Recruiting for UKRI and UK SBS

Deuteration Chemistry Industrial Placement - STFC

Early Careers
210000UO Requisition #

Science and Technology Facilities Council

The ISIS pulsed neutron and muon source at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire is a world-leading centre for research in the physical and life sciences. It is owned and operated by the Science and Technology Facilities Council.  

The Support Laboratories team are here to help with the equipment and general procedures in the preparation of samples for beamline experiments. They also offer assistance in supplementary analytical and characterisation techniques related to beamline experiments, as well as help with health and safety issues. 

Based within the ISIS Support Laboratories, the ISIS Deuteration Facility is a synthetic chemistry group that synthesise deuterated materials for the ISIS user community. The materials requested are wide ranging, so the synthetic skills of the team are varied. The laboratory has a wide range of synthetic and analytical equipment. 

Please look here for more information on the support laboratories and the deuteration facility: 

Summary of Key Duties & Responsibilities  

This is an organic synthetic project focused on developing and optimising chemical deuteration methods. It will be entirely lab based, working in the main deuteration laboratory. The lab has an established track record of providing certain classes of chemical compound (e.g. surfactants, fatty acids etc.) but the dynamic nature of the ISIS User Programme means that new requests for isotopic materials can be far wider ranging, and beyond any current established programmes of work within the group. 

This project will establish synthetic routes to compounds not routinely provided by the deuteration facility, specifically isotopically labelled adhesives. Your work will follow standard practices in the lab, developing and optimising synthetic procedures where appropriate, performing analysis of reaction outcomes and product purity by standard analytical techniques such as NMR and Mass Spectroscopy, and conforming to health and safety requirements through writing and assessing your own activities through COSHH assessment. 


  • The day to day running of your project, maintaining laboratory notebooks and associated COSHH and risk assessments 
  • This is a synthetic project and will involve general techniques for reactions, workups and purification 
  • Analysing the outcome of your reactions with standard analytical equipment (NMR, IR, GCMS, LCMS) 

Knowledge, Skills and Experience 

  • Experience of synthetic practicals as part of your university degree 
  • Knowledge of COSHH and risk assessments 
  • A working understanding of NMR and Mass Spectroscopy would be advantageous, but not crucial 
  • You should be enthusiastic and keen to learn new techniques. 
  • Willingness adapt to a changing work plan is essential

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  
  • Registered on a university course currently averaging a 2:1 or higher  
  • Organic synthetic laboratory experience  


  • Grade A/B at Chemistry A’level, and A’levels in Maths, physics or biology  

Knowledge, Skills and Experience 


  • Synthetic Chemistry practicals  
  • Common techniques for setting up and working up reaction  
  • Experience with standard purification techniques eg distillation, chromatography  
  • Familiar with COSHH and risk assessments  


  • Experience with analysing reaction outcome, eg NMR, LCMS, GCMS  
  • Knowledge of good laboratory practise gained from previous laboratory experience  
  • Experience with chemical databases, eg Scifinder, Reaxys, Web of Science  

Personal Skills, Qualities and Attributes 


  • Team player  
  • Good organisational skills  
  • Keen to learn new techniques  


  • Ability to prioritise work load 
  • Good attention to detail and a high degree of accuracy  
  • Show initiative  
  • Ability to adapt to a changing working environment  

Special Requirements 


  • Willingness to work in a classified radiation area  
  • Laboratory experience outside of degree classes 

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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