Local recruitment: Graduate Technical Assistant (Environmental & Geographical Sciences)

University of Northampton

Northampton, United Kingdom 🇬🇧

Job Type: Part Time Fixed Term

Salary: £27,511 – £33,797 per annum; pro rata

Location: Waterside Campus

Closing Date: 15-08-2021

Ref No: UN3713

Documents: JD – Graduate Technical Assistant (Environmental & Geographical Sciences).pdf (PDF, 366.46kb)

About the Job 

Part time – 18.5 hours per week

Fixed term for up to 4 years 

Interview date – 8 September 2021

This is a fixed term, four-year part time post (18.5 hours per week) Graduate Technical Assistant post within the Environmental and Geographical Sciences discipline of the Science Subject Area.  The post requires you to undertake Technician Demonstrator duties related to Environmental and Geographical Sciences, whilst also studying towards a PhD qualification. 

The technical aspect of the post will involve supporting the use of Geographical Information Systems (GIS), alongside day to day management of the Environmental and Geographical laboratories and associated resources.

You will also register to undertake a PhD looking at the implications of catchment connectivity on sediment and/or ecology in lowland England under the supervision of team including Dr Christopher Holt and Prof. Ian Foster.  The fees for the four-year duration of the PhD will be fully covered by the University.

The PhD project will require you to have a strong understanding of physical geography or environmental science with a focus on hydrology, geomorphology or ecology.  The project will be on the implications of catchment connectivity on sediment and/or ecology over the late Holocene in lowland England.  The project will comprise of field and lab work as well as a substantial GIS component (experience of using  ARCGIS Pro would be advantageous). This research will involve looking at the  geomorphological, hydrological or ecological impacts of connectivity (eg weir removal)  in a moderate sized river catchment (Rother and Lod) in the south of England. 

GIS would be used to allow the pinpointing of possible mitigation strategies as well as land use changes and impacts. It would be expected that the project will also include historical catchment changes.  The supervisory team are already collaborating with the Environment Agency who are currently supporting a pilot project and would provide core sediment monitoring on the Rother and Lod catchments for the duration of the project.  Additional support would be provided by the Arun and Rother Rivers Trust, Southern Water and the South Downs National Park Authority, the latter of whom funded a recent PhD based at Northampton on which this project will build. Southern Water have funded an ongoing project on mapping and modelling field to river connectivity involving Northampton and Oxford Universities.

The applicant will be asked to create a two-page proposal for this research at the University of Northampton.

If you would like to find out about or arrange an informal visit to the lab facilities please contact:

Valerie Graham [email protected]

To discuss the PhD aspect please contact: 

Dr Chris Holt [email protected]

Prof. Ian Foster [email protected]

About you 

You will have a BA/BSc (hons) or equivalent in Geography, Environmental Science or associated discipline with a focus on hydrology, geomorphology or ecology and Masters degree in GIS.  You should have a strong working knowledge of ARCGIS Pro and previous technical experience in Further or Higher Education would be an advantage. 

You will have good written and verbal communication, well developed time management and excellent organisation skills and a cut through approach to completing tasks.   Good IT skills, including competence in standard Microsoft 365 software packages and appropriate statistical packages eg Minitab or SPSS is essential.  In addition, you should have experience with using ARCGIS Pro.



  • Degree in Geography, Environmental Science or a related discipline
  • Master’s degree in GIS


You will join a focused and collegiate team, based in the Faculty of Arts, Science & Technology, with a strong culture of student-focused teaching and high impact research. This is a particularly good time to join us at the University, having recently achieved Gold in the Teaching Excellence Framework.  The Environmental Science and Geography team have recently validated a BSc in Climate Change. 

The University moved to our new £330 million Waterside Campus in 2019 based in Northampton town. Therefore, you will benefit from new purpose-built laboratories and research facilities, a supportive team, and well established and sustainable links with our regional partners.

The team are committed to delivering super supportive programmes and were awarded 100% overall satisfaction in the 2020 National Student Survey.  Fieldwork is considered an important part of our provision and we are currently reviewing our fieldwork provision.

About Us 

This is an exciting time to join our University following our relocation in September 2018 to a new purpose-built, town-centre campus designed to adapt to 21st century teaching.  We are looking to recruit individuals who share our passion for innovation, creativity and social impact and who will play a key role as we realise our ambition of transforming lives for the better and inspiring positive change.

The University of Northampton is one of only two Ashoka U Changemaker Campuses in the UK, and in 2017 was awarded the Social Enterprise Gold Mark, an independent guarantee that we have proven to our employees, students and stakeholders that we are committed to continuous improvement across our business in order to consistently deliver a positive impact on people and planet.

Right to Work

All candidates will be asked to provide proof of eligibility to work in the UK at interview.


We are proud of our diverse student population and applications from Black Asian Minority Ethnic student grow year on year. Equality and the promotion of inclusion are a key value that we are proud to promote. To embed this across the University, to achieve diversity amongst its staff and to improve staff representation, we would like to encourage applications from women, people living with disabilities, and those from the LGBT+ and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities.