Environmental Contamination Modeller
UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, , United Kingdom
Apply before: 20 February 2023

  • Hybrid working options available, with 50% of your time onsite
  • Salary: £34,562 - £36,556 depending on experience
  • Closing Date: 20th February 2023, we reserve the right to close this vacancy early, should we receive sufficient applications.

UKCEH are an independent, not-for-profit research institute. Home to 600 scientists, supported by our experienced professional service teams, we provide the data and insights that researchers, governments, and businesses need to tackle some of the major environmental challenges we face today.

We want you to love what you do whilst looking after yourself, so we support you with excellent benefits such as:

  • 27 days annual leave, rising to 29 days after 5 years
  • Above standard pension contributions
  • Enhanced maternity and paternity leave
  • A flexible approach to work, enabling you to maintain a healthy work/life balance
  • 24 hour, 365-day access to support with physical, mental, social, health or financial issues

Plus loads more -

A bit about you...

You are an enthusiastic scientist commutable to our site in Lancaster, UK, looking to work on modelling the emissions and fate of environmental contaminants. You will help advance our understanding of how contaminants - such as microplastics, pharmaceuticals, metals and nanomaterials - enter, move through, and transform in soils and waters. Initially, you will work on developing models and inventories of contaminant emissions and on supporting the development of fate models.

You may be looking for opportunities to develop your role; for example, to lead research proposals and projects in this area. Many of your scientific outputs will be important in supporting both UK and International policy and regulation for chemicals.

Main Responsibilities

The focus of the role is to support our environmental exposure modelling work through the creation of chemical emissions datasets and taking part in the development and application of chemical fate models, using these to provide insights into the behaviour of a broad range of chemicals in the natural environment.

Other duties will include:

  • Developing and applying approaches to create spatial and temporal emission inventories for emerging and legacy chemicals to soils and waters;
  • Applying spatiotemporal models of chemical fate, exposure and speciation for various contaminant classes including microplastics, pharmaceuticals, nanomaterials and metals;
  • Supporting the updating of fate and exposure models to new chemical domains, e.g. microplastics, and contributing to the development of new models;
  • Analysing model outputs to gain insight into important trends in environmental contamination;
  • Communicating research findings internally and externally, including to key stakeholders from different sectors, such as regulators and industry;
  • Writing reports and scientific papers detailing major research findings.

Here are some essential skills we are looking for:

  • PhD or equivalent experience in a numerate subject, including but not limited to chemistry, physics, engineering and mathematics;
  • Experience of developing emissions inventories or models for environmental release of chemicals, or of developing scientific models or research software contributing to scientific outputs;
  • Awareness of emerging and legacy environmental contaminants, and enthusiasm to work in this research area;
  • Knowledge of a programming or scripting language such as R, Python, Fortran or Julia;
  • Excellent communication and time management skills;
  • Ability to work both collaboratively, and independently with initiative to solve problems, seeking guidance where appropriate;
  • Willingness to travel overseas for project meetings

We would be delighted if you also had the following skills/experience:

  • Experience of the use of scenarios and/or consultation with stakeholders in generating chemical emissions datasets;
  • Willingness to learn to program in Modern Fortran or Python, if not already experienced;
  • vExperience of applying computational skills to model environmental contamination;
  • Experience using a version control system, such as Git;
  • Technical knowledge of analysing common spatial data formats, e.g. NetCDF, GeoTIFF, either programmatically or via GIS applications;
  • Knowledge of the FAIR principles in relation to scientific data and code accessibility;
  • Experience in scientific paper and report writing.

If you are excited about joining us, please send us your CV and covering letter, telling us how amazing you would be for this role, by following the link and clicking the “apply” button. Informal enquiries are welcome - please contact Sam Harrison at

Of interest for:
  • Terrestrial Working Group
  • Hydrology Focus Research Group
  • Modeling Platform Interoperability Initiative
  • River Network Modeling Initiative