Graduate working at STFC

Applied Scientist/Engineer (Physics/Engineering) - Year-Long Placement


STFC provides the world class scientific and engineering expertise required for the UK to contribute to major national and international scientific facilities & programmes. As part of STFC Cryogenics & Magnetics (Rutherford Appleton Lab) you will develop critical theoretical and technological understanding for:

  • the next generation of European Space Agency (ESA) flight missions;
  • and/or to future Particle Physics Facilities (such as CERN). 

This work has potentially wider implications for current terrestrial applications both scientific and commercial in nature.

STFC offers you an opportunity to gain paid practical experience as part of your degree, learning on the job and working on real projects alongside expert scientists and engineers. 

List of Duties / Responsibilities

Planning, running, documenting and analysis for the project; including but not limited to:

  • Preparing, designing and running experiments that will validate and/or improve our design modelling.
  • Integrating/implanting any new finding from literature work.
  • Methodical and meticulously documenting your findings. 
  • No project runs in isolation: there will be a need to aid other projects and programmes as well as take on some operational responsibility within the laboratory. 

Personal Skills and Attributes

  • We are looking for a sandwich student with a passion for unique research, who can deliver:
  • Robust and accurate laboratory experiments
  • Strong theoretical predictions by applying their academic knowledge 

You should be able to show ability to develop new skills, apply new knowledge, and be confident to work independently (when needed). This is essential due to the multi-disciplinary nature of this work.

We request that the candidates demonstrates that they are:

  • reliable,
  • contentious/meticulous
  • able to integrate and work with others,
  • able to apply new knowledge.

Due to the demand for cryogenic expertise, STFC Cryogenics & Magnetics currently hosts a range of projects across several programmes. This means that the all of our group are exposed to projects, scientists and engineers that are not only working on ESA missions and particle accelerators but also: health care, transport, and ground based astronomy (to name a few). All projects are bespoke in nature meaning that all team members become familiar with manufacturing and design, in order to compliment the project management and experimental work.



  • Studying either Physics or Engineering
  • First year results demonstrate high grades in lab/project work
  • First year results are strong in general theory/maths.


  • Previous qualifications are strong in Science and Maths subjects

Knowledge/Skills and Experience


  • Laboratory experience (experimental set up, data acquisition, and data analysis/reporting)
  • Good understanding of background maths
  • Office computer skills


  • Basic computer coding knowledge (such as matlab or labview)

Personal skills & Qualities


  • Interest applied research/design
  • Show ability to apply new information and work with others
  • Able to communicate clear complex thoughts in both spoken and write forms
  • Demonstrate good team working capabilities
  • The willingness to learn new skills, both technical and non-technical
  • Open minded and flexible in relation to the type of work assigned to them

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