Organisation STFC
Organisation Detail Science and Technology Facilities Council
Reference Number IRC248014
Location Didcot See on Map
Salary £19136
Date Posted 10 January 2019
Contract Type Student - Sandwich Course
Hours Full Time
Closing Date 03 March 2019
Interview Date 02 April 2019

Brief Description

Salary: £19,136
Contract Type: Fixed Term (12 Months)
Hours: Full Time
Closing Date: 3rd March 2019
Interview Date: 2nd April 2019

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. To find out more about STFC please see one of our videos:

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.

The Target Fabrication Group at the Central Laser is responsible for providing complex objects for use in high-power laser experiments. These objects, known as targets, are at the focal point of high-intensity laser interactions and are often made into complex geometries from novel materials. Target requirements are dependent on experimental requirements and vary broadly from one experimental campaign to the next, covering a range of topics including plasma physics and particle acceleration, laboratory astrophysics, and industrial applications opportunities.

In order to create extreme environments, the laser is focused to an interaction point comparable to the width of a human hair and the targets that are required have features of the same magnitude.  On this scale manufacture and quality control is extremely challenging. Target Fabrication requires a wide capability of physical and chemical processes, together with advanced characterisation techniques to deliver targets that meet the experiment’s requirements.

A placement studentship is available at Target Fabrication that will be tasked with supporting the material science requirements of the group. The project will be a mixture of supporting the day to day production requirements for the high-power laser experiments, and a personal project researching the production of nanowire targets for use in laser target assemblies.

Summary of Key Duties & Responsibilities:

  • production of low density materials supporting the needs of laser experiments scheduled on the Vulcan and Gemini lasers
  • carry out laboratory based practical worker searching and developing the repeatable manufacture of nanowire targets in a range of materials
  • working closely with research groups to transfer technology and processes
  • characterisation of samples using various techniques such as SEM, Optical Microscopy and AFM
  • work closely with project supervisors to deliver against set milestones and report back in regular group meetings.

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 & Interview criteria (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 Chemistry and/or Physics. Currently on Physics or Chemistry Degree course (S)
  • some knowledge of chemical processes such as critical point drying (CPD) and familiarity with a chemistry laboratory (S&I)
  • demonstrates the ability to understand the underlying principles of target fabrication and high-power laser experiments (I).


  • experience in spin coating, dip coating, wet etching and CPD (I)
  • experience with a range of optical, contact and non-contact metrology systems (S&I)
  • understanding of the plasma physics underpinning the target design (I)
  • awareness of quality control issues (I)
  • experience of working in a cleanroom environment (I)
  • demonstrates and awareness of health and safety issues (S&I)
  • excellent manual dexterity and co-ordination (I)
  • demonstrates the potential to solve challenging problems (I)
  • attention to detail (S&I)
  • good oral and written communication skills(S&I)
  • ability to listen to instruction and develop processes accordingly (I).

Special Requirements

This role will require the successful candidate to wear cleanroom and personal protective equipment including respirators, gloves, and facemasks. It will also require working with microscopic objects, microscopes,solvents and adhesives.

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.

Applications are handled by UK Shared Business Services. To apply please download the application form and save it to your pc. You must upload the completed form and a copy of your CV. Please save all your documents with the IRC reference number in the filename and your name.

STFC Sandwich Student Application Form

You must be on a sandwich degree and be taking the industrial placement as a recognised sandwich year to be eligible. You must also have the right to work in the UK. Please ensure that you include a reference from your University as part of your application form.

You can apply for up to three Sandwich student placements; this will require you to complete ONE application form however please ensure that you upload the application form to all three placements and save the relevant reference number (e.g. IRC205817) in the filename of each application that you upload.

Closing date: 3rd March 2019

Interview/assessment date: 2nd April 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:

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.

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