Organisation NERC
Organisation Detail NERC - Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Bangor
Reference Number IRC243335
Location Bangor See on Map
Salary £22224
Date Posted 13 November 2017
Grade NERC-7 New
Contract Type Fixed Term Appointment
Hours Full Time
Closing Date 05 January 2018
Interview Date 12 February 2017

Salary: £22,224
Grade: 7
Contract Type: Fixed Term (3 years)
Hours: Full Time
Closing Date: 5th January 2018
Interview Date: 12th February 2018

Description of work area:

We are looking for an enthusiastic and committed Environmental Scientist to work with a team of soil scientists, hydrologists and biogeochemists in an active research focused team based at our Bangor site on a 3 year fixed term contract.

Description of specific work to be undertaken:

We are offering a comprehensive 3-year Research Associate traineeship within the ‘Catchment to Coast’ Group in CEH Bangor. The primary roles of this post will be to:

  • undertake a range of field-based activities relating to the quantification of the response of soil and water to changes in land management, climate change and air pollution in the UK and overseas e.g. Europe, China, Malaysia, Vietnam, Philippines and Indonesia for periods of up to 6 weeks
  • take responsibility for initial sample preparation and liaise with our analytical laboratories to ensure required analysis is carried out to required specification and timelines
  • take responsibility for initial data processing in close collaboration with project leads
  • contribute to ensuring quality assurance of data quality and sample identification throughout the sampling and analytical process
  • assist in the production of reports and scientific papers detailing major research findings.

Skills and qualifications required on appointment:

This is a research based post focused primarily on field based activities, so candidates will be expected to have a degree in Soil Science, Hydrology or Environmental Sciences with project-based experience of quantitative scientific work in a University or research environment focused on soils and/or water. The research based nature of the posts means the role would be ideally suited to someone with an aptitude for independent working solving practical problems in challenging environments, who is self-motivated and with enthusiasm for the subject. 

The focus of the role is on conducting environmental research, especially soil physical function, water and gases. This includes not only the day to day tasks (routine and campaign soil and water samples; initial sample processing, sensors and field measurements) in the UK but a willingness to contribute to our growing work overseas. The work will include a requirement to take responsibility for quality assurance of sampling collection and data analysis and involve initial data processing and contribution to their interpretation in scientific reports and papers; skills in R or similar are highly desirable.

In addition to taking responsibility for a wide range of field activities, an important part of the job will be to maintain communications with senior staff 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 so will need a flexible attitude, the ability to meet deadlines and a sound teamwork ethic. Experience of the analysis of soil and hydrological data-sets would be a useful attribute, although training and supervision in these aspects would be provided as required.

The position may involve international travel for extended periods. Being able to drive (both UK and international) is essential. 

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:

  • field and laboratory methods to sample a diverse array of soils and waters in different environments responding to different drivers
  • the use of an array of instruments and sensors supported by our instrument engineers
  • training in quality assurance methods to ensure findings are robust and to standards required by our internal standards and those of our many customers
  • data analysis and contribution to paper and report writing
  • communications, presentation and scientific writing skills
  • task-management skills.

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.