Recruiting for UKRI and UK SBS

Gemini Laser Experimental Physicist Industrial Placement - STFC

Early Careers
210000UP Requisition #

Science and Technology Facilities Council

Gemini is part of the Central Laser Facility, situated at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. Researchers from the UK, EU and around the world come to use our facilities to carry out a wide range of groundbreaking experiments in the physical sciences, materials research and life sciences.  

Gemini is an ultra-high intensity laser interaction facility that can generate substantial conditions of matter, comparable to the centre of a star. This incredible environment allows scientists to carry out fundamental experiments exploring relativistic plasmas, fusion mechanisms for energy production and laboratory astrophysics. Laser energy can also be converted to other forms of radiation through compact plasma acceleration schemes. These secondary sources can be used for advanced imaging applications in medicine, material science and industrial inspection. Gemini is one of the most powerful lasers in the world, and is under continuous development to maintain its world-class status! 

Summary of Key Duties & Responsibilities 

The successful student for this position will work within our team alongside our visiting scientists. Time within the roles will be shared between development projects and operating the laser or supporting experimental operations. 

This industrial placement will be encouraged to participate in and support the variety of high power laser-plasma experiments that are performed with Gemini. Requirements change with each experiment, and can vary from sourcing equipment to the design and running of plasma diagnostics, data analysis, or reconfiguring laser hardware. 

This opportunity will directly contribute to the development, testing and integration of new components or diagnostics to improve Gemini system performance. This may involve designing and constructing hardware, and/or software development. Contributing project ideas corresponding to your skills and interests is important! 

Knowledge, Skills and Experience 

Candidates must have a good grasp of basic physics concepts (e.g. optics, electromagnetism). The ideal applicant would have an interest in this field, and demonstrate knowledge above the expected undergraduate level. Lab experience beyond standard undergraduate labs is also highly desirable. They should be self-motivated and have the ability to work autonomously as well as within a small team. 

Do you have a drive and a passion for science? Previous experience in a customer facing environment and the ability to manage self and others would also be beneficial. The post holder must be computer literate, having at least a solid understanding of MS Office applications. An interest and previous experience in programming is useful, but not crucial.  

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, with grades corresponding to a 2:1 or higher.  
  • A-level Maths or equivalent 
  • A-level Physics or equivalent  


  • A-level Computing or further Math 

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 if social distancing rules permits) 


  • 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  

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. 

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