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)

The Science and Technology Facilities Council is part of UK Research and Innovation – the UK body which works in partnership with universities, research organisations, businesses, charities, and government to create the best possible environment for research and innovation to flourish. STFC funds and supports research in particle and nuclear physics, astronomy, gravitational research and astrophysics, and space science and also operates a network of five national laboratories as well as supporting UK research at a number of international research facilities including CERN, FERMILAB and the ESO telescopes in Chile. STFC keeps the UK at the forefront of international science, has a broad science portfolio and works with the academic and industrial communities to share its expertise.


We support UK university-based research, innovation and skills development in astronomy, particle physics, nuclear physics, and space science. 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.


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 


We work with partners to build National Science and Innovation Campuses at Harwell and Sci-Tech Daresbury based around our National Laboratories to promote academic and industrial collaboration and translation of our research to market through direct interaction with industry

Public Engagement

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)

STFC funds UK physicists collaborating in projects all over the world. The particle physicsprogramme is guided by the Particle Physics Advisory Panel and based on our Science Challenges.

STFC supports physicists working on a wide range of experiments in our own laboratories, such as the Particle Physics Department at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, and university research through its experimental and theory consolidated grants, fellowships and studentship grants.

STFC is one of the major contributors to CERN and supports UK researchers working on all four of the LHC (Large Hadron Collider) detectors:

  • ATLAS (A Toroidal LHC ApparatuS)
  • CMS (Compact Muon Solenoid)
  • LHCb (Large Hadron Collider beauty)
  • ALICE (A Large Ion Collider Experiment)

In addition, STFC has made a significant investment in the computing (GRID) infrastructure as part of the worldwide LHC Computing Grid (wLCG) which is vital for handling the massive amount of data that CERN will produce.

Science and Technology Facilities Council
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