Principal Scientist Marine Chemistry

Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science

Closing date: 31 Jan 2019

Reference number



£45,386 - £54,824


Grade 7
Payband 7

Contract type


Business area


Type of role


Working pattern

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



Number of posts



Lowestoft, Eastern, NR33 0HT

About the job

Job description

An opportunity exists for a principal scientist in marine chemistry in the Radiological and Chemical Sciences (RACS) Group. The work area comprises a diverse group of scientists who provide high quality analytical chemistry support, data interpretation and scientific advice to a comprehensive portfolio of UK and international customers, including the UK Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs and its agencies, foreign governments and private companies in the marine environmental industry. The role requires an experienced, horizon scanning marine chemistry scientist who can develop Cefas’ portfolio in relation to our analytical chemistry services. This is an exciting opportunity to influence Cefas’ marine chemistry science and to expand the national and international portfolio of projects.

The key focus of this strategic recruitment is to develop our science excellence and lead our analytical chemistry services portfolio that is primarily concerned with chemical contaminants in various marine compartments

You will provide a technical lead to support the growth and development of our analytical chemistry services and ensure its future fitness-for-purpose. You will be required to build and maintain relationships with internal and external customers and monitor delivery performance from the bench through to the expected outputs whether it be advice, new methods, test results or research findings.

As a senior advisor, you will provide complex advice to a range of UK government and commercial customers, which will require in depth knowledge of contaminants chemistry, policy and UK/European legislation primarily concerned with the marine environment. There will be opportunities to contribute to our work in our growing overseas portfolio as well as contributing significantly to the direction and development of national and international funding opportunities and research proposals.

You will have the opportunity to use your existing network to promote Cefas’ science internally and externally and will contribute significantly to the development our marine chemistry science.

You will contribute to the development of innovations in our projects, advise on our science capability needs and contribute towards workforce planning. You will take an active role in developing highly competent scientists and will provide mentoring and technical developmental support to the analytical chemistry team members.

Person specification

• Significant, relevant experience as a scientific expert with recognition at national and international level.
• A chemical contaminants research background. Strong leadership and influencing skills
• The ability to innovate and develop strategic ideas.
• The ability to provide marine chemistry advice to a range of UK and international bodies.
• A successful track record of winning and delivering high quality marine chemistry projects.
• Experience of decision making to resolve complex problems, organise and prioritise effectively in a multi-task order to meet demanding deadlines
• including
• Experience of successful team working and effective management with the ability to enthuse, mentor and develop team members.
• Experience of laboratory management, maintaining safe working practices and quality management systems in laboratories
• You must be a skilled researcher with extensive experience of developing environmental analytical techniques, a broad working knowledge of contaminants chemistry in the marine environment and have an understanding of regulatory drivers and environmental assessments


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

  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Seeing the Big Picture

Technical skills

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

  • A higher degree or equivalent in a relevant subject
  • Knowledge of Environmental Policy and Legislation
  • Knowledge of Contaminants Chemistry
  • Communication Skills



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

This vacancy is using Success Profiles, and will assess your Behaviours, Strengths, Experience and Technical skills.
Please note depending on the volume of applications an initial sift may be conducted on the lead behaviour Communicating and Influencing, candidates must pass this behaviour 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.

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 Resourcing Team

Sift/interview dates and location

Sift and interview dates and location to be confirmed.
Interviews will be held at Cefas lowestoft NR33 0HT

Cefas does not contribute to interview expenses, however we are able to offer an initial interview via skype if candidates are unable to travel to Lowestoft

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

Any move to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) will mean you will no longer be able to carry on claiming childcare vouchers.

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:
Click here to visit Civil Service Commission

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