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Software Engineer

Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
The Science and Technology Facilities Council, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory Harwell, Oxfordshire
£42,840 to £47,124 (Band D) or £53,818 to £59,199 (Band E) per annum
Closing date
3 Mar 2024

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Job Details

Science and Technology Facilities Council

Salary: £42,840 to £47,124 (Band D) or £53,818 to £59,199 (Band E) per annum (dependent on skills and experience)
Hours: Full time or Part time (minimum 30 hours per week)
Contract Type: Open Ended
Location: This role will be based at the Science and Technology Facilities Council, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory Harwell, Oxfordshire, due to the nature of the work.

Come and discover the kind of impact you can make when you work with some of the best facilities and brightest scientists in the world. We have an excellent opportunity for experienced software engineers to join a friendly team writing software to manipulate and automate cutting edge, precision instrumentation to deliver ground-breaking research. You will work as part of a multi-disciplinary group of engineers, technicians, and scientists to understand the requirements of our users and deliver software to meet them.

The Central Laser Facility (CLF) is part of the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), providing advanced laser research facilities for UK and international scientists. We are building two new laser centres - the £100M Extreme Photonics Applications Centre (EPAC) and the world’s most powerful laser facility - £85M Vulcan 20-20 – which will help scientists recreate interiors of stars in laboratory and work towards clean energy, as well as develop new types of particle and radiation beams for a wide range of applications in science and industry. We are seeking new team members to contribute to the design, construction and operation of these facilities.  

About the role

You will work on the control system that orchestrates the various state-of-the-art technologies in our laboratories. Our control system is based on the EPICS open-source controls toolkit, used by large-scale science-facilities across our campus and around the world. We develop software in both Linux and Windows environments in a range of languages including C++, Python, and C#. Our engineers work on the whole software stack, from low-level device drivers up to the graphical user-interfaces for staff and external scientists. You will have the chance to develop and apply your skills in a wide range of tasks.

As a Software Engineer your responsibilities will include either supporting (Band D) or leading (Band E) the following:

•    developing software to control scientific hardware, such as motion controllers, two-dimensional detectors, and lasers
•    building intuitive applications to allow scientist to perform complex tasks as easily as possible
•    producing technical documentation for both users and maintainers of our software
•    work package management and management of safety (Band D)
•    staff management, project management and management of safety (Band E)

We will provide training in EPICS, support from variety of experts in technical and scientific fields, and resources like Pluralsight and O’Reilly subscriptions to help you enhance your knowledge and skills.

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 values their employees by offering a benefits package designed to provide an excellent work/life balance including 30 days’ annual leave, 10.5 public and privilege holidays, flexible working hours, exceptional average salary pension scheme, social and sporting activities and societies and a subsidised restaurant. 

Person Specification

The following criteria will be assessed at Shortlisting (S), Interview (I) or both (S&I)

Essential for Band D

•    a degree in a STEM subject or equivalent knowledge and experience of developing software (S)
•    experience of developing well-designed, robust software in languages used in scientific or engineering applications (particularly C, C++, Python) (S&I)
•    understanding of modern software development practices (e.g. testing, version control, continuous integration, Agile, object-oriented design) (S&I)
•    ability to communicate effectively, collaborate within a team, and influence people with various roles and backgrounds (I)

Essential for Band E

To be considered for the higher band, in addition to the above criteria, you should also have:

•    extensive experience of developing software in a professional environment (S)
•    experience of leading software projects through the full life cycle, from gathering requirements to deployment and maintenance (S&I)
•    the ability to lead teams comprising people with various roles and backgrounds  (I)


About The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) 

As one of Europe’s largest research organisations, we ask the biggest questions in the universe to find answers that change the world around us. We seek understanding. We’re proud of the impact we make. And we’re committed to helping build a globally competitive, knowledge-based UK economy. Being part of all this means contributing to work that pushes boundaries and creates possibilities. You’ll work with, and learn from, true experts. Whatever your role, you’ll be free to question, and encouraged to share ideas. And, in a positive and supportive culture, you’ll discover just what a difference you can make when you’re equipped and inspired to excel.

We’re a place where curious minds thrive. Not bound by profit, we explore ideas that others don’t, ask questions that others won’t, and discover answers that others are not equipped to find. And, alongside Mars landings and black holes, we also explore diverse, international projects in everything from science and engineering to computing and technology. Whether it’s at the cutting edge or behind the scenes, our work is intellectually challenging. It’s very often ground-breaking.  And it’s endlessly, irresistibly fascinating.

For more information about STFC please visit 

You can also visit our careers site

About UK Research Innovation (UKRI) 

UKRI is an organisation that brings together the seven disciplinary research councils, Research England and Innovate UK. Together, we build an independent organisation with a strong voice and vision ensuring the UK maintains its world-leading position in research and innovation. 

Supporting some of the world’s most exciting and challenging research projects, we develop and operate some of the most remarkable scientific facilities in the world. We are pushing the frontiers of human knowledge through fundamental research and delivering benefits for UK society and the economy through world-class research, skills and business-led innovation. 

More information can be found at  

Choosing to come to work at UKRI means that you will have access to a whole host of benefits from a defined benefit pension scheme, excellent holiday entitlement, access to employee shopping/travel discounts and salary sacrifice cycle to work scheme.  For more details, visit benefits of working for UKRI.

The role holder will be required to have the appropriate level of security screening/vetting required for the role.  UKRI reserves the right to run or re-run security clearance as required during the course of employment.

How we support EDI in the workforce 

At UKRI, we believe that everyone has a right to be treated with dignity and respect, and to be provided with equal opportunities to thrive and succeed in an environment that enables them to do so. We also value diversity of thought and experience within inclusive groups, organisations and the wider community. For further information, please visit ‘How we support EDI in the workforce’

Disability Confident Employer

As users of the disability confident scheme, we guarantee to interview all disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria for the vacancy/ies. We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us to request accommodation. 
How to apply 

Online applications only preferred for this role. Please submit a CV and covering letter which clearly outlines how you fulfil the criteria specified along with your motivation for UKRI and the role. Ensure that the job reference number is included in the filename description of each document uploaded. Note that failure to address the above criteria or submit an application without a covering letter may result in the application not being considered. Assessment will only be based upon the content of your submitted covering letter and CV and not the ‘experience’ section of the application. 

UKRI seeks to ensure it creates and maintains a system of openness, fairness and inclusion – a collaborative, trusted environment, which is attractive to and accessible to everyone who is interested in developing their career with us. 


The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is one of Europe’s largest research organisations. We’re trusted to support, enable and undertake pioneering projects in an amazing diversity of fields. Through world-class facilities and people, we’re driving ground-breaking advances in science and engineering. STFC is one of nine organisations that have been brought together to create UK Research and Innovation (UKRI); a new organisation with a vision to ensure the UK maintains its world-leading position in research and innovation.

At STFC, our engineers provide the technology that allows our world-leading science to make a real difference in areas that really matter: from cancer treatment to airport security, high-tech jobs to hydrogen powered cars, energy generation to accident scene emergency care, our impact is felt in many aspects of daily life. We provide and exploit space and astronomy technology, a world-leading neutron scattering facility, ultra-fast supercomputers, amazing scientific instruments and some of the most powerful lasers in the world. We work with industry and academia throughout the UK, Europe and the world.

STFC can offer you an excellent working environment. Our laboratories are based in beautiful rural locations in Cheshire, Oxfordshire and in Edinburgh, with great amenities and quality of life for you and your family. We are at the centre of burgeoning high-tech campuses buzzing with economic investment and even more promise for the future. Our people enjoy attractive benefits and plenty of opportunity for development. Whether you are beginning or furthering your career, we can offer you excellent opportunities to test out and broaden your skills and experience and to gain real technical and managerial expertise working in dynamic team and project environments.

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