Recruiting for UKRI and UK SBS

Project Science Summer Placement - STFC

Early Careers
2100002H Requisition #

Science and Technology Facilities Council

Part of STFC, the UK Astronomy Technology Centre (UKATC) is the UK's national laboratory for the design and development of astronomical instrumentation. The UKATC has a rich heritage of instrumentation development for ground-based observatories as well as space facilities. It employs a broad spectrum of engineers and scientists across the full range of disciplines required for contemporary astronomy (optical design, mechanical engineering, electronics, software, systems engineering, project management). It also has an extensive track record of successfully applying techniques and technologies developed for astronomy to other sectors (e.g. earth observation/remote sensing, environmental monitoring). The UKATC develops instruments for world leading organisations, such as the European Southern Observatory (ESO) the European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA.

Summary of Key Duties & Responsibilities

Investigating the use of additively manufactured (AM; 3D printing) parts/materials for astronomical components is an important step to introduce the new design freedom that AM offers. Materials, such as aluminium, copper, ceramics and high performance polymers, all have potential uses in future astronomical instruments. In the role you will support the on-going activities in material properties testing and data analysis of AM parts.

Duties include:

  • Performing laboratory-based material properties testing – such as outgassing and thermal conductivity tests.
  • Performing dimensional metrology to investigate the quality of the AM test samples relative to the original design file.
  • Assisting in the design and production of AM test samples.
  • Analysis and the creation of graphical representations of the experimental data.
  • Documentation of the experiments, analysis and conclusion for the STFC AM community.

Being a laboratory based position, this will be based onsite at UKATC in Edinburgh. If restrictions permit due to the pandemic, the position will be changed to remote working from home and the topic/duties may change from what is currently advertised.

In order to apply for this role you must have:


  • Are in full time education at university and returning to university following the placement.
  • The right to live and work in the UK for the duration of the placement which is 8-12 weeks
  • Enrolled on a physical sciences or engineering undergraduate degree
  • Numerically literate with experience in data analysis. 
  • An interest in either astronomical instrumentation, space science, 3D printing, or materials science. 
  • Strong communication (written and spoken), organisational and presentational skills 


  • Laboratory-based experience: best practice skills to ensure accuracy and repeatability in measurements, and appropriate data recording to allow for data analysis
  • Experience in a programming language, such as Python or MatLab
About STFC 
The Science and Technology Facilities Council is a world-leading multi-disciplinary science organisation where curiosity-driven, blue-skies thinking meets practical, application-led science and engineering. Our goal is to deliver economic, societal, scientific and international benefits to the UK and its people – and more broadly to the world. 
One of Europe’s largest research organisations, we’re trusted to support, enable and undertake cutting-edge projects in an amazing diversity of fields. Through world-class facilities and people, we’re driving ground-breaking advances in science, engineering, computing and technology. Our research seeks to understand the Universe from the largest astronomical scales to the tiniest constituents of matter, yet creates impact on a very tangible, human scale. 
For more information about STFC please visit 
You can also visit our careers site 
How to Apply 
Online applications only preferred for this role. Please submit your CV and a covering letter which clearly outlines how you fulfil the criteria specified along with your motivation to join STFC and the role you’re applying for. Ensure that the job reference number is included in the filename description of each document uploaded. Note that failure to address the above criteria or submit your application without a covering letter may result in your application not being considered. You will only be assessed on the content of your CV and covering letter and not the ‘experience’ section of the application. 
About UKRI 
Launched in April 2018, UKRI is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). 
Our organisation brings together the seven disciplinary research councils, Research England, which is responsible for supporting research and knowledge exchange at higher education institutions in England, and the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK 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
How we support EDI in the workforce 
At UKRI we believe that everyone has a right to be treated with dignity and respect, and to be provided with equal opportunities to flourish and succeed in an environment that enables them to do so. We also value diversity of thought and experience within inclusive groups, organisations and the wider community.  For further information, please visit ‘How we support EDI in the workforce’  
Disability Confident Employer 
As a Disability Confident employer, UKRI will offer an interview to a fair and proportionate number of disabled applicants that meet the minimum criteria for the job (this is the description of the job as set by the employer). To enable us to do this we ask the appropriate questions within the candidate application. 
For more information on this scheme, click here.  

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