Job Details

Job Details

Principal Investigator: Anthropogenic Contaminants

Directorate of Science and Technology (DST)
Ocean Biogeochemistry and Ecosystems
3 years
36,325 - 51,914 (Band 5)
Closing Date
Job Reference

Principal Investigator: Anthropogenic Contaminants

National Oceanography Centre, Southampton

Salary: £36,325 - £51,914 (Band 5)

Full Time (37 hours per week)

Fixed Term (3 years)


About the role:

We are looking for a Principal Investigator to join the Pelagic Ecosystems subgroup within the department of Ocean Biogeochemistry and Ecosystems (OBE) at the National Oceanography Centre (NOC). We are a dynamic and growing team of scientists, technicians and students examining the role of ocean biology in global biogeochemical cycles, and seek a research scientist to work on anthropogenic contaminants, initially in the area of plastics. Our research is delivered through the use of targeted observational and experimental fieldwork, sustained observations (including autonomous vehicles), model development and analysis, and state of the art technology.

Large quantities of anthropogenic waste end up in the ocean every year. There is considerable public and political concern about visible waste such as discarded fishing nets, which cause damage to wildlife. It is possible that other waste which is not visible to the naked eye such as liquids or small particles (e.g. Microplastics) have the potential to cause more damage to the ecosystem than the larger particles, are more difficult to prevent reaching the oceans, and are impossible to remove purposely once there. In order to develop evidence-based policies and strategies to prevent accumulation in the seas and oceans, research is required to characterise this waste from source to sink, to quantify the factors which affect its distribution and characteristics and to evaluate the harms which occur as a result.

This has been an area of research in OBE for only the past four years, and you can expect to exert a major influence on the direction of development over the coming years. You will have access to sophisticated analytical facilities and exploit the vast collection of samples already in existence. In addition, you will implement radical and novel approaches to this important research field.

This role could include experiments in the laboratory and at sea, performing analysis by multiple techniques in our state-of the-art laboratories, the analysis, interpretation and publication of data, and communication of results to both scientific and stakeholder audiences. You will contribute to, and lead the development of research proposals for a wide range of funding agencies. You will be involved in the supervision of research students (MSc, PhD).

Through participation in various projects, you will have the opportunity to create a strong research profile and expand your international network. Career development will be supported, including dedicated time and mentor support for the development of funding proposals.

Whilst this is a fixed term appointment, there may be potential to convert to a permanent appointment subject to operational requirements.

About you:

We are looking to appoint a scientist who already is, or has clear potential to become, a principal investigator. You will be a developing science leader, as evidenced by a portfolio of outputs including journal articles and funding proposals.

You will have a PhD or equivalent experience in environmental/marine sciences and a strong background in delivering new insight. We are searching for exceptional candidates with the desire to develop and deliver ambitious programmes of research. Enthusiasm to work as part of a multidisciplinary team is key, bringing mutually beneficial skills to current research issues.  Evidence of the ability to secure external funding via grant applications is highly desirable, but not essential.

Other information:

The starting salary for this position will be between £36,325 and £51,914 per annum (Band 5).

We welcome applications from candidates outside of the EU for this position.

About us:

The National Oceanography Centre (NOC) is a national research organisation, delivering integrated marine science and technology from the coast to the deep ocean and is one of the top five institutions of its kind in the world. With sites in Liverpool and Southampton, it is the UK’s leading centre for sea level science, coastal and deep ocean research and technology development.     

NOC is part of the Natural Environmental Research Council (NERC), which is one of the nine partners within UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). For more information visit

What we can offer you:

At the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) we know that the quality of our science and the impact that we want it to have depends entirely on the knowledge, skills and engagement of our people. The NOC is committed to flexible employment practices to support employees’ work and personal commitments where possible. Our flexi-time system and flexible working policy contribute to this important aim.

In return for your talents, we offer a competitive remuneration package, including an RCUK pension scheme, 30 days annual leave with a further 14 Public/local days off. The centre is well connected by public transport and has ample cycle parking in addition to free  car-parking. We support opportunities for further training and development.

For more information visit Working at NOC.

Our Commitment as an Employer:

The NOC is an equal opportunities employer which values the diversity of its employees and therefore welcomes applications from all sections of the community.

In support of this commitment, we have adopted a guaranteed interview scheme for suitable candidates with a disability and further welcome applications from ethnic minorities who are currently under-represented.

In addition to this, the NOC is an accredited Investors in People organisation, demonstrating its ongoing commitment to realising the potential of all its staff and is an active member of the Athena SWAN charter which recognises the advancement of gender equality through representation, progression and success for all.

How to apply:

To apply, please submit an up-to-date CV and cover letter.

If you are unable to apply online, please contact the NOC Careers Team at

For general enquiries regarding this role, please contact Prof. Richard Lampitt or Dr Daniel Mayor via email at and

Closing date: 31 May 2019