Post-doctoral Research and Operations Scientist - 2 Year FTC

The job has expired.

Job Reference: NNL/TP/11402/771
Number of Positions: 1
Contract Type: Fixed Term - Full Time
Contract Details: Fixed Term - 18 months
Salary: Starting at £36,160
Working Hours: 39 hours per week
Closing Date: 24/11/2020
Job Category: Fuel, Reactor and Reprocessing
Business Unit: Fuel, Reactor and Reprocessing
Location: Sellafield, Cumbria

Job Introduction

One of the key long-term missions at the Sellafield site is to ensure safe and secure storage of special nuclear materials (SNM) such as plutonium over extended time periods, likely to be in excess of 100 years. The National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) is seeking a post-doctoral level scientist from a materials science-related discipline to support studies on the behaviour and lifetime of SNM storage materials under various conditions and to advise on handling, storage and monitoring.


The role will provide you with a unique opportunity to develop a holistic understanding of the science that underpins the safe storage of special nuclear materials. You will work closely with one of our major customers, Sellafield Ltd. It is expected that a significant portion of your time will be spent embedded in Sellafield Ltd Special Nuclear Materials Technical Team. For the remainder of your time you will be based in NNL’s Central Laboratory, which is co-located on the Sellafield site, developing experience of the research we do to support plutonium management.

A key aspect to the role will be your ability to apply the underpinning science undertaken by NNL, UK Universities, the supply chain and from international experience. You will work with a multidisciplinary team of scientists, engineers, safety case specialists and plant operators. We will look to you to understand problems and draw on your technical skills and knowledge to provide robust technical arguments that support your colleagues and identify effective solutions.

You will be given the opportunity to undertake a significant amount of training and development to aid both your behavioural and your technical skills, with considerable flexibility on the nature of your own technical development programme. It is expected that the training and experience gained during this fixed term will provide you with distinctive skills for a bright future in a technical role in the nuclear industry.

Attributes:  Good communication skills, ability to work well in teams, self-motivated and pro-activity in approach are required.

Main Responsibilities

  • Provision of specified services to internal/external customers to agreed standards.
  • Interpret instructions and produce good quality output safely and to time.
  • Provide technical information, checking validity and records within appropriate guidelines.
  • Participate in the preparation of technical reports and assessments within agreed timescales.
  • Where appropriate, develop the skills and abilities of others for the benefit of the company.
  • Work within budgetary limits.
  • Ensure detailed work records are maintained in accordance with laid down procedures.
  • Comply with legislative, regulatory and company policy standards and procedures e.g. safety, quality, risk, security etc. applicable to the role.

The Ideal Candidate

Qualifications and Experience:


  • A PhD in materials science or similar scientific subject (or nearing completion of)
  • A proven aptitude for problem solving
  • Drive and determination.
  • Good communication and team working skills.
  • The ability to work with minimum supervision when required.
  • Good IT skills.

Desirable (but not essential)

  • Knowledge of the nuclear industry.
  • Classified Person with existing security clearance.
  • Experience of handling radioactive materials.

About The Company

Grounded in robust science and decades of experience, National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) is the authoritative voice in the UK and beyond for technological development within the nuclear power sector.

Our unparalleled understanding of the science, challenges and opportunities makes us an unrivalled authority and partner in the field, providing experts, technologies, and access to cutting-edge facilities to organisations around the world.

Harnessing potential technologies and translating them into to industry-ready solutions means our pioneering approach spearheads international improvement and technological progress.

We work on projects as small as drilling a hole to analyse underground wastes with our integrated micro drilling technology, or as large as developing state-of-the-art power systems for spacecraft, based on radioactive materials