Physical Oceanographer

Job reference:
BAS 103/19a
Contract type:
Full Time
Fixed-Term Appointment (36 Months)
Starting salary from £30,782 to £38,478 per annum
We offer generous benefits
Science teams
Cambridge, with the possibility of one summer voyage to Antarctica
Closing date:
15 December, 2019 11:59 pm


The British Antarctic Survey is inviting applications for an observational physical oceanographer with a track record of interpreting and analysing observational polar oceanographic datasets. The successful candidate will use observational datasets and numerical model output to construct and test a dynamical framework explaining the circulation of the Weddell Gyre and its export of dense water to the global ocean.


This is a 36 month position for a suitably qualified postdoctoral researcher and will contribute to two projects funded by the European Commission H2020 programme and Natural Environment Research Council (NERC): SO-CHIC (Southern Ocean Carbon and Heat Impact on Climate) and ORCHESTRA (Ocean regulation of climate by Heat and Carbon sequestration and Transports).

These projects both require the assembly, analysis and synthesis of Weddell Sea datasets from a variety of platforms and national programmes. The postholder will need to demonstrate that they have training/experience in working with observational datasets from various sources and using them to examine regional ocean dynamics. They will work with in situ and satellite observations from a variety of platforms operated by project partners, including moorings, gliders, drifters, ship and seal hydrography and satellite altimetry. These will be combined alongside numerical model outp to provide a synthesis view of Weddell Gyre variability and change in response to external forcing. The combined datasets will be used to develop and test a gyre scale dynamical framework as well as to validate and tune models developed by partners within SO-CHIC. The dynamical framework will also need to integrate the impact of the Weddell polynya upon gyre circulation, and the candidate will need to work alongside SO-CHIC and ORCHESTRA collaborators explicitly modelling the region.

The postholder will need a strong understanding of ocean dynamics, and specifically those relating to subpolar gyre circulation and Antarctic dense water formation and export. Additionally they will need a strong mathematical background and a track-record of delivering high-quality scientific results and disseminating them in leading journals, and at national and international conferences. Direct experience with mooring data and analysis of similar Southern Ocean or Weddell Sea in situ and satellite observations would be considered a significant advantage.


PhD in Ocean/Climate Dynamics or equivalent postgraduate experience


- Combine observational data to examine Weddell Gyre dynamics and interpret model output in the region.
- Attend SO-CHIC/ORCHESTRA project meetings and engage with associated project partners to deliver the project objectives
- Lead high-quality publications resulting from the project

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 103/19a
Closing date for receipt of application forms is: 15 December 2019
Interviews are scheduled to be held: Week commencing 27 January 2020

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 job sharing, to support childcare and other caring responsibilities.

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. Proven ability to present research effectively in written and oral form with examples of publication in leading journals - Essential
  • Able to communicate detailed technical information clearly and concisely to a range of stakeholders - Desirable [1]

Computer / IT skills

  • Experience in manipulating and analysing observational datasets. - Essential
  • Experience with Southern Ocean based datasets - Desirable [1]
  • Experience with model output manipulation and analysis. - Desirable [1]

Decision Making

  • Track record of independent research and associated decision making - Essential

Interpersonal skills

  • Able to work as part of a team within the SOCHIC/ORCHESTRA projects and across the EU partner institutions - Essential

Managerial ability

  • Ability to manage project workflow and balance time/resources between projects - Essential

Numerical ability

  • Strong numerical ability consistent with manipulating, analysing and interpreting sparse observational data from multiple sources. - Essential
  • Ability to manage and interpret large datasets, notably hierarchies of models at various resolutions. - Desirable [1]
  • Experience with adjoint modelling - Essential

Other Factors

  • Flexible and adaptable - Essential
  • Understanding of how BAS science fits in to a wider perspective - Desirable [2]


  • PhD in Ocean/Climate Dynamics or equivalent postgraduate experience - Essential

Resource Management ability

  • Able to manage resources to meet agreed objectives and deadlines - Essential

Skills / Experience

  • Excellent understanding of ocean and global climate dynamics - Essential
  • Very good competence of ocean data analysis and experience of interpreting numerical simulations, particularly focussing on geophysical fluid dynamics - Essential
  • Demonstrated understanding of Southern Ocean dynamics, particularly relating to subpolar gyre dynamics and their impact on larger scale circulation and heat/carbon export - Desirable [1]

You can apply for this job online or you can print off the application forms, fill them out by hand and mail them.

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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.