Scientific Assistant – Antarctica

Job reference:
BAS 23/19
Contract type:
Antarctic Contract
Antarctic Winter (15 Months with possibility of extension to 27 Months).
£23,937 per annum initially. Additionally, upon completion of a successful tour, you will receive a 10% bonus on your Antarctic Service.
We offer generous benefits
Antarctic employment pool team
Closing date:
31 March, 2019 11:59 pm


The British Antarctic Survey (BAS), part of the Natural Environment Research Council, aims to undertake a world-class programme of scientific research, and to sustain for the UK an active and influential regional presence and a leadership role in Antarctic affairs.

There is currently a vacancy for a Scientific assistant (fisheries biology) to work at the applied fisheries research laboratory at King Edward Point (KEP) on the sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia. The successful candidate will assist with the laboratory and field-based research programme undertaken by BAS on behalf of the Government of South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands (GSGSSI). You will be required to undertake biological sampling of the inshore waters of South Georgia using a variety of techniques such as plankton nets and recorders. Laboratory work will include the analysis of specimens from the inshore sampling programme and the commercial fishery. The work will be focused on the commercially important Patagonian toothfish and mackerel icefish but will include research on a range of other associated species and bycatch. Feeding ecology, distribution, growth and reproductive ecology are the main research areas where you will be expected to provide data that help to underpin the sustainable management of fish resources at South Georgia. You will be required to participate in ship-based surveys of the commercially important resource species of South Georgia and could be asked to spend time at sea on commercial fishing vessels acting as a scientific observer. The day to day management of the laboratory facilities is an important element of the post. You will help to prepare data and reports as required and produce scientific papers for publication in peer-reviewed journals where appropriate.

The applied fisheries research laboratory at King Edward Point, South Georgia opened in March 2001 following the departure of the military garrison from the island. The station boasts well-equipped analytical and wet laboratories, a scientific library and modern computer facilities linked to the BAS headquarters in Cambridge. A high quality, accommodation block provides comfortable living conditions for the personnel on station. Over winter the station has a BAS complement of eight: - two scientists and five support staff including a doctor and a two boatmen. The station personnel also provide logistical support for the GSGSSI Marine Officers and the South Georgia Museum located at the abandoned whaling station at Grytviken.

The post is based at South Georgia and is a fixed term appointment of up to 27 months (with approximately up to 24 months continuously at South Georgia). You will work alongside the zoological field assistant at KEP and report to the science manager at BAS, Cambridge. You will also be responsible for the implementation of Health and Safety regulations on the station and in the field.


To assist with all aspects of the laboratory and field-based research programme undertaken by BAS on behalf of the Government of South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands. To undertake biological sampling of the inshore waters of South Georgia using a variety of techniques and to analyse samples in the laboratory.


Applicants should have a good degree in marine biology, fisheries science or a related subject and have fieldwork experience of sampling techniques for marine fauna. They should also be numerate and possess computer/IT skills and have experience of data handling and analysis. Experience of marine aquarium systems would be an advantage. Previous experience of small-boat handling and working at sea is desirable. You may be required to work at sea on fishing vessels as an international scientific fisheries observer and must be a UK passport holder to fulfil this role.


- To assist with all aspects of the implementation of the fisheries research programme at King Edward Point, South Georgia.
- To undertake both laboratory and field research and participate on ship-based scientific surveys.
- To maintain live specimens within the controlled temperature facility.
- To assist with the update of the scientific database.
- To prepare data and reports as required and produce scientific papers for publication in peer-reviewed journals where appropriate.
- To undertake other duties as required by the Director of BAS.

On-line application forms and further information are available on our website at

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 23/19

Closing date for receipt of application forms is: 31st March 2019
Interview date: 26th June 2019
Proposed start date: Summer 2019

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 part-time or full-time employment as well as flexible hours due to caring or other commitments.

You will need to be physically capable and medically fit to work in Antarctic conditions.

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

  • Fluent in written and spoken English language. - Essential
  • Accurate reporting to deadlines. - Essential
  • Instructions to co-workers and feedback to managers must be clear and unambiguous. - Essential
  • Scientific report/paper writing. - Desirable [2]

Computer / IT skills

  • Degree standard computing and IT. - Essential
  • Experience of statistical and or GIS software applications. - Desirable [2]

Interpersonal skills

  • Ability to mix positively with others in an isolated work place. - Essential
  • Ability to work remotely with minimum supervision as part of a small isolated team. - Essential

Managerial ability

  • Must be able to manage own time effectively. - Essential
  • Must be able to manage own time effectively. - Essential

Numerical ability

  • Degree standard numeracy. - Essential
  • Some applied experience of biometrics and statistics. - Desirable [2]

Other Factors

  • Must be fit and physically able to work at sea on research surveys. - Essential


  • Science degree in Marine Biology/Zoology (or equivalent). - Essential
  • A masters degree in applied marine biology. - Desirable [1]

Resource Management ability

  • Basic laboratory management. - Desirable [4]
  • Awareness of risk management. - Desirable [4]

Skills / Experience

  • Marine Biology background. Interest in fisheries related science. - Essential
  • Experience of fisheries science or resource management. At-sea Fieldwork experience. Some aquarium experience would be beneficial. - 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.

Apply Online:

Apply by post:

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.