The Science and Technology Facilities Council is a place where curiosity-driven, blue-skies thinking meets practical, application-led science and engineering. Each year we recruit up to 40 graduates into a wide range of roles from physicists, other science disciplines, engineers (electrical, mechanical, electronic, microelectronic) as well as specialists in coding and computing.
Our graduate development programme bridges the gap between academic and professional qualifications. You join us in a permanent position, starting a real job from day one; more details of the kinds of roles are below. As a graduate you will enjoy two years of formal soft skills and technical training and development, as well as on the job experience. You will take part in leadership development programmes, project management and performance management courses. Throughout you will be supported by your manager and a mentor.
Our programme is accredited with the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and the Institute of Physics (IoP); we are currently working to become accredited with the British Computer Society.
Our scheme was nominated as one of the most popular graduate recruiters Science and R&D in 2015 by Target Jobs. We’re ranked in within the top 100 of the Guardian UK 300 most popular graduate employers in 2015.
STFC’s commitment to staff development was recognised by achieving the Investors in People Gold Award in 2014
You can find out more about our scheme and the impact our graduates can have by reading our graduate brochure or by watching our Chief Engineer at RAL Space, Paul Eccleston's video on the meet our people page. You can also watch our graduates own video on our youtube channel.
All applicants must have the right to live and work in the UK.
I joined STFC because I realised during my degree that it was working on things that help and support people which motivate me the most, and I see advancing our scientific knowledge as part of that. My interests in science and technology in general also meant that there would be a lot happening on site that I could learn about and potentially make my own contributions to.
I was happy to see that the initial application just required registering on a website and then uploading a CV and cover letter for each position applied for. I was then invited for a phone interview which was part technical and part competency based.
The final step was a two day assessment centre, which was as stress free as a recruitment process could be! I found it quite intense as there were tests to determine how well you work in groups, your verbal and numerical reasoning, presentation skills and more thorough technical and competency interviews. These were broken up by presentations about the organisation, the type of projects STFC work on, a range of talks from people who work within STFC, including people on the graduate scheme, a social dinner which new graduates and your potential line manager attend and tours of the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. These give you a lot of insight into what working at STFC is like, and also give you a chance to decompress after the assessment tasks.
The role I am in makes use of a wide range of topics and there’s a good balance between theory and getting hands on for some experiments. The two projects I’ve been involved so far have required me to use a lot of the skills and knowledge that I’ve developed at university and learn about the topics that the project involves that I’m not yet familiar with.
I am currently working on implementing wireless communications for part of the helium recovery control and monitoring system which is being installed on the ISIS neutron and muon source. It’s the first wireless communication system to be used for ISIS, so my findings could also be used for future projects that would use a wireless communication system.
The atmosphere is quite laid back, friendly, and there are other activities going on outside of your direct role. There are opportunities to learn about what happens at other departments and facilities, and some of the research that comes out of them. There are also networks such as the Prospect Union and the Black & Minority Ethnic Group that you can make use of if you need impartial support. There are also clubs like the Recreational Society (RecSoc), Civil Service Sports Club (CSSC) and the Harwell Green Club which you can get involved in.
I am a STEM ambassador, which is someone who promotes science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) to the next generation, by running workshops for school pupils who visit the site, or visiting schools to run them. We tie the activities we present into the science that is done by the organisation and STFC encourages us to do this; I’m looking at using my skills to create a mini solar car workshop!
I thought the opportunity was different to others, because it’s a graduate job supported by the scheme, as opposed to a graduate scheme supported by a job. The environment is positive and welcoming, and the work I get to do here is real work from day one.
Honestly, the responsibility. The work I’ve been doing is feeding directly into design discussions and decisions. I feel like I am doing a real job, and contributing to the project I’m working on.
There is so much to do on site. I’m trusted to get my work done, I’m trusted to manage my time, and I’m encouraged to explore all the science and research that STFC does outside my own department.
The people. Everyone who works here is so interesting and interested in what they are doing. The people that work here really are passionate about what they do.
I have given tours of RAL Space to school children. I’ll also be talking at the National Space Centre in Leicester about my academic journey to RAL Space for a careers event.
The design for the test rig I have been working on recently passed a design review with the customers and European Space Agency.
To be considered for our graduate scheme you need a minimum 2:1 in one of the following disciplines: Engineering (mechanical, electrical, software and especially electronics and microelectronics), Physics, and other science disciplines, Computer Science or Software Design.
You will need to have obtained your first degree bachelors or Masters, (not doctorate) in a relevant subject in either 2015 or be due to receive it in 2016.
Degree subjects we recruit from include
You will apply to a specific role. Typical jobs that our graduates do include;
As an STFC Graduate, you will be based in one of the following; Central Laser Facility, ISIS, RAL Space, Technology, Programmes department, ASTeC or Scientific Computing. Most graduates are based at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, some are based at Daresbury and a few at Edinburgh. Visit our locations page for more information.
All applicants must have the right to live and work in the UK.
All of STFC’s recruitment goes through UK Shared Business Services (UK SBS), therefore you need to register with iRecruitment portal and submit a CV and cover letter. You will find more details on the search and apply page.
UK SBS is a shared service centre set up by the UK’s seven Research Councils (which includes STFC) to reduce money spent on administration, by sharing and standardising processes across; Human Resources, Finance, Procurement, IT and Grants administration, in order to free more funds for research and innovation.
We start inviting applications in September each year, with a closing date early November.
If you have any difficulties applying for any of the graduate vacancies, please telephone on 01793 867003.
All applicants must have the right to to live and work in the UK.
If your application meets our selection criteria, you’ll be offered a telephone interview. If you pass this you will be invited to attend our graduate assessment centre in early January.
The assessment centre is the final stage of the recruitment process. It is typically held at a conference centre close to the Rutherford Appleton laboratory in Oxfordshire. During the assessment centre you will undertake; a group exercise, ability tests, technical and personality interview and enjoy a tour of the campus and facilities. STFC will organise all accommodation and you will have dinner with a number of recruiting managers and current Graduates to find out more about STFC and the graduate scheme.
Should all the vacancies not be filled in January further assessment centres will be held throughout the Spring until all the vacancies are filled.
You’ll be placed in a real job from day one. The exact role and responsibilities will depend on which team you join, but to find out more, please see the case studies from some of our current graduates. Central Laser Facility, ISIS, RAL Space, Technology, Scientific Computing, ASTeC or Programmes Department.
The graduate scheme officially starts in late September/early October each year, however there is sometimes the chance to start earlier in discussion with your line manager.
Providing you perform well and make good progress with your training plans, you will be promoted after two years with us, receiving a significant salary increase.