Head of Finance

Job reference:
BAS 21/151
Contract type:
Full Time
Open Ended Appointment
Salary from £50,702 to £64,786 per annum.
We offer generous benefits
Finance team
BAS Cambridge
Closing date:
23 January, 2022 11:59 pm


British Antarctic Survey are seeking an enthusiastic Head of Finance to support the delivery of world-class Science by offering effective and efficient financial advice, analysis, reporting and initiatives to all levels of BAS management and staff.

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 www.ukri.org 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 ensure British Antarctic Survey financial resources of c. £110m pa are managed with regularity and propriety to support the delivery of world-class Science in some of the most inhospitable places on Earth.

To ensure delivery of effective and efficient financial advice, support, analysis, reporting and initiatives to all levels of BAS management and staff, and to drive improvement in financial management across the organisation.


  • CCAB qualified with 5 years post qualification experience working in organisations with complex financial services
  • Substantial experience in a financial management role


• Drive and support a culture of strong financial management in British Antarctic Survey
• Lead and manage the Finance and Contracts team (12 staff members) to provide accounting services, budget planning and management services, transactional support and business partnering for an organisation with an annual budget of approx. £110m.
• Support BAS to bring activity planning into balance with available resources, including identifying options and brokering resolution between key parties to manage potential deficit situations effectively
• Advise the Director and the Executive Team on the financial performance of BAS, including producing and presenting regular update reports, and providing analysis and advice on specific issues
• Manage relationships with key financial stakeholders, in particular the Natural Environment Research Council –UKRI (BAS’s parent organisation and main source of funding), and BAS budget-holders to proactively surface and manage information flow about in year challenges and to negotiate resolutions.
• Develop and implement policies and procedures to control and manage the use of resources and safeguard public money, including full engagement in audit and assurance activity.
• Ensure that financial resource implications of major transformation programmes (eg the ongoing Antarctic Infrastructure Modernisation Programme) are modelled, understood and prepared for.
• Manage change effectively, including projects to improve financial management across BAS; to develop and embed new systems; to integrate major programme spend within BAS financial management processes.
• Lead the BAS response to UKRI/NERC or wider Government initiatives, including: the response to Covid-19, Comprehensive Spending Reviews, Audits and Year End
• Take an active role on committees and boards to promote and assess financial considerations in decision making
• Deputise for the Director of Corporate Services, as appropriate
• Any other duties as required by the Director

Please quote reference for any queries: BAS 21/151
Publication date: 17 December 2021
Closing date for receipt of application forms is: 16th January
Interviews are scheduled to be held on: 01 February 2022

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)

Communication skills - a) oral skills b) written skills

  • Excellent communication skills, both verbal and in writing - Essential
  • Ability to convey complex accounting concepts in a straightforward manner to non-financial colleagues and provide sound advice and guidance - Essential

Computer / IT skills

  • Fully conversant with MS-office applications - Essential
  • Excellent working knowledge of financial accounting and management reporting systems (preferably with an integrated resource-based accounting system) - Essential
  • Knowledge of Oracle Financials - Desirable [2]

Decision Making

  • Experience of operating effectively in dynamic environments and using sound judgement, evidence and knowledge to arrive at accurate, expert and professional decisions and advice - Essential
  • Excellent general analytical and problem-solving skills to fully support the overall business delivery across UKRI, NERC and BAS - Essential

Interpersonal skills

  • Ability to persuade and influence effectively to ensure financial considerations are given due weight in organisational discussion and decision-making - Essential
  • Ability to build and maintain professional relationships across the wider organisation including with senior management and other stakeholders of various levels of seniority and disciplines - Essential
  • Evidence of providing training - Desirable [1]
  • Workshop facilitation - Desirable [1]

Managerial ability

  • Experience of staff management, activity planning, recruitment, development and succession planning - Essential
  • Ability to organise and prioritise workloads to meet deadlines, and to steer others to deliver to schedule - Essential

Numerical ability

  • Able to apply professional knowledge to carry out financial analyses and to develop and deliver useful strategic reporting - Essential
  • Strong attention to detail and high delivery standards - Essential

Other Factors

  • A team player with the ability to build and maintain a motivated team who work in a seamless way with colleagues across BAS and UKRI/NERC in support of mission delivery - Essential


  • CCAB qualified with 5 years post qualification experience working in organisations with complex financial services - Essential
  • Substantial experience in a financial management role - Essential
  • Evidence of continuous professional development - Desirable [1]

Skills / Experience

  • Management of financial activity/teams in a cross functional environment - Essential
  • Providing financial advice and guidance in a complex environment - Essential
  • Experience of steering decision-making and brokering resolutions in challenging financial situations - Essential
  • Preferably for a public sector, academic or research-based organisation - Desirable [1]

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.