Organisation STFC
Organisation Detail Science and Technology Facilities Council
Reference Number IRC253385
Location Didcot See on Map
Salary £30782 - £33459
Date Posted 20 March 2020
Grade UKRI-Band D
Contract Type Fixed Term Appointment
Hours Full Time
Closing Date 22 April 2020
Interview Date

Brief Description

Salary: £30,782 - £33,459
Grade: UKRI-D
Contract Type: Fixed Term - 3 years
Hours: Full Time
Closing Date: 22nd April 2020

As part of UK Research and Innovation, The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is one of Europe’s largest science 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 and technology.  STFC’s RAL Space department carries out an exciting range of world-class space research and technology development. We’ve had significant involvement in over 210 space missions and operate at the forefront of UK Space Research.

We are seeking an Instrument Development and Research Scientist with a specialisation in instrument control and data handling systems (software) and data analyses and interpretation.  The job holder will be involved in the development of various scientific instruments, primarily astronomy, space weather, and remote-sensing systems, which will require a cross-disciplinary approach to solve complex problems.  The role will include design and development work from concept through prototype and on to "common user" instrumentation for the scientific community as well as software/pipeline developments.  The job holder will be required to interface between users (scientists) and engineering teams in identifying and planning instrumentation solutions, and to carry out research elements as appropriate.

The job holder will also be expected to assist in the LOFAR For Space Weather (LOFAR4SW) prototype commissioning at Chilbolton, undertake several test observations and data transfer tasks as part of the LOFAR4SW project, compile, interpret, and present these results, and also input into the development of the Interplanetary Scintillation (IPS) software data-analyses pipeline and system design document preparations for the Critical Design Review (CDR).

 Key tasks of the jobholder, based on the above, will therefore include:

  • Presentation of results/solutions orally to a variety of audiences (includes, but not limited to conferences, seminars, public/media events, funding meetings)
  • Presentation of results/solutions in written form (such as in journals, reports, internal memos, in proposals for follow-on/additional work)
  • Ability to also present the research methodology and to walk others through the various design/testing steps in addition to the results as noted in the above points
  • Analyses and compilation of data of different forms with the ability to formulate, summarise, and present the main findings to a variety of audiences and in both oral and written formats as indicated in the above points
  • Ability to objectively design tests/experiments to solve research/design problems (such as instrumentation research observing modes, specifications of instrument based on requirements, etc)
  • Ability to implement and/or design models to verify testing/research work
  • Provision of advice and planning on technical and scientific aspects of both the research and instrument design work
  • Although the post will be based at RAL Space at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (near Didcot), travel to Chilbolton and other UKRI/STFC sites will be required as well as a willingness to undertake national/international travel on UKRI/STFC/RAL Space business.

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.

The criteria will be assessed via shortlisting (S), at Interview (I) or both (S&I):

Essential Criteria:

  • Bachelor’s Degree (or higher) or equivalent in a numerate science or engineering discipline (S)
  • PhD or equivalent in a numerate science or engineering discipline (S)
  • Evidence of instrument design/development work (including data handling) (S&I)
  • Numerical programming skills (particularly with knowledge of Python or willingness to develop own skills in Python) (S&I)
  • Knowledge and/or experience in basic software pipelining (S&I)
  • Ability to develop own proof of concept experiments from concept (S&I)
  • Knowledge and understanding of the radio technique of interplanetary scintillation (IPS) and its data analyses and interpretation (S&I)
  • Ability to both work independently and develop a task once given as well as being a team worker and able to take direction from within a group (S&I)
  • Verbal and written communications skills with the ability to engage a wide variety or people, groups, and audiences (S&I).

Desirable Criteria:

  • Prototype developments – lab demonstrators, proof of concept, etc (S&I)
  • A broad appreciation of the science of space weather and of the technological impacts of space weather (S&I)
  • Knowledge and understanding of the LOw Frequency ARray (LOFAR) and its potential wide usage for space-weather monitoring and science (S&I)
  • Understanding of engineering design/development process. (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 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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