Ultrafast Laser Science - Sandwich Student

The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is one of Europe’s largest science 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 and technology.

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.

The Central Laser Facility (CLF) at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory is a world-class research group with over 100 technical and scientific staff, providing advanced research facilities for UK and international scientists.

Artemis is the CLF’s facility for ultrafast laser and extreme ultraviolet (XUV) science and carries out a variety of experiments from gas-phase chemistry to materials science. The facility is based on high repetition rate, tuneable laser sources and ultra-short pulses of XUV radiation, connected by vacuum beam-lines taking the pulses to interaction chambers. Experiments on Artemis aim to use XUV pulses to track how electrons move in dissociating molecules or during phase changes in advanced materials such as graphene.

A Glimpse of our Big Science

An introduction to the world-leading science and technology at STFC.

Summary of Key Duties

A placement position working within the Artemis Group alongside staff and visiting scientists is being offered, with an emphasis on ultrafast science with XUV pulses. You will be helping to set up experiments with university groups, solving problems as they occur. This will involve working with optics and ultra-high vacuum systems. You will be trained in instrument control programming and data analysis. You will also work projects to develop the facility, both on your own and as part of the team. You will be working with scientists, engineers and students from the Central Laser Facility and with visiting scientists from UK and European university research groups.

Knowledge, Skills and Experience

You will:

  • be highly motivated
  • be able to work independently as well as within a team
  • have effective written and verbal communication skills
  • have good problem-solving skills.

You should be following a Physics or Chemistry degree course. Relevant modules include:

  • experimental laboratory skills
  • quantum mechanics/atomic physics
  • optics/lasers
  • condensed matter physics
  • programming/data analysis.



  • first two years of degree course in physics, chemistry or a closely related subject, with grades corresponding to a 2:1 or higher
  • A-level Maths or equivalent
  • A-level Physics or equivalent
  • GCSE English or equivalent.


  • A-level Chemistry or further Maths.
  • Knowledge, Skills and Experience


  • experimental physics or chemistry laboratory course
  • experience of standard computer packages (e.g. Office).


  • computer programming skills
  • experience working in a research or laboratory environment.

Opportunity Overview

  • Closing Date: October 30, 2017
  • Salary: £18,946
  • Minimum Degree: 2:1
  • Placement Duration: Year-long
  • Location: Didcot (Oxford)
  • Region: London and South East
  • Type: Work Placement / Internship

Other benefits...

  • Generous leave allowance
  • Pension scheme

Disciplines accepted...

  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Science

To Apply

Job ID Number: IRC242678
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