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5 months ago
Science and Technology Facilities Council
Salary: £30782 - £36459
Location: Didcot
Job type: Permanent
Category: Research & Development Jobs
Brief Description

Salary: £30,782 - £36,459 (depending on skills and experience and inclusive of annual allowance)
Grade: D
Contract Type: Fixed Term (2 years)
Hours: Full Time
Closing Date: 17th July 2019

About us
The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is one of Europe’s largest research organisations, undertaking, enabling, and supporting pioneering research and development work. With world-class facilities and people, STFC drives ground-breaking advances in many areas of science and technology.

The Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) is a major UK national laboratory, operated by STFC. Its space science and technology department, known as RAL Space, is one of the largest interdisciplinary space departments in Europe. The Spectroscopy Group of RAL Space conducts research and development in novel spectroscopic instrumentation to address highly demanding chemical sensing challenges. The primary remit of the group’s work relates to in-situ and remote molecular sensing systems for space and atmospheric sciences. We are also increasingly expanding into applications in environmental monitoring, security and defence, industrial process control and non-invasive medical diagnostics.

About the role
You will be an enthusiastic, self-driven, creative doctoral Physicist or Engineer with a background in relevant research and development. We currently have a Research Scientist position open for a highly skilled experimentalist to develop field-deployable mid-IR laser spectrometers for molecular sensing.

You will have an excellent opportunity to join an agile and highly-motivated team of Scientists working on a wide portfolio of research projects, and contribute significantly to its expansion through delivery of state-of-the-art projects for UK Research Councils, the UK and European space agencies, and other institutions and customers.

The research and development work undertaken by the group encompasses all aspects of laser-spectroscopic sensing and field deployment of spectroscopic instruments, from fundamental concepts to technologies and applications. Projects include conceptual and theoretical studies of chemical sensing systems, bench-top instrument and prototype development, design and development of related photonic and opto-electronic technologies, laboratory and field instrumentation, data processing and physical modelling. Techniques developed within the group include laser heterodyne spectroscopy, ultraspectral lidar, laser absorption and dispersion spectroscopy, photo-acoustic spectroscopy, cavity-enhanced spectroscopy and photonics-based sensing systems. There are therefore plenty of opportunities to be involved in a diverse range of scientific activities.

You will responsible for delivering project results to strict deadlines and carrying out associated management tasks in an effective manner. You will also be expected to maintain a tidy and well-organised working environment for safe operation and efficient resource sharing, and to write or contribute to reports and project meetings and when applicable, peer-reviewed scientific papers and submissions to international conferences.

This role offers an exciting opportunity to work in a high level research environment, with a chance to learn from and work together with scientists and researchers from a variety of backgrounds. Personal scientific pursuit through securing and leading projects relevant to the group’s research portfolio is encouraged and supported. You will have the opportunity to have your research publicised and to present findings at national and international conferences.

Organization Description

UK Research and Innovation is a new entity that brings together nine partners to create an independent organisation with a strong voice for research and innovation, and a vision to ensure the UK maintains its world-leading position in research and innovation.
The Science and Technology Facilities Council is a world-leading multi-disciplinary science organisation, and our goal is to deliver economic, societal, scientific and international benefits to the UK and its people – and more broadly to the world.

Shortlisting and Interview Criteria

The following criteria will be assessed either at the shortlisting (S), or interview (I) stage, or at both stages (S&I)


* Eng. D., or Ph. D. in an Applied Physics or relevant scientific and engineering discipline or equivalent experience (S)
* proven experience in the development of instrumentation, modelling or photonics, ideally relevant to high-resolution infrared spectroscopy and its applications (S & I)
* ability to work effectively in a team environment and to demanding deadlines (I)
* plus knowledge and experience of :
* lasers, optics, waveguides and fibres, particularly at mid-infrared wavelengths (S & I)
* infrared molecular spectroscopy, spectral databases and spectral simulations (S & I)
* mid-IR optical sensor instrumentation (S & I).


* application of design, control or modelling software such as 3D CAD, LabView, IDL (S & I)
* proficiency in high-level programming languages (IDL or similar) (S)
* experience in field deployment of complex scientific instrumentation (I)
* end-to-end spectroscopic instrument modelling and error budget analysis (I)
* understanding of electronic engineering concepts, signal acquisition and processing (S & I)
* history of reporting results in peer-reviewed journals (S).

Occasional travel in the UK and overseas to attend meetings will be required. National or international travel for durations of several weeks may be occasionally necessary for instrument deployment during field campaigns.

UKRI supports research in areas that include animal health, agriculture and food security, and bioscience for health which includes research on animals, genetic modification and stem cell research. Whilst you may not have direct involvement in this type of research, you should consider whether this conflicts with your personal values or beliefs.

To enable us to hire the very best people we will conduct a full and comprehensive pre-employment check as an essential part of the recruitment process on all individuals that are offered a position with UKRI. This will include a security check and an extreme organisations affiliation check.

Employee Benefits

UK Research and Innovation recognises and values employees as individuals and aim to provide a pay and rewards package that motivates staff to perform to the best of their ability. The reward package includes a flexible working scheme, a Career Average Revalued Earnings pension scheme, 30 days annual leave allowance and a number of other benefits.

Developing Talent

We are committed to developing employees in their roles throughout their career. Learning and development plans enable employees to continue their professional development through training and development opportunities such as e-learning, classroom training and on-the-job experiences. We encourage our employees to share their learning across teams and organisations.

Equal Opportunities

We strive to make decisions based on individual merit and ability. We welcome applications from all sections of the community and promote equality of opportunity in accordance with the Equality Act 2010. As holders of Disability Confident Employer status, we guarantee to interview all applicants with disabilities who meet the minimum criteria for the vacancy.

Online applications only. Please submit a covering letter and CV ensuring that the IRC reference is included in the filename description of each document uploaded. Please note that failure to address the above criteria or submitted without a covering letter may result in your application not being considered.

The closing date for applications is 17th July 2019, however early applications are encouraged as applicants will be reviewed and considered on an ongoing basis.

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