Sample application questions

This is a sample of the application form and only contains ‘longer answer’ and placement specific questions. Questions may be subject to change.

The online application form will also ask for personal details, including contact information, school details, placement availability and accessibility information. We will also require you to have parental permission for you to complete the form.

All applications must be submitted via the online form, available here. Applications for 2022 will open on 28 January 2022 and close on 7 March 2022.

The online application form should be completed by students, rather than parents or guardians, but please do ask someone to check over your form. This can be a parent/guardian or teacher at school, or trusted adult. Students will have the opportunity to save their progress and revisit their form. All applications must be completed and submitted by 7 March in order to be considered for the programme.

Sample questions

Sample question 1

In which areas are you most interested? 
Please rank in order of preference, 1 being your first choice.  

  • Computing includes software engineering and development, programming and IT.  
  • Engineering includes mechanical, electronic and electrical engineering. Please note we do not offer any placements in aerospace engineering.  
  • Science – theoretical: Our scientists develop new theories and hypotheses to explain natural phenomenon. STFC supports theoretical research in particle physics, particle cosmology, theoretical astronomy and cosmology, plasma and areas related or relevant to these.  
  • Science – practical: We run many large experiments at our labs and each has many practical aspects covering all areas of the process from prepping experiments to analysing data.  
  • Other refers to non-STEM placements such as in the Library and the Communications and Business departments and working on Social Media projects  

More information about these areas and our departments can be found on our websites:  

Sample question 2

We have a number of different departments and disciplines across our sites. Please specify which departments / disciplines you are most interested in. You will also be asked to choose your first and second choice for a virtual project placement.

  • Biology/Chemistry
  • Computing/Software engineering
  • General lab work/experiments
  • Lasers
  • Non-STEM roles/departments
  • Nuclear physics, Particle physics and Accelerators
  • Social Media
  • Space
  • Technology/Engineering

Sample question 3

I have a specific interest in…
Please specify your scientific interests, referring to the departments/areas that are your first and second choice.

and I would particularly like to do…
Is there something in particular that you are hoping to gain some experience in?

Sample question 4

Some of our placements (in all departments) involve computing. We will be offering an ‘Introduction to Python’ programming workshop to get you up to speed, if your placement requires it or if it is something you are interested in.

Please provide details of any software packages or programming languages you’re familiar with e.g. MS Office, C++, Adobe Photoshop 
We are asking this so that we know what sort of skills our students have and/or might want to develop. Please don’t worry if you aren’t familiar with programming languages. 

Sample question 5

Why do you want to be involved in work experience at STFC, and what do you hope to gain from it? 
Please write at least 50 words  

Sample question 6

We’d like to know a little more about you. What are your interests (both in and out of school)?