Senior Scientist (Citizen Science)

The Freshwater Biological Association

Lakeside, Newby Bridge, Cumbria
£35,000 - £40,000 pa dependent upon skills and experience

Paid • Full Time • Permanent

Sectors: conservation & wildlife, ecology, water & hydrology

Closing date: Monday, 8th July 2024  

Note: The deadline for this role has been extended.

Role description 

The Freshwater Biological Association (FBA) in partnership with Natural England’s Natural Capital & Ecosystem Assessment (NCEA) programme are seeking to appoint a Senior Scientist (Freshwater Citizen Science). 

Employed by FBA, this is full time, permanent role with a salary in the range of £35,000 dependant on qualifications and experience. You will be based at FBA’s headquarters situated on the shore of Windermere, one of the most iconic and studied lakes in the world. FBA offers a progressive and flexible working environment including hybrid working, continued professional development, health plan and participation in wellbeing initiatives (e.g. Wild swimming Wednesdays). 

The successful candidate will lead FBA’s citizen science team and will contribute to a freshwater citizen science community of practice being developed by the Defra department Natural Capital Ecosystem Assessment. The community of practice will be supported by FBA, Natural England and key organisations such as regulatory agencies, eNGOs and industry partners. 

This role will be pivotal in integrating FBA’s and Natural England’s citizen science programmes and that of our partner organisations. The successful applicant will also be encouraged to connect with the FBA’s scientific Fellowship, the European Federation of Freshwater Sciences Citizen Science Working Group and other national citizen science networks. You will play a key role in enabling and evolving a new focus in programme design, data analysis, development of citizen science networks and knowledge exchange with professional and community-based scientists. 

The goals of this new initiative are i) the development of new citizen science projects for documenting freshwater ecosystems ii) analysing existing data from a range of citizen science projects, iii) developing and improving design, integration and use of citizen science data by public, private and community-based actors iv) the use of citizen science data for conservation policy advice and advocacy.

Your responsibilities will include

  • Line management of key staff and scientific overview of FBA’s citizen science programmes (with a focus on methods, approaches, impacts and data uses) 
  • Developing and contributing to strategic freshwater partnerships and collaborative projects (e.g. with Natural England and the Environment Agency). 
  • Evaluating, researching, and advancing citizen science methods and supporting data infrastructure to address gaps in knowledge, maximise participation and address stakeholder requirements.
  • Evaluating, researching, and advancing data analysis and integration of ‘open and closed source’ freshwater citizen science data sets.
  • Advancing the preparation, interpretation and dissemination of open access data and analysis to a wide range of stakeholders, including community-based actors. We actively encourage publication of findings across a range of platforms including peer-reviewed journals.
  • Participating in and contributing to the formation and operation of a Freshwater Science Community of Practice to advance the scientific study of freshwater ecosystems and natural capital:
  • Contributing to the design of frameworks and projects to improve understanding of the status of freshwater ecosystems (and gaps in data) using citizen science.
  • Development (via a programme of workshops, surveys, etc) of a best practice framework for freshwater citizen science to address the multiple pressures faced by our freshwater ecosystems.
  • Networking with other partners in the fields of citizen science and freshwater ecology. 
  • Preparation of third-party funding applications to support identified priorities. 
  •  Working within a cross-organisational programme team. 

We are looking for a highly motivated, open-minded person with the following background and qualifications: 

  • PhD in Biology, Ecology, Fisheries or Environmental Sciences or 6+ years of relevant experience. 
  • Advanced understanding and experience of statistical analysis (e.g. R) 
  • Passionate interest in biodiversity, water quality and citizen science, preferably with experience in these three areas. 
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills 
  • Very good English language skills in written and spoken form, confident public appearance and presentation experience 
  • Freshwater species and ecology knowledge of at least one group of animals/plants 
  • Awareness of the importance of participation, diversity, and equal opportunities 

Additionally, the following, knowledge skills and experience are advantages: 

  • Experience in recording animal or plant species using digital applications and with large citizen science online databases 
  • Water chemistry – particularly nutrients and/or faecal coliforms 
  • Previous work experience in freshwater ecosystems 

Special note: All applicants must be able to provide proof of their right to work in the United Kingdom and be in possession of a full (and approved) driving licence. 

About the Freshwater Biological Association 

We are a small environmental NGO with a large remit – understanding and conserving freshwaters across the globe. Our innovative work on species recovery and citizen science engages hundreds of people to participate in protecting our vital freshwater ecosystems. Our goal is to increase understanding, learning and participation in freshwater ecology and this exciting role will help us achieve that.

You will be joining a small but perfectly formed team of enthusiastic and dedicated people working in the beautiful English Lake District. This exciting opportunity is being offered on a permanent basis with a base package including 25 days annual leave (rising to 30 after 5 years), additional paid bank holidays, 3% employers pension contribution, life insurance and personal health & wellbeing programme. 

How to apply

Please send a covering letter and CV to [email protected], detailing why you would be the best candidate for this role. Consider the key responsibility areas and deliverables when applying. The closing date for applications is 5pm on 8th July, 2024 with interviews anticipated w/c 15th July 2024. Interviews will be held face-to-face at FBA’s offices in Newby Bridge, Cumbria.