Work experience placements at Daresbury Laboratory

Each year the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is proud to run a highly successful work experience scheme at Daresbury Laboratory. As part of this scheme we offer one-week placements for Year 10, 11, 12 and 13 students.

COVID-19 Update

For the summer 2022 programme the Daresbury Laboratory and Rutherford Appleton Laboratory 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 will be confirmed in January 2022.

How to apply for STFC work experience

We are currently planning for our Summer 2022 Work Experience Programme to be online. Applications will open on 28 January and will close in March.

Access the application site.

In the meantime, there are other ways to get involved with the site. We run monthly Talking Science lectures at Daresbury which are free to attend.

If you have any queries about work experience, or are interested in hearing more about our events and would like to be added to our mailing list, please email us:

Find out about departments offering placements at Daresbury Laboratory

The Accelerator Science and Technology Centre (ASTeC)

A group of up to 12 students will spend a week at Daresbury Laboratory, with activities coordinated by each of the five technical groups within ASTeC. The students will receive a broad view of all of the accelerator-related work undertaken at Daresbury, and will also see how this work integrates with other activities onsite such as high-precision design and engineering, and high-power computing. The window for the next group work experience will be 13-17 July 2020.

The five technical groups are:

  • Accelerator Physics
  • Magnets and Radiation Sources
  • Radio Frequency and Diagnostics
  • High-Power Lasers
  • Vacuum Solutions

Engineering Technology Centre

Control Systems

This year the Control Systems group have joined up with the Scientific Computing Department and other departments on site to deliver a group Cross-department work experience.


A week’s work experience with the Detector System Group at Daresbury Laboratory, provides an opportunity to experience the design and manufacture of world leading innovative Detector systems, working within two areas:

  • experience within the Electronics workshop to gain an appreciation of basic electronics assembly skills
  • experience within the Electronics Design/Commissioning office to gain an appreciation of basic design/test skills.

Electrical Engineering

The Electrical Engineering Group has a specialist team of engineers, designers and technicians that successfully deliver the Accelerator Science and Particle Physics programs. Their role is to specify, procure, integrate and commission complex electrical systems to be installed at various international science facilities. Students will interact closely with the team, experiencing the full life cycle of a project, from concept, design using the latest CAD technology through to assembly and finally operation.

Nuclear Physics

The Nuclear Physics group at Daresbury Laboratory can offer work experience in the modelling of nuclear detection systems.

The increase of the complexity of experimental setups in this nuclear physics research means that the demand for realistic simulations to prepare experiments and facilitate the data analysis and interpretation is rising.

Using the CERN-developed Simulation toolkit GEANT4, the work experience student will learn about the physics of radiation interaction in matter and, with the visualisation and analysis tools, will be able to see the outcome of these interactions as they happen. The student will work on the modelling of an existing detector system or be involved in the design of a new detection system. As the nature of the work involved is essentially computing, the student would preferably have some predispositions in this area.

Beyond particle and nuclear physics, the GEANT4 toolkit has many other applications. In particular, it is also used in accelerator physics, in medical and space science and in industries linked to national security.

Find out more about the Nuclear Physics Group.

Projects and Mechanical Engineering

A number of places are available for one-week durations in the Projects & Mechanical Engineering group that provide expertise in project management, Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE) and simulation to predict the performance of engineering systems prior to manufacture. The group has the latest CAE tools including virtual reality to visualise particle accelerators and detector systems during the design process. Students will have an introduction to the design of particle accelerators using Computer-Aided Design (CAD).

Technical, Mechanical & Vacuum Engineering Group

The Engineering Technology Centre at Daresbury Laboratory provides work experience placements for students who think they would enjoy a career in the engineering sector. Within the TMVE group, we always aim to offer the student a ‘hands on’ experience, be it using spanners and nuts and bolts to create a vacuum joint, or helping to install a support system on a module structure. During your stay, you will gain an insight into the variety of processes and methods that are necessary to build and commission Linear Accelerators as well as many other high-end technical projects.

Work experience is also about communication, meeting people and seeing how you can contribute and work as a team. The supervisors in the Engineering Department have a wealth of experience in these areas and will help you develop not only these skills, but so much more.

Cross-department work experience

The Scientific Computing Department and Control Systems Group have joined up to deliver a cross-department work experience. Students spend the week learning how to control the temperature of a water bath that is used to develop photographic film. Students will:

  • learn how to program small microprocessors on Arduinos
  • design and build temperature sensors and the code to use them
  • write a program to control water temperature
  • learn about film cameras and develop film
  • hear presentations from engineers and scientists who work at the laboratory on everything from computational chemistry to particle accelerators
  • take a tour of the laboratory
  • attend a session on scientific modelling for customer projects
  • attend a ‘Talk-to-Daresbury-Staff’ session where you get the chance to ask staff questions about their careers, working at Daresbury and life in general.

This week involves a lot of programming. No coding experience is required, just enthusiasm to learn. We will consider applications from Y10 to Y12. The Cross- Department group work experience will take place from 13-17 July 2020.

Student testimonials

During my placement at STFC Daresbury Laboratory, I learned not only about technology and computing, but also about myself and my interests. I found the work enjoyable and challenging. The excellent supervision, along with the friendly and experienced staff at Daresbury Laboratory made us all feel welcomed and capable of the work. Fatemeh

The theoretical knowledge and practical experience I have gained will be a significant advantage in the future, and was only made possible by members of the department going out of their way to share and explain their work. It was a pleasure to be made part of such a friendly and inclusive team, and the placement has helped to shape my own ambitions at university and beyond. Aaron

I applied for a week of work experience at Daresbury laboratory after attending the Talking Science lectures and enjoying them greatly. The week provided a brilliant opportunity to see and learn about science that wouldn’t usually be possible in a classroom setting. It was an amazing week and I would definitely recommend it to others interested in science. Nathan

Last updated: 31 March 2022

This is the integrated website of the seven research councils, Research England and Innovate UK.
Let us know if you have feedback or would like to help us test new developments.