Organisation NERC
Organisation Detail NERC - Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Wallingford
Reference Number IRC243578
Location Wallingford See on Map
Salary £28200
Date Posted 05 December 2017
Grade NERC-6 New
Contract Type Fixed Term Appointment
Hours Full Time
Closing Date 10 January 2018
Interview Date 26 January 2018

Salary: £28,200
Grade: 6
Contract Type: Fixed Term (3 Years)
Hours: Full Time
Closing Date: 10th January 2018
Interview Date: 26th January 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.

Description of work area

Research into the role of the land surface in the climate system.

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

We are looking for an enthusiastic and committed person to work at the interface between meteorology and land surface science within an active, research-focused team based at our Wallingford site. The aim of the research is to better understand how the land surface contributes to atmospheric predictability in Africa on time scales up to seasonal and to develop techniques to exploit such land-atmosphere coupling within forecasts. The work is part of a major new UK-African programme in meteorological forecasting led by the National Centre for Atmospheric Science in Leeds (

The research will focus on analysis of Earth Observation data of the coupled land-atmosphere system and assessment of numerical forecasting systems to capture the key feedbacks.

The primary roles of this post will be to:

  • develop and apply new techniques using earth observation data to isolate key processes in surface-atmosphere feedbacks
  • analyse atmospheric model output on a range of scales to quantify feedback processes and evaluate the models using observations
  • write scientific papers detailing research findings
  • collaborate with partners in the UK and overseas.

Training and skills you will acquire:

  • a solid understanding of earth observation datasets of the land surface and atmosphere
  • experience of analysing land and atmospheric model output on a range of scales
  • an understanding of coupled land-atmosphere processes contributing to predictability
  • enhanced skills to present results at major or international scientific conferences and confidence to prepare impactful scientific papers
  • enhanced ability in scientific programming (e.g. Fortran, Python) with an opportunity to develop knowledge of new programming languages
  • 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.

Skills and qualifications required on appointment:

You will have:

  • a 2.1 Degree in either physical sciences or mathematics with element/modules of computing, plus a PhD in a numerate science degree (preferably meteorology), or at least a Master’s degree with relevant experience
  • proven ability in analysing scientific datasets to a high standard and presenting results in scientific conferences
  • been developing a strong track record of scientific papers 
  • a proven ability in scientific programming (e.g. Fortran, Python, IDL, Linux)
  • preferably experience of using Earth Observation data
  • excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • good team working skills and can demonstrate the ability to develop effective internal and external collaborations within the scientific area
  • good organisational and  time management skills, with an ability to work independently and to deadlines
  • the ability to travel overseas occasionally for project work (e.g. annual project meetings in Africa).

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.