Science Director for UK & Global Geo-Energy Observatories (UK GEOS)


Società Geologica Italiana

Based at one of the BGS UK sites  -  Keyworth, Edinburgh, Wallingford or Cardiff with a requirement to travel and spend time at the UKGEOS observatory sites in Cheshire and Scotland
Total Pay package circa £74,500  
(inclusive of basic salary of £64,675 plus upto circa a £10k special allowance depending on experience)
Permanent position
Relocation Assistance available
The British Geological Survey (BGS) is an applied geoscience research centre that is housed in UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and affiliated to the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).  It is a world leading geological survey that provides a core science mission to inform government of science related to the subsurface and its interfaces and also undertakes applied research for solutions to earth and environmental processes, both in the UK and globally.  It is funded directly by UKRI as well as through research grants and via private sector
contracts.  BGS has an annual budget of approximately £60 million and employees 650 people.  It has two main sites, a head office in Keyworth near Nottingham and the Lyell Centre, which is a joint collaboration with Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh.  BGS works with more than 150 private sector organisations as well as having close links with 40 universities and sponsors approximately 100 PhD students each year.
The UK GEOS project, commissioned by NERC, follows the Government's 2014 announcement that it would allocate £31 million to create world-class, subsurface energy-research test centres to develop home grown energy supplies in the UK and create world-class subsurface research expertise in the UK. This investment is expected to place the UK at the forefront of a multi-billion pound market globally and provide independent evidence for better regulation and public confidence in this area. BGS will deliver this project and is investing a further £7.5 million in operating UKGEOS.
Additionally, BGS is working globally with providers of geo energy test beds with the EU for the European Plate Observing System (EPOS) and in partner with research institutes in Iceland, Canada, the US and Australia.
BGS is seeking to appoint a new Science Director, an experienced Science Lead to develop the science of UK GEOS and other energy test beds globally that are within the BGS research portfolio.  The UK GEOS project is investing in the research infrastructure that will facilitate the development of world-leading knowledge applicable to a wide range of energy technologies including shale gas, geothermal and carbon capture and storage. It is developing two subsurface research centres that will be run by BGS. These will be world-leading facilities for research, technology and monitoring of the subsurface which will provide openly available data for academia, industry and regulators.  The first research field site in the Thornton area (Cheshire) is focussing on the deeper subsurface, including shale gas and carbon capture and storage (CCS). The second research field site will be in Scotland and will focus on geothermal energy.
The UKGEOS Project Board maintains an oversight of progress of the project and is developing a full science and innovation case along with a stakeholder engagement plan.  The role of the new Science Director post will report into the BGS Director of Science & Technology, Professor Mike Stephenson.  They will be responsible for developing scientific engagement with the UKGEOS infrastructure and will lead and inspire BGS scientists to develop a substantial scientific programme for UKGEOS and other energy test beds.  The post holder will integrate UKGEOS with academic and industrial partnerships in the UK and internationally.  They will also play a key leadership role in the joint BGS and University of Nottingham Geoenergy Research Centre as well as in linking the BGS Lyell Centre with Heriot Watt University in Scotland. 
Person specification
The Science Director for UK & Global Geo Energy Observatories will be an internationally recognised scientific leader, with a substantial peer reviewed scientific output, including publications based in underground test or borehole array facilities.   In addition, as a senior member of the UK GEOS team, it is expected that the appointee will be able to demonstrate the following relevant experience, abilities, attributes, and skills:
  • a successful track record of science leadership at a senior level;
  • experience in designing and implementing scientific experiments and tests in sub-surface geological infrastructure, mainly in borehole arrays;
  • experience of managing and leading a substantial team of scientists associated with a test or experimental facility;
  • ability to convene and chair a Management Committee to oversee the facilities;
  • evidence of prior leadership ofcomplex, multi-disciplinary research projects;
  • a willingness to act as the public face of the BGS;
  • a commitment to providing inspiring leadership in collaborative pure and applied research;
  • the ability to articulate to other members of the Centre, and externally, a compelling vision of the powerful contribution that its work can make in some of the world's key research challenges;
  • exceptional team-working, communication, interpersonal and management skills.
Appointment process
The appointment of the Science Director for UK & Global Geo Energy Observatories will be determined by an appointment process chaired by the BGS Director of Science and Technology, Professor Mike Stephenson.
Applications are managed by the UKRI Shared Services Centre; applications should consist of a full CV detailing academic and professional qualifications, full employment history, latest remuneration and relevant achievements.  This should be accompanied by a covering letter describing briefly how candidates meet the criteria in the Person Specification, why the appointment is of interest to them and what they believe they can bring to the role.  To apply, please visit our job board at
 Applicants who would like to receive this advert in an alternative format (e.g. large print, Braille, audio or hard copy), or who are unable to apply online should contact us by telephone on 01793 867003, Please quote reference number IRC245649.
Closing date for receipt of application forms is 22 July 2018. Interviews will be held at BGS, Keyworth, Nottingham.
BGS provides a range of flexible working options including flexible working patterns, compressed hours and home working so if you have a need for flexibility, please raise this in the recruitment process when your needs, balanced with the requirements of the role, will be fully considered.
UKRI values diversity and welcomes applications from all sections of the community.  People with disabilities and those from ethnic minorities are currently under-represented and their applications are particularly welcome.  There is a guaranteed Interview scheme for suitable candidates with disabilities.

The British Geological Survey is an Investors in People organisation and has achieved Bronze status for Athena Swan – a scheme that recognises an organisation's commitment and progress in developing a diverse and inclusive workforce. 
IRC245649 Science lead advert