Research Assistant (WatPop Project)

University of Plymouth
Plymouth, 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.
The School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences invites you to apply for the post of Research Assistant at the University of Plymouth.  SoGEES employs staff across a wide range of research areas, and enjoys excellent support from dedicated geospatial analysis facilities.  As well as breadth and depth within SoGEES, we have strong academic links across the institution with, for example, the University’s cross-disciplinary Sustainable Earth Institute.  This is an exciting chance to be part of a progressive and cutting-edge University in a beautiful location, working within a collaborative, timely project that can make a difference.

We are seeking to appoint a research assistant to conduct collaborative research on the ESRC project ‘WatPop: understanding seasonal population change’.  You will work in coloration with Dr Alan Smith and the project co-investigator at the University of Leeds.  You will also be involved in working with the whole project team, including project partner South West Water (SWW) and the Office for National Statistics (ONS).  The role will involve analysing anonymised, high temporal resolution, water metering data provided by SWW.  This project aims to assess how selected household and aggregate (small area) water meter data may be used to infer changes in population occupancy at a variety of temporal scales.  This is a large dataset and it is essential that you are confident in handling big datasets, with experience in time-series analysis and automating tasks (e.g. proficient in skills such as R or Python).

It is essential that you have a first degree in geography or allied data science discipline and desirably a PhD in a relevant area.  As a research project team member you will contribute to producing and disseminating research outputs such as peer-review publications, workshops and conference presentations.  You should be self-motivated, work well as a team member and demonstrate evidence of producing high quality research outputs.     

This post will be based on the Drake Circus campus of the University of Plymouth but will require occasional funded travel to undertake UK based meetings with the project team (in line with the latest UK Government coronavirus guidance).  This will also include the opportunity to contribute to and attend specialist conferences and impact events which may include international travel.

This is a two year, part-time fixed term post at 0.8 FTE and it is anticipated that it will commence in early 2021. A 1.0 FTE appointment may be considered with the equivalent reduction in duration if preferable for the right candidate.  The starting salary point and time allocated to this project is fixed under the funding awarded.

Flexible working options including job share will be considered.

Please demonstrate how you meet the essential criteria outlined in the knowledge, qualifications, training and experience elements of the job description in your supporting statement.

Interviews are likely to take place in December 2020 and you will be notified if you have been shortlisted or not.  For informal enquiries please contact Dr Alan Smith ( or Dr Andy Newing (

We offer a competitive salary package and a generous pension and holiday scheme. We also offer a range of other benefits, including ongoing development opportunities.

Please note, due to the COVID-19 pandemic the University is currently implementing a number of safety measures as per Government advice therefore the successful applicant may be required to work from home in the first instance.

The University of Plymouth is committed to equality of opportunity, promoting a diverse and inclusive culture, demonstrated through our commitment to the gender equality Athena SWAN Charter and as a Stonewall diversity champion. All applications will be judged solely on merit, however, we particularly welcome applications from groups currently under-represented in the workforce, for example black and minority ethnic groups.

University of Plymouth holds a TEF (Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework) Silver by the Office for Students.

Job Description