Scientific Data Manager

Job reference:
BAS 21/53
Contract type:
Fixed-Term Appointment (9 Months)
£31,305 to £39,132
We offer generous benefits
British Antarctic Survey
Cambridge, but we will consider applications for remote working with regular visits to Cambridge for project reviews.
Closing date:
14 March, 2021 11:59 pm

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, please note there may be delays to our recruitment timeline.


British Antarctic Survey are looking for a Scientific Data Manager to facilitate effective data management for two UK overseas territories. The successful candidate will work on an exciting new collaboration with the Government of Tristan da Cunha to develop a data repository for Tristan da Cunha environmental data and make these data accessible via a web portal. They will also continue development of a variety of databases and web interfaces to help the Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands manage their environmental, fisheries and tourism data. This role would suit someone with good data management skills, who enjoys liaising with stakeholders and providing solutions that meet their needs.

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. British Antarctic Survey is a component of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). NERC is part of UK Research and Innovation (

The UK Polar Data Centre (PDC) is the focal point for Arctic and Antarctic environmental data management in the UK. Part of the NERC Environmental Data Service and based at BAS, it coordinates the management of polar data from UK-funded research and supports researchers in complying with national and international data legislation and policy. We are a small friendly team comprising specialist data managers, software developers and web developers passionate about Open Data and ensuring that data collected today will be understandable and usable long into the future. Find out more about our work at


This role involves data management work for two external contracts that the UK Polar Data Centre has with governments of two UK Overseas territories – Tristan da Cunha and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. The aim of the Tristan work is to establish a long-term repository for Tristan da Cunha environmental data with a web portal to make data accessible and to initiate transfer of prioritised data into this repository. BAS has been working with the Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands for a number of years to help them manage their environmental, fisheries and tourism data. This role will help develop some new databases and interfaces for data entry, and data reporting, to support the environmental management of this territory.


Degree or higher in a biological or data management subject area (or equivalent)

MSc or higher in a scientific or information technology discipline would be desirable


1. The work on the Tristan da Cunha environmental data portal will include:

  • The design and implementation of an accessions workflow
  • Working with relevant stakeholders (e.g. RSPB, Tristan government staff) to support them in collating and documenting their data to enable it to be incorporated into the environmental data portal
  • Collating the agreed high priority data sets (in this phase of the project priority data are scientific data from three marine cruises that have taken place around Tristan)
  • The design of database tables to hold the collated datasets
  • The development of interfaces to provide access to these datasets that meet the needs of stakeholders

2. The work on the South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands data portal will include the design of databases and data interfaces to support the management of the territory as a wildlife sanctuary. This will include areas such as biosecurity, recording permitted activities, management of exported material, recording of animal entanglements and vessel bird strikes

3. Any other duties appropriate to banding and skill set as required by the Head of the PDC or the BAS Director

Please quote reference: BAS 21/53
Publication date: 19 February 2021
Closing date for receipt of application forms is: 14 March 2021
Interviews are scheduled to be held: To be confirmed

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 and will provide necessary adaptations for the interview. 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

  • Proficient in written and spoken English language. - Essential
  • Ability to clearly report progress against an agreed work plan - Essential
  • Experience of presenting outputs (oral and poster) to national and international audiences - Desirable [2]

Computer / IT skills

  • A good range of computing/IT skills demonstrated with specific examples in the application - Essential
  • Experience of the Unix or Linux environment - Desirable [3]
  • Programming skills in one or more languages - Desirable [2]
  • Experience of relational database development - Desirable [1]
  • Experience of software packages relating to the processing and/or management of scientific data (e.g. Matlab) - Desirable [3]
  • Understanding of GIS principles and experience of ESRI’s ArcGIS - Desirable [4]
  • Experience of using common scientific data standards and transfer formats such as NetCDF.or scientific markup languages. - Desirable [3]
  • A knowledge of discovery metadata standards such as ISO19115 - Desirable [4]

Decision Making

  • Demonstrated ability to prioritise tasks when presented with a range of options. - Essential
  • Ability to work independently once fully trained in the role - Essential
  • Demonstrated ability to assess datasets suitability for long term archiving - Desirable [3]

Interpersonal skills

  • Experience of working successfully within a small team in addition to communicating with external stakeholders. - Essential
  • Good negotiation and persuasion skills - Essential

Other Factors

  • Evidence of high levels of attention to detail in a previous role - Essential


  • Degree or higher in a biological or data management subject area (or equivalent) - Essential
  • MSc or higher in a scientific or information technology discipline - Desirable [2]

Skills / Experience

  • Demonstrable experience of data management within a previous role - Essential
  • Specific evidence of working with, or managing, biological/marine data - Desirable [1]
  • A knowledge of current UK legislation relating to access to information. - Desirable [4]

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:

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.