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Research Associates

Sellafield Ltd
Sellafield, West Cumbria
Starting Salary: £42,501 - £48,336 dependant on role & experience, + an annual bonus of up to £4k.
Closing date
17 Dec 2023

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Job Details

Job Number: SP05300

Organisation: Sellafield Ltd

Profession: Technical

Join Our Team

Starting Salary: £42,501 - £48,336 dependant on role & experience, + an annual bonus of up to £4k.

Working Pattern: Days (37.5 hours per week, typical hours are 08:10 – 16:20).
Location: Sellafield, West Cumbria (Flexible working options available).

Who are we looking for?

We are recruiting Science and Engineering post graduate researchers who have undertaken research that is directly relevant to the future 100 year mission at Sellafield.

Technical Advisor: Nuclear Waste Science
We are looking for people with expertise in actinide chemistry, nuclear waste immobilisation science, glass chemistry, corrosion science, nuclear fuel, particulates and fluid dynamics, radiometric physicists and many more.

The successful candidates will become research managers leading on the development of new technologies and scientific investigations, helping inform the strategies and decisions for this unique and fascination decommissioning and site restoration challenge.

You’ll have the drive and determination to discover more – about yourself and our business. You’ll be forward-thinking, proactive and positive, you’ll bring your own energy to the team and you’ll have an enquiring mind that helps us identify and implement solutions to some of the biggest challenges in the UK nuclear field.

The principal aspects to this role are:
• Technical Problem Solving – Develop and recommend solutions to operational and technical challenges, demonstrating a comprehensive consideration of available options and innovative approaches.
• Underpin Decisions – Scientific evidence and uncertainties are used as the basis of arguments to support others in business decision making.
• Commission Research Programmes - Acquire knowledge and understand gaps to inform supporting scientific and engineering development to be commissioned across our supply chain (including academia).
• Technical Delivery – Commission and manage the delivery of technical work across our supply chain (including academia). Lead the implementation of specific projects & activities within the data capability.
• Build Future Expert Capability – Develop and implement a long-term plans to grow and embed required expertise within the business that will lead to successful outcomes and decision making. Become an expert of a particular science or engineering theme.

Technical Advisors – Special Nuclear Materials
We are looking for PhD chemists, preferably with expertise in actinide chemistry, nuclear waste immobilisation science or corrosion science, however being a strong chemist and meeting the essential skills is what really counts.

The role will provide you with a unique opportunity to develop an understanding of the science that underpins the safe storage of Spent Nuclear Materials. You will work as part of a multi-disciplined technical team with direct interfaces with other Sellafield departments (e.g. Projects, Process Engineering, Operations, Design.) and external service providers (e.g. National Nuclear Laboratory, UK Universities, specialist suppliers). Based at our offices in Whitehaven there will be a significant requirement and opportunity to carry out work at the Sellafield site itself, providing a unique opportunity to gain first-hand experience and knowledge of SNM forms, behaviour and management.

A key aspect to the role will be your ability to apply the underpinning science undertaken by NNL, UK Universities, the supply chain and from international experience. We will look to you to understand problems and draw on your technical skills and knowledge to provide robust technical arguments and identify effective solutions that support the mission.

You will help to direct the science programmes by working with our internal customers to identify gaps in our knowledge and develop programmes of research to address those gaps. There may be opportunities to spend time in NNL’s Central Laboratory, which is co-located on the Sellafield site, developing experience of the research we do to support plutonium management.

Why choose Sellafield?

Seventy-five years ago, we helped to create the nation’s nuclear deterrent. Today, we’re using our unrivalled knowledge of nuclear to create a clean and safe environment for future generations.

In cleaning up the birthplace of the UK’s nuclear industry, we are once again generating growth and employment in West Cumbria, the North West of England and beyond.

Our 11,000 strong workforce is joined by more than 40,000 people from the best of the best in the nuclear supply chain, from small Cumbrian businesses to global market leaders. We need this diversity of thinking, of backgrounds, cultures and experiences.

What’s in it for you?

At Sellafield Ltd, we are an organisation that is committed to supporting employees fulfil their potential. With comprehensive training and development opportunities, we will enable you to feel inspired in your role.

We also offer a range of employee benefits:
• Be a part of Sellafield’s 100 year mission.
• An attractive defined contribution pension scheme - the company will match up to 13.5% for a 7% employee contribution!
• You will benefit from an annual bonus of up to £4k made up of company and personal performance.
• 25.5 days annual leave, plus 8 bank holidays. Rising to 30 days annual leave from 1st April 2024. There is also the ability to purchase 3 additional days.
• The ability to carry over 5 days (rising to 10 from 1st April 2024) annual leave each financial year.
• Paid Sick Leave.
• Family Friendly Policies – Visit our Rewards & Benefits page to read more.
• Cycle to Work Scheme.
• Lifestyle Benefits
• Learning & Development Opportunities
• Reward & Recognition Policies.
• Welfare & Employee Assistance Programme.
• Free Aviva Health App & Annual Health Check.
• MyDiscounts – Employee Savings & Discounts.
• MyBenefits – A Charity Giving Scheme.
• Many, many more! Click this link to visit our Rewards & Benefits page:

About Technical at Sellafield:

Would you like to be a part of one of the greatest scientific and engineering challenges available in the UK? Sellafield Ltd has a rich history of ground-breaking development that extends from the early days of nuclear exploration. Over the next several decades our ambition is to be world leaders in decommissioning and Site restoration. Throughout this mission we will need to make some very important decisions from selecting the methods to retrieve nuclear waste, through to methods for long term nuclear waste storage. Our research scientists and engineers will be at the heart of what we do at Sellafield, creating a clean and safe environment for future generations.

No one in the world has stored plutonium and other Special Nuclear Materials (SNM) for over 100 years. One of the key long term missions at the Sellafield site is to ensure safe and secure storage of special nuclear materials over such extended time periods. Sellafield Limited (SL) SNM Technical provides the technical underpinning to various projects relating to how these materials behave under various conditions and to advise how they should be handled, stored, and monitored.

To understand the breadth of scientific challenges see Future Research and Development Requirements 2021 - GOV.UK (

The Ideal Candidate:

Technical Advisor: Nuclear Waste Science
Essential Skills:
• Completed or about to complete a PhD or EngD. in a relevant discipline.
• Experience of the Nuclear Industry gained through employment, experience or as part of a nuclear related Centre-for-Doctoral Training centre or other consortium.
• Self-motivated with the ability to define project direction and deal with uncertainties.
• Good written and verbal communication skills demonstrated through publications, thesis and conference presentations.
• Team-oriented and skilled in working within a collaborative environment.
• Strong planning and organisational skills.
• Ability to work with minimal supervision.

Technical Advisor: Special Nuclear Materials
Essential Skills:
• Completed or about to complete a PhD in Chemistry.
• Good written and verbal communication skills demonstrated through publications, thesis and conference presentations.
• Good analytical thinking skills, with experience of solving novel and challenging technical issues.
• Good technical planning skills.
• Ability to influence managers and communicate effectively with stakeholders across a team/business area.
• Ability to build and maintain effective working relationships.


Please remember:

• You are required to upload evidence of your qualifications to your application.
• In the event of a high number of responses to any advert, Sellafield Ltd reserves the right to close the advert early.
• Please regularly check your Spam/Junk folders for news about this vacancy, correspondence could contain invitations to interview and other important updates.



Work for Sellafield Ltd and what you achieve today will resonate long into the future. You’ll be part of a team of experienced professionals all dedicated to maintaining safety on site and creating a permanently secure, environmentally sound space for tomorrow.

Tomorrow-defining work

Sellafield Ltd is a global centre for nuclear engineering management. We pioneered the harnessing of nuclear power to generate electricity for the country. Now the world is watching as we set international standards in high-hazard reduction. In short, we’re at the forefront of the industry.

Britain’s smartest sites

We have the site at Sellafield (West Cumbria) and our office at Risley (near Warrington). Together, these are home to the greatest concentration of PhDs in the UK. Join us and you’ll work shoulder-to-shoulder with industry-leading – sometimes world-leading – experts. There are generations and generations of knowledge here and people are only too willing to share it. Our culture of continuous improvement is underpinned by commitment to professional and personal development few can match.

Projects on an epic scale

The Sellafield site is one of the biggest construction sites in the UK. Our challenges are almost always industry firsts. Hazard reduction is incredibly demanding technically, calling for vision, imagination and expertise. The complexity of each project is unmatched anywhere else in the nuclear sector.

Our relentless pursuit of excellence is reflected in our health, safety, security, resilience and environmental performance standards as well as the quality of the products and services we deliver to our customers. One in five of our employees have a specific safety role – helping to ensure that our safety performance is world-class across our operations and sites.


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