Laser Scientist / Senior Laser Scientist

Job Details

Laser Scientist / Senior Laser Scientist
Salary: Band D £40,800 - Band E £56,650
Hours: full-time
Contract type: Permanent
Location: Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), Daresbury Laboratory, Warrington, United Kingdom
Closing date for applications: 17/12/2023

Come and do the kind of science that made you want to become a scientist. Explore the unknown and get to grips with the biggest challenges in Big Science.

STFC’s Accelerator Science and Technology Centre (ASTeC) mission is to build the ‘Big Science’ facilities of the future; we design, build and operate particle accelerators and make major contributions to many of the biggest projects in the world today.

About the role:

  • We have an exciting opportunity for two laser scientists to join a multidisciplinary and friendly team supporting the CLARA Accelerator Test Facility;
  • You will be directly involved in the installation, operation and scientific exploitation of a new commercial high power (120 TW) laser system in combined laser-electron beam experiments;
  • As part of the CLARA team, you will engage in machine development activities to ensure that the laser and target area meet performance targets;
  • You will help ensure stable and reliable operation of the laser for external users, collaborating with them on experiment design to improve possibilities for successful research;
  • You will combine your operational responsibilities with opportunities to support R&D and enhance your research profile.

Up to two roles are available. Based on skills and experience, one role will be appointed at UKRI Band D and one at UKRI Band E.

To receive scheduled training on the use of the commercial 120 TW laser system, candidates must be able to start employment no later than 1st April 2024, ideally before.

Person Specification
Band D

  • Minimum 2:1 degree in physics, engineering, or a closely related subject (or equivalent experience) ;
  • Good knowledge and practical experience with laser technology and optics ;
  • Practical experience with high power lasers would be advantageous, however if needed full support will be provided to achieve this experience for outstanding candidates once in role.

Band E

  • Minimum 2:1 degree in physics, engineering, or a closely related subject (or equivalent experience) ;
  • Extensive knowledge and practical experience with laser technology and optics ;
  • Practical experience with high power lasers, including their maintenance and application to scientific research. 

A PhD in physics, engineering or a closely related subject (or equivalent experience) would be an advantage and the successful candidates will need to have good interpersonal and communication skills.  

For the Band E role an understanding of fundamental project management concepts and experience with their application to work activities along with managing or providing close direction to staff in a relevant discipline would be advantageous, however if needed full support will be provided to achieve this experience for outstanding candidates once in role. 

What we offer 
We are offering an open-ended contract with a whole host of benefits including: 

  • 30 days holiday annually (in addition to 10.5 bank holidays and privilege days);
  • Flexible working hours;
  • An excellent defined average salary pension scheme;
  • Employee shopping/travel discounts;
  • Excellent learning and development opportunities;
  • Visa Sponsorship for candidates applying outside of the UK. 

What could you achieve with the world-leading facilities and experts of one of Europe's largest research organisations by your side? Join us and discover what's possible.


STFC imageAt the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), research is driven by practical applications and a curiosity to create a world-leading hub of scientific and engineering excellence. Our science and facilities enable researchers to answer fundamental questions about the nature of the universe. Success typically requires long-term strategic investment, international collaboration on a global scale and the capability to push the limits of technology and engineering. To remain internationally competitive in our areas of science and to keep our facilities at the leading edge, we have to develop bespoke technology that cannot be reliably sourced on the open market, for example in detectors and instrumentation, accelerators, specialist engineering, optics and e-infrastructure. These technologies are often also applied to address broader societal and industrial challenges and we actively promote their translation and commercialization.

Why work for us
When you join STFC, you become a key part of one of Europe’s largest research organizations. We are trusted to support, enable, and undertake cutting-edge projects in an amazing diversity of fields that you could be a part of. With access to our world-class facilities, people like you are helping us to drive ground-breaking advances in science, engineering, computing and technology.

  • The Particle Physics Department (PPD) is one of the largest particle physics groups in the UK. We design, construct and operate some of the most sensitive scientific instruments in the world, collaborating with partners in academia, industry and international laboratories such as CERN. We currently work with the ATLAS, CMS, LHCb, DUNE, Hyper-K, T2K, MICE, Lux-Zeplin, DEAP-3600, CERN RD50, Electron Ion Collider and AION collaborations.
  • The National Quantum Computing Centre (NQCC) is a £93m UKRI investment over five years based at the Harwell Campus. This is a strategic element within the overall £1bn, 10-year investment into quantum technologies made by the UK since 2014.

Our benefits

  • 30 days annual leave plus 10.5 public and privilege days.
  • Flexible or hybrid working may be available dependent on role.
  • Defined benefit pension scheme (employer contribution – currently up to 26%).
  • Sport and social groups across campus with access to an on-site gym.

For more information on all of our employee benefits, visit

Who we are looking for
The UK has a world-class research and innovation system. Our expertise spans all fields of knowledge, from the discovery of penicillin and monoclonal antibodies, to the jet engine and the World Wide Web. Therefore it is vital for us to have the best people at all levels throughout UKRI. We want to continue to attract a mix of talented professionals, scientists and engineers.


Number of employees
STFC has 2594 staff members across the UK and UKRI has approx. 8000

Main areas of research
Our work encompasses everything from the physical, biological and social
sciences, to innovation, engineering, medicine, the environment, as well as arts and the humanities

Positions recently recruited for
Electronic engineers, data scientists, research associates CMS/DUNE, research associate on electron ion collider (EiC), ion trap physicists

Desired degree disciplines/class
A STEM degree

How to apply
Apply online at 

Closing date
All year round

Quantum physics and computing vacancies: E-mail
Particle physics vacancies: E-mail

Company info
Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
OX11 0QX
United Kingdom

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