RA Hydrologist via TopCareer.jobs

Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

Wallingford, United Kingdom 🇬🇧

Salary: £22,224

Grade: 7
Contract Type: Fixed Term (3 years)
Hours: Full Time 
Closing Date:11th December 2017
Interview Date: 11th January 2018

About the role:

We offer a prestigious Research Associate training programme to develop skilled UK/EU scientists for the future of European environmental research. The 3-year training programme offers you the opportunity to gain practical experience of working within our active research projects whilst acquiring specialist and wider skills valuable for your future career. Each Research Associate will deliver specific, measurable objectives intended to develop their skills as a researcher and to demonstrate their suitability for a research career.

Description of work area:

This RA post will sit within the Hydrological Status and Outlooks group, conducting research on the development of hydrological situation monitoring and forecasting tools and the exploitation of a range of datasets to examine long-term hydrological variability. 

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

Your focus will be to undertake analyses on observed and modelled environmental data across the UK and internationally (including climatic, river discharge and groundwater level datasets), in order to further develop tools for hydrological situation monitoring and forecasting and for assessment of hydrological variability over a range of timescales. 

You will receive training in statistical analysis, programming and hydrological modelling and will apply these skills to support ongoing externally funded research projects (e.g. the IMPETUS project aiming to improve the seasonal forecasting of droughts in the UK and the ENDOWS project aiming to translate drought research outputs into useful tools for decision-makers). You will also gain training in operational hydrological situation monitoring and forecasting via the National Hydrological Monitoring Programme and the UK Hydrological Outlook (www.hydoutuk.net). 

You will also gain experience in international project work, for example via a major programme which aims to develop hydro-climatic services for water management in China, India and Sub-Saharan Africa. You will be working as part of the project team based at our Wallingford site, contributing to the research effort through effectively collating and analysing monitoring and forecasting outputs, contributing to journal papers and other outputs and assisting in a wide range of stakeholder engagement activities.

Specific responsibilities and activities:

  • support investigation of ways to improve hydrological situation monitoring and forecasting in the UK and Internationally 
  • investigate how stakeholders and the public interact with hydrological status information such as drought indicators and forecasts and how these are delivered
  • undertake hydrological modelling, including calibration and assessment of a number of hydrological models
  • conduct statistical analysis of observational data and model outputs, to understand forecast reliability and uncertainty 
  • carry out research to understand long-term hydro-climatic trends and variability using a range of datasets
  • contribute to the National Hydrological Monitoring Programme, producing monthly operational UK Hydrological Summaries and Outlooks and working to assess and improve the quality of outputs
  • manage a wide range of project output datasets and computer codes and apply standard quality and version control mechanisms.

Training skills you will acquire:

  • you will be trained in a wide range of methods for analysing observed and modelled hydrological datasets 
  • you will be trained in calibration and assessment of a number of hydrological models
  • you will gain exposure to novel data visualisation and statistical analysis methods
  • you will gain advanced skills in a range of programming languages (e.g. R, Python) and spatial data analysis using GIS
  • you will gain exposure to state-of-the-art methods for drought monitoring and forecasting 
  • you will gain experience in the operational delivery of National Hydrological Monitoring Programme products
  • you will benefit from training and mentoring in scientific communication and will gain experience through contributing to scientific Journal papers and presentations at conferences and workshops.


Skills Required:


  • a 2:1 degree in earth/environmental sciences, geography, physical sciences or statistics/mathematics, or equivalent
  • knowledge and interest in hydrology and environmental science 
  • good numeracy or statistical analysis skills 
  • experience of programming (preferably R or Python)
  • excellent organisational and time management skills, with an ability to work effectively in a team 
  • excellent written and oral communication skills 
  • a willingness to travel overseas for periods up-to several months.



  • a master’s degree in a scientific discipline or relevant research experience would be desirable
  • some exposure to hydrological modelling would be an advantage.