NERC UK Geoenergy Observatories Project Science Advisory Group (GSAG)

Closing date
7 June 2022 16:00 UK time
Outcomes communicated
27 June 2022
Time commitment
Two to four meetings per year, plus reading time
Number of positions
Up to five
Length of service
15 months for the first term

NERC is looking to appoint up to five new members to the NERC UK Geoenergy Observatories Project Science Advisory Group (GSAG).

Applications are sought from individuals with any expertise relevant to the facility, but we would particularly welcome applications from individuals with expertise in:

  • geothermal energy
  • heat networks, geophysics (specifically near-surface imaging and groundwater systems)
  • data management
  • subsurface fluid flow.

NERC invites applications from any sector including academia, policy, regulation and industry.

Person specification

The ideal member will have:

  • an excellent understanding of science, engineering, policy, regulation or business issues relevant to one or more of:
    • geoscience
    • geological engineering
    • the subsurface environment
  • expertise in one or more of:
    • engineering
    • geothermal
    • relevant industries
    • sensor development
    • data analytics
  • experience of working as either:
    • an environmental or engineering researcher
    • a user of environmental science (for example, public sector, private sector or NGO)
  • an innovative, problem-solving approach
  • evidence of strategic thinking
  • well-developed skills in communication and team work
  • well-developed skills in making judgements across a range of scientific, strategic and policy issues
  • willingness to engage in public engagement around the UK Geoenergy Observatories (UKGEOS) facilities.


The NERC UK Geoenergy Observatories (UKGEOS) project is building world-class geoenergy research facilities to study the subsurface environment and how it responds to human activities. Two observatory sites are being developed, one in the Glasgow Clyde valley and another near Elton in Cheshire.

The Glasgow observatory provides a platform for research and innovation to develop a better understanding of the potential for low enthalpy geothermal heat recovery from coal mine workings.

The Cheshire observatory will provide a platform to underpin research into a number of new energy technologies that will directly help reduce atmospheric carbon emissions, for example CO2 storage, aquifer geothermal and aquifer storage of heat and compressed air.

Both sites have been designed so that they that can host innovative research projects, provide a testbed for new technologies and produce open access data to underpin novel modelling of subsurface processes.

NERC, through its broader science base and with input from industry, regulators and policymakers, will use the UKGEOS project to provide the UK research community with world-leading facilities.

The British Geological Survey (BGS) is delivering the research and test-bed infrastructure and will operate the facilities over their 15-year lifetime.

The NERC GSAG provides independent and timely advice to NERC and BGS to ensure that the UKGEOS platform delivers maximum benefit to the wider UK research and innovation community and end users, and to ensure the optimal delivery of the UKGEOS Science Plan.

GSAG meetings are expected to be virtual in the first instance with hybrid options, should an in-person meeting be held. GSAG meets quarterly, typically with six-hour meetings held in September, December, March and June though this is dependent on the discussion items required.

How to apply

Submit your application through the online form.

This will require personal data and two long-form answers (with word counts), so you may prefer to look at the questions and prepare your answers elsewhere.

You will also be prompted to attach a two-sided curriculum vitae. Please ensure you refer to the person specification in your answer, and contact if you have any questions.


Applications will be assessed by a panel comprising the current chair of GSAG, senior science user for UKGEOS or both, senior representatives from NERC Head Office and the British Geological Survey.

Applicants will be assessed based on how well they meet the selection criteria and the extent to which their expertise and knowledge complements that of the current GSAG members.

Diversity, equality and inclusion

At NERC, as part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), we believe that everyone has a right to be treated with dignity and respect.

They have the right to also be provided with the appropriate opportunities and tools to flourish and succeed within an ethical and trusted working environment that enables them to do so and that is attractive and accessible to everyone.

We also value diversity of thought and experience and are committed to creating systems that value differences so that everyone can feel welcomed, included and nurtured throughout their time with us.

Learn more about how we support equality, diversity and inclusion in the workforce.

Members will be selected based on their suitability against the person specification above.

Where candidates are of equal merit, NERC will use its discretion to ensure that there is a balanced composition of members within GSAG.

As such, the recruitment process will consider the balance of members with respect to:

  • equality, diversity and inclusion
  • sector experience
  • expertise.

Last updated: 16 November 2022

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