April 26, 2023

Understanding the spatial variability of long-term trends of ocean waves around the British Isles

Location: University of Nottingham

Duration: 8 weeks

A paid summer research placement opportunity is available at the University of Nottingham. Are you interested in climate change? Are you looking for an opportunity to apply your knowledge to improve the understanding on the effect of climate change on wind waves?

A funded opportunity is available for an undergraduate student in disciplines such as geography, mathematics, computing or physics (subject to eligibility criteria below) to form part of an ongoing study of the spatial distribution of wind waves climate trends around the U.K. coasts. You will work within a team from the University of Nottingham (UoN) and National Oceanographic Centre (NOC). Work will begin from the week commencing on 26th June 2021 and will run until the end of August (approximately 8 weeks of flexible working). You will be supported by a student stipend which will be National Living Wage from the Envision NERC scheme.

A large body of research, supporting the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports, identified that coastal flood and erosion drivers, such as wind waves (i.e. sea states), are likely undergoing substantial changes, resulting in increased stress on coastal environments. These temporal trends have complex spatial variability, as shown in recents studies carried out at the NOC, leading to UK Climate Projections 2018. While for sea level this variability is well studied, trends in sea states, in particular those of extreme (more energetic) events, are less understood. To address this gap in knowledge this project aims at gaining an improved understating of the spatial variability of historical trends. This will be achieved through the following specific objectives:

-To build a database of sea state parameters (specifically significant wave height, mean spectral period, wave direction) extracted from the ERA5 reanalysis spanning 1950-2023 that can be interrogated to analyse historical trends.

-To investigate the spatial variability of the sea state trends parameter from the built database, using the Bayesian hierarchical methodology developed by NOC.

This paid research placement is an exciting opportunity to gain experience in environmental data analysis, while developing your CV. You will be trained in environmental data analysis, with an emphasis on climatic trends analysis and Bayesian methods. You will spend some time familiarizing yourself with existing methodologies and explore emerging new ones developed by the research team.

We hope that your final report can form the basis of a future high quality peer reviewed publication.

To apply, send a short (maximum one A4 page) letter of motivation and your CV to Dr Riccardo Briganti ( by 29th May 2023. Please feel free to contact Dr Briganti if you have any further enquiries or wish to discuss the opportunity further.

To apply

We encourage applications from students from all backgrounds. Please check you meet eligibility criteria before completing the EDI Form 2023  ; this form is a mandatory part of the application process but contains ‘prefer not to say’ options for all questions asked.

Once you have completed the online data collection form you will receive an email with the application form and details of how to apply to the supervisor. The application form should be completed and emailed to the lead supervisor along with a reference from your personal tutor.