to form creative solutions to problems (I)
  • Attention to detail (S&I)
  • Familiarity with programming or scripting languages (Fortran, C, C++, python).(S&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.

To apply please download the application form and save it to your pc. You must upload a CV and completed copy of the application form. Please save include the IRC reference number and your name in the filename of all documents uploaded to your application.

Please right click on this link and select ‘save target as' to save the application form to your desktop .

STFC Industrial Placement Application form

To be eligible you must be studying a recognised degree that requires you to undertake an Industrial Placement or have permission from your University to take a year out of your studies to undertake a placement. You must also have the right to work in the UK.

You can apply for up to two Sandwich student placements; You will only need to complete ONE application form. However please ensure that you upload the application form to all applications and ensure the relevant reference number (e.g. IRC205817) is included the filename of each document that you upload.

Closing date: 27th October 2019
Interview/assessment date: 25th – 28th of November 2019

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:

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