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Coastal Geomorphologist and System Modeller, GSNI

Coastal Geomorphologist and System Modeller

Coastal Geomorphologist and System Modeller 

Natural Environment Research Council – British Geological Survey (BGS)

Band UKRI E/S2 Salary: £48,802 per annum

Contract Type: Open ended 

Hours: Full-time – 37 hours a week (some flexible working options may be available, including a small amount of remote working, in line with BGS policy)

Location: Geological Survey Northern Ireland (GSNI) in Belfast

A great benefits package is offered, including an outstanding pension scheme, 30 days annual leave plus bank holidays, and access to flexi-time

Closing date: 14 July 2024  About the role

An exciting opportunity has arisen for a highly motivated and experienced Coastal Geomorphologist and System Modeller to join the BGS Coasts & Estuaries Team and be based at the Geological Survey Northern Ireland (GSNI) in Belfast. In this role, you will have the opportunity to lead the coasts and estuaries capability at GSNI by: 

  • Joining a team focused on quantifying the dynamic behaviour and sensitivity of coastal systems to environmental changes and human impacts.

  • Developing and applying innovative behavioural models of coastal change that are directly relevant to a wide-ranging set of partners at human to planning (centennial) time scales.

  • Being responsible for the continued development and application of existing and new models of coastal change across the suite of coastal environments, driven by both outstanding scientific questions and the requirements of coastal collaborators. Specifically, this will include continued development of our Coastal Modelling Environment (CoastalME) (Payo et al., 2017, Geosci. Model Dev.), which should engage bio-ecological processes and a greater variety of coastal types and be informed by hydrodynamic principles, while at the same time be able to simulate the emergence of coastal features in an exploratory (complexity) mode.

  • Participating, as appropriate, in strategic programme development undertaken by GSNI/BGS Programmes that involve the capability.

  • Representing the capability externally, as appropriate, proactively engaging with the user community (government, universities, private sector, GSNI/BGS colleagues) to develop science and business opportunities.

  • Leading and being responsible for the development of relevant science and staffing for the capability at GSNI.

  • Working closely with the BGS Head of Coasts & Estuaries capability on two large ongoing research projects: CHAMFER and UKGravelBarriers.



  • You are likely to be required to work on other projects across the Multihazards & Resilience (MHR) Challenge area.

About you

You will have strong knowledge and an academic background in the practice and theory of coastal morphodynamics informed by a good understanding of hydrodynamics and will hold a PhD in a relevant subject area. Models will be developed and applied in concert with field work and the acquisition of targeted observations, and therefore experience in field work and the use of innovative monitoring techniques and technologies will be required. In addition, you should have a broad understanding in geomorphology and the concomitant ability to work with other BGS geomorphologists and system modellers. You will ideally have a peer-reviewed, published record of accomplishments commensurate with your career stage and you will be expected to seek external funding through the development of national and international research collaborations. We are looking for someone with excellent verbal and written communication skills and be able to articulate your research to both scientists and partners. Please also refer to the additional specific essential and desirable skills criteria for this post. Please note – you will be required to have the appropriate level of security screening/vetting required for the role. UKRI reserves the right to run or re-run security clearance as required during your employment. Skills Specification - Criteria to be assessed at Shortlist ‘S’ and Interview ‘I’ Stage


  • PhD in a relevant subject area (S&I)

  • Substantial work experience within a specialist/research environment after completion of PhD (S&I)

  • An international reputation and track record exemplified by grants won and first author publications (S&I)

  • Excellent knowledge of some (or all) of the following (S&I):

  • C++, Python  

  • Nearshore morphodynamics 

  • Coastal field work

  • Software model development

  • Ability to empathise with the needs of the business and colleagues and relate this to your role in the organisation (I)

  • Able to travel off-site and abroad occasionally (I)


  • Basic knowledge of Geographical Information System (GIS) such as QGIS, arcGIS, SAGA GIS (S&I)

  • Ability to work within a variety of teams and with external clients, demonstrating an ability to participate as a team member (I)

  • Strong motivation and clear vision of science direction (S&I)

About us

The British Geological Survey (BGS) is an applied geoscience research centre that belongs to UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and is affiliated to the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). It is a world leading geological survey whose core mission is to advise government of science related to the subsurface and to undertake applied research to solve earth and environmental issues, both in the UK and globally. It is funded directly by UKRI, as well as through research grants and private sector contracts. We strive to promote equality and diversity across our organisation in order to continuously improve our scientific and organisational efficiency.  As such, we aim to have a workforce with employees from all backgrounds with people who are passionate about earth science and who share our dedication to work for the good of the environment and the benefit of society. How to apply

Applicants are required to include a CV and covering letter outlining their suitability for the role. We would stress the importance of this paperwork in our selection process. A well thought through application providing evidence and examples of how you meet the advertised essential and desirable criteria for the post will be considered far more favourably than a generic covering letter and CV. If you experience any issues applying for this role, please contact The closing date for receipt of applications is Sunday 14th July 2024.  Interviews are expected to be held in Friday 26th July in Belfast or via Zoom.

About The British Geological Survey (BGS)


The British Geological Survey (BGS) is an applied geoscience research centre that is part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and affiliated to the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).  It is a world leading geological survey that provides a core science mission to inform government of science related to the subsurface and its interfaces and also undertakes applied research for solutions to earth and environmental processes, both in the UK and globally.  It is funded directly by UKRI as well as through research grants and via private sector contracts. 


BGS has an annual budget of approximately £60 million and employs 650 people.  It has two main sites, a head office in Keyworth near Nottingham and the Lyell Centre, which is a joint collaboration with Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh.  BGS works with more than 150 private sector organisations as well as having close links with 40 universities and sponsors approximately 100 PhD students each year. 


How to Apply  


Online applications only preferred for this role. Please submit your CV and a covering letter which clearly outlines how you fulfil the criteria specified along with your motivation for BGS and the role you’re applying for. Ensure that the job reference number is included in the filename description of each document uploaded. Note that failure to address the above criteria or submit your application without a covering letter may result in your application not being considered.  You will only be assessed on the content of your CV and covering letter and not the ‘experience’ section of the application. 


About UKRI  


UKRI launched in April 2018, UKRI is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT). 


Our organisation brings together the seven disciplinary research councils, Research England, which is responsible for supporting research and knowledge exchange at higher education institutions in England, and the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK to create an independent organisation with a strong voice for research and innovation, and a vision to ensure the UK maintains its world-leading position in research and innovation. More information can be found at


Choosing to come to work at UKRI means that you will have access to a whole host of benefits from a defined benefit pension scheme, excellent holiday entitlement, access to employee shopping/travel discounts and salary sacrifice cycle to work scheme.  For more details, visit benefits of working for UKRI.


The role holder will be required to have the appropriate level of security screening/vetting required for the role.  UKRI reserves the right to run or re-run security clearance as required during the course of employment.


How we support EDI in the workforce 


At UKRI we believe that everyone has a right to be treated with dignity and respect, and to be provided with equal opportunities to flourish and succeed in an environment that enables them to do so. We also value diversity of thought and experience within inclusive groups, organisations and the wider community.  For further information, please visit ‘How we support EDI in the workforce’  


Disability Confident Employer 


As users of the disability confident scheme, we guarantee to interview all disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria for the vacancy/ies. We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us to request accommodation. 

Additional Information

  • Organisation: Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) - British Geological Survey

  • Contract Type: Open Ended

  • External Closing Date: Jul 14, 2024

  • Minimum Salary: Pound Sterling (GBP) 48,802

  • Hours: Full-time

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