Marine Operations Assistant

Job reference:
BAS 22/32
Contract type:
Antarctic Contract
20 months comprised of 3 months UK pre-deployment training (Aug - Oct 2022) and 17 months Antarctic deployment (Nov 2022 – Mar 2024).
£25,179 per annum initially. Additionally, upon completion of a successful tour, you will receive a bonus of up to 10%
We offer generous benefits
British Antarctic Survey
Closing date:
31 March, 2022 11:59 pm


We are looking to appoint a Marine Operations Assistant to support year-round marine and terrestrial science projects, scientific SCUBA diving and small boat operations at our Rothera research station.

This role is ideally suited to experienced divers and powerboat handlers, providing a fantastic opportunity to support ground-breaking science. Typical projects involve marine wildlife surveys, deployment of data-loggers, collection of sediment samples and deployment of autonomous and remotely operated vehicles. Scientific diving operations continue year-round, predominantly deployed from small rigid inflatable boats (RIBs) and occasionally (when conditions allow) through sea ice.

Contributing to communal station duties on a rota basis forms a key part of the role. This includes cleaning, cooking and night-watch rounds (training will be provided).
Dive coxswain experience and the ability to deliver powerboat training (RYA Instructor) is desirable but not essential.

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 and 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. The assessment is done confidentially by our Medical Unit and the criteria might be subject to change.
  •  You will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19, more details will be confirmed closer to your appointment date using the most recent guidance from the government and our medical unit.
  •  You might be required to quarantine two weeks before your deployment, and you might sail to Antarctica on our polar ship.

All applications will be checked 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.


Working as a key member of the Rothera marine team (Boating Officer, Field Dive Officer, Marine Assistant, Marine Biologist) the Marine Operations Assistant will support a wide range of operational requirements to support science. These include maintenance and operation of small boats (RIBs); marine search and rescue (SAR) cover; transporting researchers and station staff to local islands; SCUBA diving operations; deployment and retrieval of scientific instruments and support to marine and terrestrial sampling operations.


HSE SCUBA (or HSE approved equivalent qualification); RYA Powerboat Level 2.


  •  Boat coxswain / marine SAR cover.
  •  SCUBA diver in support of scientific diving operations.
  •  Diving support (hyperbaric chamber operations, dive tender).
  • Assist Boating Officer and Field Dive Officer with planned preventative maintenance of boating and diving equipment.
  •  Support of marine water sampling operations and marine deployment / retrieval of scientific instruments (including autonomous and remotely operated vehicles).
  •  Communal station duties including cooking, cleaning and night watch rounds (on a rota basis) as required by the Station Leader.
  •  Other duties as directed by the Station Leader, Winter Station Leader or Deputy Station Operations Manager to ensure that BAS meets its objectives.

Additional Duties and Responsibilities – subject to qualifications and experience:

  • Dive Supervisor.
  •  Training of cox and crew (RYA instructor qualification required).
  •  Support to Bonner Lab Manager for winter oversight of lab facility.
  •  Processing of samples in the Bonner laboratory.

Please quote reference: BAS 22/31
Closing date for receipt of application forms is: 31st March 2022
Interviews are scheduled to be held: w/c 16th May 2022

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.

Antarctic deployment involves working in a remote and harsh environment where adaptations to working, living and recreation areas are not achievable to a level that might be expected in the UK. There is a Genuine Occupational Requirement to be physically capable of negotiating rough, icy and snowy terrain as well as being mentally resilient and medically fit.

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 scientists and support project planning - Desirable [1]
  • Report writing - Desirable [3]

Computer / IT skills

  • Basic word processing (reports) - Essential
  • Familiarisation with spread sheets and databases - Desirable [3]

Decision Making

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

Interpersonal skills

  • Team worker - Essential
  • Ability to work remote from UK manager - Essential
  • Able to work and live in a remote and isolated community, including involvement in communal tasks such as cleaning and cooking - Essential
  • Sense of proportion and appropriate behaviour within a small community - Desirable [2]

Managerial ability

  • Ability to motivate a small team - Desirable [3]

Numerical ability

  • Ability to calculate requirements for re-supply of stock - Essential

Other Factors

  • Must hold current (or be able to pass) HSE Dive Medical - Essential


  • HSE SCUBA (or HSE approved equivalent) - Essential
  • RYA Level 2 Powerboat - Essential
  • Marine VHF radio qualification - Desirable [4]
  • Diver First Aid - Desirable [4]
  • Chamber Operator - Desirable [5]

Resource Management ability

  • Ability to manage equipment and spares resourcefully - Essential

Skills / Experience

  • Competent small boat handler with experience of coastal water operations - Essential
  • Experienced SCUBA diver with 100+ logged dives (including 50+ cold water dives [less than 12oC]; 25+ drysuit dives) - Essential
  • Use of full face masks and comms - Desirable [1]
  • Experience of scientific diving - Desirable [1]
  • Knowledge of HSE Science and Archaeology ACOP - Desirable [4]
  • Experience of working with remotely operated (ROV) or autonomous vehicles - Desirable [4]
  • Outboard engine maintenance - Desirable [4]
  • Compressor operation - Desirable [4]
  • Hyperbaric chamber operation experience - Desirable [4]

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.