Graduate working at STFC

Artemis Sandwich Student (Physics / Chemistry /Natural Sciences) - Year-Long Placement


STFC offers you an opportunity to gain paid practical experience as part of your degree.  Each year STFC recruit up to 45 sandwich students who are able to use and develop the skills they’ve acquired at university in a working environment, providing learning on the job and working on real projects alongside expert scientists and engineers. Learning new skills to help in their further studies. 
The Central Laser Facility (CLF) at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory is a world-class research group with over 100 technical and scientific staff, providing advanced research facilities for UK and international scientists. 

Artemis is the CLF’s facility for ultrafast laser and extreme ultraviolet (XUV) science, and carries out a variety of experiments from gas-phase chemistry to materials science. The facility is based on high repetition rate, tuneable laser sources and ultra-short pulses of XUV radiation, connected by vacuum beam-lines taking the pulses to interaction chambers. Experiments on Artemis aim to use XUV pulses to track how electrons move in dissociating molecules, or during phase changes in advanced materials such as graphene.

List of Duties/Responsibilities

A placement position working within the Artemis Group alongside staff and visiting scientists is being offered, with an emphasis on ultrafast science with XUV pulses. You will be helping to set up experiments with university groups, solving problems as they occur. This will involve working with optics and ultra-high vacuum systems. You will be trained in instrument control programming and data analysis. You will also work projects to develop the facility, both on your own and as part of the team.

Contacts and Communication

You will be working with scientists, engineers and students from the Central Laser Facility and with visiting scientists from UK and European university research groups.

Welcome to STFC

The Science and Technology Facilities Council is one of Europe's largest multidisciplinary research organisations supporting scientists and engineers world-wide.

Personal Skills and Attributes

  • Highly motivated. Able to work independently as well as within a team. Effective written and verbal communication skills. Good problem-solving skills.

You should be following a Physics or Chemistry degree course. Relevant modules include:

  • Experimental laboratory skills
  • Quantum mechanics/atomic physics
  • Optics/lasers
  • Condensed matter physics
  • Programming/data analysis

Shortlisting Criteria


  • first two years of degree course in physics, chemistry or a closely related subject, with grades corresponding to a 2:1 or higher.
  • A-level Maths or equivalent
  • A-level Physics or equivalent
  • GCSE English or equivalent


  • A-level Chemistry or further Maths

Knowledge/Skills and Experience


  • experimental physics or chemistry laboratory course
  • experience of standard computer packages (e.g. Office)


  • computer programming skills
  • experience working in a research or laboratory environment

Personal Skills/Qualities


  • highly motivated
  • able to work independently
  • able to work as part of a team
  • effective written and verbal communication skills
  • good problem-solving skills
  • responsible approach to health and safety

Special Requirements


  • you must be physically capable of working in a high-power laser laboratory (good vision in both eyes while wearing prescription glasses; able to stand for extended periods)

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