Organisation STFC
Organisation Detail Science and Technology Facilities Council
Reference Number IRC247353
Location Didcot See on Map
Salary £37789 - £41988
Date Posted 06 November 2018
Grade UKRI-Band E
Contract Type Open Ended
Hours Full Time
Closing Date 07 December 2018
Interview Date 10 December 2018

Brief Description

Salary: £37,789 - £41,988
Grade: UKRI Band E
Contract Type: Open-Ended
Hours: Full Time/Part time hours may be considered (If Part time, please specify hours of work in your covering letter)
Closing Date: 7th December 2018
Interview Date: Week commencing 14th - 18th January 2019



Up to two positions are available in the Remote-Sensing Group (RSG) in the Earth Observation and Atmospheric Science Division (EOASD) of RAL Space. This Group focuses on sounding atmospheric composition from satellites, in close collaboration with UK university groups and international partners.  This Group has a world-class reputation in satellite data analysis and also provides scientific support for future satellite missions to sound atmospheric composition.  The Group’s programme spans UV through IR to millimetre-wave spectrometry for trace gases and VIS/IR imaging for cloud and aerosol. These posts will consolidate our team to deliver an expanding programme through recruitment of up to two experienced scientists with a high-level of expertise in sounding atmospheric composition from satellite.

List of Duties/Work Programme/Responsibilities

You will be expected to take responsibility for developing key areas of:

  • atmospheric radiative transfer modelling
  • retrieval of atmospheric constituents from satellite observations
  • production and validation of data
  • exploitation of data for scientific research and other applications.

The work programme is defined by the Remote-Sensing Group's portfolio of projects funded through NERC's National Centre for Earth Observation, ESA, Eumetsat, the Copernicus Climate Change Service and other programmes. 

Responsibilities will include preparation of journal publications, conference presentations, report inputs for NERC/NCEO and other funding agencies and funding bids. 

Contacts and Communication

You will be responsible to the Remote-Sensing Group Leader. You will interact extensively with other colleagues in the Group to define and progress their work. You will be expected to give presentations at:

  • project meetings and in other fora and to represent the Group at national and international meetings and conferences.

Personal Skills and Attributes

  • ability to work co-operatively and harmoniously in a small research group and to communicate clearly with colleagues (including managers, university academics, students as well as immediate team)
  • ability to show initiative and flexibility in solving problems and time-management skills to multiplex between projects and meet their deadlines
  • ability to supervise students and post-docs in collaborative projects.


Organization Description

UK Research and Innovation is a new entity that brings together nine partners to create an independent organisation with a strong voice for research and innovation, and a vision to ensure the UK maintains its world-leading position in research and innovation. More information can be found at

The Science and Technology Facilities Council is a world-leading multi-disciplinary science organisation, and our goal is to deliver economic, societal, scientific and international benefits to the UK and its people – and more broadly to the world.

Shortlisting Criteria


  • 1st or Upper 2nd Class Hons degree in a physical science or mathematics or equivalent experience
  • doctorate in Earth Observation or atmospheric physics or equivalent experience
  • effective written (journal papers, project reports) communication skills
  • extensive post-doctoral experience in satellite sounding of atmospheric composition
  • extensive experience of programming under Unix/Linux in IDL, Python, Fortran and/or C, C++
  • experience of developing and running code on large computer clusters
  • awareness of project deadlines and agility and organisational skills to meet these.


  • experience of supervising scientists or students
  • experience of proposal preparation or project management
  • links with the national/international science communities for Earth Observation or climate research.

Interview Criteria


  • very effective oral communication skills
  • motivation for atmospheric and climate research and the role of satellite observations
  • willingness and ability to work co-operatively and constructively within a small team
  • initiative and intellect to identify and analyse scientific/technical problems and to propose and implement potential solutions
  • flexibility, agility and organisation to meet deadlines and multiplex between projects
  • patience and persistence to tackle medium and longer-term  issues  as well as short-term goals.


  • awareness of operational applications for satellite data eg air quality, agriculture and solar energy
  • interest in extending links to operational centres, the commercial sector and ODA partners
  • knowledge of satellite instrumentation and calibration.

Special Requirements


  • must be able to work on-site at RAL on a day-to-day basis
  • must be able to use computers extensively on a day-to-day basis.


Additional Details

UKRI supports research in areas that include animal health, agriculture and food security, and bioscience for health which includes research on animals, genetic modification and stem cell research. Whilst you may not have direct involvement in this type of research, you should consider whether this conflicts with your personal values or beliefs.

To enable us to hire the very best people we will conduct a full and comprehensive pre-employment check as an essential part of the recruitment process on all individuals that are offered a position with UKRI. This will include a security check and an extreme organisations affiliation check.

Employee Benefits
UK Research and Innovation recognises and values employees as individuals and aim to provide a pay and rewards package that motivates staff to perform to the best of their ability. The reward package includes a flexible working scheme, a Career Average Revalued Earnings pension scheme, 30 days annual leave allowance and a number of other benefits.

Developing Talent
We are committed to developing employees in their roles throughout their career. Learning and development plans enable employees to continue their professional development through training and development opportunities such as e-learning, classroom training and on-the-job experiences. We encourage our employees to share their learning across teams and organisations.

Equal Opportunities
We strive to make decisions based on individual merit and ability. We welcome applications from all sections of the community and promote equality of opportunity in accordance with the Equality Act 2010. As holders of Disability Confident Employer status, we guarantee to interview all applicants with disabilities who meet the minimum criteria for the vacancy.

Online applications only, please submit a covering letter and CV, ensuring that the IRC reference is included in the file name description of each document uploaded. No Agencies.

The closing date for applications is 7th December 2018. The interview/assessment date for this vacancy will be the week commencing the 14th - 18th January 2019.

We want to make our application process as easy for you as we possibly can. If you experience any problems in applying for this job, or have any feedback for us about the application process, please contact our Recruitment Hotline on 01793 867000 (8.30am – 5.00pm Monday to Friday). Please quote the appropriate IRC reference number when calling.

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