Senior Freshwater Fisheries Scientist

Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science

Closing date: 27 Oct 2017

Reference number



£34,040 - £40,049


Senior Executive Officer

Contract type


Business area


Type of role

Environment and Sustainability

Working pattern

Flexible working, Full-time, Job share, Part-time



Number of posts



Lowestoft, Eastern

About the job

Job description

The post provides an opportunity to join an internationally respected, dynamic and active team conducting R&D and leading work on fisheries science, assessments and management advice on diadromous and freshwater fish stocks.
The Salmon and Freshwater team advises the UK government, agencies, the EU and ICES on the management of freshwater (native and non-native) and diadromous fish stocks, associated fisheries and other anthropogenic pressures. The principal drivers for the management of these stocks are directly linked to UK Government Policy, EU and UK legislation and agreements adopted by the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organisation. Pressures on freshwater and transitional ecosystems continue to grow, especially with competing demands for water resources, exacerbated by environmental change. Our advice is underpinned by a substantial R&D portfolio. Over recent years, our investigations have embraced a wide range of disciplines and research areas, including: ecological studies and modelling; behavioural, physiological and endocrinological investigations; environmental impact assessments; the application of new techniques such as eDNA and stable isotopes; development of stock assessment methods; population dynamics; risk assessment; and furthering our understanding of environmental and biological processes. Much of this work has been done to provide a robust evidence base in support of policy challenges and in support of Defra, but a range of investigations addressing local and national issues have been completed for other customers.
The post holder would be expected to develop and manage scientific investigations in the above, or related, areas and, in time, guide and direct the Team’s portfolio of research work to underpin our advice to Defra and other national and international bodies. The post would require participation in field investigations and travel, including overseas.


Duties will include:
• Initiating and developing science on diadromous and freshwater fish to support policy and industry customers.
• Planning and leading field- and laboratory-based investigations of diadromous and freshwater fish and the factors affecting populations;
• Analysing and interpreting data, including potential development of novel analytical approaches;
• Producing peer-reviewed research publications and communicating research findings at conferences and symposia;
• Preparing reports to meet customer deadlines and in support of evidence-based policy advice;
• Contributing to, and in time leading on, the development of new research projects and the strategic planning of research themes.


The job holder must be numerate, adaptable and have an ability to absorb and apply new knowledge rapidly.

Essential skills:
• Strong scientific background, preferably in fish and fisheries;
• Experience of running laboratory and field-based research;
• Good numerate skills with a demonstrable understanding of biological systems, statistics, graphical methods and, ideally, model development;
• Track record of publishing in peer-reviewed literature;
• Experience of writing successful research proposals and project management;
• Flexible and able to work as part of a team, but with the ability to lead in the future development and management of research projects;
• Excellent communication / presentation skills, attention to detail and time management with a proven ability to deliver to deadlines.

• Experience of undertaking field investigations, preferably in the aquatic environment.

Person specification

Please describe how your skills and experience align with those given in the job description.


Preferably a Masters degree, a PhD, or equivalent experience in an appropriate aquatic/marine ecology discipline such as fish ecology, biology or fisheries science.


We'll assess you against these competencies during the selection process:

  • Leading and communicating
  • Collaborating and partnering
  • Seeing the big picture
  • Science and Engineering - Applying Scientific and Technical Knowledge

Civil Service Competency Framework



Civil Service pension schemes may be available for successful candidates.

Things you need to know


Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.
Successful candidates must pass basic security checks.

Nationality statement

Candidates will be subject to UK immigration requirements as well as Civil Service nationality rules.

If you're applying for a role requiring security clearance please be aware that foreign or dual nationality is not an automatic bar. However certain posts may have restrictions which could affect those who do not have sole British nationality or who have personal connections with certain countries outside the UK.

Selection process details

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.

Nationality requirements

Open to UK, Commonwealth and European Economic Area (EEA) and certain non EEA nationals. Further information on whether you are able to apply is available here.


Candidates in their probationary period are eligible to apply for vacancies within this department.

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's recruitment principles.
The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equality of opportunity. There is a guaranteed interview scheme (GIS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

Apply and further information

Contact point for applicants or

Sift/interview dates and location

Interviews will be held at Cefas Laboratory, Pakefield Road, Lowestoft, Suffolk, NR33 0HT

Interview date to be confirmed.

Further information

If a person with disabilities is put at a substantial disadvantage compared to a non-disabled person, we have a duty to make reasonable changes to our processes.
If you need a change to be made so that you can make your application, you should:
• Contact Government Recruitment Service via as soon as possible before the closing date to discuss your needs
• Complete the “Assistance required” section in the “Additional requirements” page of your application form to tell us what changes or help you might need further on in the recruitment process. For instance, you may need wheelchair access at interview, or if you’re deaf, a Language Service Professional

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