British Antarctic Survey is offering a unique opportunity as an Antarctic Atmospheric Scientist.

What is it about?

The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) offers the opportunity for suitably qualified persons to join multi-disciplinary teams at Rothera (67°S, 68°W) station in Antarctica. This is science with a difference. As part of a small, highly motivated team, the successful candidate will be spending time in the Antarctic. Life here is like nowhere else, so you must be ready to take on all the challenges that it offers. With the unparalleled beauty of the Antarctic, you will find this a profitable experience in more ways than one. The primary role of the successful candidate will be to make observations and to maintain and operate a suite of scientific instruments for studying the atmosphere and also to carry out quality assurance on the resulting environmental data.

Rothera station makes meteorological observations using an interactive, PC-based Automatic Weather Station, designed to facilitate data gathering and analysis and may make more frequent observations for aircraft. Regular upper air soundings are made using balloon-borne radio sondes. Additional observations and measurements are also made throughout the day.
Via external funding, a targetted programme of atmospheric aerosol/chemistry observations is being initiated at Rothera. The successful candidate will be responsible for maintaining the atmospheric science equipment in good working order, maintaining the quality of the data and managing its transfer to electronic storage. Each scientist is a member of a small multi-disciplinary team of scientists and support staff; and as such, they are expected to be adaptable and work on other programmes and to take their share of general base work. As the station is isolated for most of the year, the ability to work without detailed supervision and to solve problems as they arise is paramount.

Job reference: BAS 20/01
Contract type: Fixed-Term
Duration: 9 months (Summer) and 21 months (Winter)
Salary: £24,272 per annum initially. Additionally, upon completion of a successful tour, you will receive a bonus of up to 10%.
Benefits: We offer generous benefits
Team: Antarctic employment pool team
Location: Antarctica – Rothera
Closing date: 31 March, 2020 11:59 pm

The two appointments for Rothera will be for approximately 9 and 21 months, commencing in August 2020 in Cambridge. The successful candidate will undertake appropriate specialist training in all aspects of the job, prior to travelling to the Antarctic in the autumn of 2020 and returning in spring 2021 or spring 2022.

This will be a challenging and demanding opportunity to work in an extreme and isolated environment. You must be adaptable and willing to take on various tasks as they arise including a considerable amount of outdoor maintenance and general base work.

Who are we?

British Antarctic Survey (BAS) delivers and enables world-leading interdisciplinary research in the Polar Regions. Its skilled science and support staff based in Cambridge, Antarctica and the Arctic, work together to deliver research that uses the Polar Regions to advance our understanding of Earth as a sustainable planet. Through its extensive logistic capability and know how BAS facilitates access for the British and international science community to the UK polar research operation. Numerous national and international collaborations, combined with an excellent infrastructure help sustain a world leading position for the UK in Antarctic affairs. British Antarctic Survey is a component of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). NERC is part of UK Research and Innovation www.ukri.org
We employ experts from many different professions to carry out our Science as well as keep the keep the lights on, feed the research and support teams and keep everyone safe! If you are looking for an opportunity to work with amazing people in amazing places then British Antarctic Survey could be for you. We aim to attract the best people for those jobs.


The main responsibility of the job is to carry out the Atmospheric Science programme for the Station. This is the Meteorology programme and the Atmospheric Chemistry programme.


A degree or HND in physics, chemistry, geophysics, meteorology, electronic engineering or a related subject. Experience of operating, maintaining, and repairing meteorological or atmospheric aerosol/chemistry instruments would be an advantage. An ability to solve problems and to be flexible are also key characteristics of the job.


  • To carry out the meteorological observations and scientific duties described in the Met Station Instructions (MSI) as agreed by the head of Meteorology and Ozone Monitoring (MOM)
  • To maintain a suite of atmospheric science instruments.
  • To organise and carry out the work in a safe and professional way.
  • To keep all work areas in a tidy condition.
  • To report major problems to the head of MOM when they arise.
  • To maintain or repair faulty instrumentation when possible/appropriate.
  • To request replacement stores in a timely fashion.
  • To compile monthly and annual reports of the work undertaken.
  • To work with other staff to ensure that the operational and safety standards of the base are maintained
  • To undertake general duties as required by the station leader.

Skills specification

Skills are listed as either Essential or Desirable. Desirable skills importance rating in parenthesis (1 is high, 5 is low)


  • Ability to perform simple mechanical workshop activities (drilling, filing, elementary sheet metal work) – Desirable [4]

Communication skills – a) oral skills b) written skills

  • Clear, concise communication on technical issues required in both written (e-mails, month and annual reports) and oral form – Essential

Computer / IT skills

  • Good PC and computer literacy required – Essential
  • Experience of data management, Linux or software development – Desirable [2]

Decision Making

  • Ability to problem solve on a wide range of equipment, reach conclusions on appropriate courses of action and communicate these to managers – Essential

Interpersonal skills

  • Will be required to work closely with other scientists on base As well as making input to the team must be able to accept team decisions on work allocations and priorities – Essential

Managerial ability

  • Sufficient maturity to be able to work safely, effectively and alone in remote location – Essential
  • Experience of managing a small team – Desirable [3]


  • Have practical experience of atmospheric science equipment – Desirable [2]

Other Factors

  • Able to follow instructions meticulously when required – Essential


  • Degree or similar in physics, chemistry, meteorology, geophysics, electronic engineering or similar subject, or lower qualification backed by suitable experience – Essential

Resource Management ability

  • Ability to organise own time and prioritise effectively – Essential

Skills / Experience

  • Ability to solve technical/scientific problems – Essential
  • Ability to encounter new scientific equipment and perform effective fault finding to board level in a short period of time – Desirable [2]
  • Ability to encounter new scientific equipment and perform effective fault finding on the basis of manuals provided. – Desirable [2]
  • Experience of working in a remote location – Desirable [2]
  • Experience of working with atmospheric aerosol or chemistry instruments. – Desirable [2]

How to Apply

You can apply for this job online or you can print off the application forms, fill them out by hand and mail them.

Apply by post:

If you would like to apply for this job but cannot apply online, you can print the application form(s) and post it back to us.

Please ensure you complete all required sections of the application form(s) and include a Cover Letter and a copy of your CV.

When posting your application, ensure there is sufficient postage.

These forms are in an OpenDocument format and may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. An accessible format may be requested by contacting us.

Send your completed application forms to:
Human Resources Team
British Antarctic Survey
High Cross, Madingley Road
United Kingdom

If you need more information

Email: [email protected]
Telephone: +44 (0)1223 221400
Facsimile: +44 (0)1223 362616

Please quote the following reference for any queries: BAS 20/01
You may also email [email protected] for further employment details or for technical details of the posts.
Closing date for receipt of applications form is: 31 March, 2020 11:59 pm
Interviews are scheduled to be held on: 29 April 2020

As part of our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion and promoting equality in careers in science, we hold an Athena SWAN Bronze Award and have an active Equality, Diversity and Inclusion programme of activity. We welcome applications from all sections of the community. People from ethnic minorities and disabled people are currently under-represented and their applications are particularly welcome.

Antarctic deployment involves working in a remote and harsh environment where adaptations to working, living and recreation areas are not achievable to a level that might be expected in the UK. There is a Genuine Occupational Requirement to be physically capable of negotiating rough, icy and snowy terrain as well as being mentally resilient and medically fit.