Organisation STFC
Organisation Detail Science and Technology Facilities Council
Reference Number IRC250875
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 - Polarized Neutrons 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.

Project Description:

Polarized neutron beams (beams in which the magnetic moments of the neutrons are aligned in the same direction with respect to a magnetic field) can be used to improve the information gained from nearly any scattering experiment. In the case of neutron diffraction, which probes both the atomic and magnetic structures of materials, polarized neutrons provide a means to separate the magnetic component from the other contributions to the total scattering. This is especially useful when the magnetic scattering is weak, as is the case for a broad range of materials relevant to quantum computing and superconductivity. Polarized neutrons also provide unprecedented access to the spatial components of the magnetic moments in materials, and are therefore the ultimate technique for solving complex magnetic structures. This is important for understanding the physics underlying phenomena which may lead to new sensing and memory storage technologies.

An especially promising instrument for the implementation of polarized neutrons is the WISH instrument at ISIS. Located at the ISIS second target station, this state-of-the art neutron diffractometer supports a broad and active science programme centred on magnetic materials. The installation of polarized neutron capabilities on WISH will require several additional elements to be added to the existing instrument: these will, respectively, create the incident polarized beam, allow for the manipulation of the polarization direction along its path to the sample, and finally for the detection of the polarization following scattering. Whilst the means of producing the polarised neutrons will be based on proven technological concepts, installation on a beamline requires optimization given the geometrical constraints of the existing instrument to obtain the best performance. The aim of the project is to design these elements via both analytical calculations and numerical simulations (both ray-tracing and electromagnetic) using large-scale computing infrastructure available at RAL. The project will be central to a bid for an upgrade of the instrument, and providing funding is secured, will be realized to the specifications of the project within the next few years. As such, this project offers the exciting opportunity to participate in the provision of a world-leading capability on a multi-million-pound item of research instrumentation.

The project will be carried out jointly between the ISIS Crystallography group, which is responsible for operating 8 neutron diffractometers (including WISH) across the facility, and the polarized neutrons section in the ISIS Excitations and Polarized Neutrons Group, which operates polarized neutron infrastructure, including a 3He filling station, and provides expertise for polarized neutron-related projects as well as operating 4 neutron spectrometers. Full technical and scientific support will be provided to the student for the duration of the placement. 

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) & 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)
  • Studying for a degree in Physics, with a strong academic record (S)
  • Good written and oral communication skills (S & I)
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills (I)
  • Evidence of programming skills (particularly in C, python) (S & I)
  • Ability to work as part of a wider team, as well as on own initiative. (I)


  • Some familiarity with X-ray or neutron scattering, particularly diffraction (I)
  • Evidence of independent programming work from e.g. previous summer placement (S & I)
  • Basic awareness of project context. (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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