Organisation NERC
Organisation Detail British Geological Survey
Reference Number IRC254468
Location Edinburgh See on Map
Salary £25198 - £34028
Date Posted 16 July 2020
Grade UKRI-Band D
Contract Type Fixed Term Appointment
Hours Full Time
Closing Date 16 August 2020
Interview Date

Brief Description

Salary: £25,198 to £34,028 per annum (depending on qualifications and experience. For a salary above £31,305 per annum, you will need to meet the desirable criteria detailed)
Grade: UKRI Band C/D
Contract Type: 3 year fixed term appointment
Hours: Full Time
Closing Date: 16th August 2020


About the role

We have an opportunity for a talented and motivated IT Specialist or Scientist with a strong IT background to join the BGS Geomagnetism Team based in our offices in Edinburgh, 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 observatory and satellite 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 and near-earth technology and our environment.

The primary tasks of this role will be to:

  • Develop IT interfaces for new and on-going Space Weather data and services
  • Develop IT interfaces for new and on-going commercial data, models and services
  • Design and implement restful web services that presents science data (time series as well as spatially varying outputs) to a wide range of users including the general public
  • 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 IT development that is important to our future business (e.g. DevOps or Machine Learning)
  • Analyse requirements for IT developments proposed by a wide range of IT and non-IT stakeholders (Essential experience for a higher salary)
  • Develop into managing IT projects and people over the medium to long term.

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 Geomagnetism colleagues
  • Undertake training (if necessary) to understand basic geomagnetism and space weather as a background to the IT work
  • To pursue a programme of continuing professional development in IT
  • Supervision of staff and management of projects as required (Essential experience for a higher salary).

You will be involved in all stages of the software lifecycle, from design to deployment. Candidates 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.

Shortlisting and Interview Criteria

S = Assessed at shortlist stage and I = Assessed at interview stage



  • Degree in an IT related discipline, or another discipline, such as Space Science, Geophysics, Physics or Mathematics, with significant IT content, or significant equivalent work experience. (S)


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

Essential for higher salary:

  • Experience of formally or informally leading or managing people and projects. (S&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)



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



  • 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; Tomcat. (S&I)

Essential for higher salary:

  • Ability to take a business/scientific problem of significant complexity and design a software solution. (S&I)



  • Must demonstrate the ability to work well in a team (S&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 Geomagnetism and/or Space Weather. (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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