Antarctic Access Office Coordinator

Job reference:
BAS 21/85
Contract type:
Full Time
£31,931 - £34,709 per annum
We offer generous benefits
Research Development and Support team
Closing date:
4 July, 2021 11:59 pm

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, please note there may be delays to our recruitment timeline.


The British Antarctic Survey (BAS), part of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), aims to undertake a world-class programme of scientific research, and to sustain for the UK an active and influential regional presence and a leadership role in Antarctic affairs.

We are seeking a self-motivated, enthusiastic and highly organised individual with a degree level background, expertise in funding mechanisms and procedures, the ability to provide high impact technical advice and support to scientists, and excellent interpersonal skills with people at all levels. The post holder will promote and facilitate access to BAS Antarctic logistics support for the polar research community, and provide pre-award support to grow and diversify BAS’s research income from grants, contracts and other sources of funding. The strong candidate would hold previous experience on grants preparation and management.

Working with the Pre-Award Senior Research Manager, the Head of Research Development & Support (ReDS), the Director of Science, BAS Operations and NERC, they will engage with international polar scientists, and teams across BAS to facilitate the process to access UK Antarctic logistics and facilities, and promote national and international funding sources and opportunities. The post holder will provide expert advice to staff and help them to prioritise and target efforts to ensure research proposals are submitted to the required standard.


The main purpose of the Antarctic Access Office is to manage the planning and approvals processes for all projects involving BAS Antarctic research infrastructure: Antarctic science facilities, logistics support and research platforms. Projects include NERC/ UKRI grant-funded science projects, NERC National Capability science projects, other national and international collaborative projects and commissioned research.

The Antarctic Access Office Coordinator achieves this by being the primary point of contact for:

  • NERC, other Research Councils and components of UKRI, other UK and International funding opportunities and proposals involving BAS polar (especially Antarctic) science facilities and logistics support.
  • International collaborators and partners, where formal agreements have been established with BAS, and projects involving BAS Antarctic science facilities and logistics support.
  • NERC Head Office on matters relating to UKRI funded projects that involve Antarctic logistics support.
  • The UK science community on the promotion of BAS Antarctic science facilities and logistics capabilities to the UK science community.

It is essential that the Antarctic Access Office Coordinator proactively promotes BAS Antarctic science facilities and logistics capabilities to the UK science community.

Additionally, the post holder will provide guidance and expert advice to BAS staff on the pre- and post-award stages of NERC and EU research grant proposals.


Degree level education in science or administration (or equivalent experience)


  • To facilitate and manage the pre-award process to request access to BAS Antarctic Research infrastructure (science facilities, logistics and research platforms), and to provide a fair transparent process, that is communicated to the UK and international polar research community, regardless of funding source. This includes managing and facilitating process improvements.
  • To coordinate applications for BAS Antarctic science facilities and logistics support via NERC, other Research Councils’ funding mechanisms, and any other funder from the UK and internationally.
  • To coordinate applications for the use of BAS Antarctic science facilities and logistics support via the Collaborative Antarctic Science Scheme (CASS).
    ▪ To provide guidance and advice to BAS and external users on the process to apply for BAS Antarctic logistics support via the Pre-Award OSPQ (Operational Support Planning Questionnaire).
  • To liaise with BAS Operations to ensure completion of Post-Award OSPQ, Preliminary Environmental Assessments and Risk Assessments by all project Principal investigators and attendance at BAS field planning meetings.
  • To promote access to BAS Antarctic science facilities and logistics support to the UK community as required.
  • To highlight to all interested parties the impacts of developments in NERC’s funding mechanisms, application rules and procedures if they affect polar research. Update NERC/BAS policy and procedures for polar fieldwork opportunities, including the web site.
  • To administer BAS’s portfolio of international agreements involving access to BAS Antarctic logistics support (e.g. with the Netherlands, Malaysia and Italy) and liaise with BAS Operations and other BAS support teams over science project and fieldwork planning requirements.
  • To support BAS staff in the preparation of research proposals, including: advice on finances, eligible costs and funding agencies' rules and regulations; guidance through the submission processes; help to assemble and validate financial information for research proposals; and support research contract negotiations and management.
  • To provide support and training for BAS staff in all aspects of the UKRI Joint Electronic Submission grant submission and tracking portal.
  • To check and edit research proposals, including attachments, to ensure that they comply with the Funder's rules and regulations and BAS quality assurance measures. To include providing advice, checking and validating the financial and contractual sections in consultation with the BAS Finance and Contracts Team.
  • To undertake other duties as requested by the Head of ReDS, Director of Science or Director of BAS.

Please quote reference for any queries: BAS 21/85
Closing date for receipt of application forms is: 4 July 2021
Interviews are scheduled to be held on: 16 July 2021

At BAS, our vision is to be a world-leading centre for polar science and operations. Making our vision a reality depends on the excellence and diversity of our staff. We are committed to creating a workplace where all our staff can flourish and succeed. BAS is a Disability Confident employer, we are proud to hold a bronze Athena Swan award and we are a member of enei, the Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion.

We appreciate the importance of achieving work-life balance and support this with a number of family and carer-friendly policies. Plus a flexible working policy for those who may wish to amend their working pattern or arrangement.

Skills are listed as either Essential or Desirable. Desirable skills importance rating in parenthesis (1 is high, 5 is low)

Communication skills - a) oral skills b) written skills

  • Proficient in written and spoken English. - Essential
  • Experience of making oral and PowerPoint presentations to large audiences - Essential
  • Ability to communicate at different levels - Essential
  • Ability to write authoritative reports - Desirable [2]

Computer / IT skills

  • Expertise in Microsoft Office, and web site management and applications - Essential
  • Experience of database and project management tools, and Oracle financial systems. - Desirable [3]

Decision Making

  • Ability to plan and decide priorities and to solve complex problems. - Essential
  • Ability to take a strategic view - Desirable [3]

Interpersonal skills

  • Good interpersonal skills with people at all levels - Essential
  • Strong team player with the ability to prioritise and work in a flexible manner - Essential

Managerial ability

  • Ability to organise and coordinate research projects - Essential
  • Ability to identify issues, and escalate them at the right time - Essential

Numerical ability

  • Competent and accurate with budgeting and expenses tracking for research grants - Essential
  • Experience of managing budgets - Desirable [3]


  • Degree level education in science or administration (or equivalent experience) - Essential
  • Higher Degree - Desirable [4]

Skills / Experience

  • High level of personal knowledge and understanding of scientific research methodology, funding mechanisms, and procedures - Essential
  • Skill in providing high impact technical advice, guidance and support to professional people - Essential
  • Skill in developing and implementing new strategies and procedures - Essential
  • Experience in grants preparation and management - Essential
  • Scientific research experience - Desirable [5]
  • Experience of working in a logistics support environment - Desirable [3]
  • Experience of working in polar environments - Desirable [4]
  • Experience in negotiating contracts and commercial agreements - Desirable [4]
  • Skill in project, budget and fiscal management. - Desirable [2]

In order to apply, please complete and upload all the application forms listed below. If you experience any issues in uploading your Application Form, please email us your complete application, making reference to the job reference and title.

If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, please visit this website before applying.

Apply Online:

Apply by post:

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Recruitment team is working remotely and cannot access the building. If you would like to apply for this job but cannot apply online, please contact us: [email protected]

If you need more information

[email protected]
+44 (0)1223 221400
+44 (0)1223 362616

The information you provide during the application process will only be used for the purpose of progressing your application, to fulfil legal or regulatory requirements where necessary or, in the case of the Equal Opportunities Monitoring Questionnaire, to help BAS meet its equal opportunities policy.

The British Antarctic Survey will not share the information you provide with any third parties, and the information will be held securely by the British Antarctic Survey whether the information is in electronic or physical format. Please note that the Equal Opportunities Monitoring Questionnaire will be detached from your application prior to the short-listing of candidates for interview.

Unsuccessful applications will be securely destroyed 6 months after the end of the recruitment process (or 1 year after the end of the recruitment process in the case of Marine Staff and AEP. The applications of successful applicants will be retained as part of their personnel file.

Further information can be found in the information notice of NERC, our parent body.