Postdoctoral Research Associate/Fellow

University of Exeter
March 04, 2024
Offerd Salary:£32,982
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
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Exeter (Hybrid)


The starting salary for Associate will be from £32,982 on Grade E. For Fellow it will be from £41,732 on Grade F, depending on qualifications and experience.


Generous holiday allowances, flexible working, pension scheme and relocation package (if applicable).

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JD PDRF P91959.pdf JD PDRA P91959.pdf
Postdoctoral Research Associate/Fellow

Job description

Faculty of Environment, Science and Economy

This new full time post is available from 1 April 2024 on a fixed term basis until 30 June 2026. This role offers the opportunity for hybrid working – some time on campus and some from home.

Summary of the role

The Faculty wishes to recruit either a Postdoctoral Research Associate or Fellow to participate in the CleanCloud (Clouds and climate transitioning to post-fossil aerosol regime) project: https: //

CleanCloud is a Horizon Europe Cluster 5 project (EU grant agreement 101137639), comprised of 20 European research institutes. CleanCloud, aims to quantify and understand regional and temporal effects of processes related to aerosol-cloud-interactions (ACI), and how they will evolve in the transition to the post-fossil fuel regime.

As we enter a post-fossil fuel world it is expected that strong reductions in emissions of anthropogenic aerosols will dramatically change ACI effects on the climate system, with proportionally larger impacts from natural aerosol sources. Whilst we expect changes in anthropogenic emissions to lead to cleaner clouds compared to today, ACI in the future may differ significantly from pre-industrial conditions due to shifts in climate and changes in the characteristics of aerosol source regions. This position will investigate how well aerosol sources are captured by climate models in the present day, and how they might change in the future. The overarching objectives are to:-

(i) utilize in-situ and remote sensing observations and synergistic multi- scale modelling to improve our understanding of natural aerosols and their interaction with clouds.

(ii) quantify the impacts of natural aerosols on the temporal evolution of clouds and the representation of these interactions on present day and future climate simulations.

The UK element of the Horizon Europe project is funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) under the UK government's Horizon Europe funding guarantee. This post is funded by grant number EP/Y037049/1 and is available from 1 April 2024 until 30 June 2026, with the possibility of extension (if funding allows).

The successful applicant will predominantly be utilising the UKESM1 climate model, its aerosol microphysics model UKCA, and the HYSPLIT trajectory model. They will be expected to modify a box model version of UKCA so that is can be run over trajectories generated by HYSPLIT. This will allow UKCA to be constrained against aerosol source-receptor relationships derived from observations to improve the fidelity of interaction between natural aerosols and clouds. The successful candidate will use both in-situ and satellite observations to validate the present-day climate modelling, and will analyse results from future climate simulations to examine the role of aerosols relative to internal climate variability.

The successful applicant will be expected to work closely with colleagues at the University of Exeter, but also with other parties involved in the CleanCloud project including for example, colleagues at the Met Office Hadley Centre, the University of Reading, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH, Zurich) and the University of Helsinki. They will be expected to produce peer-reviewed papers documenting the results.

About you

At Grade E: The successful applicant will be able to present information on research progress and outcomes, communicate complex information, orally, in writing and electronically and prepare proposals and applications to external bodies.

Applicants will possess or be nearing completion of a relevant PhD or possess an equivalent qualification/experience in a related field of study and be able to demonstrate sufficient knowledge in the discipline and of research methods and techniques to work within established research programmes. Applicants will be expected to learn how to perform model simulations and analysis of climate model data, and will preferably have an appreciation of the role of aerosols in climate change.

At Grade F: The successful applicant will be able to develop research objectives, projects and proposals; identify sources of research funding and contribute to the process of securing funds and make presentations at conferences and other events.

Applicants will possess a relevant PhD or equivalent qualification/experience in maths, physics, computer-science, meteorology, or a related numerate scientific discipline. The successful applicant will be a nationally recognised authority in atmospheric sciences and possess sufficient specialist knowledge in the discipline to develop research programmes and methodologies. The successful applicant will also be able to work collaboratively, supervise the work of others and act as team leader as required. Applicants will be able to perform model simulations and analysis of climate model data, and will preferably have an appreciation of the role of aerosols in climate change.

What we can offer you

  • Freedom (and the support) to pursue your intellectual interests and to work creatively across disciplines to produce internationally exciting research;
  • Support teams that understand the University wide research and teaching goals and partner with our academics accordingly
  • An Innovation, Impact and Business directorate that works closely with our academics providing specialist support for external engagement and development
  • Our Exeter Academic initiative supporting high performing academics to achieve their potential and develop their career

  • A multitude of staff benefits including sector leading benefits around maternity, adoption and shared parental leave (up to 26 weeks full pay), Paternity leave (up to 6 weeks full pay), and a Fertility Treatment Policy

  • A beautiful campus set in the heart of stunning Devon

  • Please ensure you read the Job Description and Person Specification for full details of this role.

    The University of Exeter

    We are a member of the prestigious Russell Group of research-intensive universities and in the top 200 universities in the world (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2024 and QS World University Ranking 2024). We combine world-class teaching with world-class research, achieving a Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework Award 2023, underpinned by Gold ratings for Student Experience and Student Outcomes.

    Our world-leading research impact has grown more than any other Russell Group university in recent years, and we are home to some of the world's most influential researchers, seeking to answer some of the most fundamental issues facing humankind today. More than 99% of our research is of international quality and 47% is world-leading (2021 Research Excellence Framework).

    We encourage proactive engagement with industry, business and community partners to enhance the impact of research and education and improve the employability of our students. Read about our world leading research – Green Futures and how we are transforming education for a changing world. We are located in a beautiful part of the country and Exeter (a fast growing tech hub) is one of only a few UK cities to have been designated as a UNESCO Creative City

    Our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Commitment

    We are committed to ensuring reasonable adjustments are available for interviews and workplaces.

    Whilst all applicants will be judged on merit alone, we particularly welcome applications from groups currently underrepresented within our working community.

    With over 30,000 students and 7,000 staff from 150 different countries we offer a diverse and engaging environment where our diversity is celebrated and valued as a major strength. We are committed to creating an inclusive culture where all members of our community are supported to thrive; where diverse voices are heard through our engagement with evidence-based charter frameworks for gender (Athena SWAN and Project Juno for Physics), race equality (Race Equality Charter Mark), LGBTQ+ inclusion (Stonewall Diversity Champion) and as a Disability Confident employer.

    Further information

    Please contact Dr Daniel Partridge, e-mail [email protected] or telephone 01392 724165.

    Interviews are expected to take place in March 2024.

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