Ecosystem Scientist

Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science

Closing date: 25 May 2018

Reference number



£34,030 - £40,049


Senior Executive Officer

Contract type


Business area


Type of role

Environment and Sustainability
Project Delivery

Working pattern

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



Number of posts



Lowestoft, Eastern

About the job

Job description

Cefas is looking to appoint a new staff member to collaborate on and develop research into Marine Biodiversity and Ecosystem Function over a range of spatial scales (local, regional and global). We are especially interested in applicants with quantitative ecological training who are focused on supporting the development of an ecosystem approach to management. The scientist will apply and develop scientific concepts feeding into the development of indicators of Good Environmental Status and an integrated assessment framework.

The primary aim is to develop science feeding into assessments of ecosystem status (including biodiversity, commercial fish and shellfish and food webs). You will identify the impact of human activities on species and communities and further research the ecosystem processes (through statistical and/or mechanistic modelling) that help to maintain marine biodiversity. You will be expected to exploit existing Cefas and other data sets, databases and literature to synthesise information, and deliver these data through an online portal. You will apply techniques drawn from the fields of biogeography and macroecology to develop understanding of, for example, the distribution and sensitivity of commercial species and species of conservation concern, the effects of habitat loss on species, and the consequences of changes in management measures and climate change on species and habitats. You will benefit from interactions with Cefas scientists from a wide range of scientific disciplines. Over time, you will be expected to develop externally funded independent and collaborative research in related areas of community ecology, theoretical ecology and food web modelling.

Applicants from a variety of backgrounds including ecology, mathematics, statistics, physics and computer science are encouraged to apply. You will ideally be educated to PhD level with some post-doctoral experience in either food web modelling or indicator development. You should also have a published record of success in macroecology or a closely related field and experience of project management. You should have effective communication skills with the ability to present findings, IT literacy including data analysis, good team working and problem-solving skills, and the ability to plan workload and programmes.

Person specification

Please give details of your experience and its relevance to the job description.


PhD, or equivalent, with some relevant post-doctoral experience in food web modelling or indicator development.


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

  • Leading and communicating
  • Collaborating and partnering
  • Making effective decisions
  • Seeing the big picture
  • 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 the volume of applications an initial sift may be conducted on the lead competency Leading and Communicating, candidates must pass this competency for their application to be progressed.

You should be aware that you may be assessed on your relevant experience as well as the listed competencies.

Cefas is unable to contribute to interview expense.

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.

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

Sift/interview dates and location

Sift and interview dates to be confirmed.

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

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 access at interview, or if you’re deaf, a Language Service Professional

Applicants who are successful at interview will be, as part of pre-employment screening subject to a check on the Internal Fraud Database (IFD). This check will provide information about employees who have been dismissed for fraud or dishonesty offences. This check also applies to employees who resign or otherwise leave before being dismissed for fraud or dishonesty had their employment continued. Any applicant’s details held on the IFD will be refused employment.

If you feel your application has not been treated in accordance with the Recruitment
Principles and you wish to make a complaint, in the first instance, you should contact
Government Recruitment Services via email:

If you are not satisfied with the response you receive from the Department, you can
contact the Civil Service Commission at

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