For the summer 2021 programme the DL and RAL work experience teams will be joining up to deliver online work experience provision for young people. All applicants to our programme will be able to access webinars about STFC’s work. In addition to this, selected students will be invited to take part in an additional one-week interactive virtual project placement, which will meet the relevant Gatsby benchmarks.
Potential dates for the virtual project placements are given below (you’ll be asked for your preferences in the application form):
|Date applicable||What the deadline is for|
|January 2021||Applications will open for placements in summer 2021|
|15 March 2021||Applications will close for placements in 2021|
|14 May 2021||All applicants will have received a response by email from STFC|
June - Aug 2021
|All applicants to the STFC Work Experience programme will be offered places on our live webinar programme, offering insights into STFC’s work|
|11 June 2021||Students undertaking a virtual project placement to return all completed permission forms to STFC|
Project placement potential dates in 2021:
28 June - 2 July
5 - 9 July
12 - 16 July9 - 13 August
|One-week Virtual Project Placements take place for selected students|
We can offer traditional placements in the following areas:
We can offer traditional placements in the following departments. For more information about each department, please click on the links below.
The Business and Innovation Directorate (BID) provides students the opportunity to gain experience in the following areas:
Students can experience how business is done within the Space Sector, and will be given the chance to engage with new customers and clients and be involved in many networking opportunities. Students may also learn about how a Business Incubation Centre runs.
The Central Laser Facility is used by scientists from all over Europe to carry out a broad range of experiments in physics, chemistry and biology. It is home to Vulcan, the world's highest-intensity focused laser, Astra Gemini, the world’s first twin beam laser and Artemis, an ultrafast XUV laser. It is also the home of the OCTOPUS and ULTRA clusters, within the Lasers for Science Facility.
“[The best part was] seeing a plasma experiment being set up and getting to know what is involved in a research career.”
ISIS is a particle accelerator and neutron and muon producer and allows us to look inside materials at the atomic scale, like a powerful microscope. ISIS is involved in a broad range of research, from pharmaceuticals and health care through to chemistry, materials engineering and nanotechnology.
“[I enjoyed] learning about engineering, ISIS and the complicated CAD.”
In ISIS, priority may be given to older students as there are some areas under 16s are not allowed to enter.
The RAL Library offers an exciting placement opportunity for students that have an interest in libraries, and publications in general. In addition to working on projects within the library and shadowing the Assistant Librarians, this placement would include learning about different types of publication and how these are important for communicating the work of the laboratory. This is a good grounding for any student wanting to go to university.
“My placement was enjoyable and educational - I had lots of interesting things to do.”
Particle physics investigates the structure of matter at the deepest possible level. Doing this requires the very highest energies, and particle physics experiments often use huge particle accelerators and complex computer programming. Our particle physics department collaborates with large international projects, such as the Large Hadron Collider at CERN.
“Learning to program and being involved in real time searches/hearing research happening now”
RAL Space provides world-leading technology development, space test facilities and instrument and mission design. They have been involved in well over 200 space missions – such as Rosetta, which studied Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and the James Webb Space Telescope, as well as Earth Observation missions, such as SLSTR, which is mapping the surface temperature of the Earth to an unprecedented degree of accuracy.
“[The best part was} being able to work on parts of an instrument that will be flown into space within the following years.”
“I liked looking at the target station and finding out how it works.”
The Research Complex at Harwell (RCaH) is a new multi-disciplinary laboratory. It provides a unique environment for cutting-edge research in physical and life sciences to take place. Research examples include analysing protein structures to help design new drugs, advanced computer graphics and also using lasers that reveal chemical reactions that take place in less than a million millionths of a second.
“[I liked] meeting the employees and learning about their role in the Catalysis Hub [and] using the machines to analyse the nanoparticles I made.”
Computing is becoming more and more important – not only in scientific research, but in the economy as a whole. The Scientific Computing department (SCD) at RAL provides first class computing support and services to staff and scientists on the site. Data from scientific experiments such as the Large Hadron Collider and the ISIS and Diamond particle accelerators are stored and analysed at RAL. SCD is also involved with computational physics, biology, chemistry and engineering.
“[I found I improved] my knowledge in terms of new coding languages and how large organisations work.”
The engineering department designs and builds world-leading equipment for STFC. Staff have a wide range of skills: applied physicists, mechanical, electrical and electronic engineers. The engineering department is key to the design and manufacture of a wide range of detectors, space satellites and micro manufactured components.
“The best part was drawing parts for a Stirling Engine in Solid Edge.”
“I enjoyed working in the clean room on testing detector chips.”
We also have opportunities in our communications, public engagement, media, photographic, support services and finance departments. More information about these departments can be found below.
Last updated: 19 March 2021