Organisation NERC
Organisation Detail NERC - Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Edinburgh
Reference Number IRC243361
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 25 January 2018

Salary: £22,224
Grade: 7
Contract Type: Fixed Term (3 years)
Hours: Full Time
Closing Date: 7th January 2018
Interview Date: 25th 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 graduate or higher studies, but is open to individuals from other backgrounds and of all ages. Individuals will work on highly topical research projects, both important for future research within the environmental research community and appropriate to their 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 work area

As part of CEH’s Science Strategy, a core work area is to determine risks of exposure of humans and ecosystems, and identify strategies and measures to mitigate impacts of pollution and environmental change. This involves the development of tools, datasets and advice to manage threats to the environment and health, and includes inventories, maps, databases and models to support UK and international policy.

CEH is involved in several major UK inventory projects, such as the National Atmospheric Emission Inventory ( and Greenhouse Gas Inventory (, and leads on spatial inventories of ammonia and greenhouse gases from agriculture, land use and land-use change and other sources. In addition to national scale modelling and mapping of emissions at a 1-5 km grid resolution, CEH also carries out detailed work on emissions at a landscape scale (individual fields and farms) and at a global scale, including project work in Europe and India.

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

The primary focus of the placement will be to gain a wide range of skills required for generating the UK inventory datasets and maps and related scientific research. Throughout the training programme, the post holder will be a full member of the inventory team and will be able to practice and apply the newly acquired skills using real data, through engagement in the annual process of obtaining data-preparation-modelling-mapping-reporting-reviewing for on-going projects. As this work needs to be carried out to the highest standards, due to the data feeding into national and international policy requirements, the RA will acquire sound working practices including data auditing skills. The RA will be expected to contribute to the on-going process of developing the inventory methodology and related work into atmospheric pollution and greenhouse gas modelling, as part of a vibrant group at CEH Edinburgh.

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 skills in spatial analysis, data manipulation tools, database design, GIS, visualisation of spatial data for effective communication, spatial statistics and trend analysis and producing reports.

You will gain an understanding of a wide range of scientific background knowledge as well as practical skills in the analysis, interpretation and visualisation of spatial and temporal data at the environment/agriculture/air pollution interface. The RA will also benefit from working at the science-policy interface in a research institute with a strong portfolio of policy and stakeholder relevant projects.

Skills and qualifications required on appointment

  • 2:1 degree level qualified, with a scientific background, e.g. environmental science, geography or agriculture
  • high level of numeracy and computer literacy
  • attention to detail & methodical approach to problem solving
  • good organisational, communication and interpersonal skills
  • some experience with data manipulation tools, computer programming, GIS and/or databases
  • demonstrated previous experience of working with scientific datasets and working effectively as part of a team as well as independently are desirable.

Appointments above the minimum salary would be based on the appointee’s skills and experience. 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 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.