The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is one of Europe’s largest multi-disciplinary research organisations.
Part of Research Councils UK, we are funded by the government to support world class science and technology by:
- supporting researchers through grants, particularly in astronomy, particle physics, space science and nuclear physics
- providing access to world class scientific facilities in the UK at the Rutherford Appleton and Daresbury Laboratories, UK Astronomy Technology Centre and Chilbolton Observatory
- providing access to world class scientific facilities abroad, such as CERN, the Institute Laue Langevin (ILL), the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility and telescopes in Chile and Hawaii
- supporting scientific and technical expertise in the UK in areas ranging from microelectronics, alternative energy production and particle and nuclear physics, to space and ground-based astronomy
Our vision is to maximise the impact of our knowledge, skills, facilities and resources for the benefit of the UK. Our research has impact across a wide number of areas including:
- energy – by examining ways of creating future energy sources such as using nanotechnology to find clean, fast and safe ways of storing hydrogen
- security – through developing techniques at its Rutherford Appleton Laboratory to help detect liquid explosives
- healthcare – technologies originally developed for space exploration, for example, are producing accurate breath tests to diagnose medical conditions such as stomach ulcers
- environment – detailed studies of the atmosphere, clouds and pollutants help scientists accurately predict severe weather conditions and climate change
STFC’s investment in science and engineering generates ideas and technologies with a broad social and economic impact. Researchers are encouraged to create new businesses based on their discoveries and STFC helps established companies use its research to improve their products and services.
We operate a trading subsidiary, STFC Innovations Ltd, and are a major shareholder in the Diamond Light Source, a joint venture with the Wellcome Trust.
STFC is playing a major role in two National Science and Innovation Campuses at Daresbury in Cheshire and Harwell in Oxfordshire. These campuses increase collaboration and generate new benefits for the UK by bringing together businesses, academics and scientists.
We also manage UK interests in international collaborations including CERN, the European particle physics laboratory in Switzerland, and ESA, while STFC’s UK Astronomy Technology Centre in Edinburgh works with leading organisations such as NASA, ESA and the European Southern Observatory.
Our Science in Society programme also helps generate and inspire the next generation of scientists and researchers by educating young people and through public engagement.