Senior Marine Litter Scientist

Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science

Closing date: 20 Jul 2018

Reference number



£34,040 - £40,049


Senior Executive Officer

Contract type


Business area


Type of role

Environment and Sustainability
Operational Research
Project Delivery
Social Research

Working pattern

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



Number of posts



Weymouth, South West, DT4 8UB : Lowestoft, Eastern, NR33 0HT

About the job

Job description

Cefas is looking for 2 highly-motivated experts to collaborate on and develop research on the sources, fate and effects of plastic litter in the oceans. The scope of the research is broad, including ecological, social and economic aspects.


The primary aim is to develop solution-driven research concerning questions of the risks marine litter poses for the health of the marine environment, associated risks to humans and the management of that risk. This includes, for example, examining waste management procedures, physical and biological facets of degradation, interaction with chemicals, toxic effects on marine biota, bioaccumulation and trophic transfer up the food chain (including humans) and socio-economic impacts. Successful candidates will be encouraged to contribute at all stages of research (inception, design, analysis and dissemination).

The post-holder will join the Cefas marine litter team where, in addition to pursuing their research interests, they will contribute to the delivery of existing project work and provide leadership and mentoring support to the team. Successful candidates will be able to carry out independent curiosity-driven research and will be free to develop their own ideas in line with existing project requirements.


Applicants from a variety of backgrounds including ecology, molecular biology, chemistry, statistical and ecosystem modelling, social sciences and economics, and waste management are encouraged to apply. Knowledge of environmental testing, methodologies applicable to waste management and waste legislation would be advantageous as would experience in facilitating workshops.

Applicants should be highly-motivated with a strong publication or professional record commensurate with their career stage. They should have excellent written, verbal, IT and inter-personal communication skills and demonstrated abilities to work as part of collaborative teams. A demonstrated ability to effectively network and consult and negotiate with a wide range of stakeholders and external agencies are also required for these posts.

The successful candidates will benefit from interactions with Cefas research scientists, technologists and advisors, providing evidence used to conserve the aquatic environment, promote sustainable management of its natural resources and protect the public from aquatic contaminants.

Person specification

Please show how your previous skills and experience will enable you to meet the requirements of the job description.


The academic qualifications required for direct entry to this Cefas Pay Band 6 post are a higher degree and a PhD in a relevant subject or, relevant professional experience.


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

  • Leading and communicating
  • Collaborating and partnering
  • Making effective decisions
  • Science and Engineering - Securing, Maintaining and Developing Relevant Technical Expertise
  • Science and Engineering - Applying Scientific and Technical Knowledge
  • Science and Engineering - Overseeing the Technical Work of Others

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

Candidates should be aware that they may be assessed on their relevant skills and experience as well as the listed competencies.
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

Cefas is unable to contribute to interview expenses.

Sift/interview dates and location

Sift and interview dates and location to be confirmed.

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

Share this page