Organisation NERC
Organisation Detail British Geological Survey
Reference Number IRC247979
Location Edinburgh See on Map
Salary £37789 - £41988
Date Posted 09 January 2019
Grade UKRI-Band E
Contract Type Open Ended
Hours Full Time
Closing Date 08 February 2019
Interview Date

Brief Description

Salary: £37,789 per annum to £41,988 per annum (depending on qualifications and experience)
Grade: UKRI Band E
Contract Type: Open-Ended
Hours: Full Time
Closing Date: 8th February 2019

About us

The British Geological Survey (BGS) is an applied geoscience research centre that is housed in UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and affiliated to the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). It is a world leading geological survey that provides a core science mission to inform government of science related to the subsurface and its interfaces and also undertakes applied research for solutions to earth and environmental processes, both in the UK and globally. It is funded directly by UKRI as well as through research grants and via private sector contracts.

BGS has an annual budget of approximately £60 million and employs 650 people. It has two main sites, a head office in Keyworth near Nottingham and the Lyell Centre, which is a joint collaboration with Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh. BGS works with more than 150 private sector organisations as well as having close links with 40 universities and sponsors approximately 100 PhD students each year.

About the role

We have an opportunity for a creative and motivated Lead Data Scientist to join our Digital team.

We would like you to play a leading role in developing and delivering insight from data using statistical and data science techniques for the benefit of geoscience and society. We would expect you to possess the technical (ICT) and numerical skills to be able to both mine and analyse data from BGS’ vast data holdings as the National Geoscience Data Centre but also from social media and other organisation’s research data (both Open and proprietary).

You would have a real opportunity to work with state of the art environmental data from sensor networks including those established as part of the pioneering UK Geoenergy Observatories (UKGEOS) research project which aims to establish world leading knowledge applicable to a wide range of energy technologies and inform future Government energy policy.

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 British Geological Survey (BGS), founded in 1835 is part of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), and is the world's longest-established national geological survey and the UKs premier centre for earth science information and expertise.

Shortlisting & Interview criteria



  • post graduate degree or equivalent work experience in Data Science, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Distributed Systems or a field strongly related to data science (e.g. computer science).


  • an MSc in Data Science, Data Analytics or AI
  • a Geology or environmental science qualification (e.g. A Level).



  • postgraduate experience in the application of data mining and/or machine learning techniques against large datasets

  • postgraduate experience of ETL (extract, transform, and load) and building data pipelines (e.g. supporting the build of data streaming system, writing ETL scripts and code to make sure the ETL process performs optimally, implementing data flows to connect operational systems and data for analytics).

  • postgraduate experience working in a linux environment with HPC or Spark clusters (NB. BGS has access to local and national HPC clusters)

  • experience in leading data science projects

  • management/supervisory experience.


  • experience of knowledge extraction (e.g. semantic web, linked data, Natural Language Processing and ontologies) 
  • experience of working within an agile project team 
  • experience of writing about technical data science uses for a range of audiences
  • experience of working with time-series data
  • experience of commercial web software development (Using HTML, CSS, Java Script)
  • experience conducting data science in order to assist with the creation of a full-stack web app
  • experience of data visualisation (i.e. RShiny, knitR, HTML, CSS).




  • good working knowledge of different code bases (Python, R, Matlab)
  • good working knowledge of cluster computing frameworks (e.g. Apache Spark, Apache Flink)
  • can demonstrate a clear understanding of data privacy and ethical considerations when applying data science.


  • working knowledge of SQL, NoSQL and relational/non-relational databases
  • working knowledge of Git
  • understanding of containers and virtual machines.

Skills & Abilities


  • ability to quickly research and learn new programming tools and techniques
  • ability to construct, present and communicate data science stories to both technical and non-technical audiences
  • ability to work within a variety of teams, demonstrating an ability to lead teams and to participate as a team member
  • ability to advocate Data Science to a wide range of people
  • ability to work with limited supervision
  • ability to adapt to change and work in a flexible manner
  • ability to work with external clients/stakeholders.


• ability to coach or mentor other staff; to up-skill the wider BGS Informatics teams in the use of new technologies, principles and techniques.

Personal qualities



  • able to express themselves clearly and concisely
  • able to communicate effectively to both junior and senior members of staff
  • approachable. 



  • demonstrates an interest in the work of BGS, NERC and UKRI
  • displays an enthusiasm for their science/their role and a desire to develop this further
  • demonstrates curiosity and a drive to resolve scientific problems through Data Science techniques.


  • willingness to travel and work overseas for short periods of time (weeks).

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.
Limited parking subject to waiting list (Polaris House, Swindon only)

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.

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. The British Geological Survey is an Investors in People organisation.

Only online applications will be accepted and should be submitted in the form of an up-to-date c.v. and covering letter (ensuring that the IRC reference is included in the file name description of each document uploaded), which clearly outlines why you are applying for this post and how you meet the criteria described in this advertisement. Please note that applications submitted without a covering letter, or which fail to address these points, may not be considered further.

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