Research Associate Field Data Technician

The programme is aimed particularly at those who have recently completed postgraduate studies, but is open to individuals from other backgrounds and of all ages. Individuals will work on highly topical research projects, both important for future research within the environmental research community and appropriate to their backgrounds. Research Associates are given specific, measurable objectives which will be intended to develop their skills as a researcher and to demonstrate their suitability for a research career.

Description of work area

Field Data Technician for automated environmental monitoring

Description of specific work to be undertaken and skills to be gained

We are seeking a suitable applicant to undergo training in data handling and data quality control of automated field monitoring systems, and routine field maintenance, manual sampling and measurement. The post-holder will undergo a training programme and undertake project work to develop competency in all aspects of these activities.

The post will support a wide range of CEH science with typical applications in weather stations, greenhouse gas flux measurements using eddy covariance and advanced soil moisture monitoring systems ( The post will be a key role in the dynamic and responsive team of engineers and scientists in the Land Surface Flux Measurement Group at CEH Wallingford. There will be a stimulating mixture of fieldwork across the UK (possibly with some overseas fieldwork) and some lab/bench work; the post holder will also develop skills in computer programming for data quality control and data-basing, data analysis of sensor performance and data processing into scientific outputs.

This opportunity would suit an individual driven by delivering high quality fully traceable environmental data to scientists.

You will learn to spot faults and respond to fault reports, so that high quality measurements are maintained from large networks of field stations. As your skills develop, you will interact with lead scientists to develop new field data systems, databases and automated near real-time graphical output for websites. In particular you will develop programming skills in R and Python to continue to automate and improve our data quality screening algorithms and automated fault warnings. Combined with this field data analysis, training will be given in field maintenance procedures, and the post-holder will quickly be expected to undertake field maintenance across the UK on their own, spending some nights away from home. Some manual field measurements and sampling will be conducted after training, such as crop height and leaf area measurement. You will also support the lead engineer in maintaining accurate records of instrumentation inventory, fault issues, field station metadata etc.


Skills and qualifications required on appointment

  • A 2:1 degree or equivalent qualification is essential. It is likely that you will have an environmental science, geography or environmental physics numerate science degree
  • You will be highly organised, efficient and able to manage your own time
  • You will have meticulous attention to detail and written documentation of your work.
  • You must some experience of environmental field measurements and the application of those data.
  • You will have some programming experience in R, Python, Java, FORTRAN or similar.
  • Understanding of databases, preferably with some experience of SQL
  • You must have a full driving licence
  • Some GIS experience is preferred
  • You will be able to demonstrate your flexible approach and have evidence of working across disciplines. Willingness and ability to work overseas, often alone at field sitesAbility to work at height is essential
  • Good communication and teamwork skills

Training and skills to be gained in summary

At the end of the 3-year training programme, the Research Associate will have gained in depth training in best practice world-leading environmental monitoring. They will have had the opportunity to participate in and contribute to a wide range of projects supporting the delivery of CEH science objectives.

This is a fixed term appointment for 3 years as a Research Associate, based in our Wallingford headquarters. The post is a Band 7 and the salary is £22,224.

Apply for this position via our external jobsite  Please look for reference IRC238449.

Closing Date: 12th December 2016

Interview Date: 12th January 2017

Closing Date: 

12th December 2016