Antarctic Atmospheric Scientist

Job reference:
BAS 21/04
Contract type:
Antarctic Contract
Fixed Term Contract (Summer - 9 Months) Fixed Term Contract (Winter - 21 Months)
£24,685 per annum initially. Additionally, upon completion of a successful tour, you will receive a bonus of up to 10%.
We offer generous benefits
Antarctic employment pool team
Closing date:
31 March, 2021 11:59 pm

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


British Antarctic Survey is offering a unique opportunity as Antarctic Atmospheric Scientist in Antarctica.

What is about?

British Antarctic Survey (BAS) offers the opportunity for suitably qualified persons to join multi-disciplinary teams at Rothera (67°S, 68°W) station in Antarctica. This is science with a difference. As part of a small, highly motivated team, the successful candidate will be spending time 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.

Rothera 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.

Via external funding, a targeted programme of atmospheric aerosol/chemistry observations is being initiated at Rothera. 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.

The two appointments for Rothera will be for approximately 9 and 21 months, commencing in August 2021 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 2021 and returning in spring 2022 or spring 2023.
This will be a challenging and demanding opportunity to work in an extreme and isolated environment. 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.

Who we are

British Antarctic Survey (BAS) delivers and enables world-leading interdisciplinary research in the Polar Regions. Our skilled science and support staff based in Cambridge, Antarctica and the Arctic, work together to deliver research that uses the Polar Regions to advance our understanding of Earth as a sustainable planet. Through our extensive logistic capability and know how BAS facilitates access for the British and international science community to the UK polar research operation. Numerous national and international collaborations, combined with an excellent infrastructure help sustain a world leading position for the UK in Antarctic affairs. British Antarctic Survey is a component of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). NERC is part of UK Research and Innovation

We employ experts from many different professions to carry out our Science as well as keep the keep the lights on, feed the research and support teams and keep everyone safe! If you are looking for an opportunity to work with amazing people in one of the most unique places in the world, then British Antarctic Survey could be for you. We aim to attract the best people for those jobs.

COVID-19 update
• We have a responsibility to do everything that we can to ensure that BAS Ships and Stations remain COVID free and that staff are deployed safely and responsibly. Our medical screening for this season will therefore take account of the recognised factors that increase your risk of an adverse reaction to the coronavirus (Primarily this is BMI at or above 30, age over 60 years old, or a history of smoking). The assessment is done confidentially by our Medical Unit and the criteria might be subject to change.
• You might be required to quarantine two weeks prior to your deployment, and you might sail to Antarctica on our polar ship.

All applications will be checked at point of application by BAS staff and those without the right to work in the UK or without a realistic prospect of being able to acquire the right to work in the UK will not progress.

Please read the Applicants guide here before submitting your application.


The main responsibility of the job is to carry out the Atmospheric Science programme for the Station. This is the Meteorology programme and the Atmospheric Chemistry programme.


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


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)
• To maintain a suite of atmospheric science instruments.
• To organise and carry out the work in a safe and professional way.
• To keep all work areas in a tidy condition.
• To report major problems to the head of MOM when they arise.
• To maintain or repair faulty instrumentation when possible/appropriate.
• To request replacement stores in a timely fashion.
• To compile monthly and annual reports of the work undertaken.
• To work with other staff to ensure that the operational and safety standards of the base are maintained.
• To undertake general duties as required by the station leader.

Please quote reference: BAS 21/04

Publication date: 8 January 2021
Closing date for receipt of application forms is: 31 March 2021
Interviews are scheduled to be held: 26 April 2021

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.

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

Communication 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 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]

Other Factors

  • Have practical experience of atmospheric science equipment - Desirable [2]
  • 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 solve technical/scientific problems - Essential
  • Ability to encounter new scientific equipment and perform effective fault finding to board level in a short period of time - Desirable [2]
  • Ability to encounter new scientific equipment and perform effective fault finding on the basis of manuals provided - Desirable [2]
  • Experience of working in a remote location - Desirable [2]
  • Experience of working with atmospheric aerosol or 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:

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.