Research Associate (Hydrological Modeller)

Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

Wallingford, United Kingdom 🇬🇧


About the role

We offer a prestigious Research Associate training programme to develop skilled UK/EU scientists for the future of European environmental research. Within this 3 year training programme we are offering an exciting opportunity for a Hydrological Modeller to contribute directly to research activities in the Water Resources Science Area, including, using Earth observation data, monitoring and models to assess the status of regional and global water resources, now and in the future. You will be involved in various aspects of CEH research in the Water Resources area, contributing to CEH’s excellent peer-reviewed science.

 Description of work area

Water Resources, researching and applying hydrological models and tools

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

CEH are offering a comprehensive 3-year Research Associate traineeship within the Water Resource Assessment Group at our Wallingford site.  The role will involve the application and development of hydrological models and tools for a range of environmental applications, to provide new insights into the availability of, and pressures on, water resources at local, regional and global scales.  You will undertake project work to improve our understanding of water availability and water stress across different sectors, and develop protocols to allocate available water resources between multiple and competing water uses (e.g. domestic, agriculture, energy, industry, environment).  Specifically you will work on issues such as:

  • Applying a range of hydrological models and quantifying their uncertainty in data-scarce situations
  • integrating water demands with climate and hydrological data to better understand water availability
  • improving estimation of water demands and abstractions from both surface water and groundwater sources
  • assisting in the production of reports and scientific papers detailing major research findings. 

There will be opportunities to be involved in a variety of national and international water resource projects and to apply your modelling skills overseas, especially in Europe, southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

Training and skills you will acquire

Appropriate training will be provided in a number of generic and specific skills areas to assist the appointed researcher to develop cutting edge and transferable research skills to support career progression and personal development.  These include training in areas such as:

  •  Manipulation and visualisation of large spatial and time series datasets, including knowledge of existing datasets and how to access them, as well as generic data management skills
  • development of understanding of science areas (e.g. hydrology, hydrological processes, water resources, water demand, catchment and grid-based modelling, model performance assessment, thus enabling you to realise the opportunities for working collaboratively
  • enhanced IT and modelling skills to develop and apply a range of hydrological models, and analyse and present the outputs.  These include data and computing requirements, computer programming, stochastic modelling, and numerical modelling
  • presentational skills and scientific writing skills
  • project management skills.

Jobs requirements:

Skills and qualifications required on appointment

  •  You will have a 2:1 degree (or equivalent) in geography/earth/environmental sciences, physical sciences, engineering or mathematics and a relevant post-graduate qualification in the form of either an MSc plus two or more years’ experience or a PhD. You will have mathematics qualifications to at least A-level or equivalent standard
  • you will demonstrate a strong understanding of hydrology and water resources, and evidence of a strong interest in researching, developing and implementing hydrological models. Some expertise in modelling water demands for agriculture (irrigation) and energy is desirable
  • be able to demonstrate good team working skills, providing examples of how you work independently and within a team.
  • you will be able to demonstrate through examples how you communicate effectively with different audiences, including colleagues, senior managers, customers and the public (non-experts)
  • excellent IT and computer programming skills (e.g. Fortran, Python, R), giving examples of application of those skills in an environmental context. Some experience of ArcGIS and/or visualization software is desirable
  • experience working internationally is desirable.