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KTP Associate: Data Scientist Research Associate

University of Kent - School of Mathematics, Statistics & Actuarial Science

Location: Canterbury
Salary: £35,000 to £40,000 inclusive of KTP supplement
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 23rd June 2022
Closes: 8th July 2022
Job Ref: CEMS-149-22

NatureMetrics is an innovative, science-based, women-led SME that commercialises environmental-DNA-based biodiversity monitoring solutions at scale.  They are world leaders in delivering powerful, scalable biodiversity data collected safely &  sustainably using environmental DNA.  NatureMetrics works to develop end-to-end &  automated tools for biodiversity detection in the field, to be used by non-experts.

We are seeking a PhD graduate who will be responsible for the development and integration of new statistical techniques for addressing two challenges associated with biodiversity surveys using environmental DNA: accounting for false negative and false positive readings, & optimising survey design. These techniques will improve the business’s decision-support tools for nature conservation & restoration, facilitating access to new markets. 

The Associate will be based at the NatureMetrics’ premises in Surrey & will work closely with the support & guidance of Dr Eleni Matechou, University of Kent, & Professor Jim Griffin, University College London. At the end of the fixed term contract, and upon successful completion of the project, there is a possibility that the role could become a permanent full-time position.

As a Research Associate you will:

  • Upscale existing Bayesian hierarchical models developed by the academic team and their adaptation from single to multi-species within an eDNA context over multiple samples.
  • Embed the knowledge from this KTP into the Data Analysis Team to be propagated through the Products & Commercial Teams into new decision-support tools for NatureMetrics’ clients
  • Work at the cutting edge of biodiversity monitoring using eDNA surveys & develop a complete modelling & software solution by implementing the new model, algorithm and study design tool in accessible and user-friendly software.
  • Work closely with the Business Development and Products Teams to guarantee that the developed models & corresponding software fit business needs and all new market opportunities developing from this project are fully exploited, especially regarding input to materials to market and communicate products, highlighting needs for clients to invest in enhanced products (WP 3.1).

To be successful in this role you will have:

  • A PhD (or equivalent qualification) in statistics, data science, or closely related disciplines that includes substantial development of new statistical methods for ecological data & associated inferential tools
  • Experience in developing new statistical methods for ecological data, and in particular DNA-based survey data, within a Bayesian framework (particularly hierarchical models) & associated MCMC algorithms
  • A recent track record of publication or papers in preparation in leading international journals or conferences of statistical models for ecological data, & especially DNA-based survey data
  • Excellent communication skills to deal with a variety of people at different levels of seniority
  • Leadership attributes and be prepared to take control of all aspects of the KTP project throughout its duration

Please see the links below to view the full job description and to apply for this post. If you require further information regarding the application process please contact the HR Team on CEMSHR@kent.ac.uk quoting reference: CEMS-149-22

Further details:   

Please note that we prioritise applications from current University of Kent redeployees. We will let you know if this post is to be filled by a redeployee as, in this instance, your application will unfortunately not be taken forward.

Applications must be made via the University’s online application system; CVs or details sent directly to the department or via email cannot be considered.

The University of Kent values diversity & promotes equality at all levels.

Due to the current COVID-19 outbreak, interviews may take place remotely.

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