About the Role

We have several opportunities at graduate and senior levels for talented scientists, mathematicians, electronics engineers, software engineers, network engineers, and systems engineers to join our expanding National Time Scale Group, which forms part of the Time & Frequency Department.

We are looking to add to our expanding team of multi-disciplined scientists and engineers to provide technical leadership on time scale related projects. These will contribute to developing future key time and frequency infrastructure within the UK. These roles offer the opportunity to work in collaboration with external organisations.

You will be joining the National Time Scale Group, part of our Time & Frequency Department (www.npl.co.uk/time-frequency) at an exciting time. We maintain and develop the UK’s National Time Scale UTC(NPL) and are embarking on the development of a new time scale facility that will underpin our Critical National Infrastructure. We also provide timing services to financial institutions for share trading, along with working on a range of time and frequency dissemination projects, many being GNSS-related.

The group also maintains and develops NPL’s current Caesium Fountain Primary Frequency Standards.

Find out more at NPL Time & Frequency Recruitment


Responsibilities will include one or more of:

  • Designing and developing hardware and/or software for the next generation National Time Scale.
  • Evaluating and optimising the performance of the new time scale.
  • Developing and implementing time and frequency transfer techniques for comparing distant clocks
  • Developing novel time dissemination methods, equipment and applications to support UK sovereign and industry needs
  • Working closely with the whole team to develop high-specification solutions.
  • Interfacing with internal and external stakeholders in order to determine their needs and meet their expectations.
About You

Successful candidates will meet one or more of the following requirements:

  • An undergraduate degree or equivalent experience in physics, electronics engineering, systems engineering or software development.
  • Work experience within an engineering, research and development, or software development, or network environment
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team, managing your time according to priorities
  • A rigorous approach to problem solving and ability to develop solutions to difficult problems
  • An inquisitive mind and willingness to interact dynamically within a team
  • Excellent written and verbal communication
Senior candidates will also be expected to demonstrate:
  • Good customer facing skills and contribute to applying for funding
  • Leadership in their technical area and potentially staff management of a small team


Advantageous skills at all levels include:

  • Knowledge of time and frequency metrology
  • Systems engineering
  • Electronics design and implementation
  • Knowledge of network architecture
  • System security
  • Experience working with SQL databases
  • Network and systems monitoring, for example using Nagios
  • Programming experience in scientific applications (Python, LabVIEW, MATLAB)
  • Programming experience in web-based applications (HTML, PHP, JavaScript)
  • Linux systems configuration and management
  • Design and implementation of optical fibre networks
  • Knowledge of linear algebra, Kalman filters and related analytical techniques
  • Knowledge of GNSS or satellite communication systems.

Interviews will be held early January 2021

About The Company

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 BAME candidates in particular 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.

We’re transforming. As a national laboratory, we’re exploring even more commercial routes to market and that’s presenting us with greater opportunity – for you and us. Our success relies on the diversity and talent of our people, we strive to nurture and respect individuals to ensure everyone feels valued and supported to excel in their chosen field. This value is at the core of our organisation.

We believe in a culture of fairness by treating everyone on the basis of their own individual merits and abilities regardless of their own or perceived identity, background or any other factor irrelevant to a person’s work. At NPL 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. NPL’s values are at the heart of what we do and they shape the way we interact, develop our people and celebrate success.

As part of our commitment to diversity & inclusion, we signed up to the Institute of Physics' Project Juno in 2015 as a Juno Supporter. NPL were proud to be awarded Juno Practitioner status in 2018. NPL also joined Stonewall as a Diversity champion in 2015, participating in their annual Workplace Equality Index for the equality of LGBT+ community at NPL. In 2018, NPL became a member of the Business Disability Forum and joined the disability confident scheme as level 1 committed employer.

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