Research Fellow

University of Plymouth
June 30, 2024
Offerd Salary:£38,205 - £44,263
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
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£38,205 - £44,263 per annum - Grade 7

Contract Type

Fixed-term, Full-time

Contractual hours


Job category/type

Research Fellow


The University is recruiting a Research Fellow in Fluvial Geomorphology.

Based in the Faculty of Science and Engineering, the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences comprises four distinct areas across the subjects of chemistry, earth sciences, environmental sciences and geography, each delivering exceptional teaching, support and research. All degree programmes are professionally accredited and designed with the UN's Sustainable Development Goals in mind.

Staff and students work and study in the stunning natural landscape of south west England. Our national parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, characterful towns and cities, and 650 mile-long coastline provide the backdrop from which we address global sustainability challenges on land and at sea. Students develop in this supportive environment to be pioneers of a better and more sustainable future for our planet and all of its people.

An interdisciplinary team of world-class academics undertakes teaching and research focused on challenges including climate change, natural hazards, social justice, pollution, energy transitions, land- and seascape conservation and the sensitive development of natural resources.

The School holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award demonstrating the University's ongoing commitment to advancing gender equality and success for all, and is a signatory to the Royal Geographical Society's Inclusive Fieldwork Principles.

We are seeking a full-time Research Fellow to undertake quantitative research into the landscape legacies of catastrophic sediment-rich flows (SRF) in high-mountain environments.

This work is being carried out as part of the project “SUPERSLUG: Deconstructing sediment superslugs as a legacy of extreme flows” (NE/Z00022X/1) funded through the Natural Environment Research Council's (NERC) Pushing the Frontiers research grants programme. The project builds on a successful NERC Urgency project (NE/W002930/1) and seeks to reveal new fundamental insights into fluvial sediment transport behaviours following extreme SRFs with an initial focus on landscape adjustments following the February 2021 “Chamoli disaster”, a heavily sediment-laden flood triggered by a rock-ice avalanche which caused extensive loss of life and significant damage to energy and infrastructure in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. The project is led by the University of Plymouth alongside collaborators from Newcastle University, the Universities of Exeter, Hull and Leeds, the Wadia Institute for Himalayan Geology, and the Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee.

You will be expected to contribute to at least two project work packages. Core tasks that you will be asked to lead or support include: 1) the photogrammetric processing of imagery collected from drone platforms, enabling detailed, local-scale sedimentological analysis that can be upscaled using satellite imagery to inform catchment-based observations, and 2) the development of an open-source toolkit for detecting and tracking fine-grained sediment superslugs leveraging cloud-based processing of free satellite imagery. You will have a strong quantitative grounding, including a track record of working with remote sensing imagery obtained from aerial and/or satellite platforms.

You will be primarily based within the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences within the Faculty of Science and Engineering. You will be expected to occasionally travel within the UK (e.g. to work with collaborators at other UK HEIs, attend in-person project meetings). You will also have the opportunity, if desired, to undertake fieldwork in the Indian Himalaya and engage with Indian scholars and practitioners in support of project goals.

You are required to have a PhD in a relevant subject or an equivalent international qualification, or a commensurate level of experience/recognition/profile in the private or public sector.

In your supporting statement please demonstrate how you meet the essential (and if appropriate, desirable) criteria outlined in the knowledge, qualifications, training and experience elements of the job description.

For an informal discussion to find out more about the role then please contact Dr Matt Westoby by email at [email protected].

There is an essential requirement within this role that you will be required to travel to and work at different University sites and/or other business locations that may not be easily accessible by public transport. Please refer to the job description for further information.

Please note that this position may be subject to ATAS clearance if you require visa sponsorship.

Interviews are likely to take place in the week commencing Monday 8th July 2024 and you will be notified if you have been shortlisted or not.

This is a full-time position working 37 hours per week on a fixed-term basis for 35 months due to funding.

Flexible working options including job share will be considered.

We offer a competitive salary package and a generous pension and holiday scheme. We also offer a range of other benefits, including ongoing development opportunities.

A summary of our comprehensive benefits can be viewed here.

The University of Plymouth has a strong interdisciplinary research ethos which is supported by our three strategic Research Institutes; the Marine Institute, the Sustainable Earth Institute, and the Plymouth Institute of Health and Care Research. As a member of our academic community, you'll be expected to contribute to our recognised research strengths. Working holistically across the University, you will be challenged to innovate, collaborate and deliver impactful research contributions as part of a systems thinking approach to addressing today's global challenges.

The University of Plymouth is a diverse, welcoming community where everyone makes a difference and is encouraged to bring their whole selves to work. To find out more about our inclusive community, initiatives such as Athena Swan and the Race Equality Charter and our range of benefits / support mechanisms such as flexible working, staff networks and enhanced maternity, paternity & adoption leave please visit our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion webpages

We particularly welcome applicants from under-represented groups such as BAME/BIPOC and LGBT+.

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