RRS Sir David Attenborough Data Manager

British Antarctic Survey

An exciting opportunity has arisen for an experienced data manager to develop a data management system for the UK’s new polar research vessel, RRS Sir David Attenborough. This ship will be one of the most advanced polar research ships in the world with state-of-the-art facilities for multidisciplinary scientific research. It will begin operations in 2019 with a range of sea trials followed by polar rehearsal cruises.

We are looking for an experienced data management professional with relevant expertise and knowledge of best practise to lead on the design and in-service testing of a data management system for the RRS Sir David Attenborough. In liaison with British Antarctic Survey IT staff, you will ensure that systems are put in place for under-way data collection, scientific event logging and the capture and quality control of data and metadata from instruments.

The successful candidate will have a thorough understanding of data management principles and it is also beneficial to have experience of managing marine data and working on research vessels. You will need a good range of computing skills, including programming, and ideally experience in selecting software solutions based on user requirements. You will need excellent communication and project management skills. You will need to be able to participate in both sea trials and rehearsal cruises of the new vessel which means that you should be physically capable and medically fit to undertake marine cruises of up to two months duration.


Degree or higher in a marine/biological or data management subject area (or equivalent).


1. Assimilate all requirements and lead on the process design for the ship’s data management system. Work with ICT on the implementation meeting the requirements for:

  • Under-way data collection.
  • An events logging system that can easily be used by all scientists participating in cruises and provide data in an appropriate format to relevant NERC data centres.
  • Capture, security and delivery of data and metadata to a relevant Data Centre for instruments operating on the vessel. Work with PSO’s and instrument operators, from cruise planning stage onwards to achieve this for the period of sea trials.
  • Providing automated quality control as data are collected and alerting relevant scientists/engineers when there is an issue.
  • Sending underway data in near real time to relevant stakeholders.

2. Participate in all relevant sea trials so as to develop, test and validate the DM system.

3. Work with NERC data centres to develop ‘Best-practice Data Management Guides’ for all scientists collecting data on the ship.

4. Complete a handover to other BAS staff of the data management system at the end of the period of sea trials/rehearsal cruises.

5. To undertake other duties as requested by the Director of BAS.

On-line application forms and further information are available on our website at www.bas.ac.uk/vacancies.

Please quote reference: BAS 77/17

Closing date for receipt of application forms is: 31st December 2017
Interviews are scheduled to be held on: w/c 22nd January 2018
Proposed start date – early 2018

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. We operate a guaranteed interview scheme for disabled candidates who meet the minimum criteria for the job role.

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South East England