About the Role

Put simply, we set the standards by which everything is measured. In doing so, the National Physical Laboratory is helping to combat issues on a global scale such as climate change, curing diseases and the development of cutting-edge communications technology. 

You’ll plan and deliver a number of technical activities to take our research to the next level. As we’re pushing boundaries all the time, we’ll expect you to acquire new knowledge to find solutions to advance our research. It’s your responsibility to share your learnings so that we all benefit, mentoring those with less experience than you. Equally, if commercial opportunities arise from your work, you’ll need to flag these – as this is how new products and services are born. The same can be said for developing partnerships to strengthen our capability. You’ll also act as an ambassador for our work externally and be willing to promote what we do. And, as an expert in your field, we’ll also seek your technical support for any bids we may be undertaking.

About You

With a science-related degree, you are an expert in your field and are used to leading, planning and delivering complex research projects from conception to fruition.  Beyond that, we’re looking for someone who’ll thrive in an environment like ours. At NPL we learn from each other, respect each other and work together to do better. For ourselves and for our customers. And whilst we’re always looking to stretch beyond what we know, we don’t make things more complicated when there’s no need. 

Background information:

The Climate and Earth Observation group at NPL is a world leader in the principlesmethods, and practice of metrological traceability of Earth Observation (EO) instrumentation and their data products. CEO projects span the full life cycle of EO instrumentation traceability; from pre-flight calibration, in-orbit validation & sensor inter-operability, together with L1, L2 and derived product quality assurance. 
We are looking for a competent scientific researcher with demonstrable experience in satellite-derived Earth Observation data product development with an interest in metrology and its practical implementationfor assessing satellite data quality. The successful candidate will join the CEO teamsupporting contracted projectswith the opportunity to  technically scope and lead future projectswhich support the development of Quality Assurance procedures and methods for satellite data interoperability and climate services.  You will be encouraged to pursue continual professional development, membership of professional bodies (which will be subsidised) and will receive on-the-job training and support. In addition, the role involves attending and presenting at international conferences and leading and contributing to peer-reviewed publications in a range of sectors related to EO and remote sensing applications.

Typical Tasks: 

  • Undertake quantitative data analysis on EO data, their products and quality metrics for the purpose of improving confidence in remote sensing data as a measure of our stewardship of the environment and the policies enacted to protect it. 
  • Establish new methods to improve the quality assurance, interoperability and metrological traceability of satellite-derived data records with environmental monitoring and climate applications. 
  • Work in a team at NPL on collaborative projects with internal, national and international partners.
  • Write technical reports and formal project documentation, as well as publishing work in scientific publications and presentations at workshops and conferences. 
  • Support the coaching and mentoring of more junior scientists to encourage development, succession and knowledge transfer, this may include line management
  • Develop technical proposals for commercial and grant projects, meeting customer and internal governance requirements, bidding for work that is consistent with NPL strategy.
  • Assume responsibility for the standard of delivery in your area of specialist technical knowledge (to time, cost and quality with focus on the customer) and work in accordance with the NPL quality system.

Person specification

  • Degree and MSc (PhD for senior role) or equivalent experience, as a minimum in Physics, Mathematics, Computational Sciences or Earth Science. 
  • Experience in working with satellite data to generate satellite data products from level 1 data.
  • Strong mathematical and scientific programming skills in Python or similar languages and use of cloud computing resources, such as JASMIN, Google Earth Engine
  • Good understanding of the metrological principles of uncertainty analysis, and enthusiasm for thorough data processing standards.
  • Good communication skills and be collaborative with other senior scientists and able to encourage and coach junior scientists/engineers.
You maybe expected to travel to international locations for conferences and to meet customers in the UK and abroad.
Please note:  Applications will be reviewed, and interviews conducted throughout the duration of this advert therefore we may at any time bring the closing date forward.  We encourage all interested applicants to apply as soon as practical.
About The Company

NPL and BEIS have strong commitments to diversity and equality of opportunity, and welcome applications from candidates irrespective of their background, gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, or age, providing they meet the required criteria. Applications from women, disabled and BAME candidates in particular are encouraged. All disabled candidates (as defined by the Equality Act 2010) who satisfy the minimum criteria for the role will be guaranteed an interview under the Disability Confident Scheme.

We’re transforming. As a national laboratory, we’re exploring even more commercial routes to market and that’s presenting us with greater opportunity – for you and us. Our success relies on the diversity and talent of our people, we strive to nurture and respect individuals to ensure everyone feels valued and supported to excel in their chosen field. This value is at the core of our organisation.

We believe in a culture of fairness by treating everyone on the basis of their own individual merits and abilities regardless of their own or perceived identity, background or any other factor irrelevant to a person’s work. At NPL we are committed to the health and well-being of our employees. Flexible working and social activities are embedded in our culture to create a positive work-life balance, along with a broad range of benefitsNPL’s values are at the heart of what we do and they shape the way we interact, develop our people and celebrate success.

As part of our commitment to diversity & inclusion, we signed up to the Institute of Physics' Project Juno in 2015 as a Juno Supporter. NPL were proud to be awarded Juno Practitioner status in 2018. NPL also joined Stonewall as a Diversity champion in 2015, participating in their annual Workplace Equality Index for the equality of LGBT+ community at NPL. In 2018, NPL became a member of the Business Disability Forum and joined the disability confident scheme as level 1 committed employer.

To ensure everyone has an equal chance, we’re always willing to make reasonable adjustments to the recruitment process. If you would like to discuss, please contact us.