Recruiting for UKRI and UK SBS

Ultrafast Laser Scientist Industrial Placement - STFC

Early Careers
210000VV Requisition #

Science and Technology Facilities Council

The Central Laser Facility (CLF) at the STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) is one of the world’s leading laser facilities, providing scientists, from the UK and Europe and industry with an unparalleled range of state-of-the-art laser technology! 

The CLF’s wide ranging applications include experiments in physics, chemistry and biology, accelerating subatomic particles to high energies, probing chemical reactions on the shortest timescales and studying biochemical and biophysical process critical to life itself. 

From sophisticated, compact, tuneable lasers which can pinpoint individual particles to high power laser installations that recreate the conditions inside stars, a diligent development programme ensures that our facilities maintain their competitiveness on a world stage. 

The ULTRA laser facility provides state of the art, high average power, lasers and instruments for performing pump – probe molecular spectroscopy measurements! These are used to study the composition along with the static and dynamic properties of matter during a timescale which spans almost 12 orders of magnitude, from femtoseconds to milliseconds, in research which addresses questions which range from the function of biological molecules such as proteins and DNA, to renewable energy and energy saving through better catalysts and photovoltaic devices.  

For more details please visit: 

Summary of Key Duties & Responsibilities  

Do you have an interest in scientific instrumentation and development? We seek an industrial placement student to work with a team of CLF scientists and engineers to support and further develop the facility. The student will be given the opportunity to experience work at the forefront of science and develop the facility in areas that include preparation of the laser laboratory infrastructure, development of experimental diagnostics and instrumentation and learning about chemical and laser safety. 

Projects can include: 

  • Instrument development 
    • Design, build and characterise new optical and mechanical apparatuses 
    • Design diagnostic equipment for our high average laser (class 4) systems 
    • Develop software for system control and data acquisition 
  • User support 
    • Preparing scientific experiments and getting acquainted with state-of-the-art scientific techniques in molecular spectroscopy 
    • Preparing chemical/biochemical samples for visiting scientists 
    • Working with existing tools and developing novel methods for data analysis using various software packages  

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  
  • Enrolled at degree level in physical or engineering sciences, with grades corresponding to a 2:1 or higher 
  • Interest in scientific instrumentation and development  
  • Highly motivated  
  • Good computing skills beyond the use of email and office packages  
  • Able to work in a team  
  • Good communicator  
  • Able to show initiative  
  • Responsible approach to health and safety  
  • Have the ability to work in a laser laboratory environment  


  • Knowledge in interfacing instrumentation (e.g. oscilloscopes, mechanical devices) to computers  
  • Programming skills (particularly in Labview, Python, Matlab, CAD) 


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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