Organisation STFC
Organisation Detail Science and Technology Facilities Council
Reference Number IRC250717
Location Didcot See on Map
Salary £26932
Date Posted 02 September 2019
Grade UKRI-Band C
Contract Type Graduates
Hours Full Time
Closing Date 27 October 2019
Interview Date

Brief Description

Salary: £26,932
Grade: UKRI-C
Contract Type:  Graduate
Hours: Full Time
Closing Date: 27th October 2019
Interview Date: Interviews will be held at one of our assessment centres: 12th and 16th December, 21st and 28th January


STFC - RAL Space - Physics Graduate – Space Technology

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.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 -

Our graduates join us in a permanent position, starting a real job from day one. Graduates enjoy two years of formal soft skills together with technical training and development, as well as a direct route to professional accreditation. STFC graduates have the opportunity to build on their degree, taking their understanding, knowledge and skills to a new level in a dynamic, creative, collaborative culture.

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 graduates 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 graduate vacancies here.

RAL Space is an integral part of STFC’s Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL). RAL Space carries out world-class space research and technology development with involvement in over 210 space missions over its 50+ year history. Our 260 staff are dedicated to supporting the programmes of the STFC, UK Space Agency and other UK research councils, as well as undertaking a large number of space projects for other UK and overseas agencies, universities and industrial companies. We undertake world-leading space research and technology development, provide space test and ground-based facilities, design and build instruments, analyse and process data and operate ground-station facilities, as well as lead conceptual studies for future missions.

The Spectroscopy Group of RAL Space conducts research and development in novel spectroscopic instrumentation to address highly demanding chemical sensing challenges. The primary remit of our work relates to molecular sensing systems for space and atmospheric sciences; for example, our instruments can be used to measure small amounts of greenhouse gases at different levels in the Earth’s atmosphere. We are also increasingly expanding into applications in environmental monitoring and non-invasive medical diagnostics, and miniaturizing our instruments for future missions on small satellites. Find more information about our group activities here:

Summary of key duties & responsibilities

You will be integral to the research activity of the team, working on the development of state-of-the-art spectroscopic sensors. You should have experience working in an optics laboratory, building and testing small optical systems. You should also have experience using programming languages to run and obtain data from instruments, and for data processing. Tasks will include:

  • Optics laboratory activity – designing, building and testing small mid-infrared optical assemblies
  • Instrument assembly – control systems for temperature controllers, laser control, motion stages and other components
  • Data collection, processing and analysis
  • Presentation of experimental results
  • Reporting – regular reporting of progress to the technical manager, and to the wider team in group meetings. Contributing to written reports and scientific papers/posters.

You will work as part of a highly-motivated team working on a wide portfolio of research projects. There will be opportunity to work with members of other groups and departments in STFC, and as part of international research projects with collaborators across Europe, with the potential for travel in the UK and abroad.

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.

Assessed at shortlisting (S), interview (I) or both (S&I)


  • Obtained first degree bachelors or Masters, (not doctorate) in a relevant subject in either 2018, 2019 or be due to receive it in 2020 (S)
  • Expected or have achieved a 2:1 or above (S&I)
  • The right to live and work in the UK (S)
  • Applied Physics/Optics/Photonics degree (S)
  • Experimental modules and experimental final year project (S&I)
  • Optics laboratory experience (S&I)
  • Data processing (programming languages) (S&I)
  • Good command of written and spoken English (S&I)
  • Good communication skills (presentation, negotiation) (I)
  • Microsoft Office applications (S)
  • Able to work independently and as part of a team (I)
  • Responsible, professional approach to health and safety (I).


  • Experience using lasers, optics, and optomechanics (S&I)
  • Design of own experiments (I)
  • LabVIEW or other programming language for control of hardware, such as data acquisition card (S&I)
  • Knowledge of absorption spectroscopy, particularly infrared molecular spectroscopy (I)
  • Electrical engineering concepts, signal acquisition and processing (I)
  • Able to multitask and prioritise workload, set and achieve realistic targets (I)
  • Willing to travel occasionally, in the UK and abroad (I).
  • Current starting salary of £26,932, plus annual incremental increase, a £1,000 welcome bonus and a £2,000 salary increase after the first year
  • Subject to performance you will be promoted after two years with us, resulting in a further salary increase
  • STFC’s Graduate scheme is accredited by: the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, the Institution of Engineering and Technology and the Institute of Physics. STFC is also organisational member of the British Computer Society, The Chartered Institute for IT
  • You’ll get the chance to work on cutting-edge projects with international collaborators 
  • STFC offers a benefits package designed to provide an excellent work/life balance including 30 days’ annual leave, 10.5 public and privilege holidays, flexible working hours and an exceptional pension scheme
  • Every graduate is provided with a mentor to help support them through the graduate scheme and to become chartered.

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.

In order to apply for this role you must have:

  • Obtained your first degree bachelors or Masters, (not doctorate) in a relevant subject in either 2018 or be due to receive it in 2020
  • Expected or have achieved a 2:1 or above
  • The right to live and work in the UK

Please apply online only. Please submit a CV and cover letter outlining your suitability for this role.

Please ensure that your name and the IRC reference are included in the file name description of each document uploaded. Please also state where you saw this role advertised. No Agencies.

We recruit on a rolling basis therefore we recommend you to apply as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. Applications will be reviewed and considered on an ongoing basis until our assessment centres are filled.

Closing Date: 27th October 2019

To find out more about our graduate assessment process please visit:

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.

If you have not already logged into iRecruitment (including as a current employee) you will be re-directed to the login/register page by clicking the "apply now" button.

If you don't have an account with us, by choosing to register you consent to UK SBS processing the information you provide as part of the Recruitment Service. You can select appropriate job alerts and notifications as part of your account preferences, and you are able to close your account (withdraw consent) should you wish to do so. Before starting your online application and inputting your personal details, please read our Privacy Notice which contains full details of how your information is processed once you have made an application.

If you would like to receive this advert in an alternative format (e.g. large print, Braille, audio or hard copy), are unable to apply online or do not wish to create an account but would still like to apply for a specific role, please contact us by telephone on 01793 867000.