Organisation NERC
Organisation Detail NERC - Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Bangor
Reference Number IRC243591
Location Bangor See on Map
Salary £28200
Date Posted 05 December 2017
Grade NERC-6 New
Contract Type Fixed Term Appointment
Hours Full Time
Closing Date 22 January 2018
Interview Date 14 February 2018

Salary: £28,200
Grade: 6
Contract Type: Fixed Term (3 Years)
Hours: Full Time
Closing Date: 22nd January 2018
Interview Date: 14th 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.

Description of work area

Spatial analyst.

Main Duties

We are seeking an enthusiastic and committed spatial analyst. You will be part of an exciting new programme to monitor the environment taking particular responsibility as the primary data specialist for a major national monitoring programme funded by the Welsh Government. This project seeks to track and understand environmental change, working with our data team to develop an adaptive approach to increase efficiency, effectiveness and integration of monitoring schemes.  The post will be a Research Associate in spatial data analysis based at CEH Bangor, working in the Catchment to Coast group.

The main focus will be to manage, process and analyse spatial data covering all aspects of the large-scale national environmental survey for Wales. This will include data collected by field surveyors across Wales, as well as data from citizen science networks and earth observation. You will manage a wide range of baseline and newly collected data, exploiting CEH’s extensive UK datasets where appropriate. You will also develop and support application of novel statistical approaches and integrated data analytics to develop a more responsive approach to increase and improve spatial coverage and maximise other sources of information.

Specifically, you will be responsible for spatial data interrogation and analysis, the creation of automated data processing and analysis scripts and further development of an existing bespoke data processing library.  You will also develop statistical models which use survey data, to further understand the relationships between plant species, soils, habitats and landscape features and drivers of environmental change. You must be able to demonstrate robust and reproducible approaches to spatial data analysis. Support and training will be provided from an experienced team of informatics and statistical specialists. 

Training and skills to be gained:

At the end of the 3-year training programme, the Research Associate will have gained in depth training in statistical models and data manipulation and management. In particular:

  • skills in spatial modelling and analysis of large datasets
  • skills in writing up results and producing scientific papers and reports detailing major research findings
  • opportunities to participate in and contribute to a wide range of projects 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.

Skills and qualifications required on appointment:

  • a PhD or equivalent with relevant experience in spatial and statistical analysis or related subjects
  • a knowledge of spatial data analysis techniques
  • an aptitude for learning new technologies and techniques for analysing, processing and disseminating environmental data
  • an ability to process and analyse data in a robust and reproducible manner using Python or R to enable automation of key processing steps
  • an ability to interact with RDBMS (spatial) databases including knowledge of SQL
  • a thorough understanding of quality control and data management.

In addition to this, an important part of the job will be to maintain communications with senior staff and field surveyors and to work around any problems encountered. Therefore, you are required to have good communication skills and the ability to work on your own initiative. You will be working in collaboration with other scientists and technical staff so will need a flexible attitude, the ability to meet deadlines and a sound teamwork ethic.

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.