Field Dive Officer

Job reference:
BAS 21/23
Contract type:
Antarctic Contract
20 months comprised of 3 months UK pre-deployment training (Aug - Oct 2021) and 17 months Antarctic deployment (Nov 2021 – Mar 2023).
£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
Antarctica - Rothera
Closing date:
31 March, 2021 11:59 pm

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


We are looking to appoint a Field Dive Officer (FDO) to support scientific SCUBA diving operations at our Rothera research station. The FDO is responsible for the supervision and organisation of all diving activities at Rothera. Requests for diving are made through the FDO and the FDO must be present on site whenever a dive takes place.
This role is ideally suited to experienced research divers, providing a fantastic opportunity to support ground-breaking science. Typical projects involve marine wildlife surveys, deployment of data-loggers, collection of sediment samples and surveys of iceberg scour. Diving operations continue year-round and you may have the opportunity to dive under sea ice during the winter months.

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.


To manage SCUBA diving operations in support of science. The FDO is responsible for the supervision and organisation of all diving activities at and out of Rothera Station. All requests for diving are made through the FDO and the FDO must be present on site whenever a dive takes place.


HSE SCUBA (or HSE approved Equivalent)


• Ensure that diving activities are undertaken in a safe and efficient manner and that all diving operations follow the BAS relevant Standing Operating Procedures. The FDO reports to the Institute Diving Officer (IDO).
• Maintain all diving equipment and dive store fixed plant. Keep equipment and fixed plant maintenance records.
• Maintain accurate dive records including completion of the Dive Log database, signing of all diver logbooks and maintain the Diver Record form for each diver.
• Produce monthly and an annual report for the Institute Diving Officer/Line Manager.
• Be responsible for all on-site training and familiarisation related to diving activities.
• Be responsible for assessing the competency of divers and dive supervisors and has authority to withdraw permission to dive/supervise should the FDO judge a person not fit to dive.
• Liaise with relevant stakeholders and produce timely dive schedules in line with the science diving requirements. Scheduling dives includes coordinating with other support facilities resources such as boats or other transport, field or sea ice support staff and communications. Ensuring the schedule is produced in good time and circulated to relevant parties on site.
• Be fully compliant with the BAS Health & Safety Policy and Report Accidents, Incidents and Near Misses.
• Assist the IDO/Station Leader, as required, in developing working practices and written procedures for the BAS diving operation.
• Assist in general station duties including cooking, cleaning and night watch rounds (on a rota basis) as required by the Station Leader.
• Undertake other duties as necessary to ensure that BAS meets its objectives.

Please quote reference: BAS 21/23

Publication date: 8 January 2021
Closing date for receipt of application forms is: 31 March 2021
Interviews are scheduled to be held: 4 June 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

  • Fluent in written and spoken English language - Essential
  • Ability to liaise with Science Customer - Desirable [1]
  • Report writing - Desirable [3]

Computer / IT skills

  • Basic word processing for dive logs and reports etc. - Essential
  • Familiarisation with spread sheets & databases (for dive log) - Desirable [5]

Decision Making

  • Sound Judgement - Essential
  • Ability to take responsibility - Essential

Interpersonal skills

  • Team worker - Essential
  • Ability to work remote FM but work connected with UK manager - Essential
  • Sense of proportion & appropriate behaviour within a small community - Desirable [3]

Managerial ability

  • Ability to lead a small team - Essential
  • Ability to motivate a small team - Desirable [2]

Numerical ability

  • Numerical ability for calculation of dive tables, air consumption etc. - Essential

Other Factors

  • Ability to learn and reason - Essential
  • Flexibility in approach to work & people - Essential
  • Current Dive Medical - Essential
  • Knowledge of Dive tables - Essential
  • Boat handling experience - Desirable [3]
  • Knowledge of HSE Science & Archaeology ACOP - Desirable [3]
  • Polar or cold water experience - Desirable [3]


  • HSE SCUBA (or HSE approved equivalent) - Essential
  • Compressor Operations - Desirable [3]
  • Chamber ticket - Desirable [3]
  • Diver First Aid Qualification - Desirable [3]

Resource Management ability

  • Ability to manage a dive facility & equipment resource - Essential
  • Report writing - Desirable [3]

Skills / Experience

  • Dive planning and Organisation - Essential
  • General dive equipment maintenance - Essential
  • Familiarity with risk assessments - Essential
  • Hyperbaric chamber operations - Desirable [4]
  • Experience of scientific diving - Desirable [4]

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.