Survey Scientist

Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science

Closing date: 2 Jan 2018

Reference number



£21,920 - £25,529


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, NR33 0HT

About the job

Job description

Cefas is involved in a range of evidence-gathering activities to support government partners and commercial contracts. This vacancy will support in-field data acquisition to ensure and maintain high quality evidence provision and support for our excellent science. Field activities will include both intertidal and subtidal sampling. Such data will be used to explore the potential and realised risks to the marine environment from coastal infrastructure developments. Successful candidates will be required to develop a variety of field sampling techniques across a range of scientific disciplines and to travel nationally.

Main Duties and Responsibilities

Cefas is seeking a highly motivated and adaptable individual to support our on-going field monitoring activities across a range of scientific disciplines. The post holder will be required to work in the field, both intertidal and subtidal, with a variety of sampling gears. The work involves contributing to integrated programmes of marine physical, chemical and biological studies. Though the role will predominantly involve work at nearshore and coastal sites nationally, there may be the opportunity for offshore working on Cefas' Research Vessel, RV Endeavour, as well as internationally, as project needs dictate. The post holder will eventually be required to work autonomously in the field and be able to make in situ decisions to comply with health and safety regulations, whilst still maintaining data quality. The post holder should show good attention to detail and an understanding of the importance of data quality procedures but also have the confidence to make decisions that may require work to be stopped when it is no longer safe/viable to proceed.

The post holder will be required to travel regularly and should, therefore, be prepared to do so on a regular (monthly) basis. The trips are normally between one and two weeks in length but may, at times, be longer.

Demonstrable experience of marine field working would be advantageous, though terrestrial experience would also be considered relevant. The post holder will be required to work remotely at intertidal locations as well as be involved in small boat activities. While working on site at Lowestoft, the post holder will be required to undertake a variety of activities such as maintaining equipment, simple lab analysis and some reporting. This post requires an individual who has a strong work ethic and who can work as part of a successful team. With the varying nature of the work, Cefas is looking for an innovative individual who is able to learn quickly, and implement new field techniques to assist with our ever-expanding role.

Essential Criteria:

• Willingness to work remotely and autonomously in the field.
• Willingness to travel to national survey locations for up to a week at a time.
• Attention to detail and an understanding of the importance of data quality.
• Self-motivated and pro-active.
• Demonstrable experience of experimental and/ or monitoring field working (university or professional).

• Experience on small/ large vessels.
• Experience with intertidal survey techniques.
• Appreciation of in-field health and safety considerations.

Person specification

You must describe how your experience and skills meet the criteria given in the job description


Full UK/EU driving licence


Degree in an environmental science or equivalent discipline.


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

  • Making effective decisions
  • Managing a quality service
  • Delivering at pace
  • Science and Engineering - Securing, Maintaining and Developing Relevant Technical Expertise
  • 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

Please note depending on volume of applications an Initial Sift may be conducted on the Lead Competency, candidates must pass this competency for their application to be progressed.

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

For further information on this vacancy please contact:

Sift/interview dates and location

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

Interview date to be confirmed.

Cefas is unable to contribute to interview expenses.

Further information

Reasonable adjustment
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 or if you have a hearing impairment, a Language Service Professional

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