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CLF Ultra Sandwich Student – Ultrafast Time-Resolved Spectroscopy

Internship at The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)

CLF Ultra Sandwich Student – Ultrafast Time-Resolved Spectroscopy

Internship at The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)

  • LocationDidcot, UK
  • Position levelInternship
  • Job period icon
  • Application deadline iconPosted on 08 Oct, 2018
  • Start date iconStart date:
  • Visa iconVisa Sponsor
  • Competitive£ 19,136.0 per year

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

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) provides state of the art laser, spectroscopy and imaging facilities for scientific research across all the disciplines in science. The Student’s role will be to support the operations and scientific development of the CLF Ultra facility. Ultra is the most sensitive time resolved infrared spectrometer in the world. It takes spectral “snapshots” of the changes in molecules that occur during reactions all the way down to timescales of 10 million millionths of a second. The facility is visited by scientists from the UK and Europe and used to study the fundamental nature of molecules in research that spans the biosciences to the physical sciences. For example the how light sensitive proteins (like those that drive photosynthesis) function and how future molecular electronic devices work at the molecular level. This research has potential to impact development of biosensors, catalysts and electronic devices and well as increase our knowledge of fundamental molecular reactivity that happens all around us.

Summary of Key Duties & Responsibilities

You will work with a team operating the Ultra facility. The work will include research and development projects and assisting in the operation of the facility, where you will learn skills in experimental practice in a chemistry and laser laboratory, in purchasing of materials and equipment, in safe working in science labs and in working and interacting with top UK and EU research scientists who work in a range of fields. Projects will be delegated on commencement of the placement according to the needs of the facility and your abilities. The Ultra team are continuously building, testing and refining new instruments, such as 2D-IR, time resolved IR/Raman and imaging spectrometers. In equal measure, applications of these techniques are under continuous development and reflect the broad interests of our user community, which includes photochemistry, photocatalysis, photobiology and protein dynamics. Student projects will therefore involve a mixture of instrument development, sample preparation, spectroscopic measurements and data analysis.

You should have a background in the physical sciences and competence in chemistry, as well as a basic awareness of/interest in lasers and IR/Raman/Visible spectroscopy. Applicants should be able to demonstrate some experience or an interest in developing skills in computer programming and data analysis.

Shortlisting (S) and Interview (I) Criteria:


  • 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 (S)
  • right to live and work in the UK (S)
  • achieving an average of first class or 2:1 in term exams and studies to date (S&I)
  • experience in the physical sciences (S&I)
  • some computer programming experience (S&I)
  • basic awareness of spectroscopy and lasers(I)
  • good communication skills (I)
  • demonstrate good team working capabilities(I)
  • willingness to learn new skills (I)


  • lab experience in working with chemicals, lasers or optics (S&I)
  • experience in working with experimental data analysis and presentation on computers (S&I)
  • application of skills in areas outside of degree course (S&I).

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. More information can be found at

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.

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