Work Placement / Internship

Raman and Neutron Spectroscopy Research Scientist Industrial Placement

Didcot, Oxfordshire

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ISIS Neutron and Muon Source is a world-leading centre for research in the physical and life sciences at the STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory near Oxford in the United Kingdom. Our suite of neutron and muon instruments gives unique insights into the properties of materials on the atomic scale. We support a national and international community of more than 2000 scientists for research into subjects ranging from clean energy and the environment, pharmaceuticals and health care, through to nanotechnology and materials engineering, catalysis and polymers, and on to fundamental studies of materials. As such ISIS is home to around 500 staff of diverse technical and cultural backgrounds, and hosts a strong scientific activity and links to the international community! 

Neutrons tell us where atoms are and how they are moving. By studying how materials work at the atomic level, we can better understand their every-day properties - and so make new materials tailor-made for particular uses. ISIS also produces muons for use in a similar way, providing additional information on how materials work at the atomic scale. Raman spectroscopy is more sensitive to the motion of heavier atoms and can nicely complement neutron spectroscopy. 

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The Molecular Spectroscopy Group, develops and operates a set of cutting edge neutron spectrometers for probing primarily motions (but also structure) in materials, which determine many macroscopic properties ultimately critical to their applications. TOSCA, one of the instruments in the group, is an indirect geometry spectrometer optimised for the study of molecular vibrations in the solid state. Science on TOSCA stretches from fundamental physics to chemistry and materials science. 

Summary of Key Duties & Responsibilities  

For over a decade TOSCA has capability to perform simultaneous neutron scattering and Raman scattering measurements at temperatures between 15 and 450 K. Benefits of this set-up include complementary information for a more accurate characterisation of the system under study, and additional low temperature capability typically unavailable with standard laboratory Raman set-ups. Recently, the Molecular Spectroscopy group (MSG) has invested into a self-contained cryo-setup that allows Raman measurements to be performed independently from TOSCA and its busy schedule. 

The availability of a dedicated member of our team on the Raman will ensure full utilisation of this invested capability available at ISIS. It is envisioned to run continuously off-line and on demand in-situ on TOSCA.  

The project will consist of the following objectives: 

  • Ensure that the set-up is operational and available for experimental studies. This includes data acquisition, processing and access 
  • Support members of the user community with measurements, or perform routine measurements on their behalf
  • Build documentation associated with the experimental setup and its operation

During this project you will learn about Raman Scattering and Inelastic Neutron Scattering, sample preparation, chemical characterization, and data analysis and interpretation. You will also have the opportunity to work with different ISIS teams (scientists, technicians and other support teams) and will be exposed to real scientific problems! It is foreseen that you will have the opportunity to be part of scientific papers and gain experience in presentation of scientific results. 

Knowledge, Skills and Experience 

The successful student will be undertaking an undergraduate course in chemistry, physics, or related discipline and be encouraged to have a strong input into the project and demonstrate independence. 

In order to apply for this role you must have:  


  • 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
  • Right to live and work in the UK  
  • Experience in physical sciences (chemistry, physics, or related discipline)  
  • Sound understanding of experimental work  
  • Good computational and analytical skills  
  • Excellent communication skills including the ability to explain technical concepts effectively and engage with people of different expertise (primarily scientists, technicians and engineers) and cultures. 
  • Motivated  


  • Grade: aiming towards First or 2:1  
  • Interest in spectroscopy, or previous knowledge or experience of it 
  • Experience in computer control and information technology  
  • Ability to plan activities by themselves, independence  
  • Some experience of previous laboratory work 

Special Requirements: 

  • Comfortable working in radiation facility 

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Opportunity Overview

  • October 31st, 2021
  • £20,129 + benefits
  • All grades
  • Year-long
  • Didcot, Oxfordshire
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Preferred Disciplines...

  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Science

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