Postdoctoral Research Associate/Fellow

Updated: about 1 month ago
Location: Exeter, ENGLAND
Deadline: 19 Dec 2021

College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences

This full-time, NERC funded post, is available on a fixed term basis from 01/03/22 until 31/05/2023, with the expectation of an extension (subject to a NERC approval) until 29th February 2024.

The post

The College wishes to recruit a Postdoctoral Research Associate/Fellow to participate in the NERC funded ADVANCE project (see ), which focusses on understanding aerosol-cloud-interactions (ACI).

ADVANCE involves researchers from the University of Exeter, The University of Leeds and the University of Cambridge and seeks to utilise large-scale effusive eruptions from volcanoes as a proxy for better understanding the impacts of anthropogenic emissions of aerosols and their precursors on clouds and climate.

The successful applicant will focus on utilising observations and climate models to better constrain current model estimates of ACI and hence improve estimates of climate sensitivity. Both satellite data (e.g. MODIS) and surface observations (e.g. ACTRIS) will be utilised together with the UKESM1 and ECHAM-HAM climate models. The research may focus on the large-scale emissions from Holuhraun, Kilauea and/or Ambrym.

Depending on the skills and interests of the applicant, two main research pathways may be pursued. The first is developing a detailed understanding of the differences in cloud characteristics in plume-influenced and non-plume influenced conditions following on from previous work (Malavelle et al., Nature, 2017), capitalising on a recently developed framework that allows us to track aerosol properties within the GCMs ( ). The second is the development of novel machine learning algorithms based on our previous research experience that has been pioneered by Dr Ying Chen (Chen et al., Nature Geophys, in review, 2021).

The post will include duties in supervising more junior staff/PhD students and PDRAs and will involve substantial interaction with colleagues working at the Met Office Hadley Centre.

About you

The successful applicant will be able to develop research objectives and publish lead-author scientific papers. They will identify potential 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 be nearing completion for PDRA) or equivalent experience in a related field of study. The successful applicant will be developing into, or already, a nationally recognised authority in climate modelling/machine learning 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 should have a deep interest in climate and climate change.

Please ensure you read the Job Description and Person Specification for full details of this role by clicking on the attachment above.

The University of Exeter

We are a member of the prestigious Russell Group of research-intensive universities and in the top 150 universities in the world (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2022). We combine world-class teaching with world-class research, achieving a Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework Award 2017.

Our research income in recent years means we’re the fastest growing UK Research University with some of the world’s most influential scientists, and we seek to answer some of the most fundamental issues facing humankind today through this. 98% of our research is of international quality (2014 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. Exeter is one of only a few UK cities to have been designated as a UNESCO Creative City . 

Our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Commitment

With over 27,000 students and 6,400 staff from 180 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), race equality (Race Equality Charter Mark), LGBTQ+ inclusion (Stonewall Diversity Champion) and as a Disability Confident employer. Whilst all applicants will be judged on merit alone, we particularly welcome applications from groups currently underrepresented within our working community. Reasonable adjustments are available for interviews and workplaces.

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
  • Access to state-of-the-art computing facilities for climate model simulation and data analysis
  • 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 beautiful campus set in the heart of stunning Devon.

For further information please contact Jim Haywood, e-mail

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