Research Officer - Water Catchment Environmental Modeller

Teagasc, Crops, Environment and Land-Use Programme, Johnstown Castle, Wexford
 Salary:  Research Officer with a Salary Scale of €35,502 to €68,796
Research   Permanent Full Time
Closing Date: 25/08/2022 Closing Time: 12:00


Job Summary

Permanent .  A panel may be formed from which future similar vacancies may be filled; such a panel will remain active for a maximum period of 12 months.


Basic Function:

To develop, lead and implement an integrated environmental catchment modelling programme to assess the effect of mitigating emissions from farm to catchment scale.

  • To conduct modelling research on upscaling nutrient losses (principally N and P) from soil to water from field/farm to catchments scales.

  • To parametrise and validate a range of models for estimating emissions to water and air. To develop tier 3 emission factor models.

To assess mitigation measures for the reduction of emissions to water and air.



The Irish agriculture and land-use sector faces significant challenges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2030 and reach climate neutrality by 2050 as set out in the 2021 Climate Action Plan.  In response to this Teagasc has developed a new Climate Action Strategy.  This new post will be central to supporting Teagasc in the delivery of this strategy

Teagasc is expanding its research and Knowledge Transfer (KT) programme to rapidly advance the science and implementation of current and new measures to meet the biodiversity and climate challenges that farmers are facing. In addition to the new staff there is a large capital investment to establish the National Agricultural Sustainability Research and Innovation Centre (NASRIC). The large number of new staff recruited will join the current research teams and to utilise the research infrastructures across the entire organisation.

This competition seeks to recruit a permanent research officer focused on modelling nutrient and greenhouse gas emissions from soil to water and the atmosphere at the field/farm to catchments scales. The researcher will carry out research to develop a modelling capacity to evaluate the effect of measures that improve water quality, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance carbon removals from the atmosphere. The modelling will be carried out from field to catchment scales to enable the upscaling and downscaling of mitigation targets and measures.

The successful candidate will join a very well-resourced team of permanent and contract staff carrying out greenhouse gas mitigation research. This position will be based in the new National Agricultural Sustainability Research and Innovation Centre, Johnstown Castle, Wexford. Teagasc - Johnstown Castle is Ireland’s leading research institute on soils and environment related research, and conducts both fundamental and applied research on a wide range of subjects, e.g. soil quality, nutrient efficiency, water quality, gaseous emissions, agro-ecology, and land use.

Job Objectives

  • To lead research projects on modelling nutrient (principally N and P cycling) and greenhouse gas emissions from soil to water and the atmosphere at the field/farm to catchments scales.

  • Develop a modelling capacity to evaluate the effect of measures to improve water quality, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance terrestrial carbon sinks.

  • To upscale nutrient and greenhouse gas emissions field to catchment scales to enable the upscaling and downscaling of mitigation targets and measures.

  • Produce high quality papers, relevant for farm practice and policy for publication in peer reviewed scientific journals using existing and newly generated data.

  • To establish strong collaborative links within Teagasc and national/international researchers.

  • Active pursuit of external funding opportunities to further resource the research program with the objective of developing critical mass in the area by building and supervising a dynamic team of post-doctoral researchers(s) and post-graduate student(s). 

  • Work closely with Teagasc Knowledge Transfer Specialists/Advisors to ensure effective dissemination of research findings to advisers and stakeholders.

  • Supervise, in conjunction with University partners, postgraduate students to Masters and PhD level.

  • To assist Teagasc in meeting the commitments of the Quality Customer Service charter and Action Plan.

  • To actively participate in the annual business planning and Performance Management Development System (PMDS) processes.

  • To fully co-operate with the provisions made for ensuring the health, safety and welfare of oneself, fellow staff and non-Teagasc staff and co-operate with management in enabling Teagasc to comply with legal obligations. This includes full compliance with the responsibilities outlined in the Safety Statement.

  • Such other duties as may be assigned from time to time.


* This job specification is intended as a guide to the general range of duties and is intended to be neither definitive nor restrictive.  It will be reviewed from time to time with the post holder.

Skills Required

Hiring Manager should review the table below for accuracy and amend as appropriate – reference: Teagasc Competency Profiles for the grade – available on the tnet





  • Candidates must have an honours Level 8 degree in hydrology, mathematical modelling, agriculture, soil science, geography, environmental science or related discipline.

  • PhD in a relevant discipline


Note: While a PhD is an essential requirement for this post, equivalent research experience may be deemed acceptable solely at the discretion of the Director of Teagasc.

  • Experience in use and development of process-based or statistical-based modelling of terrestrial soil nutrient and  hydrological cycles.


  • Modelling of nutrient loss to water or greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural sources.

  • Proven record of scientific communication.

  • Excellent organizational skills, report writing, data analysis and statistical analysis.

  • Excellent one-to-one and group communication skills (farmers, students, colleagues, stakeholders). Good team working skills.

  • Excellent ability to plan, organize, manage and schedule work effectively.

  • Good organizational skills, include people management.


  • Biogeochemical modelling at a range of scales – from field to landscape/catchment scale.

  • Aptitude for multidisciplinary approaches.

  • Project management and experience of winning competitive research funding.

  • Record of successful research grant writing.




  • Soil Water and Atmosphere modelling approaches.

  • Soil and catchment hydrology.

  • Nitrogen, Phosphorus and carbon biogeochemistry.

  • Understanding of agricultural systems.


  • Familiarity with temperate grassland management and ruminant-dominated agricultural systems.

Behavioural Competencies

  • Willingness to work as part of an integrated advisory/research programme team

  • Ability to work independently if necessary, and meet self-imposed milestones and deliverables.

  • Willingness to collaborate positively within the programme team as well as with outside agencies.

  • Ability to contribute to group discussions/workshops with farmers and other stakeholders.

  • Strives for high quality of work and demonstrates commitment to the programme.

  • Flexible with an openness to change and an ability to adapt to changing priorities.

  • Ability to communicate effectively to enable knowledge and technology transfer.

  • A proactive, solutions-focused approach to work.

  • Commitment to ongoing personal and professional development, with an ability to align personal development objectives with programme activities.



As this role involves driving vehicles, candidates must satisfy and continue to satisfy during employment with Teagasc, legal requirements to drive unaccompanied on Irish public roads.

 Note:  The ‘essential’ qualifications, knowledge, skills and behavioural competencies outlined above are ‘must-have’ which will be used in the selection process.


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