Organisation STFC
Organisation Detail Science and Technology Facilities Council
Reference Number IRC250923
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
Grade: UKRI - STU
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 - Scientific Software Engineer - 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.

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 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.

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.

ISIS Neutron and Muon Source

You will be employed by the world leading ISIS Pulsed Neutron and Muon Source at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory to deliver software for analysis of data from ISIS instruments. You will work within the Mantid project, an international collaboration that is developing analysis software for neutron and muon instruments within a contemporary structured programming framework. The Mantid project is an open-source development that is developed and supported by a core project team of developers across three countries. As a professional software project, Mantid was highly commended at the UKIT Industry Computing Awards in the Project Excellence category for the best not for profit product.

Summary of Key Duties & Responsibilities

The three Industrial Placement student positions within the team will focus on the development of software for the analysis of data measured on neutron scattering and muon instruments. Your contributions will be actively used to support new experiments on the facility’s instruments, enabling new insights into cutting edge science.

An Industrial Placement project will involve:

  • A working with beamline scientists from within an ISIS group to deliver algorithmic customisations and changes to base workflows
  • Generating and adapting user interfaces which execute the aforementioned algorithms and workflows
  • Identifying and optimising runtime performance in key areas
  • Working to improve a technique area (such as reflectometry, diffraction or spectroscopy) across all international collaborating facilities
  • Participating and presenting the work in meetings/conferences through technical reports/posters where appropriate.

If time permits, there may be the opportunity to become involved in other aspects of the Mantid project, whether coding algorithms,working to enhance the platform or writing reports. This position is a chance to gain highly sought-after software engineering skills within a major national scientific laboratory.

You will be responsible for:

  • Implementing algorithms and GUI components in modern C++ and Python
  • Building, testing, documenting and maintaining solutions using modern software engineering techniques
  • Agreeing software requirements with facility scientists
  • Regular liaison with facility scientists to ensure the developed code meets scientific requirements
  • Working closely with other team members to share skills and knowledge
  • Participating in outreach activities where appropriate, e.g. meetings with user groups or external collaborators.

In all cases, a more senior developer will be available to offer support and guidance.

The placement would be suitable for a student studying for a degree in Computer Science, Physics, or a related discipline. A track record of object-oriented programming (ideally in C++, but training is available) and a keen interest in physics or mathematics would be advantageous.

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.

Criteria will be assessed through shortlisting(S), at Interview (I) or both (S&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)
  • A Level (or equivalent) in a scientific or technical area (S)
  • Experience of computer programming (S&I)
  • Good communication skills (S&I)
  • Ability to work as part of a team (I)
  • Willingness to learn new skills, both technical and non-technical (I)
  • Open-minded and flexible in relation to the type of work assigned to them (I).


  • A Level (or equivalent) in a subject with substantial computer programming content (S)
  • Knowledge of C++ and/or Python (S&I)
  • Experience of object-oriented programming (I)
  • Interest or experience in physics or mathematics (S&I)
  • Good problem-solving abilities (I)
  • Proactive and willing to take ownership of tasks (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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