Job Description

Appointment of a Marie Curie
Experienced Researcher
The School
The University, within its Mission Statement, recognises its role in the
promotion of environmental awareness and the creation of
sustainable societies through the application of science, social
science and engineering expertise. The School of Environment and
Technology provides an organisational focus to anchor this
environmental ethos into the academic community. By integrating
built environment, civil engineering, geography and geology expertise
the school provides a structure for teaching, applied research and
consultancy in both the built and natural environments, and facilitates
cross-university inter-disciplinary environmental activities.
Based in the Cockcroft Building at the Moulsecoomb campus, there
are 46.5 academic, 8.6 research, 6.7 technical and 11.6
administrative staff within the school covering a wide range of
activities within the two divisions of Geography & Geology and the
Built Environment & Civil Engineering.
Members of staff are active in their professional fields, acting as
external examiners, validation panel members and HEFCE assessors.
The school specialises in multi/interdisciplinary applied research which
is grouped around 5 broad themes:
Applied geosciences
Ecology, landscape and pollution management
Society, space and environment
Ground, water and structural engineering
Sustainable construction and environmental planning
Staff within each of these themes also contribute to the Aquatic
Research Centre which is an interdisciplinary centre focusing on
resolving key issues associated with marine and freshwater systems
in both the natural and built environment.
The school attracts around £1 million of external funding each year
from UK Research Councils (EPSRC, NERC, AHRC), the European
Union, local and national government (DEFRA, Environment Agency,
SDNPA) and industry. In many cases, staff within the school are
leading large multi-partner European projects and play a key role in
the peer review process (e.g. RCUK Review College) and in academic
societies hosting national and international conferences.
The school provides an excellent environment to support the
development of early career researchers with pump priming funds
being made available to develop research activities. The school also
supports in excess of 40 postgraduate research students.
All staff are expected to inform their teaching curriculum development
from active research and current scholarship. They may expect to
manage their own research with a view to obtaining funding,
publishing and presenting quality papers regularly, incorporating
research into courses and contributing to the university’s wider
research community. The research duties may include the
supervision of research students and assistants across the
spectrum of related research.
liaise with others in similar work within the school to advance the
subject area.
to engage in scholarly activity in order to ensure the division
maintains and enhances its professional reputation.
to liaise with external organisations and institutions both nationally
and abroad.
There is a friendly and supportive research student community in the
school and strong links to researchers at other universities and other
research-focused organisations. Details are listed in the divisional
The school offers a wide range of courses to over 1300 students at
Masters and Undergraduate Degree level which cover the subject
areas of architectural technology, building surveying, construction
management, civil engineering, environmental sciences, geography,
geology and environmental management.
The undergraduate programmes are modular in structure and split
into two semesters of 15 weeks’ duration. All of the courses make use
of fieldwork and industrial placements and these are integrated into
the teaching programme. Many of the courses are accredited by
professional bodies (ICE, RICS, IEMA, Geol Soc) and have key
transferable skills integrated into the programme. As a consequence
the graduating students have an excellent record in securing
appropriate employment.
Staff within the school also have close links with industry, the local
community and the relevant professions, with highly qualified staff
offering consultancy, short courses and CPD opportunities to the
South East region.
Consultancy Opportunities
Staff may also work on consultancy activities, which may be
undertaken in consultation with their Head of School.
The school is strongly supported by the university and as a
consequence has seen significant investment (£500,000) in
laboratories and capital equipment over the last five years. Key
facilities include:
Geochemical suite (XRD, XRF, XPS, AAS, ICP-OES, ICP-MS)
Geology Laboratory
Environmental Sciences Laboratory
Public Health Laboratory
Hydraulics laboratory with 6 flumes
Experimental River basin
Heavy Structures Laboratory
Geotechnical laboratory including a large-scale geotechnical
Concrete laboratory
Drawing Studio
Computer Laboratories including AutoCad and GIS
Surveying Equipment (Total Stations, dGPS)
Field based monitoring equipment including a 4 wheel drive
vehicle and coring equipment
Instrumented monitoring sites for hydrogeology, wetlands and
estuarine environments.
The refurbishment of the Cockcroft Building (a £29 million project) is
currently taking place and as a consequence the school is expected to
move into dynamic refurbished accommodation in the current
academic year.
Support Staff
The academic activities are supported by a range of administrative
and technical staff. The laboratories and computer systems are
supported by highly qualified technical instructors who support
teaching and research activities. Similarly the teaching and research
administrative activities are supported by the School Office together
with two Student Support Tutors. In addition the school has a
dedicated Business Development Officer and can call upon support
from the Centre for Collaboration and Partnership which focuses on
working with industry (KTPs) and student placements.
The Job
The Marie Curie Industry-Academia Partnerships and Pathways
"IAPP" (FP7-PEOPLE-2013-IAPP-612250) focuses on the
development of novel materials and technologies for the remediation
of contaminated soils and groundwaters from man-made
contaminants, via combined nanosorbent, bioremediation and
electrochemical oxidation approaches. The Industry-Academia
character of the project is clearly defined by its partners including
academic institutes and industry partners from the Slovak republic,
Greece, United Kingdom and Kazakhstan.
The researcher will assist in the development and performance testing
of nanoparticle-based sorbents and catalysts developed during the
WasClean (“Water and Soil Clean-up from mixed contaminants”)
project. In particular, they will examine the environmental behaviour
and toxicity risk of the nanomaterials developed and tested during the
project. They will also engage in dissemination activities relating to the
WasClean project.
Marie Curie Experienced Researchers (Research Officer with 4-10
years of experience) At Research Fellow level (AC2), staff are
expected to be involved in the developing, planning and managing of
research projects in consultation with a Principal Investigator, to
develop a publication record, learn to generate funding and supervise
less experienced researchers. The role will require a level of research
knowledge, skill and experience equivalent to PhD. Research Fellows
may also be expected to contribute to teaching and/or consultancy
activities, in order to ensure continuous development of knowledge in
the subject area.
Marie Curie Experienced Researchers are expected to:
hold a relevant doctoral degree (MPhil/PhD) or good master level
qualification and appropriate experience
To play a leading role in the project in collaboration with the project
team. This includes: setting objectives and timescales; planning
effective methods and resources for robust research; ensuring
valuable outcomes, maximum efficiency and that the project
remains within budget; reporting and fully explaining any
unavoidable delays to all interested parties.
Undertake experiments using standard techniques and methods
and develop the ability to design experiments and methods
appropriate to the research project;
Plan own day-to-day research activity within the framework of the
agreed programme, co-ordinating with the work of others;
Liaise with research colleagues, project partners and support staff
on routine matters and to gather or exchange information
To evaluate the information to be used and ensure the research is
robust and the conclusions justifiable.
To investigate the reasons for any failure to achieve objectives and
explain them to all interested parties, where possible turning
setbacks into new opportunities or recommendations for further
To ensure accurate and complete records of all findings, results
and views and the interpretation placed upon them, with the
rationale for conclusions and recommendations fully justified with
reference to the results themselves.
To further develop and refine presentation skills and to present
research information in an appropriate manner to interested
parties, including contribution to curriculum development and some
teaching on courses
Deal with problems which may affect research objectives and
contribute to decisions affecting the work of the team;
Analyse and interpret results of own research and generate
original ideas based on outcomes;
May assist on collaborative projects by tracking progress in each
institution against grant requirements;
Write up results of own research and contribute to the production
of research reports and publications;
Complete dissemination of research output, for example by
assisting with the design and development of a website, exhibition
or broadcast media programme;
Prepare and present information/papers on research progress and
outcomes to bodies supervising research, e.g. steering groups or
the funding body;
Attend and contribute to meetings including production of minutes;
Continue to update own subject knowledge and develop research
Assist in the supervision of student projects and provide guidance
to support staff and any research students who may be assisting
with the research;
May contribute to introductory courses including preparing and
delivering lectures and marking with guidance or developing
others' expertise in the use of research methods and equipment;
Develop own knowledge of teaching and learning methods;
Make internal and external contacts to develop knowledge and
understanding and form relationships for future collaboration.
Knowledge and Qualifications
It is a condition of the funding that candidates should have a
doctoral degree (although a good masters degree with relevant
experience may suffice). It is also essential to have between 4
and 10 years’ research experience. In addition, candidates must
not have spent more than 12 months in the country of the
host/recruiting institution (the UK in this instance) in the three
years prior to selection.
In addition, candidates will be expected to meet the following criteria:
Fluent in spoken and written English (IELTS certificate, 6.5; with a
score in writing of 6.0 and nothing lower than 5.5).
Able to demonstrate excellent communication skill and team
working mind-set.
At least a second class Honours Bachelor degree or equivalent in
Geology, Environmental Science, Chemistry or related fields.
A determination in pursuing a research career in regenerative
Sufficient, up to date breadth or depth of specialist knowledge in
the discipline.
Research experience/expertise and developing further skills in and
knowledge of research methods and techniques
Understanding of equality of opportunity, academic content and
issues relating to student need.
Competent IT skills.
Hours of work
The salary
This post is full-time. The nature of research posts is such that staff
are expected to work such hours as are reasonably necessary in order
to fulfil their duties and responsibilities. It would therefore be
inappropriate to define the total hours to be worked in any week. A
reasonable norm for full-time staff, however, having regard to the
contractual position of other senior staff in the institution, would be
thirty-seven hours per week, although this should not be regarded as a
minimum or maximum. Contribution to teaching and learning
programmes in the school should not exceed six hours in any week.
The remuneration will be in line with the EC rules for Marie Curie
grant holders (Experienced Researchers, FP7-PEOPLE-2011-IAPP).
Salaries are paid monthly in arrears through the BACS System
directly into the bank or building society account of each member of
staff. The university must pay salaries through the BACS system.
They cannot be paid by cheque. It will therefore be important to
supply account details in order to ensure prompt payment.
Duration of the job
Conditions of
The appointment is fixed term for 12 months due to the period of
It is a condition of the funding that candidates must not have
commenced awarded a doctoral degree and have less than four
years’ research experience. In addition, candidates must not have
spent more than 12 months in the country of the host/recruiting
institution (the UK in this instance) in the three years prior to
The annual leave entitlement is 35 working days pro rata for
proportional full-time staff. This is in addition to the statutory holidays
applicable in England, local discretionary holidays and days when the
university is closed in the interests of efficiency.
Terms & conditions In determining terms and conditions of employment, the university
has regard to recommendations made through the appropriate
national negotiating framework. These terms and conditions of
service can be varied by local agreements reached through the
university’s local negotiating framework which comprises a Joint
Negotiating Committee supported by two Common Interest Groups.
These groups bring together representatives of the university and its
recognised trade unions, which are:
Strategic plan
UCU – University and College Union
Details of our Strategic Plan can be found at: