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Earth Observation Data Scientist - Industrial Placement

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The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is one of Europe’s largest research organisations. We’re trusted to support, enable and undertake pioneering projects in an amazing diversity of fields. Through world-class facilities and people, we’re driving ground-breaking advances in science, technology and Engineering. 

STFC is one of nine organisations that have been brought together to create UK Research and Innovation (UKRI); a new organisation with a vision to ensure the UK maintains its world-leading position in research and innovation.

Each year we offer opportunities to undergraduate students to gain practical experience, working alongside technical experts at the forefront of scientific research. We offer an invaluable experience with exposure to world class science and technology, and the opportunity to develop working relationships that continue well after your placement has finished.

STFC consists of several distinct departments which each focus on a different specialism within science, technology, innovation and support, yet work together to achieve STFC’s grand ambitions. Different departments may look for placement students with similar skills, so you should consider which role/s are most suitable to you, and apply for up to two of these.

Remote Sensing Group (RSG) has world-class standing in satellite sounding of atmospheric composition. The Group has developed state-of-the-art schemes to produce multi-year global data sets on atmospheric constituents important to climate and air quality (ozone, methane, aerosol and cloud) in NERC’s National Centre for Earth Observation (NCEO), ESA’s “Climate Change Initiative” and the EU’s Copernicus Climate Change Service. Current research centres on resolving ozone, methane and carbon monoxide near to the Earth’s surface, along with surface biophysical variables, and deriving particulate matter and surface radiation fluxes for applications including air quality and solar energy. The Group collaborates closely with partners in the UK and international science community. A near-real time (NRT) processing chain has been established on the JASMIN super-data-cluster to support operational applications. The Group also provides scientific direction and expert support to develop future satellite missions and precursor airborne instruments.

Summary of Key Duties & Responsibilities

Your role within STFC-RSG will be to:

  • Contribute to development and maintenance of new computer code for production and visualisation of STFC-RSG satellite data sets.
  • Support the scientific exploitation and operational applications of satellite data, through interaction on data handling with colleagues in scientific institutes and commercial companies.
  • Contribute to development of software tools to monitor NRT data production.

Organization Description

UK Research and Innovation is a new entity that brings together nine partners to create an independent organisation with a strong voice for research and innovation, and a vision to ensure the UK maintains its world-leading position in research and innovation.

The Science and Technology Facilities Council is a world-leading multi-disciplinary science organisation, and our goal is to deliver economic, societal, scientific and international benefits to the UK and its people – and more broadly to the world.


  • At university, enrolled on an undergraduate degree course  in a physical science, computer science or maths and required or have requested to take a year out of studies to gain experience within industry (S)
  • Right to live and work in the UK (S)
  • Accomplished computer programming skills, preferably in Python, IDL, C++ or Fortran (S&I)
  • Experience of Linux/Unix operating systems (S&I)
  • Aptitude for working and communicating effectively within a small team (S&I)


  • Motivation to work in Earth Observation from space and climate science (S&I)
  • Experience of web page and web tool development (HTML, JavaScript) (S&I)
  • Experience working with a large computer cluster and/or handling large data sets (S&I)
  • Experience in developing, maintaining or using complex computer codes (S&I)
  • Ability to manage own time effectively and multi-task. (I)


Earth Observation Data Scientist - Industrial Placement - IRC251080

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More about this vacancy

Number of vacancies: 
Up to 5