Simulations Software Developer Placement at Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)

Placement Year (10 Months+) Placement (5-9 Months)
Application Deadline
3rd March 2019
South East
Didcot - Oxfordshire
Salary Band
£18,000 - £19,999
Role May Involve
Chemistry Computer Science Information Technology Physics

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Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Overall Rating

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Simulations Software Developer Placement - IRC246572

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 ISIS pulsed neutron and muon source at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire is a world-leading centre for research in the physical and life sciences. It is owned and operated by the Science and Technology Facilities Council. Within ISIS, the Disordered Materials and Crystallography groups investigate the structure of matter on the atomic and molecular level using neutron diffraction. These groups currently maintain their own software packages.

The Disordered Materials and Crystallography groups currently maintain their own software packages for data reduction and simulation and which are written in either Fortran or C++. You will contribute to the ongoing development of classical atomistic simulation codes written to address the growing needs of the relevant community. This will involve working with the current team on existing parts of the code, the associated graphical user interfaces and/or the implementation of new algorithms and techniques in order to extend the code to perform specific calculations or tasks and deliver a product which addresses the needs of the user programme. You will liaise with users of the code in order to understand their requirements, making changes as and when necessary. Any major developments implemented must be accompanied by suitable user documentation.

You will take on one or more code development tasks in order to solve specific problems or bridge feature-gaps in existing computational packages in use by the Disordered Materials and Crystallography communities. This may include, but is not limited to:

  • implementation of Monte Carlo techniques
  • implementation of Molecular Dynamics algorithms
  • implementation of scattering models (e.g. small-angle scattering models)
  • implementation of generally-applicable analysis routines
  • development and enhancement of user interfaces.

You will be expected to time-manage your own project(s) and deliver working solutions to a level of quality in-line with the existing codes. This includes any unit or CI tests deemed necessary.

Please note: that this placement can be for either 6 or 12 months. Please specify the length of placement you are looking for in your application.

Job Requirements to be assessed at Shortlisting (S) and Interview (I)


  • 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)
  • demonstrable programming experience in Fortran, C, or C++(S&I)
  • knowledge of condensed matter simulation techniques (e.g. MonteCarlo, molecular dynamics) (S&I)
  • good time management and the ability to work to deadlines (I)
  • ability to independently manage problems, and take responsibility for their solution (I)
  • ability to adapt to evolving work plans within a team (I).


  • A-level grades A/B in one or more of Chemistry, Physics, or Software, and A-levels in Maths (s)
  • understanding of neutron or X-ray scattering (S&I)
  • knowledge of chemistry and chemical structure (S&I)
  • knowledge of parallel programming techniques (S&I)
  • experience of version control (e.g. git) and continuous integration(e.g. Jenkins) systems (I)
  • ability to form creative solutions to problems (I)
  • ability to communicate complicated ideas clearly in written and spoken English (I)
  • ability to adapt to a changing working environment (I)
  • attention to detail (S&I).

About Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)

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.

STFC is one of nine organisations that have been brought together to create UK Research and Innovation (UKRI); a new organisation with a vision to ensure the UK maintains its world-leading position in research and innovation.

How to apply

To find out more and to apply please click on the apply button. You will need to complete an application form when applying.