Research Fellow – National Oceanography Centre Southampton

Research Fellow – Physical Oceanography

Location:  National Oceanography Centre Southampton
Salary:   £29,301
Full Time Fixed Term for 1 year
Closing Date:   Thursday 27 October 2016
Interview Date:   To be confirmed
Reference:  784216HN

We are seeking to appoint a researcher to work on part of the E-Rise (Earliest detection of sea-level rise accelerations to inform lead time to upgrade/replace coastal flood defense infrastructure) project. There is strong observational evidence that global mean sea levels are rising and the rate of rise is predicted to accelerate, significantly threatening hundreds of billions of pounds of infrastructure around the UK coast. Substantial upgrades/replacements to coastal defences will therefore be required to maintain existing flood risk management standards. However, this will involve long lead times relating to both planning and implementation of schemes. This project is aimed at better understanding likely lead times for upgrading/replacing coastal defence infrastructure around the UK coast over the 21st century, and assess whether we could detect sea-level accelerations earlier to provide sufficient lead time for action.

As a Research Fellow on this project, you will be responsible, supported by the other investigators on the project, for helping to develop a statistical toolbox that will allow us to:

  • identify the timings (with uncertainties) at which accelerations in sea-level rise might first be recognized using the best possible combination of in situ and satellite-based data and most appropriate statistical methods;
  • estimate the lead times; for a wide range of sea-level projections. Working with our project partners (The Environment Agency, EDF Energy and HR Wallingford) you will use the toolbox to examine the planning and engineering implementation requirements and their associated lead times for upgrading/replacing the Thames Barrier and associated defences.

You will have a PhD* or equivalent professional qualifications and experience in statistical analysis and quantitative statistical skills.  You will construct algorithms and produce appropriate and innovative software to support the project team in this process. You will have a strong influence on the toolbox that is developed and experience with R, Matlab, Python or other relevant programming languages and have a strong statistics background/experience. You will also be expected to be an ambassador for the projects, including disseminating findings by taking the lead in preparing a journal publication, presenting results at conference, participating in workshops or exhibiting work at other appropriate events, and providing material for the project web site and the sponsors such as policy briefs.

*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 Assistantwill be given.

The post is tenable from1 November 2016 or as soon as possible thereafter.

You will be responsible to the Project Leader, Associate Professor Ivan Haigh, and will be based at the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton.  If you would like further information please contact Ivan Haigh (;+44 (0) 2380 596501).

The University of Southampton is the top one per cent of world universities and in the top 10 of the UK’s research-intensive university. You will join one of the UK’s and world’s most dynamic centres for marine sciences. In REF 2014, Ocean and Earth Science reaffirmed its position as a world-leader in research excellence by ranking 2 in the UK for proportion of research recognised as world-leading (41% of research outputs judged 4*, with 93% judged either 3* or 4*) and our overall submission had the greatest proportion (41%) of world-leading (4*) research for large submissions (> 50 staff).

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 Sarah Foster (Recruitment Team) on +44 (0) 23 8059 5070. Please quote reference 784216HN on all correspondence.

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