Software Engineer

Employer: Science and Technology Facilities Council
Job location
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) – Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. Harwell, Oxford
Job salary
£25,702 to £27,938 or £31,931 to £34,709 per annum (dependent on skills and experience). A Specialist Allowance of up to £3,000 per annum is also available for this role
Job closing date

The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is one of Europe’s largest research organisations. Through combining world-class facilities with major international collaborations, we’re driving ground-breaking advances in science, technology, and engineering. 

Part of STFC, the Central Laser Facility (CLF) hosts some of the world’s most intense lasers. It provides a platform for scientists from around the world to undertake cutting-edge research in fields as diverse as astrophysics, medical imaging, and energy research. The CLF has around 180 staff and is a supportive, welcoming, and externally facing workplace. We have an inclusive culture, and an atmosphere that promotes well-being at work.

The CLF has an excellent opportunity for an experienced software engineer to join our team and help build the next generation of laser control systems. You will contribute to EPAC (Extreme Photonics Applications Centre) – a new, national, facility to support UK science, technology, innovation, and industry. EPAC will harness high-power-laser technology for applications such as the development of novel particle accelerators, the study extreme environments usually only found in space, and the generation of ultra-short x-ray pulses for high-resolution imaging. 

The successful operation of EPAC will rely on a distributed control system to manage a wide range of hardware, including custom off-the-shelf components, real-time controllers, embedded systems, industrial plant equipment, and systems designed in-house.

As a software engineer in this facility your duties will include:

•    Contributing to the design and development of hardware control systems.
•    Capturing requirements, software design, development, testing and documentation.
•    Working closely with scientists, electrical and mechanical engineers, and technicians to deliver a platform for world-class research.

The role would suit a person with a diverse programming experience, including C#, Python, C, and C++.

We provide full training in our control system framework, and many opportunities to gain new skills and knowledge from experts in their field. Recent collaborations within the group have led to projects with Microsoft as well as other scientific facilities in the UK and overseas.

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.

Person Specification

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

Essential for lower salary band:

•    Degree in a STEM subject or equivalent knowledge and experience. (S)
•    Experience of developing well-designed, robust software in languages used in scientific or engineering applications (particularly C, C++, C#, Python). (S&I)
•    Demonstrable experience of software development across all lifecycle activities and applying good development practices. (S&I)
•    Experience in using Linux and Windows. (S&I) 
•    Ability to communicate effectively and collaborate with people in various roles. (I)

Essential for higher salary band, in addition to the above: 

•    Demonstrable experience of leading and managing software work including all lifecycle activities, applying and promoting good development practices. (S&I)
•    Experience in developing software in both Linux and Windows. (S&I) 
•    Ability to communicate effectively and influence people in various roles. (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.

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.