Organisation STFC
Organisation Detail Science and Technology Facilities Council
Reference Number IRC244203
Location Didcot See on Map
Salary £38915 - £43072
Date Posted 09 February 2018
Grade RC-E
Contract Type Fixed Term Appointment
Hours Full Time
Closing Date 14 March 2018
Interview Date

Salary: £38,915 to £43,072 (inclusive of annual allowance)
Grade: RC-E
Contract Type: 2 Years Fixed Term
Hours: Full Time
Closing Date: 14 March 2018

About the role

We are seeking a computational scientist or software developer for a 2 year position working on a software suite used at a world renowned experimental facility. Rutherford Appleton Laboratory is host to the ISIS neutron facility, one of the biggest neutron spallation sources, where scientists and users from all around the world perform experiments to explore the properties of matter in all its forms, from magnetic materials to biological tissues.

The Scientific Computing Department (SCD) provides key support to this work by developing dedicated software for processing experimental data as well as performing simulations and creating models that help interpret it properly. Among the many experiments that are performed at ISIS, Inelastic Neutron Scattering experiments are used to understand the vibrational properties of solid matter and their results can be better interpreted when cross-referenced with predictions made from first principles by simulations of the phonons for a given crystal. Your main task will be to work on expanding and optimising Abins, a module belonging to the Mantid software suite developed at ISIS, with exactly this purpose.

You will be employed by STFC, working within the SCD and in close contact with a community of other computational scientists and software engineers with varied interests, while also collaborating with the ISIS Molecular Spectroscopy Group. You will develop the software from its current state up to a state-of-the-art level of quality, both in terms of performance and capabilities. The software is written mainly in Python and relies heavily on the numerical computing libraries Numpy and Scipy; however, while not currently used, FORTRAN or C++ external bindings may be used if proved to be performance critical. The Mantid software suite is a large project and it enforces good engineering and stylistic practices. You will be willing to learn and adapt to the needs of the project, come up with independent and creative solutions drawing from programming and scientific knowledge, manage your time efficiently and work in concert with both the SCD and the user community.

This roles offers an exciting opportunity to work in a high level research environment, with a chance to learn from and work together with scientists, researchers and software developers from a variety of backgrounds. While the core project focuses on software development, personal scientific pursuit for those interested in building up an academic CV is encouraged and supported within our group and STFC in general.

For further information, please contact Domink Jochym -

Shortlisting Criteria


  • good Python programming skills
  • basic experience with the Python numerical library (Numpy) or Matlab
  • master’s Degree or PhD in physics, chemistry or engineering, with a background in the theory of structure of matter and spectroscopic techniques.


  • experience working in large software projects, using Git or other version control tools and adhering to standard Python stylistic rules (PEP 8, doc strings etc.
  • experience with C or C++
  • experience and publication history in the field of the theory of X-Ray or neutron scattering spectroscopy and/or phonons
  • experience in quantum chemistry simulations (Density Functional Theory).

Interview Criteria


  • good problem solving abilities
  • strong communication skills, with a focus on the ability to bridge the gap between jargon and key concepts of different scientific communities
  • good fluency in English.


  • good presentation skills
  • motivation and self-confidence.

In addition to the competitive salary, an excellent index linked pension scheme and generous leave allowance are offered. Full details of offered benefits can be found on STFC’s careers pages

To enable us to hire the very best people we will conduct a full and comprehensive background and pre-employment check as an essential part of the recruitment process.

From April 2018, UK Research and Innovation will bring together the seven Research Councils, Innovate UK and a new organisation, Research England. The vision for the new organisation is to be the best research and innovation organisation in the world. From 1 April 2018 your employer will be UK Research and Innovation. More information can be found online

Online applications only, please submit a covering letter and CV, ensuring that the IRC reference is included in the file name description of each document uploaded. No Agencies.

The closing date for applications is 14 March 2018. The interview/assessment date for this vacancy is to be confirmed and will be held at the STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Building R89.

We want to make our application process as easy for you as we possibly can. If you experience any problems in applying for this job, or have any feedback for us about the application process, please contact our Recruitment Hotline on 01793 867000 (8.30am – 5.00pm Monday to Friday). Please quote the appropriate IRC reference number when calling.