Organisation NERC
Organisation Detail NERC - Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Edinburgh
Reference Number IRC243401
Location Edinburgh See on Map
Salary £28000 - £30000
Date Posted 21 November 2017
Grade NERC-6 New
Contract Type Fixed Term Appointment
Hours Full Time
Closing Date 08 January 2018
Interview Date

Salary: £28,000 - £30,000 (depending on skills and experience)
Grade: 6
Contract Type: Fixed Term (3 years)
Hours: Full Time
Closing Date: 8th January 2018
Interview Date: 1st February 2018

CEH is a world-class scientific research organisation focusing on a wide range of topics related to the environment, biodiversity, freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems. Our independent, impartial science underpins UK and international environmental policies and innovation for sustainable economic growth.

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. 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.

An exciting opportunity has arisen to join the Biosphere-Atmosphere Exchange and Effects Research group at the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Edinburgh on a 3 year Research Associate training programme. Our team of researchers are global leaders in the measurement of trace gas and aerosol exchange with the terrestrial biosphere and have a strong track record of delivering policy relevant research. We are now looking for an enthusiastic and committed atmospheric scientist to join our team as we look to explore new frontiers of gas phase chemistry with the very latest state-of-the-art instrumentation, in natural, urban and indoor environments. Joining our team as a research associated the successful candidate will benefit from a comprehensive training program to develop their skills in areas including micrometeorology, the use of mass spectrometers, advanced statistical techniques and computer programming.

The primary roles of this post will be to:

  • operate a range of online mass spectrometers (PTR-Qi-ToF, PTR-MS, CIMS) within the laboratory, mobile laboratory and during field deployments within the U.K. and internationally
  • lead and support in the analysis of concentration and micrometeorological flux measurements made as part of laboratory and field deployments
  • publish major research finding in high quality scientific journals and reports as well as present results at project meetings, workshops and international conferences
  • assist in the design and development of new research proposals
  • contribute to the development of data processing/analysis routines using platforms such as Igor Pro and LabVIEW.

Main Duties

  • a key focus will be on the operation of a newly acquired proton transfer reaction time-of-flight mass spectrometer with quadrupole ion guide (PTR-Qi-TOF) and a quadrupole chemical ionization mass spectrometer (CIMS) and a range of ancillary measurements
  • use these instruments in both the laboratory and field settings as they contribute to a wide range of research activities as we look to quantify pollutant fluxes from urban environments, forest canopies and indoor chemical processes, with deployment in Delhi being a focus of the first year
  • analyse complex data sets, interpret results and present findings at national and international conferences and to publish results in peer reviewed journals.

Training and skills you will acquire:

Appropriate training will be provided in a number of areas to assist the appointed researcher to develop transferable research skills and will include training in:

  • the use of an array of instruments and sensors supported by our instrument technician
  • training in the use of micrometeorological techniques
  • analysis and interpretation of mass spectral data
  • programming in LabVIEW and or Igor Pro
  • communications, presentation and scientific writing skills
  • task-management skills.

Skills Required

  • you will hold a PhD in Physics, Chemistry, Atmospheric Science or a related subject and will be able to demonstrate a solid research foundation with a track record of publications in international peer-reviewed journals
  • proven ability of using complex instrumentation, and ideally online mass spectrometers such as PTR-MS or CIMS is essential
  • be able to demonstrate a high level of numeracy
  • knowledge of micrometeorological techniques and in particular practical experience of techniques such as eddy covariance would be an advantage, as is the knowledge of atmospheric chemistry
  • be an effective communicator with a track record of presenting research at either national or international conferences
  • feel comfortable working on field deployments across the UK and beyond, for up to 6 weeks at a time in sometimes difficult environments such as tropical forests and cities in developing countries
  • feel confident in working at height on tall towers/buildings
  • a knowledge of programming platforms including LabVIEW and IGOR Pro will be a considerable advantage.

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 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.