Recruiting for UKRI and UK SBS

Cryogenic Sample Environment Industrial Placement - STFC

Early Careers
210000U0 Requisition #

Science and Technology Facilities Council

The ISIS neutron and muon source at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire is part of the STFC national labs portfolio and is a world-leading centre for research in the physical and life sciences. ISIS produces beams of neutrons and muons that allow a national and international community of more than 2000 scientists to study materials at the atomic level using a suite of instruments for research in physics, chemistry, materials science, geology, engineering and biology. 

The sample environment group consists of teams who provide the conditions required for samples in order to enable the exciting experiments of ISIS’ users and scientists. The cryogenics team look after the provision of ultra-low temperature environments down to 50 mK using the latest cryogenic equipment, from relatively simple helium cryostats through to a suite of dilution refrigerators. 

The cryogenics team have an ongoing interest in improving the cooling power, reliability, and ultimate base temperature of their dilution refrigerators, particularly when combined with their high-field superconducting magnets. The combination of dilution refrigerator, magnet and some of the ISIS neutron instruments builds a globally unmatched set of resources, many applications for which are received at each user proposal round. 

Summary of Key Duties & Responsibilities: 

The successful applicant will 

  • Contribute to the day-to-day activities of the cryogenics team, gaining a high level of technical skill in a lively scientific environment 
  • Develop their theoretical physical understanding of, and practical ability with, ULT equipment 
  • Perform an investigation into appropriate designs and materials for the mounting of samples in the dilution refrigerator and high-field magnet combination, bearing in mind the very small cooling powers available for sub-1K operation and challenges from eddy-current heating 
  • Investigate solutions for the integration of rare-earth magnetic concentrators (e.g. dysprosium) to boost the magnetic field strength upwards from the superconducting magnet’s native 13T 
  • Use modelling, CAD of suitable structures, material selection and experimental evaluation as part of these investigations 
  • Explore alternative, creative, techniques for when temperatures below our current ability are required

In order to apply for this role you must have:  


  • 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  
  • Right to live and work in the UK  
  • Achieved average of at least 2:1 on currently completed portion of Physics degree course  
  • Familiar with experimental measurement techniques, e.g. low amplitude electrical measurements, mass spectrometry etc 
  • Familiar with a modern scientific programming language (e.g. Python/MatLab/Labview)  
  • Good communication skills  
  • Demonstrate team working capabilities  
  • Excellent time and task management skills  
  • The ability to learn new skills, both technical and non-technical  
  • Ability to work in a radiation controlled area  


  • Detailed knowledge in the areas of quantum mechanics, thermodynamics & cryogenic engineering  
  • Proven experience of the implementation of small measurement systems (E.g. Perhaps using Arduino/Rpi hobbyist electronics)  
  • Practical experience with research level measurement instruments (E.g. Lock-in amplifiers/frequency spectrum analysers/mass spectrometers)  
  • Experience with vacuum systems  
  • In-depth knowledge of a modern scientific programming language  
  • Experience with technical drawing/CAD and 3D printing 

About The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) 

The STFC is a world-leading multi-disciplinary science organisation where curiosity, blue-skies thinking meets practical, application-led science and engineering. Our goal is to deliver economic, societal, scientific and international benefits to the UK and its people – and more broadly to the world. 

As one of Europe’s largest research organisations, we’re trusted to support, enable and undertake ground-breaking projects in an outstanding diversity of fields. Through world-class facilities and people, we’re driving progressive advances in science, engineering, computing and technology. Our research seeks to understand the Universe from the largest astronomical scales to the tiniest constituents of matter, yet creates impact on a very tangible, human scale. 

For more information about STFC please visit 

You can also visit our careers site 

About UK Research Innovation (UKRI) 

UKRI is an organisation that brings together the seven disciplinary research councils, Research England and Innovate UK. Together, we build an independent organisation with a strong voice and vision ensuring the UK maintains its world-leading position in research and innovation. 

Supporting some of the world’s most exciting and challenging research projects, we develop and operate some of the most remarkable scientific facilities in the world. We are pushing the frontiers of human knowledge through fundamental research and delivering benefits for UK society and the economy through world-class research, skills and business-led innovation. 

More information can be found at  

How we support EDI in the workforce 

At UKRI, we believe that everyone has a right to be treated with dignity and respect, and to be provided with equal opportunities to thrive and succeed in an environment that enables them to do so. We also value diversity of thought and experience within inclusive groups, organisations and the wider community. For further information, please visit ‘How we support EDI in the workforce’

Disability Confident Employer

As users of the disability confident scheme, we guarantee to interview all disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria for the vacancy/ies. We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us to request accommodation. 

How to apply 

Online applications only preferred for this role. Please submit a CV and covering letter which clearly outlines how you fulfil the criteria specified along with your motivation for UKRI and the role. Ensure that the job reference number is included in the filename description of each document uploaded. Note that failure to address the above criteria or submit an application without a covering letter may result in the application not being considered. Assessment will only be based upon the content of your submitted covering letter and CV and not the ‘experience’ section of the application. 

UKRI seeks to ensure it creates and maintains a system of openness, fairness and inclusion – a collaborative, trusted environment, which is attractive to and accessible to everyone who is interested in developing their career with us. 

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