Science and Technology Facilities Council

Pictured here is Dr Chris Frost, ChipIR project scientist at ISIS.

UK scientists have built a new facility aimed at understanding how particles from space can interact with electronic devices, and to investigate the chaos that cosmic rays can cause – such as taking communications satellites offline, wiping a device's memory or affecting aircraft electronics. ChipIR has successfully completed its first round of development testing before going in to full operation in 2015. Pictured here is Dr Chris Frost, ChipIR project scientist at ISIS. (Credit: STFC)

We are one of Europe's largest multidisciplinary science organisations. We provide funding support for university-based research, innovation and skills development in astronomy, particle physics, nuclear physics, and space science, and we operate a network of National Laboratories across the UK delivering a wide range of science discoveries and technology advances across the physical, life and computational sciences. In addition to supporting the translation and commercialisation of our research, we deliver a national program of STEM inspiration - working directly with teachers, students and partners to increase science capital.

  • Universities: we support university-based research, innovation and skills development in astronomy, particle physics, nuclear physics, and space science
  • Scientific Facilities: we provide access to world-leading, large-scale facilities across a range of physical and life sciences, enabling research, innovation and skills training in these areas
  • National Campuses: we work with partners to build National Science and Innovation Campuses based around our National Laboratories to promote academic and industrial collaboration and translation of our research to market through direct interaction with industry
  • Inspiring and Involving: we help ensure a future pipeline of skilled and enthusiastic young people by using the excitement of our sciences to encourage wider take-up of STEM subjects in school and future life (science, technology, engineering and mathematics)

We support an academic community of around 1,700 in particle physics, nuclear physics, and astronomy including space science, who work at more than 50 universities and research institutes in the UK, Europe, Japan and the United States, including a rolling cohort of more than 900 PhD students.

STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory

The centrepiece of the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, RAL hosts some of the UK’s major scientific facilities including: the Central Laser Facility (CLF) providing high and low powered lasers for science, and laser R&D; the

ISIS pulsed neutron and muon source which delivers research outcomes across the physical and life sciences, in fields such as energy, biotechnology, materials development and information technology; RAL Space which is a specialist space science research centre and technology developer currently involved in more than 200 international space missions; Diamond Light Source which is the UK’s national synchrotron radiation facility with applications ranging from research into diseases such as Alzheimer’s and finding new ways to clean up contaminated land; Scientific Computing which hosts a CERN Tier One centre and provides software and hardware development to academia and the commercial computational sciences sector; Particle Physics Technology Centre, and; supporting technology R&D.

STFC Daresbury Laboratory

The Laboratory is the heart of the Sci-Tech Daresbury national science and innovation campus, and has a particular focus on particle accelerator research and development programme, high performance computing and technology development for science. Facilities onsite include STFC’s Accelerator Science and Technology Centre (ASTeC) and the Cockcroft Institute of Accelerator Science, the Hartree Centre high performance computing hub and IBM Co-lab, the Medical Technology Exchange Centre (MedTEC), Knowledge Centre for Materials Chemistry, Engineering Technology Centre, and STFC’s Nuclear Physics programme and Detector Systems Group.

STFC Boulby Underground Laboratory

Located 1100m below ground in the Boulby Mine on the North East coast of England, the laboratory is one of just a handful of facilities world-wide suitable for hosting ultra-low background and deep underground science projects. Boulby is a special place for science - 'a quiet place in the Universe' - where studies can be carried out almost entirely free of interference from natural background radiation. Studies underway at Boulby range from the search for Dark Matter in the Universe, to studies of cosmic rays and climate, astrobiology and life in extreme environments, development of techniques for deep 3D geological monitoring and studies of radioactivity in the environment.

Polaris Way
United Kingdom

+44 1793 442000

Becky Parker-Ellis
Tel: +44(0)1793 444564
Mob: +44(0)7808 879294