Organisation NERC
Organisation Detail NERC - Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Bangor
Reference Number IRC243333
Location Bangor See on Map
Salary £28200 - £39390
Date Posted 13 November 2017
Grade NERC-6 New
Contract Type Fixed Term Appointment
Hours Full Time
Closing Date 02 January 2018
Interview Date 06 February 2018

Salary: £28,200
Grade: 6
Contract Type: Fixed Term (3 years)
Hours: Full Time
Closing Date: 2nd January 2018
Interview Date: 6th February 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. 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:

GIS/Spatial Modeller: Environmental data analysis and spatial modelling.

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

We are seeking a highly motivated candidate with existing GIS and modelling skills, wishing to undergo training to further develop and apply these skills to undertake project work on spatial modelling. This will include developing Ecosystem Service models for a range of regulating and cultural services, and adapting existing soil process models to improve temporal and spatial representation for trace gas emissions. The research involves projects in Europe and South-East Asia, and will involve some travel.  The post will be a Research Associate based at CEH Bangor.

The primary roles of the post will be to:

  • develop and apply new spatial environmental models for regulating and cultural ecosystem services provided in the coastal zone
  • adapt existing soil process models, to better incorporate soil moisture controls on trace gas emissions, and to improve the temporal resolution and spatial application, in order to provide ecosystem service-relevant outputs
  • complex data management and analysis within a GIS context
  • interpret the results of data analysis/modelling and communicate to specialists and non-specialists
  • contribute expertise on modelling/data analysis to funding proposals
  • contribute to reports and papers, including lead authorship as appropriate.

You will gain additional skills in GIS and spatial data analysis, data management and environmental modelling (including spatial Bayesian models and dynamic modelling). 


The salary for this research associate post is £28,200 per annum. In addition NERC offer 30 days’ annual leave and 10½ days’ public and privilege holiday per annum.

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:

  • degree in an environmental science subject
  • masters or equivalent experience in GIS.

Proven skills in the following:

  • GIS raster and vector analysis (ideally ArcGIS v10/v10.1 or later versions)
  • scripting for automating GIS routines (e.g. in R, Python)
  • data analysis and management of large data-files in a range of formats (e.g. NetCDF).


  • aptitude for/interest in environmental modelling
  • ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • good written and verbal communication skills
  • understanding of the importance of maintaining work audit trails
  • willingness and ability to work overseas
  • proven ability with one or more of the following would be desirable:
    • bayesian models
    • agent-based models
    • ecosystem service models (e.g. InVEST, ARIES)
    • linking or chaining models.

Training and skills to be gained in summary:

At the end of the 3-year training programme, the Research Associate will have gained new skills and knowledge through a combination of on-the-job training and specific courses or coaching. New skills acquired will include the ability to: Develop and run new spatial Ecosystem Service models for regulating and cultural services provided by coastal habitats, using a range of techniques including Bayesian models; Adapt and run soil process models (e.g. N14C); Link or chain a number of models to produce upscaled ecosystem service outputs; Apply these techniques in new situations, such as South East Asia. In all these applications, they will gain the experience and ability to apply their skills within an environmental and policy-related framework, and will be able to present results at scientific conferences.  By the end of the programme they will have acquired the skills to be able to take the lead on work packages or projects and to manage staff on other projects.

Eligibility to apply

To work for CEH, you must be eligible to live and work in the UK without the requirement for a work permit. CEH can only apply for a work permit in cases where there are no suitably qualified or experienced resident workers; otherwise applicants should normally be resident in the UK or a national of the European Union.  Please Do Not apply if you require a visa to work in the UK.

From April 2018, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, a component part of the Natural Environment Research Council, will be part of UK Research and Innovation.  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.  More information can be found online at   From April 2018, you will be employed by UK Research and Innovation.

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.