Recruiting for UKRI and UK SBS

Experimental Science Group Laser Plasma Industrial Placement - STFC

Early Careers
210000V2 Requisition #

Science and Technology Facilities Council

The Vulcan laser is a part of the Central Laser Facility based at the STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. Researchers from the UK, EU and other countries world-wide come to use our facilities to carry out leading experiments in the physical sciences, materials research and life sciences. 

Vulcan is one of the most powerful lasers in the world and the ultra-high intensity laser interactions it can generate result in extreme conditions of matter! This allows scientists to carry out fundamental experiments exploring laboratory astrophysics, fusion mechanisms for energy and photo-induced nuclear reactions. During the interaction laser energy can also be converted to other forms of radiation and the mechanisms by which this is done are investigated with experiments on ion source development for medical application and x-ray source development for ultra-fast imaging. 

The extreme conditions produced require dedicated Interaction Areas where the experiments are setup and Vulcan is fired into. The Experimental Science Group works directly with scientists providing expertise during the planning and running of experiments in these Interaction Areas. 

Summary of Key Duties & Responsibilities  

This opportunity will work within our team alongside our visiting scientists. Time within the roles will be shared between development projects and supporting experimental operations. 

During the placement we will encourage participation and support to the variety of high power laser-plasma experiments that are performed on Vulcan. Requirements change with each experiment, and can vary from sourcing equipment to the design and running of plasma diagnostics and the analysis of data. 

Direct contribution to the development, testing and integration of new diagnostics and equipment will be part of this placement. This may involve designing and constructing hardware, and/or software development. We will encourage our placement student to contribute project ideas corresponding to individuals skills and interests. 

Knowledge, Skills and Experience 

Placement students should have a good grasp of basic physics concepts (e.g. optics, electromagnetism). An interest in this field, and demonstrate knowledge above the expected undergraduate level would be required. Lab experience beyond standard undergraduate labs is highly desirable. Are you self-motivated and have the ability to work autonomously as well as within a small team? 

Drive and a passion for science are definitely a positive attribute, and good communication skills are vital. Previous experience in a customer facing environment and the ability to manage self and others would also be beneficial. There is a requirement to be computer literate, having at least a working knowledge of MS Office applications. An interest and previous experience in programming is useful, but not 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  
  • First two years of degree course in physics, or a closely related subject  

Knowledge/Skills and Experience 


  • Good understanding of basic physics concepts (optics, electromagnetism, lasers)  
  • Experimental laboratory course  
  • Practical laboratory skills (this will be tested by a laboratory exercise)  


  • Computer programming experience (e.g. MATLAB, Python, C++,)  
  • Experience working in a research or laboratory environment  
  • Knowledge of laser/optical/plasma physics theory and modelling techniques/software  
  • Have customer facing experience  

Personal Skills, Qualities and Attributes 


  • Effective communication skills  
  • Demonstrate good team working capabilities  
  • Highly motivated and able to work independently  
  • Good problem-solving skills  
  • Responsible approach to health and safety 


  • Computer programming experience (e.g. MATLAB, Python, C++,)

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. 

My Profile

Sign in to manage your profile.

Go to Profile

My Submissions

Sign in to track your Submissions.

My Submissions

Similar Listings

Didcot, Oxfordshire, England

📁 Early Careers

Didcot, Oxfordshire, England

📁 Early Careers

Didcot, Oxfordshire, England

📁 Early Careers