TARGETjobs black logo
City scape

Materials Characterisation Method Developer - Industrial Placement

Salary notes: 
Job/scheme locations: 
Type of opportunity: 
Application deadline: 

STFC - ISIS - Materials Characterisation Method Developer - Industrial Placement

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); anew organisation with a vision to ensure the UK maintains its world-leading position in research and innovation.

Each year we offer opportunities to undergraduate sandwich 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 ISIS Neutron and Muon Source Materials Characterisation Laboratory (MCL) boasts a wide range of instrumentation and analytical equipment used by the ISIS staff and a user community of visiting scientist. The instruments include X-ray Diffractometers (Single Crystal, Powder and thin film), an X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometer (XRF), an Atomic Force Microscope, a Kerr microscope and more. This suite of instruments allows a wealth of physical property information to be obtained.

Summary of Key Duties & Responsibilities

The main focus of the placement will be method development, to allow the lab’s full capability to be exploited. There will also be the opportunity to get involved with a number of collaborative science projects with ISIS facility staff and external users.

Within the laboratory support team you will develop the following new methods:

  • Commission and optimise a Laue X-ray instrument for aligning crystals in preparation for further offline and ISIS beam time experiments
  • Develop methodology for a new single crystal X-ray diffractometer to aid in pre-screening of ISIS beam time samples
  • Commission and optimise a method for an X-ray diffraction (XRD) utilising a new furnace capable of high pressure, in situ reactive gases and high temperature measurements
  • Build and develop a Ferromagnetic Resonance experiment suitable for an experimental setup on one of the neutron beam lines.  This will involve pursuing new research into methods not currently available at ISIS
  • Develop further the ferromagnetic resonance experiment currently employed for low temperature studies of thin films
  • Develop methodology for a bench top X-ray diffraction instrument (XRD) suitable for pre-screening samples and complimentary measurements to beamline instruments, with exploring its full capabilities of different options and temperature stages.

You will be expected to test these methods on a range of samples and produce documentation for use by future users of the instrumentation. You may also have the opportunities to attend neutron beamline experiments, aid website development, and learn new techniques in the other ISIS support laboratories.

You will be working directly with Support Labs management, and regularly liaising with facility scientists and external users.

You must be enthusiastic and highly motivated. You should be able to work well as part of a team as well as working independently. A strong interest in physical sciences and working in a laboratory environment is essential.

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.


  • 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)
  • Currently working at a level equivalent to, and on target to achieve a 2:1 or above (S&I)
  • Enrolled on a Science degree course (S)
  • Good written and verbal communication skills (S&I)
  • Strong oral and written presentation skills (S&I).


  • Knowledge and understanding of analytical instrumentation (S&I)
  • Relevant laboratory experience (S&I)
  • Knowledge and understanding of lab safety (S&I)
  • Attention to detail, strong interest in physical sciences (S&I).

Materials Characterisation Method Developer - Industrial Placement - IRC250920

Remember to mention TARGETjobs when contacting employers!

More about this vacancy

Number of vacancies: 
Up to 5