Graduate scheme

South East

What if you could work with remarkable people on extraordinary things? What if the end result was something a little bit special? What if your role was mission critical?

For nearly 70 years, AWE has been at the forefront of nuclear weapons research and development. We have a critical mission: to provide the warheads for the UK’s ultimate deterrent – Trident. We also use our unique skills to provide wider UK government with counter-terrorism and nuclear threat reduction solutions.

It takes a special sort of person to work at AWE. What if that person was you?

Evolve graduates – Science career pathway

Do you want to be part of something unique and amazing, work with remarkable people and do extraordinary things?  What if your work was critical to the country’s security and a little bit special? How would you like the opportunity to apply your technical expertise in a role which also gives you every other Friday off work?

That is the reality of AWE!

Graduate Trainee – Science (Aldermaston nr. Reading)

We’re looking for amazing graduates to join us…Is that person you?

At AWE we’re on a journey as we move back in MOD ownership as a non-departmental government body (NDGB).  We’re not perfect however we are changing and growing.  Our brand new two year Evolve programme includes an exciting opportunity to join our science career pathway.  We are looking to attract, develop and retain the best science talent and to support the future critical skills we need now and in the future.  You will also be an aspiring leader looking to shape the future of science at AWE.

Entry requirements

You will be recently qualified in Physics (any), Seismology, Mathematics/Statistics, Chemistry, Radiochemistry, Metallurgy, Materials Science, Materials Engineering, Environmental Sciences or Forensics & Analytical Sciences.  You should be working towards and be able to show you have achieved at least a 2:2 minimum in your degree upon graduation. 

What to expect on the programme?

Working at the forefront of nuclear weapons research and development, our scientists play a vital role in the UK deterrent.  The Evolve programme will allow you to apply and grow your current discipline knowledge in this unique environment and learn more about what you enjoy and where you want to take your career. 

We are a centre of scientific, engineering and technological excellence, with some of the most advanced research, design and production facilities in the world.  You will be working with experts and thought leaders who are at the forefront of their fields.

During the programme there will be opportunities to be exposed to (amongst other things):

  • Analysing, assessing, testing, underwriting, certifying and maintaining the nuclear warhead
  • Materials physics
  • High strain-rate material deformation
  • High explosive detonation
  • Hydrodynamics
  • Radiation physics
  • Plasma physics
  • High energy density physics
  • Laser physics
  • Technology development
  • Theoretical physics
  • Computational modelling
  • Supercomputing
  • Complex systems and operational analysis
  • Geophysics and nuclear physics
  • Quantum chemistry
  • Analytical chemistry
  • Radiochemistry/radiometrology
  • Explosives science
  • Nuclear, atomic and plasma physics
  • Exciting opportunities for you to work on the world-leading Orion laser
  • Access to Damson, our latest supercomputer and one of the most advanced in the world

The structured programme comprises of a series of placements to help accelerate your learning and advance the development of your critical skill sets.  You’ll get leadership, business and behavioural training and work on meaningful projects.  You will also get the opportunity to start working towards professional registration/chartership.

What behaviours you’ll have

You will possess the following traits and qualities:

  • Growth Mindset; You’re full of grit and determination. Clear where you are going and how you will get there.
  • Curious; you’re a person who loves to think outside the box. (You’re a person who loves to take the box apart!).
  • Innovative; you’re open to learning about new technologies and ground-breaking ideas.
  • Resilience; you’re an advocate of ‘speaking up’ for yourself and others openly and constructively.
  • Team Worker; you’re dependable and reliable.  You’re interested in collaborating with and supporting others.

What you’ll bring

You will bring the curiosity needed to help you steer and direct the course of your career and the part you’ll play in the UK deterrent.  You will live your best self and make every-day count.

What you’ll get

We will give you a competitive total reward package including salary element and fabulous benefits including a market leading contributory pension scheme.

You will also get:

  • Generous holiday entitlement
  • Excellent work/life balance
  • 9-day working fortnight (this means you will not work every other Friday!)
  • A salary sacrifice benefits
  • A welcome payment
  • An option of an interest free loan of £1,000 as well as regular Graduate pay reviews and a structured and supported career progression

Alongside these benefits you will get the opportunity to learn from some of the top leaders in their field.

Candidates must be willing and able to obtain and maintain the necessary security clearance for the role and be willing and able to work in designated areas – if applicable.

AWE is an equal opportunities employer. We value diversity and welcome applications from candidates from all backgrounds.

You must be able to Join AWE in September 2022. We recruit on a rolling basis which means as soon as our positions have been filled, we will close.

Please note that you must be a British National to apply for a role at AWE.

AWE plays a crucial role in the defence of the United Kingdom, by providing and maintaining the warheads for the country’s nuclear deterrent. We are a centre of scientific, engineering and technological excellence, with some of the most advanced research, design and production facilities in the world. Our unique expertise also assists the UK Government in developing and delivering a range of innovative and integrated support services, including national nuclear security and counter-terrorism solutions.

AWE is an equal opportunities employer. We value diversity and welcome applications from candidates from all backgrounds. We particularly welcome applications from sections of the community which are currently under-represented at AWE, including women, BAME and people with disabilities.

More Details

Apply by



Aldermaston (Reading)


South East

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