Southampton seeks seven with sea legs

August 11, 2006

The world-leading National Oceanography Centre Southampton hopes to net a complete research group with its advertisement in this week's Times Higher .

It is advertising seven posts to ensure it maintains its position in the run-up to the research assessment exercise.

People can apply individually, although the centre hopes that by grouping the posts it may lure an existing research group away from another institution.

The centre, owned jointly by Southampton University and the Natural Environment Research Council, houses the largest single group of marine and earth scientists in the UK.

It is based in a purpose-built development, bringing together about 500 researchers, academics and support staff, and more than 600 undergraduates and postgraduates.

The NOCS is advertising two chairs in physical oceanography, which deals with climate change and the ocean's role in transporting heat, backed by a senior lecturer and lecturer and an applications programmer.

It is also advertising a lectureship or senior lectureship and a research council academic fellowship in its new ocean biochemistry and ecosystem research group. The fellowship is intended to lead to a permanent academic post.

The bulk of the posts are replacing retirements or departures, but Andrew Roberts, head of Southampton's School of Ocean and Earth Science, said: "We wanted to make a big splash by advertising the posts together to attract a group or individuals.

"We have a long record of excellence and want to retain that level of strength by hiring outstanding staff to develop a world-leading research programme."

Professor Roberts said the NOCS had the greatest annual increase in geosciences citations in the world, according to the science citation index ISI. He said the centre had expanded enormously in the past four or five years. It is not yet clear whether the NOCS would create more posts in the near future.

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