Glacier Geophysicist – Cambridge and Antarctica

Job reference:
BAS 63/19
Contract type:
Full Time
Fixed-Term Appointment (2 Years)
In the range of £30,782 to £33,459 per annum.
We offer generous benefits
Ice Dynamics and Palaeoclimate team
Cambridge with potential for fieldwork in Antarctica from November 2019 to January 2020.
Closing date:
23 June, 2019 11:59 pm


The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) is seeking to appoint a post-doctoral researcher to join our Ice Dynamics and Palaeoclimate Team. The successful candidate will analyse seismic data collected on Rutford Ice Stream, West Antarctica, as part of the recent BEAMISH Project field campaign. You will primarily use basal seismicity, recorded on 35 surface-deployed instruments over a period of three months during austral summer 2018-19, to investigate basal conditions and ice column properties and help improve our understanding of processes controlling ice stream flow. Additional seismic, radar and GPS data will be available for analysis.

This role is part of the ongoing NERC-funded BEAMISH Project. BEAMISH is the first project to drill through, instrument and retrieve sediments from beneath the 2.2 km thick Rutford Ice Stream. The project involves investigators from BAS and several other institutions (including Swansea, Penn State, Leeds and Bristol universities). Your work will be undertaken in close cooperation with other team members at both BAS and our partner institutions.

To be successful in this role, you must have experience of data analysis using Python, Matlab or similar packages on Linux and PC-based systems.


To process, analyse and publish results from seismic data acquired on Rutford Ice Stream as part of the BEAMISH project, in order to improve our understanding of the potential future contributions to sea level rise of fast flowing ice streams across the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.


First degree in physical science/mathematics plus PhD (or equivalent experience).


- Building on existing expertise, develop processing methodologies for the analysis of seismic data from ice streams.
- Ascertain temporal and spatial variability of seismicity; investigate source mechanisms; determine basal properties and ice column fabric.
- Validate the observations and integrate with other available observations.
- Interpret the implications of the results for fast-flowing ice streams in West Antarctica.
- Attend project meetings at BAS and at partner institutions to report on progress and share results.
- Present scientific results in the peer-reviewed literature and at conferences.
- There is a possibility of undertaking fieldwork in Antarctica as part of this role.
- Any other duties, within the remit of the role, as required by the Director.

On-line application forms and further information are available on our website at

These are also available from the Human Resources Section, British Antarctic Survey, High Cross, Madingley Road, Cambridge, CB3 0ET. Tel: (01223) 221508.

Please quote reference: BAS 63/19
Closing date for receipt of application forms is: 23rd June 2019
Interview date: w/c 1st July 2019
Proposed start date: 1st September 2019

For more information on this role, please contact Alex Brisbourne [email protected]

BAS is an Equal Opportunity employer. As part of our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion and promoting equality in careers in science, we hold an Athena SWAN Bronze Award and have an active Equality, Diversity and Inclusion programme of activity. We welcome applications from all sections of the community. People from ethnic minorities and disabled people are currently under-represented and their applications are particularly welcome. We operate a guaranteed interview scheme for disabled candidates who meet the minimum criteria for the job. We are open to a range of flexible working options including part-time or full-time employment as well as flexible hours due to caring or other commitments.

Skills are listed as either Essential or Desirable. Desirable skills importance rating in parenthesis (1 is high, 5 is low)

Communication skills - a) oral skills b) written skills

  • Fluent in written and spoken English language. - Essential
  • Skilled and confident presentation ability. - Desirable [1]

Computer / IT skills

  • Experience using Matlab, Python or similar. - Essential
  • Experience of Linux or PC-based systems for data management and analysis. - Essential
  • Competent in the use of seismic processing and/or interpretation software, e.g. ObsPy, SAC, ProMax, ReflexW. - Desirable [2]
  • Familiarity with GIS software. - Desirable [4]
  • Familiarity with Unix shell script. - Desirable [3]

Decision Making

  • Good personal time management - Essential

Interpersonal skills

  • Proven ability to work in a small team. - Essential
  • Ability to work independently. - Essential

Numerical ability

  • Of a standard commensurate with quantitative PhD-level science postgraduate. - Essential

Other Factors

  • Interest and experience of science outreach activities. - Desirable [4]


  • First degree in physical or geological science / mathematics plus PhD or equivalent postgraduate experience in a relevant subject. - Essential

Skills / Experience

  • Ability to deliver high-quality scientific publications, demonstrated by a track record of papers published or in press as sole or lead author commensurate with career stage. - Essential
  • Experience processing passive or active seismic data. - Desirable [2]
  • Experience processing other geophysical data, such as GPS. - Desirable [3]
  • Polar and/or geophysical fieldwork experience. - Desirable [4]
  • Understanding of glacial processes. - Desirable [3]
  • Experience of modelling ice sheets or glaciers - Desirable [4]

You can apply for this job online or you can print off the application forms, fill them out by hand and mail them.

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If you would like to apply for this job but cannot apply online, you can print the application form(s) and post it back to us.

Please ensure you complete all required sections of the application form(s) and include a Cover Letter and a copy of your CV.

When posting your application, ensure there is sufficient postage.

These forms are in an OpenDocument format and may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. An accessible format may be requested by contacting us.

Send your completed application forms to:
Human Resources Team
British Antarctic Survey
High Cross, Madingley Road
United Kingdom

If you need more information

Email: [email protected]
Telephone: +44 (0)1223 221400
Facsimile: +44 (0)1223 362616

The information you provide during the application process will only be used for the purpose of progressing your application, to fulfil legal or regulatory requirements where necessary or, in the case of the Equal Opportunities Monitoring Questionnaire, to help BAS meet its equal opportunities policy.

The British Antarctic Survey will not share the information you provide with any third parties, and the information will be held securely by the British Antarctic Survey whether the information is in electronic or physical format. Please note that the Equal Opportunities Monitoring Questionnaire will be detached from your application prior to the short-listing of candidates for interview.

Unsuccessful applications will be securely destroyed 6 months after the end of the recruitment process (or 1 year after the end of the recruitment process in the case of Marine Staff and AEP. The applications of successful applicants will be retained as part of their personnel file.

Further information can be found in the information notice of NERC, our parent body.