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Research Software Engineer
UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, , United Kingdom
Start reviewing process: 5 February 2024

Salary - £36,245 to £38,463 Depending on experience

Hybrid working (50/50)

Four permanent, full-time positions available (Part-time options considered)

Preferred Location: Lancaster

Alternative Locations: Wallingford, Edinburgh or Bangor

We will be reviewing applications upon receipt. We reserve the right to close this advert, if we find the right candidate, so we encourage you to apply early. UKCEH is looking for four highly motivated Research Software Engineers (RSEs) to join our 600-strong team, contributing to scientific discovery and generating the data, insights and solutions that researchers, businesses and governments need to solve complex environmental challenges. These RSE posts are advertised alongside two Senior RSEs, all together forming a new RSE cohort of six individuals that will work closely together.

Working at UKCEH is rewarding. Our science makes a real difference, enabling people and the environment to prosper, and enriching society. We are the custodians of a wealth of environmental data, collected by UKCEH and its predecessors for over 60 years.

As a valued member of our team, you’ll get:

27 days annual leave, rising to 29 days after five years

10% employer pension contribution

Enhanced maternity and paternity leave

24 hour, 365-day access to support with physical, mental, social, health or financial issues

Flexible working opportunities

And much more

As a Research Software Engineer, your pivotal role involves exploring, developing, optimising, and maintaining software solutions for various environmental science projects. Collaborating with dynamic, multidisciplinary teams, you'll contribute to cutting-edge environmental science research, supporting integrative approaches and fostering the environmental RSE community.

You’ll be designing and developing robust and scalable software solutions for environmental scientists, underpinned by software engineering principles and cloud-native architecture. Expertise in agile and cloud-based development, utilising associated technologies, and familiarity with software design principles will greatly benefit this role. We are seeking candidates with one or more of these additional specialisations such as experience in high-performance computing, distributed and parallel computing, visualization, AI, and IoT-based systems.

Employing these essential skills, your primary focus will involve facilitating and supporting diverse software development stages across various project life cycles – spanning from monitoring systems to data processing, large-scale analysis, visualisation, data discovery and decision-making tools.

You’ll be joining a leading independent, not-for-profit research institute that’s committed to recruiting talented people like you, progressing your career and giving you the support you need to thrive at UKCEH.

Your main responsibilities will include:

Research, design and develop custom software solutions and tools to meet the specific needs of environmental scientists.

Work closely with Senior RSEs, Designers, Systems Architects, Software and DevOps Engineers, and Data Managers in the EDS team, as well as the IT team, to support the design, development and implementation of current and future software products.

Collaborate with environmental science researchers to identify requirements and translate them into robust software solutions.

Stay up to date with the latest technology trends and advancements in software engineering and relevant computing domains and apply these in the role.

Develop best practices to enhance software security and reliability, including thoroughly testing and debugging code, and promptly identifying and resolving issues.

Create intuitive software with the designers and prepare accurate, concise and clear documentation or user guides to help researchers understand and effectively use the software products and tools.

By joining UKCEH, you will become part of an inclusive and diverse work environment driven by co-design and agile-based development approaches with a strong emphasis on teamwork and delivering against FAIR and open science principles. You will collaborate with the new cohort of RSEs and environmental scientists across the organisation, and work closely with experts in design, software development, systems architecture and data management as part of the Environmental Data Science group. To learn more about the projects UKCEH are involved in, click here!

For the role of Research Software Engineer, we’re looking for somebody who:

Has a degree in an appropriate subject (e.g., Software Engineering, Computer Science), and a PhD or equivalent relevant experience.

Has knowledge and experience of researching, developing and deploying scalable systems.

Has experience of transforming stakeholder requirements into functional systems that meet the needs of diverse user groups.

Has experience of version control systems and code documentation.

Is aware of cloud-native principles and associated DevOps technologies.

Can apply such principles/practices to develop potentially innovative software solutions that are maintainable, scalable, reliable and extensible.

Has proficiency in one or more programming languages such as Python, R, Java, and C++, and an ability to develop skills in additional languages.

Works well within a team with minimal supervision, keeping managers appraised as appropriate.

Can present work clearly and expertly to a variety of audiences including non-specialists, and actively pursues opportunities to collaborate with others.

If you have a passion for research and software development, along with the necessary skills and qualifications, we invite you to apply for this exciting opportunity. Your expertise can significantly contribute to empowering environmental scientists in addressing challenges. Feel free to reach out to Dr. Faiza Samreen ( if you have any questions about the role or working at UKCEH. Prepare to channel your enthusiasm into driving innovation and pushing the boundaries of environmental research with your diverse and specialised skill set.

Of interest for:
  • Terrestrial Working Group
  • Cyberinformatics and Numerics Working Group
  • Hydrology Focus Research Group
  • Ecosystem Dynamics Focus Research Group
  • Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning Initiative
  • Modeling Platform Interoperability Initiative
  • River Network Modeling Initiative