Field Guides – Antarctica

Job reference:
BAS 19/19
Contract type:
Antarctic Contract
Antarctic Summer (Approx. 6 Months) or Antarctic Winter (Approx. 18 Months).
£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


We now require Field Guides to assist scientific colleagues carrying out research in the polar environment whilst ensuring all field work and travel is carried out safely and efficiently. Of course, you'll also have to attend to many other duties, including assisting aircraft operations, organising camp sites, operating radio equipment and ensuring vehicles continue to work.

Practical, organised and unflappable, you'll have what it takes to work in the most challenging climate on Earth - enabling us to conduct successful scientific research across Antarctica.

Extensive experience of alpine mountaineering (Europe, or elsewhere) is a prerequisite. Mountain Instructors Certificate, Mountain Instructors Award are desirable.

Applicants should be active mountaineers (climbing, not hill walking) with at least five years’ experience of leading routes, during which they have done at least the following (or equivalent experience):
- Climbed more than 20 multi-pitch rock routes at the following grades or above: UK 5a/USA 5.7/UIAA V-/Australia 14.
- Climbed 10 multi-pitch winter/mixed routes at Scottish Grade 3 or above, or equivalent.
- Climbed 5 alpine routes on mixed and glaciated terrain at PD or above, in Europe or elsewhere (rock routes do not apply). Significant ski-mountaineering trips on glaciated terrain may be considered as a substitute.


To conduct scientific colleagues safely and efficiently within the polar environment both on continental ice shelves and glaciated mountainous regions. Field parties come under the charge of the Field Operations Manager, who is based at Rothera and to whom the Field Guides are responsible for the safety, efficiency and well-being of their parties. All duties should be carried out in accordance with the Field Operations Manual.


No essential formal qualifications required.


- To ensure the safety and well being of all members of the field party and manage all hazards in the field where practicable.
- To ensure all field work is carried out in accordance with the appropriated BAS procedures such as the travel regulations, the Field Operations Manual and other standard operating procedures.
- To support scientific colleagues in their field work and assist in whatever way possible.
- In conjunction with the Field Operations Manager, ensure field parties have sufficient equipment and supplies for a safe and efficient field trip.
- To report major problems to the Field Operations Manager when they arise.
- To plan and ensure the safe and efficient movement of the field party.
- The organisation of field parties’ camp site.
- To ensure completion of daily radio schedules whilst in the field, reporting on the field parties’ status.
- To maintain equipment in the field including snowmobiles & generators where practical.
- To organise and staff forward operating bases, remote field camps and depots to provide direct and indirect support for aircraft operations.
- To deliver field training to staff, assess trainees’ abilities and maintain training records.
- To provide Search and Rescue cover for BAS field operations.
- To compile a report at the end of each season detailing events of the field trip, and other observations useful for future field operations.
- To work with other staff to ensure that the operational and safety standards of BAS field work are maintained or improved.
- To renovate and prepare field equipment for the next season.
- To carry out stock takes and assist in the procurement of field equipment and supplies.
- To provide opportunities for staff recreation as approved by the FOM or Station Leader.
- To prepare and consign additional food and equipment requested by parties in the field through the Field Party Request system.
- To undertake general duties as required by the Field Operations Manager and/or Station Leader, which could include building maintenance, decorating, cargo work, fuelling and loading of aircraft.

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 19/19

Closing date for receipt of application forms is: 31st March 2019
Interview date: 14th, 15th and 16th May 2019
Proposed start date: Summer 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

  • Effective communications to team and base (sometimes remotely e.g. over HF Radio). - Essential
  • Outdoor skills teaching Experience. - Desirable [2]

Computer / IT skills

  • Basic knowledge of word processing and spreadsheet use. - Desirable [3]

Decision Making

  • Ability to make appropriate decisions about field safety in remote and potential hazardous environments. - Essential
  • Able to make decisions in conjunction with other members of staff (both on site and remote) and autonomously as required. - Essential

Interpersonal skills

  • One to one, as well as strong team working. - Essential
  • Ability to work as part of a small remote team for extended periods of time. - Desirable [1]

Other Factors

  • Physically capable & medically fit to work in Antarctic conditions. - Essential
  • Previous experience of physically demanding work. - Desirable [3]


  • Mountain Instructors Award. - Desirable [2]
  • Mountain Instructors Certificate. - Desirable [2]

Resource Management ability

  • Problem solving abilities both Practical and theoretical. - Essential
  • High level of competence with attention to detail. - Essential

Skills / Experience

  • Active alpine mountaineer with extensive experience of technical mountaineering in a broad range of remote environments. - Essential
  • Proficient in safely leading others on steep snow rock and ice. - Essential
  • Skills and experience to safely conduct groups across glaciated terrain. - Essential
  • Experience of exploratory expeditions to remote areas. - Desirable [2]
  • Experience of polar travel. - Desirable [3]
  • Practical skills/background. - Desirable [3]

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.