Research Assistant/Associate in Climate and Hydrology

Newcastle University
Newcastle, United Kingdom
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
Experience Level: 
Not Specified
Degree Required: 
Bachelor's (Or Equivalent)


Please note: this job post has expired! To the best of our knowledge, this job is no longer available and this page remains here for archival purposes only.

We are a world class research-intensive university. We deliver teaching and learning of the highest quality. We play a leading role in economic, social and cultural development of the North East of England. Attracting and retaining high-calibre people is fundamental to our continued success.

Salary: £28,331.00 - £44,045.00 

Closing Date: 10 October 2020

The Role

Based in the School of Engineering, this is an excellent opportunity for a motivated and dynamic professional to develop novel, high-resolution climate datasets for use with a new physically-based flood modelling system and to develop the hydrological model to assimilate new data streams in PYRAMID. You will work with an interdisciplinary group in the School of Engineering as part of the UKRI NERC-funded PYRAMID project, bringing expertise in climate data and hydrological modelling for the purposes of creating a dynamic, near-real-time urban flood risk model. You should will hold a PhD (or be nearing completion) in a relevant subject, have strong programming skills and experience in climate/rainfall dataset development, working with national-scale datasets and physically-based hydrological modelling. Additional skills in software engineering are desirable, but not essential.

You will be based at the Newcastle University City campus, working alongside colleagues on the NERC PYRAMID project and benefitting from having access to a wider team of experts in big data, computer vision, artificial intelligence, geospatial engineering, hydrology / hydrodynamic modelling and climate change impacts within Newcastle University and at our project partner, Loughborough University.

You will benefit from having access to a wide range of Continuing Professional Development courses, some of which are accredited by professional organisations amongst other employee benefits. The School of Engineering has a strong record in the Athena SWAN scheme. Athena SWAN advances gender equality with representation, progression and success for all. The School of Engineering was granted a Bronze award in October 2018, valid for three years

The position is available on a full time, fixed term basis. Available to commence immediately and tenable for 24 months (in the first instance) or until the 13 August 2022, whichever date is soonest.

For all informal enquiries please contact Prof. Hayley Fowler via email   or Dr Elizabeth Lewis via email;

For information about the School of Engineering, please click here:

As part of our commitment to career development for research colleagues, the University has developed 3 levels of research role profiles.  These profiles set out firstly the generic competences and responsibilities expected of role holders at each level and secondly the general qualifications and experiences needed for entry at a particular level.

Key Accountabilities

1. Collate appropriate national datasets for the flood modelling system
2. Produce a severe  convective  storms  event  set from a blended radar-gauge product using already developed methods/codes:  Our project partners at the Environment Agency have identified a set of ~20 severe short-duration rainfall events that have caused flash flooding in the  UK within the last 10-15 years.
3. Lead the physically-based hydrological modelling (SHETRAN) aspects of the modelling platform. This will build on previous and ongoing work at Newcastle University and will include integration with national datasets, integration to the modelling platform, improving the representation of hydrogeology in the model and investigating automatic calibration methods for use with a physically-based hydrological model.
4. Develop SHETRAN further to assimilate new information created by other members of the PYRAMID team, either through direct modification of the SHETRAN code (written in FORTRAN) or by creating an external set-up system
5. Work closely with the other team members to integrate climate data and SHETRAN outputs into the flood modelling platform
6. Engage effectively with project stakeholders to co-develop a useful flood modelling tool.

The Person

Knowledge, Skills and Experience


• Experience of developing, setting-up and running physically-based hydrological models;
• Good data analytical skills, with the ability to work methodically and accurately in designing, executing and writing up research independently;
• Experience in climate dataset development;
• Programming ability in NCL/FORTRAN/Python;
• Experience of collaborative working with academic and stakeholder partners;

• A developing track record of peer reviewed publications in internationally recognised journals and experience of presentation of work to the 
• national/international research community
• Knowledge of innovative ways of presenting research outputs. 
• Skills / expertise in hydrology/hydrodynamics

Attributes and Behaviour

• Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal; ability and willingness to communicate your research at national and international conferences, to fellow academics in other disciplines and to stakeholders;
• Excellent interpersonal skills to build trust with collaborating groups;
• The ability to work well both independently and as part of a team;
• Professional approach with a commitment to equality, diversity, dignity and respect in the workplace;
• Good planning, organisational and time management skills;


• A good Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in a relevant subject e.g. Hydrology, Computer Science, Civil Engineering, Geospatial Engineering, Mathematics;
• PhD award (or nearing completion) OR equivalent work experience in Hydrology, climate or geospatial data science or a closely related discipline

Newcastle University is committed to being a fully inclusive Global University which actively recruits, supports and retains staff from all sectors of society.  We value diversity as well as celebrate, support and thrive on the contributions of all our employees and the communities they represent.  We are proud to be an equal opportunities employer and encourage applications from everybody, regardless of race, sex, ethnicity, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, age, disability, gender identity, marital status/civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, as well as being open to flexible working practices.