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Theoretical Physicist

Reading, Berkshire, UK
£31000 - £46000 per annum + pension, life insurance
Posting live until
17 Jul 2024

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Job Details


Location: Aldermaston, West Berkshire. We are located between Reading and Basingstoke, with onsite parking.

The role will support flexible working with an expectation that the candidate will spend some time working at AWE main site each week and that the place of work is driven by the needs of the programme.


  • Junior Physicists (recent graduates): £31,000 - £35,000 (depending on your suitability, qualifications, and level of experience)
  • Experienced Physicists (PHD or graduates with post-graduate experience): £38,000 - £46,000 (depending on your suitability, qualifications, and level of experience)

Closing Date: 18th July 2024

The Role:

AWE has an exciting Theoretical Scientist role to support our deterrence programmes as we expand our mission space. This role will develop the right candidate with their scientific career, offering exciting opportunities to develop our radiation detection and uncertainty quantification capabilities.

The Radiation Science Group is tasked with supporting the hardness and vulnerability aspects of our deterrence mission space, identifying, assessing, and understanding threats to the deterrent and looking to the future and the next generation of systems.

The group uses a model-based engineering approach to support core missions, with the models being underpinned by science lead activities, i.e., developing and validating new models and codes, verifying them through experiments and assessing the certainty associated with the methods. The role therefore encompass skills from experimental, theoretical and computation branches of physics and is a great opportunity for the right candidate with a passion for physics.

This role would support the whole group by independently assessing the experimental and modelling activities undertaken and seeking to increase our confidence in our overarching assessments.

The expectation is the right candidate would be trained and grow into this role, developing knowledge in statistical analysis and coding/modelling languages (e.g. Python, C, C++, Matlab, MCNP, Geant4).

Broad understanding of various physics concepts including material properties, radiation field analysis, electronic systems, electromagnetic phenomena and a strong mathematics or statistics background preferred but not essential.

Whilst not to be considered a check list, candidates should be able to demonstrate some of the following:

  • Essential - Degree level knowledge in Physics (2:1 or above), Mathematics or statistics
  • Desirable - Post-graduate qualifications connected with working on radiation detection and/or statistical methods.
  • Strong communication skills, verbal and written, excellent team working ability, proactive, and highly organised.
  • Willing to travel and work at other UK and overseas sites as required.

Key Responsibilities

  • Owning the development of the areas and expanding the capabilities in accordance with programme needs.
  • Using appropriate software and data capture tools to record data and suitable analyses.
  • Providing suggestions for improvements for team workflows with a view to being able to expand this to all workflows within the group.
  • Optimising experimental and trial designs and supporting (potentially leading) the delivery teams.
  • Working safely, securely, and cleanly to the appropriate quality standards.
  • Analysing scientific data to assess confidence and uncertainties in the data and the methods used to obtain the data.

What will you get from us?

As part of our People Promise, AWE has a range of benefits to suit you. These include:

  • 9-day working fortnight - every other Friday off work.
  • Time to recharge your batteries with 270 hours of annual leave (including Bank Holidays).
  • A market leading contributory pension scheme (we will pay between 9% and 13% of your pensionable pay depending on your own contribution).
  • Life Assurance.
  • Family friendly policies: Maternity Leave - 39 Weeks Full Pay and Paternity Leave - 4 Weeks Full Pay.
  • Opportunities for Professional Career Development that include funding for the annual membership of a relevant professional body, access to mentors and training.
  • Employee Assistance Programme and Occupational Health Services.
  • Discounts - access to savings on a wide range of everyday spending savings.
  • Special Leave Policy including paid time off for volunteering, public service (including reserve forces) and caring for your family

Important things you need to know:

  • You must be a British citizen who has been resident in the UK for the past 10 years.
  • Interviews will be 90 minutes in length and will be held over Microsoft Teams. You will be required to prepare a 10-minute presentation in advance.
  • Candidates must be willing and able to obtain and maintain the necessary security clearance for the role. This will be funded by AWE.


* Agencies: Please note that we do not out-source our recruitment


AWE profile image

AWE plays a crucial role in national nuclear security. Working to support the defence of our country, we’re a community of creative thinkers from all kinds of backgrounds in all kinds of roles, with one clear mission – to keep everyone, our environment and everything around us safe and secure. Our role in nuclear defence and the specialist expertise we provide to the government, is vital in the defence against the most serious threats faced by the UK – and to keeping the peace. From developing the warheads for the nuclear deterrent, to providing counter-terrorism and nuclear threat reduction solutions, the work we do is of global importance.

Why work for us
What we do is unique and so are the people who work here. We are a team of around 6500 people – proud to be part of such an important mission. We are com​mitted to equality at work and to mainstreaming diversity and inclusion in everything we do. We believe that by bringing together a diverse range of people we’ll get the diversity of thought to approach challenges in new ways.

Training and development
We believe in supporting our people through long-term investment in learning and development. Alongside in-house and on-line training capabilities, we support membership of professional bodies. We also focus on building and developing leadership skills, in pursuit of our best-in-class ambition. We do this through tailored leadership development programmes, accredited by the Chartered Management Institute, designed to equip our leaders with the skills to drive performance and bring out the best in their teams.

Graduate schemes
Our two-year Evolve programme offers four career pathways: Science, Engineering, Environment, Safety, Health & Quality and Corporate & Operations. The programme is designed to be flexible, to incorporate a range of experiences as well as business needs. You’ll undertake several placements to expand your knowledge of your discipline, enabling you to develop yourself and your ongoing career. Your line manager will work with you and support you on your journey.

What we are looking for
We are always looking for high-calibre people to join our team. Whatever stage of your career, AWE is an exciting and challenging environment to develop your skills and achieve your potential. Our ambition is to create workplaces where we recognize and celebrate differences, encourage diverse contributions and our employees feel able to be themselves at work. We strive to create a genuine culture of openness and inclusion and encourage diverse applicants. Please note that you must be a British national to apply for a role at AWE.

Reading, UK

Number of employees

Main areas of research
Nuclear defence, nuclear forensics, radiation detection, plasma physics, hydrodynamics, high-performance computing, materials science

Positions recently recruited for
Computational physics, criticality scientists, experimental physics, radiation science, high-performance computing, radiation detection

Must be a British national and have resided in the UK for 10 years for our science and engineering roles 

How to apply
Please visit our website for further information

Tel +44 (0)118 981 4111

Company info
+44 0118 98 24643
AWE Aldermaston

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