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Graduate Project Manager - Space Imaging Systems

Salary range: 
£25,000 to £30,000
Job/scheme locations: 
Type of opportunity: 
Graduate scheme
Application deadline: 

The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is one of Europe’s largest research organisations. We’re trusted to support, enable and undertake pioneering projects in an amazing diversity of fields. Through world-class facilities and people, we’re driving ground-breaking advances in science, technology and Engineering.  STFC is one of nine organisations that have been brought together to create UK Research and Innovation (UKRI); a new organisation with a vision to ensure the UK maintains its world-leading position in research and innovation.

Our graduates join us in a permanent position, starting a real job from day one. Graduates enjoy two years of formal soft skills together with technical training and development, as well as a direct route to professional accreditation. STFC graduates have the opportunity to build on their degree, taking their understanding, knowledge and skills to a new level in a dynamic, creative, collaborative culture.

STFC consists of several distinct departments which each focus on a different specialism within science, technology, innovation and support, yet work together to achieve STFC’s grand ambitions. Different departments may look for graduates with similar skills, so you should consider which role/s are most suitable to you, and apply for up to two of these. 

RAL Space provides world-leading space research and technology development, space test facilities, instrument and mission design, and studies of science and technology requirements for new missions. The Department has established a long standing heritage of excellence in Space flight going back over 50 years, with significant involvement in over 200 space missions. It has a unique position at the heart of the interaction between the UK government, space industry and academia.

The Imaging Systems Division (ISD) is one of the key engineering Divisions in RAL Space specialising in providing bespoke optics, sensors and electronics instrumentation. We are involved in a variety of projects from R&D focussed activities to full flight programmes covering a wide range of applications in space-borne and ground-based astronomical instrumentation, earth observation and planetary exploration.

The Programmes & Strategy Group sit within ISD to manage and support the Division’s portfolio of projects. The Group is also responsible for financial and resource monitoring of the Division and the delivery of key information to the Division Head and Group Leaders to enable strategic decision making in terms of future work and technology development. The Group is active in identifying potential opportunities for funding, whilst leading and supporting bid preparation for new work, as well as being committed to establishing and maintaining a delivery plan for future research and development.

Summary of Key Duties & Responsibilities

The primary role of this post is to carry out project management activities for the design, manufacture, test and delivery of electro-optics projects. The Graduate will work under the direct supervision of one of our Senior Project Managers, supporting them in managing a number of our many projects for spacecraft instruments. Duties include, but may not be limited to:

  • Scheduling of tasks and activities on a project
  • Identifying resource and schedule conflicts, and proposing solutions as appropriate
  • Monitoring the finances of projects
  • Writing reports for senior management and customers
  • Organising meetings and reviews as required
  • Liaising with all members of the project team
  • Writing of project proposals and bids for new work
  • Be vigilant in terms of health and safety
  • Help with outreach activities and tours of the Division.

Contacts and Communication

The Graduate will report to one of the Division’s Senior Project Managers on a day-to-day basis. In addition, the Graduate may be required to communicate to the following:

  • Report to senior project staff on progress as appropriate
  • Interaction with staff within the whole of the RAL Space department
  • Interaction with customers during visits
  • Interaction with suppliers as required
  • Interaction with UKSBS
  • Interaction with visitors to the Division / Department during outreach activities

Personal Skills and Attributes

We are looking for a Graduate with the following skills/attributes:

  • First degree in a scientific or engineering discipline, minimum 2:1
  • Excellent organisational skills, and the ability to multi-task
  • Excellent written and communication skills
  • Excellent attention to detail
  • Good PC literacy skills
  • Good presentation skills
  • Self-motivated
  • Able to work in a team
  • Diligent

Experience / knowledge of the following would be an advantage:

As the post is within the Imaging Systems Division, an understanding / interest in electronics / optics is useful, but not essential.

  • Scheduling software (e.g. MS Project)
  • Leading a team
  • Organisation of complex tasks

Organization Description

UK Research and Innovation is a new entity that brings together nine partners to create an independent organisation with a strong voice for research and innovation, and a vision to ensure the UK maintains its world-leading position in research and innovation.

The Science and Technology Facilities Council is a world-leading multi-disciplinary science organisation, and our goal is to deliver economic, societal, scientific and international benefits to the UK and its people – and more broadly to the world.


  • Obtained first degree bachelors or Masters, (not doctorate) in a relevant subject in either 2018, 2019 or be due to receive it in 2020 (S)
  • Expected or have achieved a 2:1 or above (S&I)
  • The right to live and work in the UK (S)
  • Organisational experience, such as leading a team (S&I)
  • Use of Microsoft Office (S&I)
  • Giving presentations at various levels (S&I)
  • Ability to multi-task (I)
  • Excellent written and communication skills (I)
  • Excellent attention to detail (I)
  • Self-motivated (I)
  • Able to work in a team (I)
  • Diligent (I)


  • Project Management qualification (e.g. APM Project Fundamentals Certificate or equivalent) (S)
  • Project Management experience (S&I)
  • Budget responsibility (S&I)
  • Use of scheduling software (e.g. MS Project) (S&I)
  • Interest in electronics or optics,especially for space applications (I)

Special Requirements

  • This role may require occasion travel within the UK and abroad

Graduate Project Manager for Imaging Systems - IRC251114

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More about this vacancy

Number of vacancies: 
Up to 5