Head of Information Technology

Job reference:
BAS 21/129
Contract type:
Full Time
Open-Ended Assignment
£50,702 - £64,786 per annum.
We offer generous benefits
ICT team
Closing date:
28 November, 2021 11:59 pm


The British Antarctic Survey are looking for a Head of Information Technology.

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 provide the leadership, strategic vision, and management of the BAS IT team to support the delivery of world-class Science in some of the most inhospitable places on Earth, at the limits of human and equipment performance.

We anticipate the post holder will set the IT agenda, driving improvement, ensuring all aspects of our IT infrastructure and IT services in Cambridge, on stations, on ships, and when deployed, are fit for purpose, now and into the future.

This role is fundamental to our organisation by supporting the technologies, computing infrastructures, and data services that underpin BAS as a global leader in polar research science. The technology function delivers a safe, responsive, and reliable service 24/7/365 critical for our operational and life support services for staff in dispersed, isolated, and exposed locations.


HNC/HND in a computing / engineering industry qualification or equivalent experience.


  • Advise the Director and the executive team on the future digital and IT technology strategies and capabilities required to support >500 employees and partners underpin the delivery of the BAS science.
  • Accountable for annual Technology budget of circa £1m.
  • Delivery of Innovation and Operational objectives, specifically the Information Systems Governance and Digital Strategy Transformation workstreams.
  • Lead the BAS IT group as a cohesive, capable, and well-supported team, delivering a secure and reliable service to meet BAS needs.
  • Maintain and develop a reliable, effective, and secure digital infrastructure for both current and future needs.
  • Ensure that BAS keeps abreast of relevant sector developments to ensure maximum use is made of appropriate technology to deliver coherent solutions to issues.
  • Foster positive relationships, effective communication, and engagement between the IT team and all BAS users.
  • Ensure the IT team is accessible and understands the current and future needs of different parts of BAS.
  • Manage, develop, and coach six direct reports across Networking, Linux, Service Desk, Transformation, O365, and Business Systems.
  • Visible leader to 27 FTE dispersed across Cambridge, the Arctic, the Antarctic, RSS Sir David Attenborough.
  • Co-ordinate BAS’s relationships with key partners/collaborators and other stakeholders across the digital data and technology community, including effective engagement with NERC-UKRI data teams. Represent BAS at all UKRI, NERC and external forums on matters relating to IT and governance.
  • Identify, scope, and deliver the projects and resources required to support operational output.
  • Properly manage staff, supervising, guiding & advising as necessary to ensure their professional and personal effectiveness; run an effective appraisal system.
  • Prepare annual budgets, monitor and report as required. Ensure the department operates within allocated resource and capital limits.
  • Prepare, review, and maintain up to date plans, procedures and policies that ensure:
  • Cost-effective operational delivery
  • Compliant with relevant rules, regulations, and best practices.
  • Emergency procedures, incident response and resources are fit for purpose.
  • Work collaboratively with colleagues to formulate strategy and deliver a plan to enable audits, inspections, reviews, and follow up actions.
  • Be a champion for change and actively seek new ways to improve working practices.

Please quote reference for any queries: BAS 21/129
Publication date: 29 October 2021
Closing date for receipt of application forms is: 28 November 2021
Interviews are scheduled to be held on: 14 December 2021

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

  • Able to communicate proficiently and persuasively in all media, as appropriate for the audience. - Essential

Decision Making

  • Make complex and high value engineering and operational decisions. - Essential
  • In a deployed, safety critical setting. - Desirable [2]

Interpersonal skills

  • Able to interact effectively with a wide range of staff. - Essential

Managerial ability

  • Proven leadership and management experience. - Essential
  • Able to contribute to a team as well as delegate effectively. - Essential
  • Experience of remote management of staff and work programs. - Desirable [1]

Numerical ability

  • Able to process budgetary data and present cost analysis information. - Essential

Other Factors

  • Ability to respond quickly to change and encourage others to engage in the change process. - Essential
  • Clear evidence of being a champion for lasting change. - Desirable [2]


  • HNC/HND in a computing / engineering industry qualification or equivalent experience. - Essential
  • Degree in a relevant engineering discipline. - Desirable [3]

Resource Management ability

  • Proven record of managing budgets and resources for large infrastructure projects. - Essential

Skills / Experience

  • Extensive knowledge of information and communications engineering and implementation. - Essential
  • Able to demonstrate practical experience of project management of large infrastructure projects or equivalent. - Essential
  • Evidenced success of turning strategic aims in to day-to-day delivery on the ground. - 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.