Public Engagement Industrial Placement


Science and Technology Facilities Council

Salary: £21,600 per annum 
Hours: Full time 
Contract Type: Fixed Term (12 months) 
Location: Science and Technology Facilities Council, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory Harwell, Oxfordshire 

The NQCC is the UK’s national centre for quantum computing, dedicated to accelerating its development by addressing the challenges of scaling up the technology. Our vision is to enable the UK to solve some of the most complex and challenging problems facing society by harnessing the potential of quantum computing. The centre is working with businesses, government and the research community to deliver quantum computing capabilities for the UK, and support the growth of the emerging industry.

The NQCC’s programme represents a £93m investment, and is being delivered jointly by the research councils, EPSRC and STFC, as part of UK Research and Innovation. The centre will be headquartered in a purpose-built facility, due for completion in 2023, within STFC’s Rutherford Appleton Laboratory site at the Harwell Campus in Oxfordshire.

Overview of our industrial placement scheme

STFC’s exceptionally diverse range of placements allow you to work alongside world leading engineers, scientists and technicians in highly collaborative environments. Whichever you choose, you’ll become a critical member of the team in which you will be exposed to exciting projects and challenges from the beginning. You’ll be supported every step of the way by our dedicated Early Careers Team who will also ensure you benefit from a range of personal development opportunities. 

STFC offers a benefits package crafted to provide an excellent work/life balance including 30 days’ annual leave, 10.5 public and privilege days, Christmas closure and flexible working hours. For more information on our full list of benefits, please visit here.

Summary of responsibilities

We seek a public engagement student to promote NQCC science, engineering, and the topic of quantum computing, to a range of audiences, including school students and the general public. You will join a group that plays a major role in communications and engagement at the NQCC, promoting science and engineering through a range of channels. 

You will have a have a passion for STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). You will enjoy using and developing your presentation, organisational and creative skills to promote our science and engineering, as well as  STEM subjects and careers, to a wide range of audiences through articles, education activities and events, including science fairs and festivals. Some events may be virtual.

The role would suit someone studying for a science or engineering degree, interested in science communication, and keen to encourage and engage with young people and the public. The candidate will be able to work well both individually and as part of a team, and will be interested in scientific areas and communicating that science to diverse audiences.  

Responsibilities include:

• Researching and presenting our science and engineering through channels including events, activities, workshops and articles, to a range of audiences
• Developing new, creative resources for scientists/engineers to take to festivals, fairs and schools, and for remote and online delivery 
• Working with the NQCC outreach, education and skills team to help deliver public engagement events 
• Supporting other NQCC outreach and public engagement and communications activities such as developing creative technical content for social media channels and the NQCC website.

In order to apply for this placement, we are looking for the following:


•    Currently enrolled on an undergraduate degree course
•    Are required or have requested to take an industrial placement year
•    Able to commence employment in summer 2024 
•    Have the right to live and work in the UK for the duration of the placement 
•    Keen interest or passion in science communication, schools and public engagement  
•    Excellent presentation skills, communication skills and good organisational skills 
•    Demonstrate good team working capabilities  
•    The willingness to learn new skills, both technical and non-technical 
•    Demonstrate an interest in quantum computing.


•    Enrolled on a degree course with a Public Engagement/Science Communication component or module 
•    Experience in STEM public engagement 
•    Demonstrate an understanding and the ability to explain quantum computing to a lay audience.

Please note we can only accept two applications per candidate.

Part of our application process involves submitting your CV and a cover letter. Your cover letter should address your suitability for the opportunity based on how you meet each essential criteria stated in this advert. 

You are advised to submit your application as soon as possible as we reserve the right to close this vacancy once we have received sufficient applications.

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. 

Additional Information

  • Organisation: Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
  • Contract Type: Fixed Term Contract
  • External Closing Date: Nov 12, 2023
  • Minimum Salary: Pound Sterling (GBP) 21,600
  • Hours: Full-time