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Work Experience placements at DL

Each year we are proud to run a highly successful work experience scheme at Daresbury Laboratory. As part of this scheme we offer one week placements between April and August for Year 10, 11, 12 and 13 students. On occasion we can offer two week placements dependent on supervisor availability and the nature of the project work undertaken.

How to Apply for DL

The application process for summer 2019 placements is now closed.

The application deadline for 2019 placements was 11th February 2019. All applicants will receive an email response from us by the 31st March 2019. If you have been successful in gaining a place we will send you the necessary forms by email that need completing in order for us to confirm the placement.

The next round of applications will open in Autumn 2019 for placements in summer 2020. To apply for a work experience placement you will need to fill out the online application form, which will be available from this website.


In the meantime, there are other ways to get involved with the site. We run monthly Talking Science lectures at Daresbury which are free to attend.

You may also find our public engagement page useful.

If you have any queries about work experience, please do not hesitate to email us.

Important deadlines

Date applicable What the deadline is for
8 October 2018 Applications will open for placements in 2019
11 February 2019 Applications will close for placements in 2019
31 March 2019 All applicants will have received a response by email from Daresbury Laboratory
Six weeks before placements begin All completed forms to be returned to Daresbury Laboratory from successful applicants including:
  • Student/Parent Agreement
  • School's Agreement form
April 2019 – August 2019 Work Experience placements take place

Find out about departments offering placements at Daresbury Laboratory

ASTeC are able to offer work experience in these areas, and applications are invited for places in 2019.

The number of ASTeC places will be limited, with the opportunities falling into two types:

Group work experience – A group of up to 15 students who will spend a week at the Daresbury Laboratory, with activities coordinated by each of the five technical groups within ASTeC. The students will receive a very broad view of all of the accelerator-related work undertaken at Daresbury, and will also see how this work integrates with other activities onsite such as high-precision design and engineering, and high-power computing. The window for the next group work experience will be 15th – 19th July 2019.

Individual work experience for either one or two weeks (depending on supervisor availability), centred on the typical work carried out by the supervisor and therefore more focused on a particular technical area. Successful applicants for individual work experience will be allocated to one of our five technical groups. These groups are:

  • Accelerator Physics
  • Magnets and Radiation Sources
  • Radio Frequency and Diagnostics
  • High-Power Lasers
  • Vacuum Solutions

If you have a particular interest in one of the five technical groups then please write about this in your application so that we can try to place you appropriately.

Control Systems

This year the Control Systems group have joined up with the Scientific Computing Department and other departments on site to deliver a group ‘Cross- Department Work Experience’. To find out more please click the ‘Cross- Department Work Experience’ tab.


A week’s work experience with the Detector System Group at STFC Daresbury Laboratory, provides an opportunity to experience the design and manufacture of world leading innovative Detector systems, working within two areas:

  • Experience within the Electronics workshop to gain an appreciation of basic electronics assembly skills
  • Experience within the Electronics Design/Commissioning office to gain an appreciation of basic design/test skills

Find out more about Technology.

Find out more about Engineering.

Electrical Engineering

The Electrical Engineering Group has a specialist team of engineers, designers and technicians that successfully deliver the Accelerator Science and Particle Physics programs. Their role is to specify, procure, integrate and commission complex electrical systems to be installed at various international science facilities. Students will interact closely with the team, experiencing the full life cycle of a project, from concept, design using the latest CAD technology through to assembly and finally operation.

Nuclear Physics

The Nuclear Physics group at STFC Daresbury Laboratory can offer work experience in the modelling of nuclear detection systems.

The increase of the complexity of experimental setups in this nuclear physics research means that the demand for realistic simulations to prepare experiments and facilitate the data analysis and interpretation is rising.

Using the CERN-developed Simulation toolkit GEANT4, the work experience student will learn about the physics of radiation interaction in matter and, with the  visualization and analysis tools, will be able to see the outcome of these interactions as they happens. The student will work on the modelling of an existing detector system or be involved in the design of a new detection system.  As the nature of the work involved is essentially computing, the student would preferably have some predispositions in this area.

Beyond particle and nuclear physics, the GEANT4 toolkit has many other applications. In particular, it is also used in accelerator physics, in medical and space science and in industry linked to national security.

Find out more about the Nuclear Physics Group.

Projects and Mechanical Engineering

A number of places are available for one week durations in the Projects & Mechanical Engineering group who provide expertise in project management, computer aided engineering (CAE) and simulation to predict the performance of engineering systems prior to manufacture. The group has the latest CAE tools including virtual reality to visualise particle accelerators and detector systems during the design process. Students will have an introduction to the design of particle accelerators using Computer Aided Design (CAD).

Technical, Mechanical & Vacuum Engineering Group

The Engineering Technology Centre at Daresbury Laboratory provide work experience placements for students who think they would enjoy a career in the engineering sector. Within the TMVE group, we always aim to offer the student a ‘hands on’ experience, be it using spanners and nuts & bolts to create a vacuum joint, or helping to install a support system on a module structure. During your stay, you will gain an insight into the variety of processes and methods that are necessary, to build and commission Linear Accelerators as well as many other high end technical projects.

Work experience is also about communication, meeting people and seeing how you can contribute and work as a team. The supervisors in the Engineering Department have a wealth of experience in these areas and will help you develop not only these skills, but so much more!

This year the Scientific Computing Department and Control Systems Group have joined up to deliver a ‘Cross- Department Work Experience’.

This group work experience, aimed at students in Year 10, will give successful applicants the opportunity to complete a collaborative project involving their peers and staff from different science, technology and engineering groups on site.

The title of the project is: “Controlling Water Temperature: How hard can it be?”

Work experience students will work alongside engineers and scientists collaborating on an exciting task that aims to control the temperature of a water bath for the development of photographic film. This task involves programming, designing, making, problem-solving and running computer simulations. The week will also include tours with the chance to talk to other STFC staff across the site.

The Cross- Department group work experience will take place from 8 to 12 July 2019.

Previous Work Experience Students

During my placement at STFC Daresbury Laboratory, I learned not only about technology and computing, but also about myself and my interests. I found the work enjoyable and challenging. The excellent supervision, along with the friendly and experienced staff at Daresbury Laboratory made us all feel welcomed and capable of the work.

This experience has allowed me to explore things that I would never have been able to otherwise, which means that I will have a very helpful head start in what I want to do when I am older. For me, my time at the Lab has made it very clear that I would like to go into science in the future which will help me a lot in choosing which subjects to take for A-level.

Overall I had a great time, met great people and we all shared the same interests in science. I hope to stay in touch in the future, thank you for this unique and amazing experience!

The theoretical knowledge and practical experience I have gained will be a significant advantage in the future, and was only made possible by members of the department going out of their way to share and explain their work. It was a pleasure to be made part of such a friendly and inclusive team, and the placement has helped to shape my own ambitions at university and beyond.

I applied for a week of work experience at Daresbury laboratory after attending the Talking Science lectures and enjoying them greatly. The week provided a brilliant opportunity to see and learn about science that wouldn’t usually be possible in a classroom setting. It was an amazing week and I would definitely recommend it to others interested in science.

There was a good mixture of different activities such as tours of different facilities, explanations of equipment and their uses as well as some opportunities to 'help' practically. Everyone very kindly explained their research or work and this really helped me to grasp some of the challenges and successes faced when working with a certain goal in mind e.g. producing a photocathode with better performance.

It was really fun to perform practical work like helping to perform a 'dry fit' of a laser that would eventually be used in the vacuum lab, or a specific charge experiment. I found the latter really enjoyable as it highlighted that even with my limited A level knowledge I could still understand a lot of the fundamental physics that underpins particle physics experiments.

The week allowed me to not only expand my knowledge of physics, but also about Daresbury Laboratories and what it is like to work in a research facility, something that I am considering doing in the future.

Last updated: 11 February 2019


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