Research Software Engineer (RSE)

Contract type: Fixed term (36 months)
Salary Grade: Grade3-4, £30,395 – £35,211, depending on experience
Closing date: 24th February 2020
Interviews week of: 9th March 2020

Job purpose:

The RSE will be an integral member of a project team working alongside the Principal Investigator and project team todevelop bespoke software, analytics workflows and web-based dissemination tools in support of the iCPR project. The project will explore the application and use of Machine Learning techniques across the Continuous Plankton Recorder Survey in support of the Surveys marine ecological research. Analytic and computational workflows will be developed to implement intelligent systems for tasks such as classification, outlier detection, prediction and interpolation across a variety of marine ecological datasets, including multidimensional time series and image archives.


The Marine Biological Association ( is an independent research institute carrying out leading-edge research in fundamental and strategic areas of marine biology.As one of the world’s longest running learned societies (founded in 1884) the MBA is dedicated to promoting research into our oceans and the life that they support. Many eminent scientists, including twelve Nobel Prize winners, have conducted their research at the MBA’s famous Citadel Hill laboratory. With our Royal Charter and over 1600 members in 37 countries worldwide, we have the mandate to provide an authoritative and independent voice for the international marine biological community.

The role

The RSE will develop and maintain tools and workflows for aggregating, archiving, analysing and visualising streaming sensor datasets, large volume image archives and multidimensionaltime series. The RSE will also be involved in deploying and maintaining learning algorithms in production environments, assisting with data exploration and collaborate on publication. The post holder will also be expected to share and support good software development practices across the group as well as contribute to wider research, data and software activities within the MBA.

Salary and benefits

  • Salary: £30,395 - £35,211, based on experience
  • Pension: The MBA will contribute 10% of your basic salary into a defined benefits pension scheme. You are required to make a 3% minimum contribution. You can contribute over the 3% minimum and the MBA will match up to a maximum of 5%

Equal opportunities employer

  • We are committed to equality of opportunity for all staff and applications from individuals are encouraged regardless of age, disability, sex, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief and marriage and civilpartnerships

Skills and experience


The successful candidate will have demonstrable software engineering experience in a research & innovation environment:

  • Experience with the python programming language and scientific stack (core libraries such as numpy, pandas, PIL and matplotlib);
  • Robust software engineering skills (version control, automated testing, documentation and continuous integration);
  • Full stack web development experience for API development and data visualisation;
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills;
  • An ability to work as part of a team (collaborating with researchers, data scientists, research assistants and students) as well as independently


  • Data engineering experience on cloud platforms (preferably Google Cloud Platform) or evidence of ability to rapidly learn;
  • Understanding of scientific data analysis, handling a variety of datasets, implementing and applying statistical learning methods;
  • Experience with scikit-learn, pytorch and/or tensorflow in a production environment;
  • Practical experience with semantic metadata mark-up and publication of linked open datasets;

The RSE will be based at the Marine Biological Association of the UK in Plymouth, but will be expected to travel to meetings, workshops and field locations as needed.The position is fixed term (36 months), with possibility of extension depending on future funding success. Starting date April 2020(with some flexibility for the right candidate).For further information about the iCPR project, or an informal chat about the advertised position, please contact Dr. George Graham:

Application process: Applicants for the position should send a CV with cover letter giving the principal reasons why they wish to apply for the RSE post, and how their knowledge, skills and experience meet the requirements of the role.Applicants should also provide links to portfolio of works (personal or professional blog/website) and code repositories, if available, and contact details for two references, one of which must be yourcurrent employer. Applications to be sent to quoting 'iCPR RSE application' by the closing date of 24/02/2020.

Applicants must be eligible to live and work in the UK

posted: 30 January 2020     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.