Particle Physics Department Computer Group Apprentice

Didcot, Oxfordshire
£15,551 per annum (rising incrementally to £20,800 per annum in the fourth year)
09 Apr 2019
09 May 2019
Science / Research
Role Type
Apprenticeship, Degree
Start Date
24 months+

Our Organisation

STFC is a world-leading multi-disciplinary science organisation, and our goal is to deliver economic, societal, scientific and international benefits to the UK and its people – and more broadly to the world. We have large-scale scientific facilities in the UK and Europe used by thousands of scientists performing thousands of experiments every year. The facilities provide a range of research techniques to help scientists better understand our world and the universe!

Computing is essential to the science that STFC supports. We need a keen individual to support us in the development of new and existing IT services and systems. We are recruiting a Computing apprentice to work at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in south Oxfordshire. You will be based in the Particle Physics Department IT group with computing professionals.

During the apprenticeship scheme you will be exposed to a variety of IT, gaining a broad range of skills and experiences to support you as you work towards a BSc (Hons) Digital and Technology Solutions Degree.

Opportunities & Responsibilities

You will undertake placements that will develop your expertise in:


  • logging and resolving user IT issues/hardware/software/networking etc
  • liaising with other helpdesks to resolve issues.


  • making sure Sophos Anti-Virus is installed and running correctly on all device
  • making sure all Windows devices are up to date WSUS
  • resolving vulnerabilities on Windows devices from results of Greenbone scans.


  • self-learn WAMP, MySQL, PHP, HTML (bootstrap), Javascript to manage and develop custom databases (inhouse databases built by previous students.) 
  • self-learn and write custom PowerShell scripts to automate tasks.


  • self-learn SharePoint365 to manage departments SharePoint365 site.  


  • user guides
  • admin guides
  • project
  • change Control
  • procedures and processes.


  • DHCP
  • DNS
  • VLAN’s
  • IP address management
  • self-learn Linux to manage LLDP network mapping tool.

Server and service virtualization

  • virtual machine Failover Cluster with SAN storage
  • file server Failover Cluster with SAN storage.

Other Windows services not mentioned above

  • printing
  • terminal services
  • System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM)
  • Active Directory and Group Policies
  • Distributed File System (DFS)
  • IIS.

Exposure to other IT

  • AC’s user devices
  • MAC server Time Machine and Printing
  • Linux. 

You will be expected to:

  • communicate and work with fellow team members on a daily basis
  • communicate with users, scientists, engineers and management to understand their requirements
  • take an active role in both technical and non-technical meetings
  • show initiative especially regarding learning new things
  • work independently at times and ask questions if unsure
  • take responsibility for ensuring your work does what is needed and meets the quality criteria specified
  • write documentation for technical and non-technical users
  • help deploy IT services to production and help provide support after release
  • use a variety of tools and technologies used by the team to manage and develop computer services and systems
  • present a topic to a small group of people and answer questions
  • participate in the wider department and STFC apprentice training programme.

You will be supported to undertake paid degree-level training. In addition to this and “on the job” training, you will have opportunity to subscribe to professional online tutorial sites, attend technical courses, undertake various soft skills training, and take part in our organisation-wide apprentice networking and training events where you will meet and get to know other apprentices such as our electronics, mechanical and electrical engineering apprentices. You will be assigned a mentor for the duration of the scheme.

About You

As a starting point we expect you to:

  • Have achieved (or will have achieved) a minimum of two A levels at grade A or above OR three A levels at grade C or above OR a BTEC Level 3 in Computing (or similar subject) or equivalent
  • have good communication skills both verbal and written
  • have strong organisational skills
  • knowledge of Microsoft Windows operating systems
  • knowledge of Microsoft Office products
  • sound knowledge of PC Hardware and peripherals
  • able to perform manual handling tasks
  • comfortable working in a busy helpdesk environment
  • as well as technical ability, the candidate should have good interpersonal skills and be committed to delivering an excellent service to their customers within the department
  • beneficial: Some knowledge of Apple products
  • beneficial: Some knowledge of Unix systems
  • beneficial: an interest in programming.

Shortlisting Criteria


  • Have achieved (or will have achieved) a minimum of two A levels at grade A or above OR three A levels at grade C or above OR a BTEC Level 3 in Computing (or similar subject) or equivalent - please give subjects and results in CV
  • good written communication skills as demonstrated in your CV and cover letter
  • desire to develop personally and professionally - your cover letter should explain why you have applied for this computing apprenticeship scheme and any activities you are involved in to help you develop personally and professionally
  • right to live and work in the UK.


  • some knowledge of and enthusiasm for computer programming and/or hardware - your CV and/or cover letter should give example(s) of personal or school projects that involved learning about and using IT and/or a programming language and/or hardware and what you enjoyed
  • A/AS level (or equivalent) in Computing or other scientific/technical discipline - please give subjects and results in CV.

Employee Benefits

UK Research and Innovation recognises and values employees as individuals and aim to provide a pay and rewards package that motivates staff to perform to the best of their ability. The reward package includes a flexible working scheme, a Career Average Revalued Earnings pension scheme, 30 days annual leave allowance and a number of other benefits.

Developing Talent

We are committed to developing employees in their roles throughout their career. Learning and development plans enable employees to continue their professional development through training and development opportunities such as e-learning, classroom training and on-the-job experiences. We encourage our employees to share their learning across teams and organisations.