Organisation STFC
Organisation Detail Science and Technology Facilities Council
Reference Number IRC255074
Location Didcot See on Map
Salary £31305 - £43300
Date Posted 10 September 2020
Grade UKRI-Band D
Contract Type Open Ended
Hours Full Time
Closing Date 23 October 2020
Interview Date

Brief Description

Salary: £31,305 to £34,028 (Band D) and £38,969 to £43,300 (Band E)
Grade: D/E
Contract Type: Open-Ended
Hours: Full Time
Closing Date: 23rd October 2020
Interview Date: W/C 2nd November 2020

About Us

At the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), one of Europe’s largest multidisciplinary research organisations, the expertise of our computing staff is key to making our research happen. Consequently, we are committed to developing our staff, and training will be provided in relevant areas.  We work with the very latest technologies to drive advances in both hardware and software that have genuine real-world applications. Whether it is the search for the Higgs Boson and dark matter, analysing climate data or genomics, our systems tackle the biggest and most challenging problems in scientific computing.

STFC’s Scientific Computing Department (SCD) develops leading edge software, compute, and data storage infrastructures, to support the work of world class science both within STFC and internationally.

As part of UK Research and Innovation, STFC offers a working environment and benefits package designed to provide an excellent work/life balance. For this opportunity, we welcome applications on a full-time, part-time (minimum 25 hours) or term-time only basis and we also offer a flexible working scheme. Further benefits include 30 days’ (pro rata) annual leave, 10.5 public and privilege days, Christmas shut down, a workplace nursery, an exceptional defined benefit pension scheme, and social and sporting activities and societies. STFC is an open and inclusive work environment, committed to promoting equality, diversity and inclusion.


The Harwell campus of the Science and Technologies Facilities Council is home to the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) and to the UK research community’s large-scale experimental Facilities. These include the Diamond Synchrotron and Electron Microscopy facilities, the ISIS Neutron and Muon Facility, the Central Laser Facility, and Centre for Environmental Data Analysis (CEDA). Researchers from universities and from industry use these facilities for a very wide range of scientific applications ranging from revealing ancient fossils and improving battery technology, to characterising materials to understanding the impact of climate change.

The Scientific Machine Learning (SciML) Group, situated within the Scientific Computing Department in RAL , works very closely with these large-scale experimental facilities, and their users, in applying and developing state-of-the art AI and machine learning methods to translate their data into innovative science. The Group is also a ‘Turing Hub’ – a component of the Alan Turing Institute’s ‘AI for Science’ initiative. The Group runs the PEARL AI computing service, powered by two, state-of-the-art NVIDIA DGX2 GPU systems, for Turing and STFC researchers, and their collaborators working on AI for Science.

In the last decade, experiments performed at these facilities have become much more complex and now generate very large volumes of scientific data. Increasingly, researchers need support and assistance in all aspects of data science, from the generation and acquisition of the datasets on-site at the Facilities, the use of advanced data analytics to extract new science from their data, through to data curation, management and archiving. As such, the SciML Group is seeking a number of positions to fulfil these roles, particularly from applicants with a strong background in machine learning or data science.

Duties & Responsibilities

You will be applying and developing novel and state-of-the-art machine learning (ML) and data analytical techniques to analyse large-scale experimental datasets collected with the view of advancing science. These involve, not only applying and developing ML techniques, but also combining multiple datasets, maximising the information extraction, visualising them, and most importantly working with scientists in understanding or characterising fundamental science. Specific responsibilities include:

  • Developing ML or relevant techniques to transform experimental datasets into a form that can be consumed by ML frameworks to be developed in the project
  • Developing ML techniques to understand, interpret and extract features from experimental datasets
  • Developing techniques to combine & fuse multiple data sources for better exploitation of information
  • Implement these techniques in a commonly used programming language, such as Python
  • Working closely with the scientists in understanding the overall data, and the scientific problem of  focus
  • Assisting in building automated systems underpinned by ML models and relevant statistical models, wherever applicable
  • Contributing to learning and development at the Rutherford Appleton Lab,  supporting its community by presenting work internally and externally, and by publishing work in peer-reviewed journals
  • Helping researchers to understand the power and limitations of ML technologies applied to their real-world data
  • Assisting in running training courses run by the group.

Contacts and Communication

  • Regular contact with staff internally and externally
  • Assist in organising and coordinating technical meetings and relevant project events as appropriate
  • Maintain effective engagement with stakeholders.

Personal Skills and Attributes

  • Strong communication skills (verbal, written, and presentation)
  • Ability to work effectively under pressure, set priorities and make decisions independently
  • Ability to work with uncertain requirements to develop a consensus on a plan of action
  • High level of self-motivation and drive
  • The ability to work as a team member delivering commitments on time
  • A proven track record of analytical and problem-solving skills.

Further information (Scientific Computing Department) (Scientific Machine Learning group)

For further information about this position please contact Jeyan Thiyagalingam (

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 and Interview Criteria

Both Band D and E will have the following essential and desirable criteria.


  • PhD in relevant scientific or computer science discipline or equivalent experience (S)
  • Experience in Python or other scientific programming language (e.g. C/C++, FORTRAN) (S&I)
  • Awareness of software engineering principles, with regard to robustness, portability and usability (I)
  •  Familiarity with one or more machine learning toolsets (e.g. SciKit Learn, TensorFlow, PyTorch, etc.) (S&I)
  • Evidence of collaboration during software development or scientific research (S&I)
  • Evidence of strong scientific communication skills (verbal, written, and presentation) (S&I)
  • Ability to work both as part of a team, and with a high degree of autonomy (I)
  • Able to travel in the UK and occasionally abroad. (I)


  • Experience of software development for data analysis for scientific problems (I)
  • Evidence of algorithm development for scientific research (S/I)
  • Experience with high performance computing. (S/I)

In addition to these, applicants for the Band E position must meet the following essential criteria:

  • A PhD or equivalent professional experience in a field with relevance to data science (S)
  • Deep understanding of managing, structuring, and analysing data, including building statistical models and using machine learning technologies (S&I)
  • Strong leadership skills with previous experience of/the ability to lead, motivate and develop others. (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.

Polaris House is located next to Swindon Train Station and has excellent public transport links. Limited parking subject to waiting list.

Employee Benefits
UK Research and Innovation recognises and values employees as individuals and aims to provide a pay and reward package that motivates staff to the best of their ability. The reward and benefit package includes a flexible working scheme, an excellent Defined Benefit 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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