Sandwich Student - Experimental Scientist for neutron scattering applications
24 Aug 2016




STFC offers you an opportunity to gain paid practical experience as part of your degree.  Each year STFC recruit up to 45 sandwich students who are able to use and develop the skills they’ve acquired at university in a working environment, providing learn


Within STFC, ISIS is part of the National Laboratories directorate. The National Laboratories provide research facilities and capabilities that, because of their scale, complexity, strategic character or cost, are appropriately operated as a national research resource. The ISIS pulsed neutron and muon source is the world-leading centre for research in the physical and life sciences. It provides scientists and engineers with a facility to determine the structure and dynamics of materials at the molecular/atomic level, using beams of neutrons and muons.

A vigorous research and development programme is underway to meet the demands for new radiation detectors at ISIS. The successful student will contribute to this programme, working alongside experienced scientists to develop and evaluate the potential of new detector technologies.

At ISIS the properties of any given detector have to be carefully matched to the specific scientific techniques performed on the neutron or muon instrument they serve. The detection efficiency, count rate capability, scintillation efficiency and light collection efficiency all need to be carefully optimised to meet the requirements of particular instruments.

This placement will focus on the optimisation of scintillation detector technology, for use in neutron detectors for future ISIS instrument upgrades. Neutron detectors have been constructed in the past using scintillation detectors equipped with 6LiF:ZnS(Ag) scintillators and wavelength shifting fibres. However, new neutron scattering techniques require detectors that can count the neutrons faster than is achievable with the existing 6LiF:ZnS(Ag) scintillation detectors. Methods to improve the count rate capability of scintillation detectors are therefore being investigated.

You will investigate methods to produce wavelength shifting fibre read out scintillation detectors with the required performance and at an acceptable cost. This is typically done by designing and constructing a number of small prototype detectors, experimentally determining the characteristics of these detectors and optimising the design. 
Detector characteristics that will be measured include: neutron detection efficiency, gamma sensitivity, intrinsic detector background, detector resolution and count-rate capability. At the end of the project a prototype detector will be built to verify the performance on a more realistic scale. You will be responsible for the experimental programme.  Help and advice will be provided by the supervisors.

You will be expected to present results of the project in regular meetings with your manager and in section meetings.


It is essential that you are dexterous and has a particular interest in experimental research.  Willingness to work as part of a multidisciplinary team and with ionising radiation is required.

For more information and to apply, click here.