UKESM Water Isotope Code Developer – TiPES Project

Job reference:
BAS 98/19
Contract type:
Full Time
Fixed-Term Appointment (48 months)
Starting from £30,782 per annum
We offer generous benefits
British Antarctic Survey
Closing date:
17 November, 2019 11:59 pm


The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) is looking for a Water Isotope Code Developer to join the TiPES project. The role will involve writing Water Isotope Code for the atmospheric component of the UKESM Model, working closely with the Met Office and University of Bristol.


Dr Sime group has a long history of working with climate models and ice core data. Her group has developing a better understanding changes in the ice sheets, sea ice, and climate in polar regions over the last 800 000 years. Much of the effort goes into understanding ice core observations of stable water isotopes by using climate models. Water isotopes (deuterium and oxygen-18) in ice are the key long-term record of past changes in the polar environmental and global climate. Water isotope enabled simulations, from climate models, enable us to understand how changes in ice sheets, sea ice, and climate imprint themselves in polar ice cores.

This successful applicant for this position will have four years to complete UKESM isotope coding work. They will closely with a University of Bristol, and will have substantial support from the MetOffice. Specifically the postholder will write new isotope code for the atmospheric component of the UKESM model. The post-holder will work closely with a PRDA from Prof Paul Valdes group at the University of Bristol: Paul’s group will co-develop isotope code for the land surface and ocean components of the UKESM model. Once the code is complete, the post-holder will be uniquely placed to deliver UKESM isotope work for the whole UK community, including participating in important international initiatives. The post-holder will develop their own independent research directions in the last year of the post.

The post holder will be supported in their science, and career development, by the British Antarctic Survey. They will join a vibrant and active community of climate and ice sheet modellers, and will be a key member of the paleoclimate modelling group.

The successful post holder will have experience of developing climate models, and preferably experience with Met Office models. They may have a good degree in meteorology or oceanography, and will have demonstrated skill in writing model code. They will have the drive to succeed in this challenging new role.


• PhD in atmospheric sciences/numerate field (or equivalent research experience).

• Strong background in meteorology is desirable.


• Lead the development of water isotope code for the atmospheric component of the UK MetOffice UKESM model.
• Liaise with Prof Paul Valdes group at the University of Bristol and the UKESM team at the MetOffice.
• Spend time working at the MetOffice.
• Run and support the use of the UKESM for the BAS IDP-Paleoclimate group.
• Provide IDP-Paleoclimate group support for the successor-to-ARCHER, MONSOON, and JASMIN facilities.
• Complete and analyse UKESM simulations for the EU-TiPES projects. 
• Attend and contribute to project meetings. 
• Write papers and present results at meetings/conferences. 
• Undertake further duties, as appropriate to support the IDP team, such as organising seminars, and liaise closely with the AIC team. Attend NERC/BAS training and other events as appropriate. 
• From years 3 onward, develop own independent research directions.

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 98/19
Closing date for receipt of application forms is: 17th November 2019
Interviews are scheduled to be held on: Monday 2nd December 2019
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 job sharing, to support childcare and other caring responsibilities.

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

Communication skills

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills. Fluent in written and spoken English language. - Essential
  • Track record of publishing in quality peer-reviewed literature. - Desirable [2]

Computer / IT skills

  • Expertise in using and developing FORTRAN codes. - Essential
  • Experience in using Linux/Unix environments for running models and subsequent data analysis/visualisation. - Essential
  • Experienced Python user. - Desirable [1]
  • Has developed previous Met Office models. - Desirable [1]

Decision Making

  • Ability to show initiative and to tackle problems independently. - Essential

Interpersonal skills

  • Able to work as part of a team, but must also be able to work independently. - Essential
  • Ability to work collaboratively with researchers at other institutions, particularly internationally. - Desirable [1]

Numerical ability

  • Excellent numerical modelling skills. - Essential


  • PhD in atmospheric sciences/numerate field (or equivalent research experience). - Essential
  • Strong background in meteorology - Desirable [2]

Resource Management ability

  • Able to manage self and resources to meet agreed objectives and deadlines - Essential

Skills / Experience

  • Expertise in running climate models. - Essential
  • Understanding of meteorology and atmospheric dynamics. - Essential
  • Experience of running the UKESM or other MetOffice models. - Desirable [1]
  • Experience on working with the hydrological cycle within general circulation models. - Desirable [2]

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

Apply Online:

Apply by post:

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.