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Vacuum Materials Scientist

Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
Cheshire, Warrington, England
£31931.0 - £34709.0 per annum
Closing date
21 Oct 2022
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Job Details

Salary: Band D £31,931 - £34,709,

Benefits: 30 days holiday + 8 bank holidays + 2.5 privilege days + exceptional defined average salary pension + excellent work life balance (including Christmas shut down)

Location: Daresbury Laboratory, Keckwick Ln, Daresbury, Warrington WA4 4AD

Contract: Open Ended

Closing date for applications: 21st October 2022

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. And, alongside world class engineers and technologists, use everything you've learnt to find real-answers that shape society and improve lives.

Put simply, discover the kind of impact you can make when you work with some of the best facilities and brightest scientists in the world.

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, working with high-profile national and international partners that include the Cockcroft Institute. STFC encourage our staff to undertake world-leading work in a diverse and inclusive environment that supports work-life balance.

The Vacuum Solutions Group is looking to recruit 3 Vacuum Material Scientists to be part of the R&D team for particle accelerators. We have a leading programme in superconducting thin film coated cavities for particle acceleration for the next generation of sustainable accelerators.

You will conduct research primarily in superconducting RF thin film cavities in one or more of the following areas

  • Sample preparation using chemical and electro polishing.
  • Thin film material deposition using PVD and CVD
  • Material analysis using surface science techniques such as XPS, SEX, EDX, AFM, STM.
  • Superconducting property evaluation and cryogenic RF testing of films and cavities
  • Perform practical 'hands-on' tasks and/or oversee mechanical installation, assembly and commissioning tasks on complex vacuum systems
  • Write reports & scientific papers, present your work to peers and collaborators at internal, national and international meetings & learn and further self-develop in the field of accelerator science and technologies.

About you.

You will have a keen interest in solid state physics and thin film/surface analysis enabling you to understand surface chemistry, have demonstrable experience of lab safety and be comfortable & confident working as part of a team whilst carrying out your own research tasks with minimal supervision


  • BEng/BSc or Masters in Physics/Chemistry or relevant science degree
  • Evidence of practical aptitude, ability to do 'hands on' tasks, following processes.
  • Knowledge and experience of some or all of the following:-
  • Surface preparation (electro or chemical polishing), thin film material deposition (PVD, CVD, ion beam), surface analysis and surface science techniques e.g. XPS, SEM, EDX, AFM, cryogenic testing, RF testing of thin films.
  • Experience of scientific research relevant to the role

We ask some of the biggest questions in the universe, to answer some of the biggest challenges in the world. Together, our scientists, technologists, engineers and business support team explore the unknown across every field you could think of. And they turn what they find into work that changes the world around us.

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

Find Us
Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
OX11 0QX
United Kingdom
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