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Academic internship: Increasing river water temperatures under climate change. - 25455

The Environment Agency
£20,507 pro rata
Closing date
17 Feb 2023

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Job Details

Number of jobs available  2

Region  South West

City/Town  Bristol

Building/Site  Horizon House

Grade  Staff Grade 2

Post Type  Internship

Working Pattern  Full Time

Role Type  Science

Salary Minimum  £20,507 pro rata


Job description  

The intern(s) will work with our climate change and ecology research experts to apply river temperature projections to inform our understanding of how water quality and river ecosystems may be affected by increasing river water temperatures under climate change.

The intern(s), in discussion with Environment Agency staff, will decide the focus and depth of this work in the following areas:

a) How have river temperatures across England been changing in response to climate change, how do they compare with air temperature and how are they expected to change in the future?

b) How might these changes affect water quality and river ecosystems, and what are the implications for managing these risks?

The work will analyse our river water temperature projections to understand the magnitude and geography of potential changes, and will apply a mixture of modelling approaches to understand the risks they pose to, for example, the development of algal blooms, changes in dissolved oxygen, and/or fish spawning potential and mortality.

The outputs will be a summary of the main changes in river water temperature, an initial understanding of the risks these may present. These will inform our approach to using the projections in different areas of the business.

The team  

We are a small group of experienced research scientists within the Environment Agency with expertise focused on climate change impacts and adaptation in the water environment. Based at various locations around England we deliver and translate research that is accessible to colleagues and informs our strategic and operational management of English rivers in the face of climate change and other pressures. Most team members have higher degrees and several years’ experience.

Experience/skills required  

Applicants might have a background in ecology, hydrology, environmental science or climate change.

You will be studying towards, or have recently completed, an undergraduate, master’s or PhD degree in a related field and have good communication and writing skills. You will also be able to work with and analyse large and complex environmental datasets.

Additionally, you’ll be:

• Confident working with quantitative and qualitative data and information and be able to draw reliable conclusions.
• Competent is statistical analysis; numerical or other modelling skills an advantage.
• Able to demonstrate a variety of communication methods used to convey ideas and present complex information in an understandable way.
• Naturally inquisitive, and a logical and analytical thinker.
• You’ll be comfortable working independently as well as part of a team.
• Competent MS Office user.

Contact and additional information  

Please contact Matt Charlton, Senior Scientist, Climate Change and Resource Efficiency Research, for further information:

Mobile: 07584187531

This post will be based in Bristol.

Interviews will take place on MS Teams in March.

The internship will last for up to 16 weeks, starting in July and ending by 31 October at the latest.

Job description attachment 1  

job profile - 25455.docx – 54KB 
Converted File job profile - 25455.docx.pdf – 62KB 

Candidate pack  

Candidate Pack - 25455.docx – 1867KB 
Converted File Candidate Pack - 25455.docx.pdf – 513KB 

Closing Date:  

17/02/2023, 23:55 hours

Level of security checks required  

Basic Check

Length of contract  

Until 31/10/2023

Competence 1  

Scientific Knowledge


This post will provide you with an opportunity for you to apply scientific research knowledge and skills in a working environment. You will work in an applied research team, so the role will particularly suit a research student who would like to understand how research is translated into practice. An understanding of climate change impacts on river systems is important.

Competence 2  

Environmental Awareness


The Environment Agency works to protect and improve the environment. Acting to reduce the impacts of a changing climate on people and wildlife is at the heart of everything we do. Within England we’re responsible for regulating major industry and waste, treatment of contaminated land, water quality and resources, fisheries, inland river, estuary and harbour navigations, conservation and ecology and managing the risk of flooding. We are looking for a student who is passionate about these issues and is looking for a career in environmental protection.

Competence 3  

Applies Analytical Knowledge and Experience


This internship is a chance for you to apply the analytical skills, knowledge and experience you have gained whilst studying at university.

If you are applying from the Civil Service please note that the Environment Agency is not a part of HM Civil Service and you would not be a Crown Servant in the event of being appointed. Therefore, you will not be eligible for continuous service. For applicants who currently work in local government or other bodies listed in the Redundancy Payments (Continuity of Employment in Local Government etc) (Modification) Order 1999, you may be eligible for continuous service for the purpose of calculating any future redundancy payment. If you are unsure of your status then you should contact your own HR Team.

We are fully committed to having a diverse and inclusive workforce to reflect the communities we serve. We welcome flexible working patterns for all our vacancies, including job share, so please include clearly any information regarding your preferred working arrangements on your application.

We also have a Guaranteed Interview Policy to support those with a disability who are seeking employment. We have committed to guaranteeing an interview to anyone with a disability whose application meets the minimum criteria for the post.

The Environment Agency, as a Non-Departmental Public Body, is committed to providing value for money and utilises Central Government frameworks and contracts for all external recruitment needs. For this reason, we are unable to engage with the market directly through post, email or phone calls . Should you wish to become a support supplier on one of these frameworks or contracts please visit for more information.


The Environment Agency operates at the place where environmental change has its greatest impact on people’s lives.  We work closely with a wide range of partners to achieve a cleaner, healthier environment which benefits people and the economy; to better protect the nation against natural threats and hazards and to build stronger partnerships, while applying the environmental standards within which industry can operate. 

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