Station Support Assistant – Antarctica

Job reference:
BAS 20/24
Contract type:
Antarctic Contract
Antarctic Summer (Up to 8 Months)
£24,272 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
Antarctica - Rothera Research Station
Closing date:
31 March, 2020 11:59 pm


British Antarctic Survey is offering a unique opportunity as Station Support Assistant in Antarctica (SSA).

What is it about?

Antarctica is the coldest and most isolated continent in the world. It’s also the most exhilarating, providing a unique and spectacular setting for our vital scientific research. By joining the team responsible for building and maintaining our facilities and equipment, you could play a crucial role in our success.

We are looking to appoint a Station Support Assistant to undertake all manner of domestic duties on station including catering duties, cleaning, waste handling and laundry.

Do you currently work in a similar role? If so this could be the job for you.

This is not your standard hotel or restaurant job. You will be a vital part of the station team. You will travel to Antarctica and as part of your day-to-day work ride skidoos, be part of the station emergency response teams, fly on small aircraft over the ice shelves or sail through the pack ice on one of our ice-strengthened ships. The work will be hard but the memories will last for a lifetime.

Head Station Support Assistant Opportunity

There is a requirement to appoint a head SSA at Rothera, who is responsible for managing the team of support assistants on station.  Additional duties include: rota management, training and supervision of new SSAs, quality monitoring, maintenance of documentation (SSA handbook, night watch SOPs, etc.), chairing of meetings in lieu of supervisor, leading on kitchen liaison, cleaning products stock management and indenting for resupply.

The head SSA is locally supervised by the Station Logistics Manager and is selected from the pool of SSAs, after all the successful candidates have been identified.  To be considered for this additional responsibility, candidates must provide evidence of supervisory experience at interview.

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

Who are we?

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. Through its 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 to 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 amazing places then British Antarctic Survey could be for you. We aim to attract the best people for those jobs.

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 amazing places then British Antarctic Survey could be for you. We aim to attract the best people for those jobs.


The team of chefs and station support assistants work together to provide catering and domestic support for the science, operations, support and construction teams on stations.


BICs (or equivalent) trained is desirable.


Station Support Assistant (SSA) duties will include among many:

  • Daily cleaning of all public areas, toilets & showers, corridors, and food stores.
  • Re-supply facilities with toilet paper, toothpaste, soap, shampoo.
  • Re-supply the mess areas with tea, coffee, milk, cereals, butter, biscuits & snacks etc. For mealtimes & tea breaks make up milk & juices, lay tables, operate dishwasher, clear tables.
  • Launder bed linen, towels & tea towels.
  • Launder cloths and work wear for the team.
  • Assist the chefs in re-supplying the kitchen stores.
  • Handle all kitchen & domestic waste from public areas. Bale or shred as required (involves the use of simple industrial machinery).
  • Bedroom change-overs between incoming and outgoing staff.
  • Assisting the chefs with food preparation.
  • Washing up after mealtimes and assisting the chefs with kitchen pots.
  • Tag-board and sign-out book oversight. Informing station management of people not returned by their due time.
  • General hands during cargo operations.
  • Night checks on key pieces of scientific and station infrastructure.
  • Night time radio cover for field parties.
  • Any other duties as required by the Station Management.

The SSA team will work a rolling rota to provide cover for both days and nights. The role will involve working up to two out of six weeks on night shift. Some of the above tasks overlap between the night and day duties which provides full cover throughout the working cycle as appropriate. Night watch is “dry” meaning no alcohol may be consumed.

Please quote the following reference for any queries: BAS 20/24
Closing date for receipt of applications form is: 31 March 2020
Interviews are scheduled to be held on: 15 June 2020

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

Decision Making

  • Able to prioritise tasks. - Essential
  • Ability to think and work methodically and take a systematic approach to work. - Essential
  • Ability to work on own initiative. - Essential

Interpersonal skills

  • Amiable and able to work as part of a close knit team. - Essential

Managerial ability

  • Ability to work without supervision. - Essential
  • Experience of training other staff. - Desirable [3]
  • Ability to organise workload and balance priorities. - Essential

Numerical ability

  • Basic numeracy. - Essential

Other Factors

  • Must be adaptable and reliable. - Essential
  • Must be able to pass a BAS medical. - Essential
  • Experience of living and working in remote environments. - Desirable [4]


  • BICs (or equivalent) trained. - Desirable [3]

Resource Management ability

  • Good time management skills. - Essential
  • Ability to meet deadlines. - Desirable [2]

Skills / Experience

  • Experience of domestic duties/cleaning in a professional capacity. - Essential
  • Ability to handle multiple domestic tasks. - Essential
  • Ability to manage routine tasks within set timescales. - Essential
  • Stock take/control experience. - Essential
  • Knowledge of COSHH regulations. - Essential
  • Good physical resilience, stamina and mobility including ability to reach, kneel and bend. - Essential
  • Ability to lift, push and pull required loads. - Essential
  • In the last 12 months held a professional cleaning role in hospitality industry for at least six months. - Essential
  • Waste management experience . - Desirable [4]
  • Food safety trained to level 2. - Desirable [3]
  • Experience in a Hotel or residential care facility. - Desirable [3]
  • Experience of a professional catering environment. - Desirable [3]
  • Experience of using domestic machinery . - 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:

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.