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Director of STFC Particle Physics Department

Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Harwell Campus, Oxfordshire
£87,565 - £99,000 per annum
Closing date
7 Jan 2024

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Job Type
Employment - Hours
Full time
Professional certification

Director of STFC Particle Physics Department

Based onsite at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Harwell Campus, Oxfordshire

£87,565 - £99,000 per annum (depending on skills and experience)

Full-time, Open-ended appointment

The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is seeking an experienced scientific leader as Director of the Particle Physics Department (PPD). This role presents an exciting opportunity to shape and deliver a growing national programme, supported by exceptional staff and facilities, amid a period of significant scientific potential.

STFC’s PPD conducts a dynamic science programme at the forefront of fundamental physics research, among the largest and best-resourced particle physics groups internationally. The department's mission is to support and enable the entire UK community in the delivery and organisation of particle physics research, in collaboration with the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT)

About the role

Reporting to the Executive Director of National Laboratories Science and Technologies, the Director will lead a department of over one hundred staff and students across multiple national and international sites. Managing a budget of over £18M per year, the Director will provide financial and risk management, and collaborate with senior professionals in STFC and the national and international science communities to enable the delivery of the science programme.

The Director will have a highly visible externally facing role, representing STFC on international bodies and committees, maintaining an awareness of and participation in global science strategy processes, and developing cooperative relationships with international laboratories. The successful candidate will also role model encouraging and promoting STFC’s values of equality, diversity, and inclusion, and commitment to sustainability and investment in staff, in all their activities.

About us:

STFC’s mission is to deliver world-leading national and international research and innovation capabilities to discover the secrets of the Universe. As part of STFC’s national laboratories directorate, the Particle Physics Department (PPD):

  • Supports the UK scientific community through the design, construction, operation, and exploitation of experiments in particle physics, particle astrophysics, and related areas
  • Enables the future science programme through research and development in instrumentation, accelerators, computing, and data analysis
  • Maintains facilities, expertise and talent in the scientific, technical and professional subject areas needed by the programme, and offers long-term career support for staff
  • Ensures efficient and effective science via project management and operational support
  • Defines and develops the future programme together with UK and international partners
  • Supports STFC planning and decision-making, providing expertise, information, and insight
  • Promotes societal, industrial, and interdisciplinary impact
  • Develops sustainable approaches to all aspects of the science programme

Find out more about the state-of-the-art facilities available at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory.

About you

We understand that individuals might hesitate to submit an application if they don't meet each of the criteria. If you're enthusiastic about joining our organisation and possess a majority of the skills or experience, we encourage you to proceed with an application. We recognise that a variety of perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences enriches our work environment and therefore actively welcome applications from a diverse range of candidates.

Candidates will be assessed against the following criteria throughout the recruitment process:

  • Your record of professional achievement in experimental particle physics or particle astrophysics 
  • Experience of conducting research at a high level as a user or staff member at major international laboratories, and a network of connections throughout the international community 
  • Your leadership within the academic community at senior level, with an ability to represent the high-level interests of STFC and the UK within the international science community 
  • Experience of developing and delivering strategy including resource planning, operational delivery and pursuing and delivering major projects
  • Proven skills in effectively leading people, including commitment to developing others and upholding and promoting STFC’s values 
  • Your communication, interpersonal, and influencing skills, with an ability to build effective working relationships both within and outside the particle physics field
  • Familiarity with the organisation and delivery of particle physics in the UK, as well as knowledge of the coordination and political dynamic of international particle physics

For further information on the role and responsibilities, please request a copy of the candidate prospectus by emailing


STFC offers a benefits package designed to provide an excellent work–life balance including: 30 days annual leave, flexible working hours, a workplace nursery, exceptional pension scheme, and social and sporting activities and societies. A relocation allowance may also be available where applicable.

To apply

Please visit our Careers Portal to apply. Applicants should supply a supporting statement (also referred to as a cover letter) of no more than four pages describing their vision for the particle physics department for the next ten years and outlining their suitability for the role against the specified criteria. A CV of up to two pages should also be supplied.

Prospective applicants may informally discuss the role and work of PPD with the previous Director, Professor David Newbold (

The closing date for applications is Sunday 7 January 2024 with interviews scheduled for Monday 22 January 2024 in person at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory.

We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable adjustments to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform crucial job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us to request any adjustments, you can also find out more about our dedication to diversity here.

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