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.
Each year we offer opportunities to undergraduate students to gain practical experience, working alongside technical experts at the forefront of scientific research. We offer an invaluable experience with exposure to world class science and technology, and the opportunity to develop working relationships that continue well after your placement has finished.
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 placement students with similar skills, so you should consider which role/s are most suitable to you, and apply for up to two of these.
The Lasers for Science Facility (LSF) at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory develops and provides access to advanced laser techniques for the scientific community. Working as a member of the Imaging team in the Research Complex at Harwell, this placement will be involved in developing aspects of the imaging facilities, known as OCTOPUS (Optics Combined To Out Put Unique Solutions). The OCTOPUS will combines super resolution, confocal and single molecule microscopy (multicolour and multiphoton), fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM), fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET), and image correlation spectroscopy (ICS) to investigate the conformation and interactions of molecules in cells. Optical tweezers will be integrated into the light sheet cluster to enable the manipulation of samples. The science programmes of Octopus include the use of FLIM for the investigation of complexes used for medical imaging (collaboration with Oxford, Bath, and Manchester Universities). We also use single molecule techniques to study the complex signalling pathways of cells (STFC, King’s College London, Oxford, and Cambridge), using FRET/FLIM combined with optical trapping to study the secretory pathways of plants(Oxford Brookes, Exeter University and STFC), and using confocal microscopy to study DNA damage and repair (STFC and Oxford).
You will work as part of a team, assisting researchers from universities and industry and will be expected to gain hands-on experience of laser systems and diagnostic equipment. Full training will be given in all aspects of general laboratory work and the operation of specialised equipment and lasers. The student should have a background in life and physical sciences. An interest in computing, optics or electronics would bean advantage but are not essential, as full training will be given as needed, and the exact project selected will be chosen to suit the experience of the student.
Summary of Key Responsibilities and Duties
The Lasers for Science Facility (LSF) at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory develops and provides access to world-leading advanced laser techniques for the scientific community. This placement is within the Octopus group of the LSF, to develop novel techniques such as time resolved anisotropy imaging, including hardware (electronics, optics, interfaces) and software for a major cluster of imaging facilities. The student will work as part of a team, assisting researchers from universities and industry and will be expected to gain hands-on experience of laser systems and diagnostic equipment. Full training will be given in all aspects of general laboratory work and the operation of specialised equipment and lasers.
During the year, the student will be expected to carry out projects to develop and extend the capabilities of OCTOPUS. In particular, the work will be directed towards the integration new microscopic techniques to a range of end station.This will be applied to novel biologyica questions such as how cells deploy proteins for DNA damage and repair. Projects will include:
- Combining the optical tweezers instrumentation with the light sheet microscope, allowing the manipulation of organelles within cells, as well as measuring interaction forces in chemical and biological systems. Working with the two confocal microscope systems (multiphoton and multicolour) to provide a common user interface, allowing the easy exchange of samples between microscopes. Developing a time resolved anisotropy imaging technique.
- Combining confocal and single molecule techniques to allow the collection of complementary information on intracellular location, molecular interactions and conformation.
- Working with a team developing sample stages to allow the movement of samples between microscopes with precision relocation of areas of interest.
- You will work as part of a team, assisting researchers from universities and industry and will be expected to gain hands-on experience of laser systems and diagnostic equipment. Full training will be given in all aspects of general laboratory work and the operation of specialised equipment and lasers.
- You should have a background in life and physical sciences. An interest in computing, optics or electronics would be an advantage but are not essential, as full training will be given.
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.
Criteria to be assessed at Shortlisting (S), Interview (I) or both (S&I)
- 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 (S)
- Right to live and work in the UK (S)
- 3 A’Levels preferably in science subjects (S)
- Able to work both independently and as part of a team (S&I)
- Good written and verbal communication skills (S&I)
- Able to see novel solutions to problems (I)
- Able to show initiative.(I)
- Experience of working in a biolab and with molecular biology instrumentation (S&I)
- Laboratory experience working with biochemical and/or chemical spectroscopy and /or instrumentation (S&I)
- Ability to perform literature search to assess related work related to activities within the group. (S&I)
Imaging cell viability and DNA damage repair - Industrial Placement - IRC250816
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