National Physical Laboratory

Computational Software/ Data Scientist

Job description

NPL is seeking an experienced Higher Research Scientist based in Teddington to plan and deliver a number of technical activities to take our research to the next level. This full-time Research Scientist job comes with a generous salary and benefits package.

As a Higher - Research Scientist, you'll be expected to acquire new knowledge to find solutions to advance our research. Also, if commercial opportunities arise from your work, you'll need to flag these – as this is how new products and services are born. At NPL, we learn from each other, respect each other, and work together to do better for ourselves and our customers.

Your primary responsibilities will include:

  • Sharing your learnings so that we all benefit and mentoring those with less experience than you
  • Developing partnerships to strengthen our capability
  • Acting as an ambassador for our work externally and being willing to promote what we do
  • Providing technical support for any bids, we may be undertaking

The UK’s National Centre of Excellence in Mass Spectrometry Imaging (NiCE-MSI) at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) is a world-class centre advancing measurement capability and developing methods, instruments and the associated metrology, supporting the uptake of MSI into industry and academia.

An exciting opportunity has arisen to join the National Centre of Excellence in Mass Spectrometry Imaging (NiCE-MSI) at NPL to develop software interfaces and novel methods for processing, visualisation and interpretation of large mass spectrometry imaging datasets. The successful candidate will work in a team developing cutting edge techniques for handling, storing, visualising and sharing our annotated data.

Major projects in NiCE-MSI include the CRUK Grand Challenge (, delivery of the National Measurement System metrology for MSI programme and a portfolio of collaborative and commercial research programmes. These projects require advanced data analysis methods to handle the vast hyperspectral data from MSI experiments. There is also a growing need for use of modern informatics methods to interpret data.

Within the CRUK grand challenge we have developed a data analysis pipeline to mine, visualise and annotate the vast hyperspectral data. We are seeking a candidate that can further extend and enhance this pipeline in terms of its efficiency and ease of use. This will include development of graphical interfaces for existing methods, as well as novel computational methods for data analysis, data visualisation, high-speed computational methods for large data sets (GPU programming, multithreaded software), data annotation and software development. The role will require developing research in the data analysis area as well as supporting research and commercial MSI projects. The team has an excellent publication output and offers a supportive environment to further research careers.

The successful candidate will work to understand the areas of chemistry, physics, and biology relevant to the project, be able to creatively and independently solve problems and have excellent communication and team-working skills. A background in spectroscopy is not a prerequisite for applying. Rather, the candidate will have a strong track-record in software development, and computational methods for multivariate analysis, machine learning, bioinformatics.

Skills required

  • Demonstrated experience in conversion of computational methods into graphical user interfaces (GUIs)
  • Ph.D. or equivalent experience in analytical chemistry, bioinformatics, mathematics, or a related field
  • Background in computational methods for multivariate analysis, and machine learning
  • Experience of web hosting of data and software tools is advantageous but not essential
  • Knowledge and experience of image registration is advantageous but not essential
  • Knowledge and experience of Mass Spectrometry or imaging spectroscopies and relevant instrumentation is advantageous but not essential
  • Strong communication and presentation skills in English, both written and spoken.

NPL and BEIS have strong commitments to diversity and equality of opportunity, and welcome applications from candidates irrespective of their background, gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, or age, providing they meet the required criteria. Applications from women, disabled and BAME candidates in particular are encouraged. All disabled candidates (as defined by the Equality Act 2010) who satisfy the minimum criteria for the role will be guaranteed an interview under the Disability Confident Scheme.

We’re transforming. As a national laboratory, we’re exploring even more commercial routes to market and that’s presenting us with greater opportunity – for you and us. Our success relies on the diversity and talent of our people, we strive to nurture and respect individuals to ensure everyone feels valued and supported to excel in their chosen field. This value is at the core of our organisation.

We believe in a culture of fairness by treating everyone on the basis of their own individual merits and abilities regardless of their own or perceived identity, background or any other factor irrelevant to a person’s work. At NPL we are committed to the health and well-being of our employees. Flexible working and social activities are embedded in our culture to create a positive work-life balance, along with a broad range of benefits. NPL’s values are at the heart of what we do and they shape the way we interact, develop our people and celebrate success.

As part of our commitment to diversity & inclusion, we signed up to the Institute of Physics' Project Juno in 2015 as a Juno Supporter. NPL were proud to be awarded Juno Practitioner status in 2018. NPL also joined Stonewall as a Diversity champion in 2015, participating in their annual Workplace Equality Index for the equality of LGBT+ community at NPL. In 2018, NPL became a member of the Business Disability Forum and joined the disability confident scheme as level 1 committed employer.

To ensure everyone has an equal chance, we’re always willing to make reasonable adjustments to the recruitment process. If you would like to discuss, please contact us.

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