Antarctic Atmospheric Scientist – Antarctica

Job reference:
BAS 01/19
Contract type:
Antarctic Contract
The appointment for Rothera will be for approximately 18 months, commencing in August 2019 in Cambridge. The successful candidate will undertake appropriate specialist training in all aspects of the job, prior to travelling to the Antarctic in the autumn of 2019 and returning in spring 2021.For Halley the appointment will be for either 8 months commencing in August 2019 or for 18 months depending on if there will be a wintering team at Halley during the 2020 winter.
£23,937 per annum initially. Additionally, upon completion of a successful tour, you will receive a 10% bonus on your Antarctic Service.
We offer generous benefits
Antarctic employment pool team
Closing date:
31 March, 2019 11:59 pm


The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) offers the opportunity for suitably qualified persons to join multi-disciplinary teams at Halley (76°S, 26°W) and Rothera (67°S, 68°W) stations in Antarctica. This is science with a difference. As part of a small, highly motivated team, the successful candidate will be spending a year in the Antarctic. Life here is like nowhere else, so you must be ready to take on all the challenges that it offers. With the unparalleled beauty of the Antarctic, you will find this a profitable experience in more ways than one. The primary role of the successful candidate will be to make observations and to maintain and operate a suite of scientific instruments for studying the atmosphere and also to carry out quality assurance on the resulting environmental data.

Halley research station primarily concentrates on atmospheric research from ground level into space and the successful candidate will face the challenges of a newly relocated station. Halley is an important observatory studying the Antarctic ozone "hole". Meteorology and Ozone Monitoring (MOM) makes regular measurements of the stratospheric ozone content, and participates in international projects to measure trace chemicals, which are instrumental in the processes leading to ozone depletion. Other background pollution studies include taking snow and air samples for later isotopic and trace gas analysis in the UK. The Clean Air Sector Laboratory (CASLab) is the UK’s primary research facility for polar atmospheric chemistry. BAS operates a programme of routine measurements, as well as enhanced science campaigns, to study this clean background atmosphere, and how it links to wider global processes.

The station makes meteorological observations using an interactive, PC-based Automatic Weather Station, designed to facilitate data gathering and analysis and may make more frequent observations for aircraft. Regular upper air soundings are made using balloon-borne radio sondes. Additional observations and measurements are also made throughout the day.

The successful candidate will be responsible for maintaining the atmospheric science equipment in good working order, maintaining the quality of the data and managing its transfer to electronic storage. Each scientist is a member of a small multi-disciplinary team of scientists and support staff; and as such, they are expected to be adaptable and work on other programmes and to take their share of general base work. As the station is isolated for most of the year, the ability to work without detailed supervision and to solve problems as they arise is paramount.

This will be a challenging and demanding opportunity to work in an extreme and isolated environment. Applicants must therefore be physically capable and medically fit to work in Antarctica. You must be adaptable and willing to take on various tasks as they arise including a considerable amount of outdoor maintenance and general base work.


The main responsibility of the job is to carry out the Atmospheric Science programme for the Station. For Halley, this is the Meteorology programme and the routine Atmospheric Chemistry programme.


A degree or HND in physics, chemistry, geophysics, meteorology, electronic engineering or a related subject. Experience of using atmospheric chemistry instruments would be an advantage. An ability to solve problems and to be flexible are also key characteristics of the job.


a) To carry out the meteorological observations and scientific duties described in the Met Station Instructions (MSI) as agreed by the head of Meteorology and Ozone Monitoring (MOM) and to carry out routine atmospheric chemistry measurements which are part of the Tropospheric Chemistry (TROPCHEM) project.
b) To organise and carry out the work in a safe and professional way.
c) To keep all work areas in a tidy condition.
d) To report major problems to the head of MOM or TROPCHEM when they arise.
e) To maintain or repair faulty instrumentation when possible/appropriate.
f) To request replacement stores in a timely fashion.
g) To compile monthly and annual reports of the work undertaken.
h) To work with other staff to ensure that the operational and safety standards of the base are maintained.
i) To undertake general duties as required by the Base Commander.
j) To undertake other duties as required by the Director of BAS.

On-line application forms and further information are available on our website at

These are also available from the Human Resources Section, British Antarctic Survey, High Cross, Madingley Road, Cambridge, CB3 0ET. Tel: (01223) 221508.

Please quote reference: BAS 01/19

Closing date for receipt of application forms is: 31st March 2019
Interview date: 24th April 2019
Proposed start date: August 2019

BAS is an Equal Opportunity employer. As part of our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion and promoting equality in careers in science, we hold an Athena SWAN Bronze Award and have an active Equality, Diversity and Inclusion programme of activity. We welcome applications from all sections of the community. People from ethnic minorities and disabled people are currently under-represented and their applications are particularly welcome. We operate a guaranteed interview scheme for disabled candidates who meet the minimum criteria for the job. We are open to a range of flexible working options including part-time or full-time employment as well as flexible hours due to caring or other commitments.

You will need to be physically capable and medically fit to work in Antarctic conditions.

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

  • Clear, concise communication on technical issues required in both written (e-mails, month and annual reports) and oral form. - Essential

Computer / IT skills

  • Good PC and computer literacy required. - Essential
  • Experience of data management, Linux or software development. - Desirable [2]

Decision Making

  • Ability to problem solve on a wide range of equipment, reach conclusions on appropriate courses of action and communicate these to managers. - Essential

Interpersonal skills

  • Will be required to work closely with other scientists on base. - Desirable [2]
  • As well as making input to the team must be able to accept team decisions on work allocations and priorities. - Desirable [2]

Managerial ability

  • Sufficient maturity to be able to work safely, effectively and alone in remote location. - Essential
  • Experience of managing a small team. - Desirable [3]


  • Have practical experience of meteorology or atmospheric chemistry. - Essential

Other Factors

  • Able to follow instructions meticulously when required. - Essential
  • Ability to perform simple mechanical workshop activities (drilling, filing, elementary sheet metal work). - Desirable [4]


  • Degree or similar in physics, chemistry, meteorology, geophysics, electronic engineering or similar subject, or lower qualification backed by suitable experience. - Essential

Resource Management ability

  • Ability to organise own time and prioritise effectively. - Essential

Skills / Experience

  • Ability to encounter new equipment and perform effective fault finding to board level in a short period of time. - Desirable [2]
  • Ability to solve technical/scientific problems. - Essential
  • Experience of working in a remote location. - Desirable [2]
  • Experience of working with atmospheric chemistry instruments. - Desirable [2]

You can apply for this job online or you can print off the application forms, fill them out by hand and mail them.

Apply Online:

Apply by post:

If you would like to apply for this job but cannot apply online, you can print the application form(s) and post it back to us.

Please ensure you complete all required sections of the application form(s) and include a Cover Letter and a copy of your CV.

When posting your application, ensure there is sufficient postage.

These forms are in an OpenDocument format and may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. An accessible format may be requested by contacting us.

Send your completed application forms to:
Human Resources Team
British Antarctic Survey
High Cross, Madingley Road
United Kingdom

If you need more information

Email: [email protected]
Telephone: +44 (0)1223 221400
Facsimile: +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.