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Graduate Trainee – Science

Aldermaston, Reading
Closing date
29 Oct 2023

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Graduate Trainee – Science  

What if you could work with remarkable people on extraordinary things? What if the end result was something a little bit special? What if your role was mission critical? 

For more than 70 years, AWE has been continuously keeping our nation safe: supporting the UK Government’s nuclear defence strategy and the Continuous At Sea Deterrent. We also use our nuclear know-how and technical expertise to provide innovative solutions that support the UK’s counter-terrorism and nuclear threat reduction activities.

We are a team of around 6,500 people – proud to be part of such an important mission and proud of our responsibilities to the Ministry of Defence and our country.

We create and maintain a safe operating culture where safety is front and centre of everything we do. From building state-of-the-art facilities to supporting our Production, Science, Engineering and Technology programmes, our commitment to the environment, safety, and the wellbeing of our people underpins all activities at AWE.

If you want to work in a unique and innovative environment, then AWE is the perfect place for you.

Location:  Aldermaston nr. Reading 

Our two-year Evolve programme offers you an exciting opportunity to join our science career pathway.  We’re looking for amazing graduates and aspiring leaders to join us and shape the future of science at AWE …Is that person you?  

Entry requirements 

You will be recently qualified in a STEM-related discipline with applications particularly encouraged from those with academic backgrounds in Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics/Statistics, Materials Science, Computer Science, Seismology, Metallurgy, Materials Engineering, Environmental Sciences or Forensics & Analytical Sciences.  Before starting with the business, you will need to provide evidence that you have attained a minimum of a 2:2 in your degree.   

What to expect on the programme? 

The Evolve Science programme provides graduates with access to a range of engaging opportunities to learn and also contribute to cutting-edge research and development. Through a series of placements, which individuals will have a significant role in shaping and selecting, you will experience a sense of the breadth and depth of science at AWE whilst at the same time contributing meaningfully to our current projects. 

  • During your first year, you’ll get the opportunity to undertake an initial project and a number of short placements to give you a broad awareness and understanding of Science at AWE. 
  • In year two, you’ll undertake two ‘specialist’ placements that will help you develop deeper technical skills and knowledge, working on scientific challenges that support our mission. 
  • During your placements you’ll have the opportunity to work with leading scientists and experts in their field and have access to some of AWE’s unique and specialist facilities. 
  • The programme will help you gain a blend of scientific skills and experience that will enable you to enjoy an exciting and varied career, with lots of opportunity for continued development 
  • Alongside your placements you will undertake a core development programme supporting the development of the soft skills such as leadership, teamwork and resilience providing you with broader personal development opportunities. 
  • You will also be supported in working towards professional registration relevant to your role or discipline whilst on the Evolve programme 


Evolve Science graduates could engage with experiences such as: 

  • Supporting the assessment of system performance of the UK’s nuclear deterrent 
  • Engaging in cutting edge research in a range of areas including nuclear forensics, quantum computing and analytical chemistry 
  • Working with our supercomputing capability in developing sophisticated models 
  • Interfacing with scientists from US laboratories over shared projects and focuses 
  • Working hands on in a laboratory developing and testing new materials, processes and equipment  
  • Using their technical insights to add value to projects within our Nuclear Threat Reduction programme in support of national security 
  • Working alongside world-leading experts to overcome scientific challenges 

What behaviours you’ll have  

  • You will possess the following traits and qualities: 
  • Growth Mindset; You’re full of grit and determination. Clear where you are going and how you will get there. 
  • Curious; you’re a person who loves to think outside the box. (You’re a person who loves to take the box apart!). 
  • Innovative; you’re open to learning about new technologies and ground-breaking ideas. 
  • Resilience; you’re an advocate of ‘speaking up’ for yourself and others openly and constructively. 
  • Team Worker; you’re dependable and reliable.  You’re interested in collaborating with and supporting others. 

What you’ll bring 

You will bring the curiosity needed to help you steer and direct the course of your career and the part you’ll play in the UK deterrent.  You will live your best self and make every-day count.  

What you’ll get 

We will give you a competitive total reward package including salary element of £30,000 per annum and fabulous benefits including a market leading contributory pension scheme. 

You will also get: 

  • Generous holiday entitlement(270 hours of leave annually)  
  • Excellent work/life balance 
  • 9-day working fortnight (this means you will not work every other Friday!) 
  • A salary sacrifice benefits 
  • A welcome payment 
  • An option of an interest free loan of £1,000 as well as regular Graduate pay reviews and a structured and supported career progression 
  • Discounts – access to savings on a wide range of everyday spending across retail, hospitality and leisure 
  • Life Assurance 
  • Employee Assistance Programme and Occupational Health Services 
  • Alongside these benefits you will get the opportunity to learn from some of the top leaders in their field.  

Selection Process:  

You must be able to Join AWE in October 2024 date TBC. Our deadline line for applications is Sunday October 29th. The earlier you apply the better chance you have of success.

Candidates must be willing and able to obtain and maintain the necessary security clearance for the role. 

Please note that you must be a British National to apply for a role with us. 

Our ambition is to create workplaces where we recognise and celebrate differences, encourage diverse contributions and our employees feel able to be themselves at work. We strive to create a genuine culture of openness and inclusion and encourage diverse applicants.  

Any inclusion information you provide us will be used to encourage and support you through the application process and will be held only for this purpose in accordance with GDPR. 

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