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Bayi Glacier in Qilian Mountain, China (Credit: Xiaoming Wang, distributed via

Job advertisement Senior Researcher: Water environment and the circular economy

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European Geosciences Union

Senior Researcher: Water environment and the circular economy

Senior Researcher: Water environment and the circular economy


James Hutton Instititute


Aberdeen, UK, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland


Relevant divisions
Biogeosciences (BG)
Hydrological Sciences (HS)

Full time



Preferred education

Application deadline
25 October 2021

4 October 2021

Job description

For this post we seek an enthusiastic senior researcher to work on contemporary and future challenges facing the water environment in the context of circular economy, for example, the integration of sustainable water systems into rural environments, low-carbon transition of the water sector and innovations in water resource efficiency. It is a 3-year tenure track post with evaluation of continuation of post after 3 years.

We are looking for an applied biophysical scientist with a proven track record of innovative thinking, design and experimental testing of novel, sustainable water systems. This will support the primary aim of developing research to support resource efficient, low carbon/energy water innovation in different catchment contexts and environmental drivers. Applications include enhancing sustainability of supply and treatment for rural communities, investigating resource management related to water quality (e.g., nutrient ‘circularity’), or combining technological solutions to improve water use efficiency with complimentary catchment-based approaches for water management in both nationally and international case studies.

This post will provide opportunities for career development by leading a research area and building trans-disciplinary collaborations with scientists and stakeholders nationally and internationally, whilst utilising unique water, soil, agronomic and spatial datasets. The research will contribute to programmes of activity supported by the Scottish Government’s Rural and Environment Science and Analytical Services Strategic Research Programme, the Centre of Expertise for Waters (CREW) and the Hydro Nation ambition of the Scottish Government’s Water Industry Team, linking across emerging industry, regulatory, and policy agendas.

The role will be based in the Environmental and Biochemical Sciences Department at the Institute and enable working alongside ongoing initiatives such as the Hydro Nation International Centre (, Advanced Plant Growth Centre (, International Barley Hub (, International Land Use Study Centre and Climate Positive farming initiatives (

The ideal candidate will lead on the concepts, innovation, and environmental integration in new sustainable approaches for managing waters. They will design and carry out trials and be expected to align this with biophysical and socio-economic disciplines to collectively support the Institute’s commitment to answer the challenges of the climate crisis. This brings a strong need for skills and experience enabling working with other scientists (particularly in biogeochemistry, hydrology, microbiology, statistics, soil sciences, isotopic & analytical chemistry within the Environmental and Biochemical Sciences Department). The candidate should have a track record in developing funding proposals, producing high quality scientific publications and good communication skills. They would be expected to lead research, engage with experts to establish strong academic consortia for competitive income generation. This will require liaison with key external stakeholders, management of projects, finances, and staff and development of a portfolio of national and international activities.

The work undertaken by the James Hutton Group is right at the top of the global agenda tackling problems such as the impact of climate change and threats to food, soil, and water security. As such, much research at the institute is framed through a collaborative inter- and trans- disciplinary lens and with positive stakeholder co-construction, providing added value and increased impact. The Institute’s facilities include dedicated farm, field and catchment experimental platforms, world class laboratory facilities, in-house statistics department (BioSS), unique diversity of trans-disciplinary expertise and a post-graduate school. This post will be based in Aberdeen; there may be a requirement for occasional national and international travel.