Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Hydrological Forecasting

University of Southampton

Southampton, United Kingdom 🇬🇧

Location: Highfield Campus
Salary: £29,799 to £36,613 
Full Time Fixed Term (2 Years)
Closing Date: Thursday 17 May 2018
Interview Date: To be confirmed 
Reference: 1000218WR

The University of Southampton seeks a hydrologist/hydrological modeller with experience in the above areas for a two year research position. You will be part of a team on a new 3-year project “A new paradigm in precision agriculture: assimilation of ultra-fine resolution data into a crop-yield forecasting model”. The project is focused on the nexus of water and food security and is a collaboration between the University of Southampton and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia. You will be working directly with Professor Justin Sheffield and joining other post-docs and PhDs based in Southampton and KAUST. 

The project’s goal is to improve the understanding and management of agricultural systems in dryland environments via the development and use of new technologies, assimilation approaches and forecasting methods. Specifically, the proposal will focus on identifying the critical processes and constraints on dryland farming, how to simulate and understand these, and how to integrate models with advanced observation and management strategies to deliver a transformative decision making framework. 

We seek candidates with excellent data analysis and computational skills in hydrology and agricultural forecasting (hydroclimate data analysis, hydrological and crop modelling, hydrological and crop production forecasting, data assimilation, data visualization), to undertake research on characterising and understanding the variability and predictability of water resources and crop production at very high-resolution in dryland environments, focusing on case studies in Saudi Arabia, Zambia and the U.S. You will develop seamless monitoring and forecasting systems with improved predictability and reduced uncertainty via bias correction, data assimilation and model merging, and optimization of management strategies to improve crop production.

You will have a PhD*(or equivalent professional qualifications) and experience in Geography, Engineering, Environmental Science, Mathematics or Computing Science or a related discipline. You will also have knowledge and experience of working with large datasets and hydrological/crop models in a Linux/Unix environment, including scientific programming skills in Python, C, Fortran or similar, and using these to address local to regional scale water issues. Previous experience of working on hydrological problems in dryland regions, and a knowledge of water and food security challenges, are both desirable, but not required. 

* Applications for Research Fellow positions will be considered from candidates who are working towards or nearing completion of a relevant PhD qualification. The title of Research Fellow will be applied upon successful completion of the PhD. Prior to the qualification being awarded the title of Senior Research Assistant will be given.

You will work closely with an interdisciplinary team of researchers and students at Southampton and KAUST to develop and carry out research, write research reports and journal papers. There will be opportunities to travel to Saudi Arabia to participate in project meetings and workshops, and potentially for field work in Saudi Arabia, Zambia of the U.S. There will also be opportunities to develop knowledge and professional skills in multi-disciplinary research projects and international development issues. 

Further details and informal enquiries can be made to Prof. Justin Sheffield ([email protected]).

Application procedure:

You should submit your completed online application form at The application deadline will be midnight on the closing date stated above. If you need any assistance, please call Charlene Tyson (Recruitment Team) on +44 (0) 23 8059 6803. Please quote reference 1000218WR on all correspondence.