Data and System Analyst

British Antarctic Survey
07 Feb 2018
07 Mar 2018
Job Type
Contract Type
Full Time

An exciting opportunity has arisen for an experienced data/system analyst to develop a data management system for the UK's new polar research vessel, RRS Sir David Attenborough. This ship, currently under construction, 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/system analyst with relevant expertise and knowledge of best practice 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 data workflows. You will have good technical skills, and ideally experience in selecting software solutions based on user requirements. You will also need excellent communication and project management skills. It is desirable, but not essential, to have experience of managing marine data and working on research vessels. There will be a need 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.

This role is based in the UK Polar Data Centre (UK PDC) at the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge. UK PDC is the focal point for Arctic and Antarctic environmental data management in the UK and part of the Natural Environmental Research Council's (NERC) network of environmental data centres. It coordinates the management of polar data from UK-funded research and supports researchers in complying with national and international data legislation and policy.

To assimilate user requirements and, working with BAS Information Technology (IT) team, lead on the process design and in service testing of a data management system for the RRS Sir David Attenborough (SDA). Liaise with all stakeholders (e.g. SDA project team, Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) science community, BAS Polar Data Centre (PDC), BAS IT, National Oceanography Centre (NOC) and British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC)) to achieve this.

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

1. Assimilate all requirements (assembled by project team) and lead on the process design for the ship's data management system. Work with IT on the implementation meeting the requirements for:
-Under-way data collection (in collaboration with BAS IT, BAS Engineering and other relevant stakeholders such as National Oceanography Centre and NERC Marine Planning).
-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 lead scientists 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.
-Creation of data dashboards, graphs and visualisations
-Sending underway data in near real time to relevant stakeholders (e.g. BODC, PDC, UK Met Office).
2. Participate in all relevant sea trials in order to develop, test and validate the data management system.
3. Identify areas to increase efficiency and automation processes.
4. Work with NERC data centres to develop 'Best-practice Data Management Guides' for all scientists collecting data on the ship.
5. Complete a handover to other BAS staff (PDC and IT) of the data management system at the end of the period of sea trials/rehearsal cruises, so that routine operation can be delivered by PDC data managers.

On-line application forms and further information are available on our website at
These are also available from the Human Resources Section, British Antarctic Survey, High Cross, Madingley Road, Cambridge, CB3 0ET. Tel: 221508.

Please quote reference: BAS 77/17

Closing date for receipt of application forms is: 11th March 2018
Interviews are scheduled to be held on: w/c 26th March 2018
Proposed start date: As soon as possible

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.