RA Applied Hydrologist - Fixed term appointment (3 years) - Full time (37 hours p/w) - Based in Wallingford

CEH are seeking an enthusiastic hydrological scientist for a 3-year Research Associate traineeship within the Water Resources Systems Group at our Wallingford site. The role will involve developing skills in hydrology, water resources and modelling through working on a variety of applied research projects in the UK, Europe, sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.

The NERC Research Associates' Programme is an initiative which is intended to offer individuals the opportunity to gain practical experience of working within a Research Institute, whilst acquiring specialist and wider skills that will be valuable in a range of careers.

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 specific work to be undertaken and skills to be gained

You will contribute to a variety of current and planned water resource projects in the UK and internationally. Working on issues such as optimising current water use, future water resource planning and agricultural water management, you will help CEH deliver scientific evidence to underpin integrated water management approaches and assist in the development of decision-support tools for governments and agencies across the world. 

Within this role, you can expect to have developed, by the end of your 3-year appointment, expertise in applied hydrology at a range of spatial and temporal scales. You will gain in-depth knowledge and practical experience in topics including: hydro meteorological monitoring, data processing and management, hydrological process modelling and water resource management.  There will be opportunities to be involved in a variety of national and international water resource projects and to apply skills overseas.

Training and skills you will acquire

  • the fundamentals of hydrology (e.g. catchment water balance components, hydrological process understanding,  hydrological estimation)
  • hydrometeorological measurement and observations (hydrometric and meteorological in-situ measurements; remote sensing/earth observations; remote data acquisition methods)
  • hydrometeorological data processing,  management and analysis (automated and manual quality control methods, data visualisation, statistical data analysis using scripts, handling and interpretation of large, high-frequency datasets)
  • software programming skills (e.g. Fortran, Python, R, ), and GIS to analyse and interpret data and produce new information products
  • development and implementation (calibration and validation) of stochastic and deterministic hydrological models
  • irrigation systems’ hydrology, irrigation water management and water use efficiency
  • climate and socio-economic scenario development and testing
  • the evaluation of uncertainty and error propagation in hydrological models
  • improved research skills in communication, stakeholder engagement, networking and scientific project planning.

 Skills and qualifications required on appointment

You will have attained a good science or engineering degree, or equivalent, and possess some knowledge of the principles of hydrology, hydrometry and/or modelling. You will need good numerical and analytical skills, excellent communication skills (written and oral) and a capacity for effective problem solving, and be capable of working efficiently on your own and as part of a team.  Specifically, you will possess:

  • an MSc in a related subject (physical/environmental/agricultural science or civil engineering), or a good undergraduate degree (2.1 or higher in a related subject) with some years’ relevant experience
  • Mathematics to A-level or equivalent standard
  • knowledge and understanding of hydrology, using hydrological data and/or applying hydrological models
  • experience of working on applied hydrology projects in the consultancy or research sector would be an advantage
  • demonstrable IT skills and good written and oral communication skills
  • good team working skills and an ability to develop effective internal and external collaborations within the scientific area
  • good organisational and  time management skills, with an ability to work to deadlines
  • ability to travel to study sites in the UK, Europe, sub-Saharan Africa and Asia is essential.

Appointments above the minimum salary would be based on experience.

Towards the end of the Research Associate traineeship consideration is given to availability of open ended employment opportunities with CEH.

How to apply

Apply for this position through RCUK iRecruitment Employee Candidate

Closing date: 16/01/2018

Interview date: 13/02/2018


Additional Details

In addition NERC offer a public sector pension scheme, 30 days’ annual leave and 10½ days’ public and privilege holiday per annum. We offer a flexible and supportive working environment and will encourage your continuing professional development as part of our career support. 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.

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.

From April 2018, UK Research and Innovation will bring together the seven Research Councils, Innovate UK and a new organisation, Research England. The vision for the new organisation is to be the best research and innovation organisation in the world. From 1 April 2018 your employer will be UK Research and Innovation. More information can be found online http://www.ukri.org/.

Closing Date: 



£22,224 - £24,000 per annum depending on experience