Organisation NERC
Organisation Detail NERC - Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Edinburgh
Reference Number IRC243359
Location Edinburgh See on Map
Salary £22224
Date Posted 21 November 2017
Grade NERC-7 New
Contract Type Fixed Term Appointment
Hours Full Time
Closing Date 07 January 2018
Interview Date 31 January 2018

Salary: £22,224
Grade: 7
Contract Type: Fixed Term (3 years)
Hours: Full Time
Closing Date: 7th January 2018
Interview Date: 31st January 2018

The NERC Research Associates' Programme is an initiative which is intended to offer individuals the opportunity to gain practical experience of working within a Research Institute, whilst acquiring specialist and wider skills that will be valuable in a range of careers.

The programme is aimed particularly at those who have recently completed postgraduate studies, but is open to individuals from other backgrounds and of all ages. You will work on highly topical research projects, both important for future research within the environmental research community and appropriate to your backgrounds. Research Associates are given specific, measurable objectives which will be intended to develop their skills as a researcher and to demonstrate their suitability for a research career.

Description of specific work to be undertaken and skills to be gained

For this Research Associate (RA) post, we are looking for an enthusiastic and committed person for a comprehensive 3-year traineeship as a field and laboratory technician, specialising in the identification of freshwater algae and macrophytes. 

As part of the training programme, you would contribute to a wide-range of scientific projects on freshwater and wetland ecosystems, examining ecological responses to environmental change and restoration measures and the sustainable use of freshwaters. You would be based at our Edinburgh site where you would receive routine training in algal identification and counting and general field and laboratory skills required in freshwater and wetland research. Formal training will also be provided through external courses on the identification of algae and macrophytes.

As part of this role there will be a requirement for overseas travel to countries such as China and India to undertake field work. You will need to demonstrate a willingness to travel in order to be successful in this role. You will not normally be expected to travel for an extended stay of more than 2 weeks at a time.

Skills and qualifications required on appointment

  • degree level qualified, or equivalent, in a biological or environmental scientific subject
  • aptitude/interest in freshwater ecology, especially algae and/or aquatic plants
  • basic experience of fieldwork in, or around, freshwaters
  • basic experience of laboratory work, ideally use of microscopes
  • experience of data analysis and report writing
  • good communication and teamwork skills.

Training and skills to be gained in summary

At the end of the 3-year training programme, the Research Associate will have gained in depth training in field and laboratory skills required in freshwater research, particularly in:

  • sampling freshwater and wetland environments, including powerboat training
  • freshwater phytoplankton and macrophyte identification
  • use of ecological data in assessing ecosystem health and sustainability
  • use of specialist equipment (microscopes, sonar, analytical chemistry)
  • statistics for ecologists.

You will also participate in, and contribute to, a wide range of projects in the UK and overseas, supporting the delivery of CEH science objectives.

Towards the end of the Research Associate traineeship consideration is given to availability of open ended employment opportunities with CEH. We have successfully appointed most of our recent Research Associates to open ended roles.

In addition NERC offer a public sector pension scheme, 30 days’ annual leave and 10½ days’ public and privilege holiday per annum. We offer a flexible and supportive working environment and will encourage your continuing professional development as part of our career support. NERC has an equal opportunities policy and welcomes applications from all sections of the community. People with disabilities and those from ethnic minorities are currently under represented and their applications are particularly welcomed. Guaranteed interview scheme for applicants with disabilities.

To enable us to hire the very best people we will conduct a full and comprehensive background and pre-employment check as an essential part of the recruitment process.

From April 2018, UK Research and Innovation will bring together the seven Research Councils, Innovate UK and a new organisation, Research England. The vision for the new organisation is to be the best research and innovation organisation in the world. From 1 April 2018 your employer will be UK Research and Innovation. More information can be found online

Further information regarding working for CEH can be found on our website.

It is CEH policy to use an online application form (link below), please ensure that you complete an application form as CVs will not be accepted as a standalone. The form should be uploaded via the "My Account" menu option on the "Jobs Home" page.

CEH Application Form

If you are unable to apply on-line, please contact UK Shared Business Services Ltd by telephone on 01793 867000.