Graduate Opportunity

Graduate Accelerator Physicist


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STFC’s Accelerator Science and Technology Centre (ASTeC) undertakes particle accelerator research for current and future ‘Big Science’ facilities, free-electron Lasers (FELs), and accelerators for medical and industrial applications. We work on numerous high-profile projects with national and international partners, such has CERN (Switzerland), DESY (Germany), IJCLab (France) and PSI (Switzerland). ASTeC is a key partner within the Cockcroft Institute (CI), a collaboration with Lancaster, Liverpool, Manchester, and Strathclyde Universities.

We work very closely together on a broad range of accelerator research topics and have a number of joint PhD studentships with CI university partners. The accelerator physics group within ASTeC has expertise in designing, commissioning and operating particle accelerators. We have designed the presently-operating CLARA and VELA test facilities, intended to test plasma acceleration and free-electron laser concepts relevant for the future UK-XFEL, and already used for novel experiments for electron-based cancer radiotherapy. The group is also developing next-generation ultra-fast electron diffraction and modular radiotherapy designs. 

What soft skills will you learn?

From teamwork to communication, and from technical learning to becoming a STEM ambassador – Ben Bealing from STFC reveals the variety of skills you can learn on the company's graduate programme. To watch the full Gradcracker/STFC webinar, click here.

These next generation of electron accelerators for high-energy physics, light sources, and medical applications require high brightness electron sources and therefore careful design of the injector. Injector design is a specialism within the topic of accelerator physics, and our professionals combine detailed physics knowledge, calculations of electron transport, and interaction with the engineering integration needed to construct reliable, high-performance instruments for future research facilities. 

We are seeking to underpin the capabilities of our group in the area of delivery of high-brightness electron beams, and the successful candidate will develop a specialism in this area as part of the wider Accelerator Physics group that has leading expertise across many areas of electron beam generation and delivery. The ideal candidate will be seeking to build a specialism and eventually become an expert in injector physics and design; they should therefore have a keen interest not only in physics, but in the construction and operation of large particle accelerators.

Summary of Key Duties and Responsibilities 

The range of activities involved includes but is not limited to:

  • Contributing to research and development of electron sources/injectors for future accelerator facilities. These facilities may include free electron lasers, energy recovery linacs, accelerators for particle physics research, radiotherapy linacs for cancer treatment, and electron diffraction/microscopy.
  • Conceptual design of electron sources, low energy beam transport, and diagnostic beamlines
  • Computer simulations of the dynamics of low energy space-charge dominated beams in electron sources and accelerator beamlines. This includes electron emission, beam transport, and injection into high energy accelerators and/or user stations.
  • Contribution to detailed design of electron sources and accelerators, working together with RF, laser, vacuum, and mechanical engineering experts.
  • Participating in commissioning of on-site accelerators.
  • Participating in operational shifts providing beam to users of on-site accelerators.
  • Contributing to the dissemination of knowledge in this area by writing draft manuscripts for publication and presenting work at UK and international conferences and workshops.

In order to apply for the role you must have:


  • Obtained first degree bachelors or Masters, (not doctorate) in a relevant subject in either 2020, 2021 or be due to receive it in 2022 
  • Expected or have achieved a 2:1 or above
  • The right to live and work in the UK 
  • Working knowledge of electromagnetic theory, based on previous education
  • Excellent practical skills, including experience of project based work 
  • Excellent problem solving skills and ability 
  • Good communication skills including ability to write scientific reports 
  • Be able to work collaboratively, and on personal initiative 
  • Ability and willingness to learn new skills, both technical and non-technical 
  • Willingness to partake in occasional national and international travel 
  • Willingness to work out of hours occasionally on accelerator experiments if required


  • Experience and/or knowledge of particle accelerator science, for example through placements or project work 
  • Experience and/or knowledge of particle beam transport methods 
  • Experience with using computers for data analysis and/or simulations of physical systems, and use of Matlab, Mathematica, or Python 
  • Good planning and time management skills 

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Opportunity Overview

  • October 31st, 2021
  • £27,938 + benefits
  • 2:1 and above
  • Warrington
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Preferred Disciplines...

  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Data Science
  • Information Technology
  • Physics
  • Science

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