Post-doctoral Research Assistant in Seabed Geomorphological Characterisation

The Marine Geology Research Group, School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Science, University College Cork, are seeking a motivated Post-doctoral Researcher. The successful candidate will be based at UCC in the Marine Geology group (with the option to work remotely initially) and will work closely with academics and researchers in partner institutions (Marine Institute and University of Sao Paolo).

Over the past 17 years, Ireland has undertaken an ambitious programme to map all its legal seabed territory comprising 880,000 km2. To date, through the Irish National Seabed Survey (INSS) and INFOMAR programmes, over 90% of the Irish seabed has been mapped. However, there is a lack of an agreed, measured and standardised national approach to turning this data into information that can both benefit policy makers (e.g. NPWS) and industry (offshore renewables) as well as raising awareness of the marine environment to the taxpayer. Here, we propose to compile the INFOMAR data sets with other bathymetric products (individual research cruises, satellite derived bathymetry) and test and a number of geomorphological mapping methods (e.g. machine learning, object-based image analysis) from other national seabed mapping agencies (e.g. MAREANO) and from scientific research to determine and develop a suitable geomorphic mapping protocol for the vast Irish shallow water area. The project will develop methods that can be used at a national scale and can easily be adopted internationally. The research will produce a data set highlighting key seabed features in Irish waters (< 200 m) that can be used by scientists, governmental agencies and industry. The key and highlight products of this project are the development of a shallow water atlas of the Irish seabed and WebGIS accessible layers. The project will produce world class scientific research on contemporary and recent (Quaternary) seabed features along the Irish coast.

Candidates should hold a PhD in an area relating to seabed mapping, GIS, geomorphology or a closely related discipline. Candidates should have a strong interest and experience in machine learning, GIS (spatial analyses) and marine geoscience.

Salary: €37,873 - €45,041
Duration: 40 months

Key Duties and Responsibilities

This title will apply to newly qualified Post-Doctoral Researchers and will be considered as a period of training as the researcher will have dual goals in terms of the research project and their own career development. The researcher will be mentored by a Principal Investigator (PI). It is expected that a researcher would spend not more than 3 years at the Post Doctoral level, subject to the term of the project and would then be eligible to compete for a Senior Post Doctoral post advertised by the University.

The primary focus of the Postdoctoral Researcher will be researching however a particular emphasis during this stage should include;

  • To conduct a specified programme of research under the supervision and direction of a Principal Investigator/Project Leader.
  • To engage in appropriate training and professional development opportunities as required by the Principal Investigator, School or College in order to develop research skills and competencies.
  • To gain experience in grant writing.
  • To engage in the dissemination of the results of the research in which they are engaged, as directed by, with the support of and under the supervision of a Principal Investigator.
  • To become familiar with the publication process.
  • To acquire generic and transferable skills (including project management, business skills and postgraduate mentoring/supervision).
  • To engage in the wider research and scholarly activities of the research group, School or College.
  • To interact closely with postgraduate research students who are studying for a Masters or a PhD and possibly have an agreed role in supporting these students in their day to day research in conjunction with an academic supervisor.
  • To carry out administrative work to support the programme of research.
  • To carry out additional duties as may reasonably be required within the general scope and level of the post.
  • To contribute to costing research grant proposals and assist in the financial management of a research project.


  • A PhD qualification in a relevant area (GIS, Geomorphology, Marine Remote Sensing)
  • Appropriate research experience (grant writing, scientific writing, project management).
  • Appropriate technical competence and accomplishment (GIS, machine learning, python).
  • A capability of working within a project team to achieve results.
  • Excellent communication, organisation and interpersonal skills.
  • A commitment to gaining practical experience working on a research project.
  • Ability to work well within a team.
  • Please note that Garda vetting and international police clearance check may form part of the selection process.

For an information package including full details of the post, selection criteria and application process see

Informal enquiries can be made in confidence to Professor Andy Wheeler, School of Biological Earth and Environmental Sciences; Email:

Applications must be submitted online via the University College Cork vacancy portal ( Queries relating to the online application process should be referred to, quoting the job-title.

Candidates should apply, in confidence, before 12 noon (Irish Local Time) on Monday, 15th February 2021.

posted: 15 January 2021     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.