Station General Assistant

Job reference:
BAS 21/22
Contract type:
Antarctic Contract
Summer (9 Months)
£24,685 per annum initially. Additionally, upon completion of a successful tour, you will receive a bonus of up to 10%.
We offer generous benefits
Antarctic employment pool team
Antarctica (Rothera)
Closing date:
31 March, 2021 11:59 pm

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


British Antarctic Survey (BAS) is seeking to appoint a station general assistant (SGA) at Rothera Research Station on the Antarctic Peninsula during the austral summer season to undertake outdoor support duties. SGAs form a component of the operational support teams, under the purview of the Station Logistics Manager, which are critical to maintaining an efficient and functioning station.

Antarctica is the coldest and most isolated continent in the world, providing a unique and spectacular experience. Candidates must be comfortable working in an outdoor environment, with periods spent away from the station at isolated depot sites. Tasks are broad-ranging, physically demanding, involve the use of machinery and vehicles, and require the individual to operate with minimal supervision as part of a small team.

A core responsibility for SGAs is managing the waste-handling facility, which is key to ensuring all waste produced is segregated and processed for return to the UK in line with environmental policies. SGAs also play a central role in handling cargo, by air or by sea, especially during station relief operations. Other routine tasks during the tour may involve riding Ski-Doos, participating in station emergency response teams, flying on small aircraft to field locations or sailing through the pack ice on an ice-strengthened ship.

This position is suitable for those seeking a challenging role in support of polar science, with opportunities to appreciate stunning coastal scenery and the wildlife inhabiting this amazing continent.

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 as well as keep the 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 (Primarily this is BMI at or above 30, age over 60 years old, or a history of smoking). The assessment is done confidentially by our Medical Unit and the criteria might be subject to change.
• You might be required to quarantine two weeks prior to your deployment, and you might sail to Antarctica on our polar ship.

All applications will be checked at point of application by BAS staff 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.


To undertake station general support activities including: waste management, cargo preparation and handling, field depot staffing, aircraft support duties when required, and site tidying. Possible additional tasks involve boating support and field support as deemed suitable for the candidate.


• Waste management associated with running the station and occasional similar tasks at field sites.
• Manual work associated with station depots and station clean-up tasks.
• Report writing for the above activities.
• Completion of all necessary waste and cargo consignment documentation.
• Vehicle operations as required & according to training.
• Assist in general station running and domestic duties, and any other tasks detailed by the Station Leader.
• Fire cover.

Head SGA opportunity

There is a requirement to appoint a head SGA at Rothera, who is responsible for managing the team of general assistants on station. The head SGA is locally supervised by the Station Logistics Manager and is selected from the pool of SGAs, after all the successful candidates have been identified. To be considered for this additional responsibility, candidates must provide evidence of supervisory experience at interview.

Additional responsibilities include:

  • Perform team supervision while reporting to SLM. Conduct supervisor appraisals of peers for Station Leader. Chair team meetings.
  • Training and quality assurance of peers (other SGAs), e.g. waste management and machinery operation.
  • Distribution of workload across the team and task management.
  • Production of closure reports for field sites and end-of-year report with recommendations.
  • Lead on waste cargo packing (including dangerous goods) and liaison with station management for bills of lading.
  • Lead on air unit liaison for air cargo requirements.
  • Stock management and submission of resupply indents.

The head SGA is liable to receive a supervisory and responsibility allowance (SRA) for the duration of the appointment.

Please quote reference: BAS 21/22

Publication date: 8 January 2021
Closing date for receipt of application forms is: 31 March 2021
Interviews are scheduled to be held: 25 May 2021

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.

Skills are listed as either Essential or Desirable. Desirable skills importance rating in parenthesis (1 is high, 5 is low)

Communication skills

  • Fluency in written and spoken English language - Essential
  • Ability to fill in cargo documentation - Desirable [3]

Computer / IT skills

  • Basic word processing for writing reports on activities - Essential
  • Basic spreadsheet (MS Excel) skills - Essential

Decision Making

  • Able to act on own initiative - Essential

Interpersonal skills

  • Able to work harmoniously within a team - Essential

Managerial ability

  • Able to self-manage and motivate in order to achieve deliverables - Essential
  • Ability to lead a small team in a remote location - Desirable [2]

Numerical ability

  • Able to maintain stock control - Essential
  • Perform calculations for cargo (shape, space and measures) - Essential

Other Factors

  • Trade skills, i.e. ability to take on a broad range of tasks - Desirable [1]

Resource Management ability

  • Able to account for project resource requirements - Essential
  • Able to manage inventories - Essential

Skills / Experience

  • Driving skills - Essential
  • Manual handling - Essential
  • Waste handling - Essential
  • Stock management - Essential
  • Remote team working - Desirable [1]
  • ISO container packing - Desirable [2]
  • Field work knowledge - Desirable [3]
  • Large vehicle operation, e.g. telescopic handler, tractor - Desirable [3]
  • Environmental work or training - Desirable [3]
  • Working with power tools - Desirable [2]
  • COSHH knowledge - Desirable [3]
  • Knowledge of construction industry - Desirable [3]

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.