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Lightning Scientist

Posted: 13 Feb 2020 Closes: 8 Mar 2020
Exeter, GB Salary DOE
Permanent & Full-time met-office/20200213154601

Senior Scientist (SS): £36,684 - £40,352 pa*
Scientist (S): £30,325 to £33,260 pa*
*Salary quoted is based on full-time salary (37 hours) and 27.5 days annual leave and 8 bank holidays.


As a world-leading authority in weather and climate services, observations are fundamental to almost everything we do at the Met Office. Our observing networks measure the atmosphere, feeding data into high performance numerical models and are used by our forecasting teams to precisely predict the weather. To collect these underpinning fundamental observations, we utilise innovative technology that improves the quality and accuracy of our systems and helps us to deliver the most accurate forecasts to our customers around the world. Engineering, software engineering and science go hand-in-hand to drive our success.

This is a fantastic opportunity to join a world-class organisation and contribute to developing and improving the quality of the meteorological observations that support the science behind everything we do. The award-winning Met Office Headquarters in Exeter is home to world-class teams and computer technology. Innovative and cutting-edge, this is the place to work in the South West for software and scientific specialists who want to work alongside world leading scientists. Personal development is taken very seriously at the Met Office. Other
benefits include flexible working, generous leave allowance and more. There are also numerous clubs and activities and a gym on-site

Additional Supplementary Information:

We will invest in your development to help you grow with the Met Office. We can offer you a competitive pension, relocation allowance, opportunities for flexible working, performance-related pay schemes, some great benefits as well as 27.5 days’ holiday, which increases to 32.5 days’ after 5 years.

Full-time, part-time and job share applications are invited. This role will nominally be based in Exeter but we will consider applicants wishing to work elsewhere within the UK.

To apply, please click on the link below and attach the most recent version of your CV, along with a cover letter which briefly (no more than two-pages) states your experience against each essential and desirable criteria.

Key Dates: Closing date 08/03/2020 with interviews expected W/C 23/03/2020. Please note that you will be notified if you are successful or unsuccessful. 

Should you be offered an interview, please be aware there may be a selection exercise which could include a presentation, written test or a scenario-based activity. If you require any reasonable adjustments during these exercises, please include this information in your application. 

Please note, when joining the Met Office all new employees will start on the salary band minimum.

This recruitment post is not offering UK Visa and Sponsorship and therefore requires all applicants to be eligible to work within the UK / EU without restriction. If you are a non–EU candidate, you will be required to provide and attach all relevant eligibility documentation to your application at the time of applying.

Please note that successful candidate/s will be required to satisfactorily undergo security clearance checks. This will generally require the candidate to have lived in the UK for at least three out of the last five years.

We recognise that Great Minds Don’t Think Alike. Consequently, the Met Office is committed to working towards being a more diverse and inclusive organisation and to valuing and utilising visible and invisible individual differences. This includes continually striving to create a positive and open environment in which to work, along with ensuring that there are no barriers implicit in our policies or procedures preventing people from performing to the best of their ability. We are a “Disability Confident” employer, Mindful Employer, and we hold an Athena Swan Bronze award for our work on gender equality. We are proud to have a variety of staff-led networks who constantly work with us to enable everyone to fulfil their full potential. We are taking measures throughout our Recruitment process to tackle unconscious bias, and we apply the Civil Service Code to ensure that everyone is recruited on merit, fairness and open competition.

Job Purpose:

We are after someone who has a good mathematical/ physical sciences/ data science background, who is eager to learn something new, and work with a team of software engineers to develop and test a soon to be operational system.
You will join our Remote Sensing Research and Development Team to develop and test the science and software for our next generation long range VLF Lightning Location Network. Lightning location information is critical to real-time severe weather warning services in the UK and abroad. By improving the quality, reliability and resilience of our observing network, we will be able to ensure our weather forecasts are as accurate as possible. Day-to-day you’ll use your programming skills as well as your strong background in physics, mathematics or a related discipline to research, develop and implement scientific improvements to our system. You will also be involved in testing the performance of the new lightning location system compared to reference systems, and writing scientific and technical reports and papers

Essential Qualifications, Skills & Abilities:

1. A degree in a relevant (mathematics, physics, meteorology, climate modelling or satellite remote sensing) scientific subject and/or a PhD in a relevant scientific area or equivalent experience (Scientist). Extensive experience and proven track record of scientific research, and ability to plan and deliver scientific research projects (Senior Scientist).
2. An aptitude to design, write and understand moderately complex (Scientist) or complex (Senior Scientist) code in Python in a Windows or Linux environment.
3. Both (Scientist) and (Senior Scientist): Evidence of working independently, following project standards on configuration management, code review and testing and good version control.
4. An aptitude to communicate complex technical information to non-specialists (spoken and in writing)
5. Evidence of a proactive approach to work and solving problems
6. Enthusiasm to undertake training and development to enhance your skills and specialist experience.

Desirable Qualifications, Skills & Abilities:

1. An understanding of remote sensing principles.
2. Experience in signal processing/ moderately complex statistical analysis, and/or geometry.
3. An interest (Scientist) or experience (Senior Scientist) in lightning location systems.

Met Office

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