Research Scientist in Phytoplankton and Autonomous TechnologiesLocation: SouthamptonDivision: Science and Technology (S&T)Group: Ocean BioGeosciencesSalary: £40,444Ref No: 11525

National Oceanography Centre

National Oceanography Centre

Southampton, UK
Posted on Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Research Scientist in Phytoplankton and Autonomous Technologies

National Oceanography Centre, Southampton  


Full time (37 hours per week)

£40,444 per annum


Who are we?

We are the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) - the UK's centre of excellence for oceanographic sciences. We are a national research organisation, delivering integrated marine science and technology from the coast to the deep ocean.

We are made up of a dynamic and vibrant community whose focus is on improving the world in which we live. Our work is balanced by our strong sense of purpose, values and behaviours and an unwavering commitment to a ‘one NOC’ approach.

We have a rich history dating back to 1949, and our future has never looked more exciting as we aim to be the world’s most innovative oceanographic institution.


About the role

We are seeking to recruit a talented and enthusiastic oceanographer to join NOC’s world-class Marine Biogeochemistry team in a new, open-ended Research Scientist position in autonomous biogeochemistry. This position will play a central role in an exciting multi­disciplinary project investigating the drivers of primary productivity in the North Atlantic: the NERC-funded IDAPro (Integrated Drivers of Atlantic Productivity) project, part of the ambitious BIO-Carbon programme (

The first 3 years of this role will focus on quantifying spatial and temporal variability in primary productivity and will contribute to delivering world-class research into bio­physical interactions and the biological carbon pump in the open ocean through the analysis of cutting-edge biological and biogeochemical datasets collected by autonomous platforms (floats, gliders and Autosub Long Range, aka ‘Boaty McBoatface’). This includes, but is not restricted to, calibration and data processing, analysis of biogeochemical data and data synthesis activities, and potential participation in research cruises to deploy autonomous platforms and/or collect in situ calibration measurements.

The role is offered as an open-ended Research Scientist level (Band 6) position, with initial funding for 3 years from the IDAPro project; the post-holder will have the support to continue to develop their skills and career, to grow their research portfolio and to develop collaborations nationally and internationally. They will have the opportunity to engage with ongoing research programmes at NOC as well as having the time to develop their own projects, research direction and science leadership skills.


About you

You will have a PhD or equivalent experience in a relevant field and an understanding of open ocean biophysical interactions, in particular relating to spatio­temporal variability and/or phytoplankton productivity and dynamics. You will also have experience in using autonomous vehicles, particularly floats and gliders, to investigate biophysical interactions and/or productivity in the open ocean, and experience of bio­optical sensors and associated data analysis. You will have expertise with data analysis software and programming, e.g. Matlab or Python, and good quantitative skills. Publication of peer-reviewed papers of relevance to the post would be ideal.


Why the NOC?

We offer a generous set of benefits including 28 days annual leave, plus 3.5 local closure days and 8 public bank holidays, and a contributory Group Personal Pension Plan.

We promote an inclusive and supportive environment where our people can meet their full potential.

The NOC is an equal opportunities employer and welcomes applications from all sections of the community. There is a guaranteed interview scheme for suitable candidates with a disability and we welcome applications from ethnic minorities currently under-represented. The NOC is an Investors in People organisation.



This position will be based in Southampton. The centre is well connected by public transport and has ample cycle parking in addition to free onsite car-parking.

The NOC has a hybrid working approach where for most positions staff can work from home up to 2 days per week. If you are interested in this position, but require a more flexible working arrangement, please contact the recruitment team using the contact details below.    

We can support visa applications where required. For overseas applicants who are willing to move to the UK we may be able to offer financial support with relocation.  


How to apply: 

Please click ‘Apply for this job’ and submit an up-to-date CV and cover letter. If you are unable to apply online, please contact the NOC recruitment team at / 07590 805967

Before submitting your application, please ensure you have reviewed the attached job description and person specification. 

Date advert posted: 25 October 2023

Closing date: 22 November 2023. Please note this vacancy may close earlier depending on the number of applicants. 

Please note we are not accepting applications via recruitment agencies for this position.


Assessing applications

All applications to the NOC are reviewed by a real-life person, not a computer programme. Attached to our adverts you will find a ‘Job Description and Person Specification’ document which clearly sets out the criteria against which applications are assessed. Once assessed the most suitable candidates will be invited to interview.

If you have been selected for interview we will be in touch to arrange a time and date. If you haven’t been selected for interview we will let you know, although we may not be able to give detailed feedback to every applicant.