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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 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 Accelerator Science and Technology Centre (ASTeC), based at Daresbury Laboratory in Cheshire, is a centre of excellence for research and development on advanced particle accelerators. We work with the top particle accelerator laboratories around the world to deliver innovative and cutting-edge research facilities, pushing the science and technology frontier forwards.

Particle accelerators require high-strength magnets to steer and focus the beam, as well as to provide critical information about the beam properties. Free electron lasers (FELs) – the next generation of accelerator-based light sources – rely on arrays of alternating polarity magnets known as ‘undulators’ to generate light. The field produced in these undulators must be of the highest quality to enable the production of short-pulse, high-brightness, spatially-coherent FEL light. The Magnetics and Radiation Sources group within ASTeC is responsible for developing, building and testing advanced magnet systems for accelerators. These use a range of different technologies: electromagnets, permanent magnets, superconducting and pulsed magnets.

You will have the opportunity to contribute to several of the MaRS group’s world-leading research projects, including:

  • Development of tunable permanent magnet solutions for accelerators, and construction and testing of prototype PM-based magnets
  • Design of magnets for the CLARA and FEBE beamlines at Daresbury Laboratory
  • Design of PM-based solenoid magnets for radiotherapy linac machines and RF klystrons
  • Research and development into cutting edge X-ray free electron laser schemes, including working towards a UK-based XFEL accelerator

The exact details of the final project will be decided taking into consideration the abilities and interest of the student and the status of projects within the group.The work may involve basic conceptual design studies, detailed design, computer simulations, and experimental work on the accelerators at Daresbury. The candidate will be expected to work closely with other MaRS group members plus other scientific and engineering groups as part of a wider team.


  • 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)
  • Studying for an undergraduate degree in Physics or a closely related subject (S)
  • Demonstrate achievements consistent with a 2:1 degree classification (S)
  • The willingness to learn new skills, both technical and non-technical (S&I)
  • Good general computing skills (S&I)
  • Good verbal and written communication skills. (S&I)


  • Degree contains a component relating to electromagnetic simulation (S)
  • Experience in using computers for data analysis and/or simulations of physical systems.  (S&I)
  • Programming experience in any of: Matlab, Mathematica, LabVIEW, Python, or other codes. (S&I)
  • Previous project work in scientific research either in University or elsewhere. (S&I)
  • Broad interest in science (S&I)
  • Open minded and flexible in relation to the type of work assigned to them (S&I)
  • Good team working skills (S&I)

Special requirements:

This role may require occasional out of hours working and travel within the UK and oversees.


Physicist Industrial Placement - IRC251069

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More about this vacancy

Number of vacancies: 
Up to 5