NPL Graduate Research Scientist Programme



Are you interested in a career in scientific research?

At NPL, we are looking for graduates with a real passion for tackling some of the biggest challenges in industry, energy, the environment, and healthcare to join our Science and Engineering groups.

As a Research Scientist on the two-year NPL Graduate Recruitment Programme you will be matched with one our exciting departments, based on your background and interest, and will undertake 2 or 3 rotations across the groups of your department. These rotations will fast track your development through a mix of on-the-job learning, training, and networking and aim to respond to the national challenges of:

  • Prosperity: delivering measurement solutions to maximise innovation and prosperity in advanced manufacturing
  • Security and resilience: managing the risks to our national security and resilience infrastructure
  • Environment: science-led measurement solutions for environment climate action and a sustainable future
  • Health: supporting healthcare, life science and the bioeconomy

You will be based at our Teddington site* and will use your analytical and problem-solving skills to work on topics relating to the national challenges. You will be working on either laboratory, or data-based projects through practical and theory-based learning. Once you have completed the two-year programme you will join us as a permanent Research Scientist, with a working knowledge of complementary areas.

*We will consider candidates who would like to be based from our Strathclyde hub or one of our other regional hubs.

Graduate rotations are available in the following departments:

  • Time and Frequency
  • Data Science
  • Quantum Technologies
  • Electromagnetic and Electrochemical Technologies
  • Chemical and Biological Sciences
  • Medical, Marine and Nuclear
  • Atmospheric and Environmental Science
  • Thermal and Radiometric Metrology
  • Materials and Mechanical Metrology

Our expectations

In this role, you will be able to:

  • Work collaboratively as part of our teams to help us achieve our goals
  • Use logical thought processes to design and follow a scientific work plan
  • Write technical documentation and scientific publications, both collaboratively and independently
  • Analyse complex data sets, such as satellite imagery or instrument measurement readings, with potential to develop new software tools
  • Learn about and then follow established protocols for either laboratory or data processing
  • Work within established Health and Safety and Quality systems to safely produce accurate and repeatable results
  • Build your network and develop new skills by supporting our Community Activities including supporting Outreach activities and our diversity and inclusion initiatives

We are now working in a hybrid way, with a mix of remote and office working. We strive to offer a great work life balance - if you are looking for full time, part time or flexible options, we will try to make this work where it is possible.

About You

For this role we encourage applications from individuals who can complement our existing teams and bring fresh perspectives. We believe that diversity of perspective is key to sparking the creativity needed to respond to the challenges at NPL and are seeking individuals, particularly women, those with disabilities and minority ethnic candidates, who can bring their backgrounds and personal experiences to the team.

  • You will have achieved or be on target to achieve a degree, or equivalent in Physics, Chemistry, Maths, Engineering, Biological Sciences, or a related field
  • You have experience of working in a team to achieve a common goal
  • You can communicate clearly and collaborate with colleagues in your team
  • You enjoy problem solving and can demonstrate critical thinking, assessing the pros and cons of your approach
  • You have evidence of writing scientific technical reports during your studies, or are willing to learn if your experience was acquired in a different setting
  • You can demonstrate the ability to complete work which requires a high level of attention to detail
  • You understand the value of providing good customer service to both internal and external customers, wanting to meet and exceed customer expectations through delivering high quality work with proactive communications
  • You are committed to personal development and taking on learning opportunities to get the most from the role
  • You must be eligible to live and work in the UK at the time you start employment (we cannot provide visa sponsorship at this time)

If it sounds like this is the role for you, we look forward to hearing from you!

Please submit a cover letter and your application form containing the following:

  • What attracts you to the NPL Graduate Programme
  • What sets you apart from the other candidates
  • Examples of how you have demonstrated any of NPL’s Values in Action
  • Your preferred Department/s from the list above

What we offer

  • Competitive starting salary of £27,405
  • Performance related pay review in 2024 (non-contractual)
  • 27 days annual leave + bank holidays
  • 6 – 12 month tailored placements for the duration of the programme
  • Pension scheme with a minimum 5% employer contribution (9% employer contribution if you decide to contribute 6%)
  • Social and networking events with other graduates on the programme
  • Paid disability leave
  • Access to a wide array of learning and development opportunities
  • Employee assistance programme
  • Interest free loans (Up to £5k for season ticket loans, house purchase deposit and rental deposit)
  • Bike4Work scheme
  • Recognition awards
  • Civil Service Sports and Leisure discounts
  • Free parking on site
  • Located in south west London, our main site in Teddington is one of the most advanced metrology facilities in the world

About the process

  • Application form with cover letter
  • Your first interview will be conducted via Microsoft Teams and will last up to 30 minutes
  • If selected you will be invited to an assessment centre, which will be held in person at our Teddington site in Spring 2023
  • If successful, we look forward to welcoming you to join us on the 5th of September 2023

About Us

The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) is a world-leading centre of excellence that provides cutting-edge measurement science, engineering and technology to underpin prosperity and quality of life in the UK. It is the UK's National Metrology Institute and delivers the UK Measurement Strategy on behalf of the UK government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

NPL and BEIS have strong commitments to diversity and equality of opportunity, and welcome applications from candidates irrespective of their background, gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, or age, providing they meet the required criteria. Applications from women, disabled and black, Asian and minority ethnic candidates are encouraged. All disabled candidates (as defined by the Equality Act 2010) who satisfy the minimum criteria for the role will be guaranteed an interview under the Disability Confident Scheme.

At NPL, we believe our success is a result of the diversity and talent of our people. We strive to nurture and respect individuals to ensure everyone feels valued by treating everyone on the basis of their own individual merits and abilities regardless of their own or perceived identity, as part of our commitment to diversity & inclusion, we hold memberships and accreditations to ensure we’re creating an environment where all our colleagues feel supported and welcome, please see our Diversity & Inclusion page.

We are committed to the health and well-being of our employees. Flexible working and social activities are embedded in our culture to create a positive work-life balance, along with a broad range of benefits. Our values are at the heart of what we do, and they shape the way we interact, develop our people and celebrate success.

To ensure everyone has an equal chance, we’re always willing to make reasonable adjustments to the recruitment process. If you would like to discuss, please contact us.

To apply click here, or click the Apply Now button below.

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National Physical Laboratory

The National Physical Laboratory is a world leading centre of excellence in developing and applying the most accurate standards, science and technology available.

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