Organisation NERC
Organisation Detail British Geological Survey
Reference Number IRC253197
Location Edinburgh See on Map
Salary £24777 - £33459
Date Posted 13 March 2020
Grade UKRI-Band D
Contract Type Fixed Term Appointment
Hours Full Time
Closing Date 12 April 2020
Interview Date

Brief Description

Salary: £24,777 per annum to £33,459 per annum (depending on qualifications and experience.  A salary above £30,782 per annum, you will need to meet the desirable criteria)
Grade: UKRI Band C/D
Contract Type: Fixed Term - 3 years
Hours: Full Time
Closing Date: 12th April 2020
Interview Date: April 2020 in Edinburgh


We have an opportunity for a talented and motivated IT Specialist to join the BGS Geomagnetism Team based in our offices in Edinburgh which are located on the Heriot Watt University campus.

The Geomagnetism Team undertakes long-term monitoring of the Earth’s magnetic field through the operation of magnetic observatories in the UK and overseas. We use worldwide land, marine, airborne and satellite data to make global models describing how the Earth’s magnetic field changes in space and time and what that reveals about physical processes within the solid Earth.

We also research the magnetic field changes in satellite and observatory data that result from space weather and solar activity and how this impacts modern technology. We apply our science in precision navigation, including directional drilling for oil and gas as well as researching the effect of space weather on ground-based technology and our environment.

The primary tasks of this role will be to:

  • Support the development of a BGS space weather data service IT interface for a major customer
  • Design and implement restful web services that allow us to present our (mainly time-series) science data to customers and the public in real-time
  • Help to maintain and develop existing systems, in particular Java Desktop data visualisation applications and Java and Python web applications for real-time data delivery and display
  • Take the lead in a particular area of technology that is important to our future business (e.g. DevOps)
  • Create user requirements from a diverse range of customers (Essential experience for a higher salary).

You will also be expected to:

  • Take a leading role in the development of one or more of our software products
  • Provide IT support to scientists in the Geomagnetism Team
  • Undertake training in basic geomagnetism to understand the background to the IT work
  • To pursue a programme of continuing professional development in IT
  • Supervision of other IT staff and students as required (Essential experience for a higher salary).

You will be involved in all stages of the software lifecycle, from design to deployment. You should also note that there is latitude to develop this role around your own skills and you can expect to gain a significant amount of experience:

  • Full responsibility for solving complex scientific and business problems under your own initiative
  • Exposure to a wide range of technologies
  • Opportunity to contribute to the scientific output of the organisation, and the possibility of representing BGS at international scientific conferences.


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.

Criteria will be assessed at Shortlisting (S) Interview (I) or both (S&I)



  • Degree/Diploma in an IT related discipline, or another discipline with significant IT content, or significant equivalent work experience (S).


  • MSc or professional qualification in an IT related discipline (S).



  • Work experience in programming in at least two languages, ideally Java and Python (S&I)
  • Must show strong examples of technical problem solving ability (I).


  • Experience in other computer languages, including: C, Fortran, Shell scripts, Perl (S&I)
  • Experience in client side programming: Javascript, HTML5 and CSS (S&I)
  • Experience of using programming skills in a scientific context (scientific programming/software carpentry) (S&I)
  • Experience of formally or informally leading or managing others (Essential experience for a higher salary) (S&I).



  • Knowledge of the UNIX operating system as a user and/or administrator, ideally CentOS Linux (S&I).

Skills and Abilities 


  • Good English communication skills, both reading, writing and spoken (S&I).


  • IT development technical skills. We will consider applicants with related skills in technologies that BGS doesn’t use, but ideally you will have skills in some of: Git version control; GitLab and Docker continuous integration; Conda environments for Python; Maven build system (S&I)
  • Web service technology skills. We will consider people with related skills in technologies that we don’t use, but ideally you will have skills in some of: Django (Python) web service development; Java Servlet container development; Restlet; Tomcat (S&I)
  • Ability to take a business/scientific problem of significant complexity and design a software solution (Essential experience for a higher salary) (I)

Personal Qualities


  • Must demonstrate the ability to work well in a team (I)
  • Able to adapt to change and work in a flexible manner (I)
  • Able to manage your own time including the potential to effectively manage multiple simultaneous tasks and meet tight deadlines (I).



  • Demonstrates an interest in developing your own area of expertise – good record of Continuing Professional Development in IT (I).


  • Demonstrates familiarity with the present online data delivery methods of the BGS Geomagnetism Team (I).


Working hours will be 37 per week excluding lunch breaks. A generous benefits package is also offered, including a company pension scheme, 30 days annual leave plus 10.5 days public and privilege holidays. 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.

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.

As this job does not fulfil the Home Office Code of Practice criterion for obtaining sponsored migrant worker status we will be unable to apply for sponsorship for anyone not eligible to work in the UK. At interview, all shortlisted candidates are required to bring with them identification documents and original documents that prove they hold or can obtain the right to work in the UK. You can check your eligibility here:

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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