Senior Research Associate/ Research Associate: Environmental Models in the Cloud (Computational Environmental Science)

Lancaster University - Lancaster Environment Centre/ School of Computing and Communications

Salary: Grade 6 £26,829 - £31,076
              Grade 7 £32,958 - £38,183

An exciting opportunity exists for a research position in computational environmental science, working on a cross-disciplinary research project investigating the support offered by cloud computing for the execution of potentially complex environmental models.

This is an area of huge significance, with environmental modelling being the key tool to evaluate uncertainty, risk assessment, and mitigation strategies around flood/drought, food security and the impacts of climate change. You would be joining the multi-disciplinary Lancaster Environment Centre and also be part of a growing team in the School of Computing and Communications looking at digital technology and its impact on understanding and managing the natural environment (with external funding of £3.35m).

In the project, we particularly focus on the principles and techniques in the key area of Platform as a Service (or PaaS), effectively the middleware for cloud computing. The central insight is that services at the PaaS level need to be more carefully tailored to the needs of key application domains. In our case this concerns supporting the running of complex environmental models. We advocate a novel approach based on a combination of model-driven engineering coupled with software frameworks and argue that this enables a paradigm shift in terms of the flexible and tailored support offered by cloud computing for given application domains.

Our partners include people in charge of developing CESM and UKESM, providing an opportunity to influence the next generation of world-class Earth System Models, as well as key players involved in floor risk assessment modelling.

For this particular position, we are seeking a “domain expert” in the area of environmental modelling. Ideally you will have experience of different areas of modelling, as well as a willingness to engage with the computational aspects of the project, including execution of the models in the cloud. Experience of designing simulations for model experiments would be an advantage, and there would be a chance to develop your own scientific test cases for the project. In addition, you would be the link between the environmental modellers and the cloud computing experts, to ensure that the project’s developments remain relevant and appropriate for its target communities. As such, we are particularly interested in applicants who are excited by the potential of working at the interface between disciplines.

A PhD or equivalent degree in environmental science/computer science or a closely-related field is required to be eligible for these positions. You will have a track record of high-quality publications in areas of relevance to the project and the willingness to undertake ambitious and challenging research. 

The position is for 36 months and is available to start immediately.

Interested candidates should contact Dr. Paul Young ( or Prof. Gordon Blair for informal inquiries (

We welcome applications from people in all diversity groups.

For further information and to apply online please click the apply button.

Lancaster University – ensuring equality of opportunity and celebrating diversity.

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Northern England