Field Operations Manager

Job reference:
BAS 22/61
Contract type:
Full Time
Open-Ended Appointment
Starting from £39,748 to £50,790 per annum.
We offer generous benefits
Operational Teams
BAS Cambridge with periods in Antarctica
Closing date:
12 June, 2022 11:59 pm


The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) is looking for a Field Operations Manager to deliver BAS field activity and support the planning of deployed field work.

Who we are

British Antarctic Survey (BAS) delivers and enables world-leading interdisciplinary research in the Polar Regions. Its 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 its 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 to 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 amazing places, then British Antarctic Survey could be for you. We aim to attract the best people for those jobs.


  • To manage and safely deliver BAS field activity within the resources allocated.
  • To support the planning of deployed field work.
  • To line manage Field Guides and other operational staff involved in field science support and air support activities, as required


No formal qualifications required.


  • Deploy “south” to oversee the delivery of the agreed Field Programme
  • Ensure fieldwork is undertaken safely and efficiently
  • Coordinate, administer and lead in the delivery of all field-deployed activities
  • Coordinate delivery of scientists’ requirements within resources available
  • Input, as required/directed by Head of Field Operations, to the planning of the field
    programme and support to the wider Operations team
  • Undertake planning activities commensurate with the role including, but not limited to,
    calculations of air hours, payload, fuel burn, Field Guide requirements, safety
    equipment provision and terrain analysis
  • Work closely with the Chief Pilot to execute the programme plan safely and efficiently
  • Actively drive the development of field training, equipment and procedures
  • Manage the field budget, directing procurement of spares and equipment
  • Proactively explore ways in which field operations can be more environmentally
  • Research and assist with implementing innovative use of technology to reduce
    carbon footprint
  • To line manage field operations staff (including Field Guides, Tower Supervisor,
    Communications staff, Forecaster etc).
  • To play a full role in field and operational staff assessment, appraisal and
  • To organise and be responsible for the delivery of in-theatre and pre-deployment field
    training for all staff as required
  • Ensure appropriate field emergency plans and procedures are maintained and
    regularly exercised. Take a lead role in the management of major incidents,
    emergencies and difficulties as they arise.
  • Liaise with other National Programmes and polar operators as required for mutual
    support and collaboration
  • To undertake additional tasks as required by line management

Please quote reference for any queries: BAS 22/61
Publication date: 10/05/2022
Closing date for receipt of application forms is: 12/06/22
Interviews are scheduled to be held on: TBC

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)

Change Management

  • Experience of delivering organisational change - Desirable [3]

Communication skills

  • Able to convey complex information/plans in a concise and accessible way to non-specialists - Essential
  • The ability to chair meetings and provided minutes. - Essential
  • The ability to discuss personal and professional matters clearly and objectively. - Essential
  • A good level of writing skills for clear and concise routine report writing using PC. - Essential

Computer / IT skills

  • ICT confident and familiar with the Microsoft office tools and GIS software - Essential
  • Knowledge of a range of field comms equipment - Essential

Decision Making

  • Able to deliver operational success by effective, conservative decision making and sound judgement. - Essential
  • Able to deal with uncertainty and complexity in high pressure situations - Essential
  • Delivers high quality results against tight deadlines. - Essential
  • Experience of providing rapid emergency response in a variety of scenarios. - Desirable [3]

Finance Management

  • Able to set, deliver and monitor a budget and make sound management decisions - Essential

Leadership Ability

  • A credible and approachable leader capable of managing complex and dynamic situations and remaining calm and effective when under pressure. - Essential
  • Able to line manage multiple staff, often remotely - Essential

Personal Qualities

  • An engaging, flexible and dedicated person, who quickly gains people’s trust, inspires confidence and delivers results in line with cultural values. - Essential
  • Must be able to remain calm under pressure when dealing with complex, fast moving and dynamic situations - Essential
  • Must have good mediation skills and the ability to resolve conflicting resource demands. - Essential


  • No formal qualifications required - Essential
  • Educated to degree level or equivalent experience - Desirable [4]
  • Mountain Instructors Award and/or Certificate - Desirable [4]

Skills / Experience

  • Thorough understanding of polar operations, particularly field, air and ship operations. - Essential
  • Experience of deployed operations (ships, stations, field) - Essential
  • Practical experience living, working and travelling in the polar environment - Essential
  • Demonstrable experience of planning and delivering complex programmes of work - Essential
  • Experience of implementing safety management systems - Essential
  • Field skills teaching experience - Essential
  • In depth knowledge of field equipment, use and maintenance - Essential
  • Relevant experience gained in a similar context in other organisations - Desirable [1]
  • Experience of BAS’s own operations - Desirable [2]
  • Demonstrable mountaineering experience and competence in rock, ice and alpine - Desirable [3]
  • Experience of small boat operations and safety - Desirable [3]

Staff Management

  • Proven experience of managing staff at the team level. Able to lead and motivate a team to deliver high standards of service - Essential

Stakeholder Management

  • Must be able to deal with a wide range of stakeholders - Essential

Time Management

  • Able to maximise time efficiency and delegate tasks appropriately - Essential

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.