Recruiting for UKRI and UK SBS

Materials Characterisation Method Developer Industrial Placement – STFC

Early Careers
210000TN Requisition #

Science and Technology Facilities Council

The ISIS Neutron and Muon Source Materials Characterisation Laboratory highlights a wide range of instrumentation and analytical equipment used by the ISIS User community and staff, as well as other research staff at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire.  

This suite of instruments allows a wealth of physical property information to be acquired. The instruments include a Single Crystal X-ray Diffractometer, Powder and thin film X-ray Diffractometers, an X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometer, an Atomic Force Microscope, a Magnetic Property Measurement System, Physical Property Measurement System and a Kerr microscope.  

This position will offer the successful candidate an excellent opportunity to use and develop the skills they have acquired at university whilst learning many new ones on the way! 

The main focus of the work will be method development, so that the lab’s full capability of all instruments and associated sample environments can be exploited. You will also have the opportunity to get involved with a number of collaborative science projects with ISIS Users and Staff. 

Summary of Key Duties & Responsibilities:  

Within the laboratory support team you will develop some of the following new methods:  

  • Build and develop a Ferromagnetic Resonance experiment suitable for an experimental setup on one of the neutron beamlines. This will involve pursuing new research into methods not currently available at ISIS 
  • Commission and optimise a method for an X-ray diffraction (XRD) utilising a new cryostat and also a furnace capable of high pressure, in situ reactive gases and high temperature measurements 
  • Install, calibrate and develop the best methods for new instrument options on a Physical Property Measurement System capable to Thermal Transport Option, Electrical Transport Option and Dilution fridge experiments 
  • Commission and optimise a Laue X-ray instrument for aligning crystals in preparation for further offline and ISIS beamtime experiments 
  • Develop methodology for a new single crystal X-ray diffractometer to aid in pre-screening of ISIS beamtime samples 
  • There will also be opportunities to support the science programme/users of ISIS in the Materials Characterisation Laboratory passing on skills you have learned through the development work 

You will be encouraged to test these methods on a range of samples and produce documentation for use by future users of the instrumentation. You may also have the opportunity to attend neutron beamline experiments, aid website development, and learn new techniques in the other ISIS support laboratories.  

This placement will give you the chance to work directly with Support Labs management, and regularly collaborate closely with facility scientists and external users! 

Are you hardworking and highly motivated? We're also looking for someone who can work well in a team and independently. 

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 
  • Current 2:1 science degree results or above 
  • A-levels or equivalent in Science 
  • Laboratory Experience, analytical instrumentation knowledge 
  • Good Interpersonal skills 
  • The ability to learn new skills, both technical and non-technical 
  • Open minded and flexible in relation to the type of work assigned to them 
  • Strong presentation skills 
  • Attention to detail 
  • Strong interest in physical sciences 


  • Work Experience 
  • Understanding of lab safety 
  • Highly self-motivating 

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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