Science Officer

National Botanic Garden of Wales

Llanarthne, Carmarthenshire
£28,000 pa

Paid • Full Time • Fixed Term Contract

botanicgarden.wales Natasha.Devere@gardenofwales.org.uk 01558 667126 Natasha De Vere

Sectors: food, farming & horticulture, sustainability, conservation & wildlife

Closing date: Friday, 08 December 2017


Growing the Future at the National Botanic Garden of Wales

The Growing the Future (GTF) project at the National Botanic Garden of Wales will provide horticulture training and knowledge to individuals and groups from diverse audiences throughout Wales. It is a five year project funded through the Welsh Government Rural Communities-Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the Welsh Government and the European Union. The National Botanic Garden of Wales is an iconic and dynamic charity, dedicated to the research and conservation of biodiversity, sustainability, lifelong learning and the enjoyment of our visitors.

A wide range of horticulture courses and public engagement will be available for adults and children in the value of gardens for growing food, keeping fit and helping the environment. We will also be showcasing the diversity and quality of Welsh horticultural produce and helping save Wales’ pollinators. Growing the Future will be based at the Botanic Garden and at a series of hubs throughout Wales.

The Role: Science Officer

We are looking for someone who is enthusiastic, energetic and inspiring to co-ordinate the ‘Science and Horticulture’ component of the Growing the Future project. The Growing the Future Science Officer will provide scientific support in the development and delivery of horticulture courses and public engagement events. They will run the SciHort conferences that will allow growers to connect with the latest scientific and technological advances. A major part of the job role will be developing, testing and evaluating a ‘Plants for Pollinators’ assurance scheme. This pilot project uses data arising from the Botanic Garden’s cutting edge Saving Pollinators’ research programme. The Science Officer will identify potential growers of pollinator plants within Wales and work with them to assess the feasibility of increasing the sustainability of growing methods. They will then establish, conduct, analyse and evaluate trials for different pollinator plants within the Botanic Garden. They will assess the feasibility of using the Plants for Pollinators assurance scheme to provide benefits for pollinators, growers and the general public in Wales.

OUTLINE DETAILS OF APPOINTMENT

This is a full-time position starting from the soonest date which can be arranged. Hours of work are 37.5 per week in a year-round pattern, working five days out of seven. There is a requirement for travel within Wales to visit growers and partner organisations. The salary is up to £28,000 per annum according to qualifications and experience. This is a 5-year fixed term contract.

Informal enquiries are welcome and should be directed to the Head of Science (Dr Natasha de Vere – natasha.devere@gardenofwales.org.uk)

Applications, in the form of a cover letter and CV clearly showing how you meet the criteria, together with full contact details of two referees, should be emailed to natasha.devere@gardenofwales.org.uk by 8th December 2017. Interviews are currently planned for January 2018.

Available in Welsh upon request

Science Officer

Growing the Future at the National Botanic Garden of Wales

BACKGROUND OUTLINE

Growing the Future is a £2.3 million project funded by the European Union and Welsh Government. It builds on the success of the Growing the Future pilot project which ran from 2012 – 2015 and engaged with over 5000 people throughout Wales. The Growing the Future project will employ seven full-time members of staff, along with support from the Botanic Garden’s Science, Horticulture, Education, Marketing and Interpretation departments. There are three main areas of activity.

1. Gardens for health and wellbeing

Growing plants for food and fun can help keep us fit and improve mental and physical wellbeing. Gardens are also important wildlife habitats and provide vital ecosystem services, such as flood protection and pollination. We will provide training and engagement for adults and children in the value of gardens for growing food, keeping fit and helping the environment.

2. Celebrating Welsh horticulture

From specialist nurseries producing unique plants and flowers to commercial growers providing the finest fruit and vegetables. We will showcase the diversity and quality of Welsh horticultural produce with exciting festivals and events.

3. Horticulture for the future

For a sustainable, future-proof sector, Welsh horticulture needs to harness the latest scientific and technological advances. We will create networks between science and horticulture and use the Botanic Garden’s cutting edge research on plants for pollinators to create a new market for sustainably produced pollinator-friendly plants.

The National Botanic Garden of Wales

The first botanic garden of the new millennium, the National Botanic Garden of Wales stretches over more than 568 acres within rural Carmarthenshire. It consists of the Botanic Garden and Waun Las National Nature Reserve, which is managed as an organic farm. In just 17 years, it has become a place of international significance dedicated to conservation, horticulture, science, education, leisure and the arts.

For more information visit: botanicgarden.wales

NATIONAL BOTANIC GARDEN OF WALES

GARDD FOTANEG GENEDLAETHOL CYMRU

Job Description

Post Title: Growing the Future Science Officer
Department: Science
Reports to: Head of Science
Responsible for management of: Volunteers

Outline purpose of role: Science Officer

The Growing the Future Science Officer will provide scientific support in the development and delivery of horticulture courses and public engagement events. They will run SciHort conferences that will allow growers to connect with the latest scientific and technological advances. A major part of the job role will be developing, testing and evaluating a ‘Plants for Pollinators’ assurance scheme. This pilot project uses data arising from the Botanic Garden’s cutting edge Saving Pollinators’ research programme. The Science Officer will identify potential growers of pollinator plants within Wales and work with them to assess the feasibility of increasing the sustainability of growing methods. They will then establish, conduct, analyse and evaluate trials for different pollinator plants within the Botanic Garden. They will assess the feasibility of using the Plants for Pollinators assurance scheme to provide benefits for pollinators, growers and the general public in Wales.

Responsibilities

  1. Develop, test and evaluate a ‘Plants for Pollinators’ assurance scheme working closely with the Botanic Garden’s Science Team and growers throughout Wales.
  2. Develop and deliver SciHort conferences and events that connect horticulture growers to the latest scientific and technological advances.
  3. Assist with the planning and implementation of events and shows staged by the GTF project.
  4. Provide scientific support to the Horticultural Trainers and Project Coordinator in the development and delivery of training courses.
  5. Working with others across and beyond the project team, ensure high standards of communication to staff and stakeholders, partners and individuals.
  6. Travel throughout Wales to develop and maintain partnerships with growers and to ensure efficient delivery of project objectives.
  7. Contribute, as a member of the Growing the Future team and Botanic Garden staff to any activities or duties that support and promote the National Botanic Garden of Wales and help in its smooth day to day running and overall success.
  8. Such other duties as from time to time will be allocated.

PERSON SPECIFICATION

  • Specified below are the criteria considered necessary to fulfil the role.
  • This information is made openly available to applicants and will form the basis for the recruitment and selection process.
  • Only those applicants who meet these criteria adequately will be considered.

Essential Criteria

1. Educated to degree level or above in a STEM discipline.

2. A keen interest and experience in pollinator conservation.

3. A keen interest and experience in horticulture.

4. Project management experience.

5. Proven organisational and planning ability with keen attention to detail.

6. Excellent and well-developed personal communication skills including oral articulacy, fluent written style, presentational confidence.

7. Good numeracy, keyboard skills, and IT capability. Able to manipulate data and information, to interpret and report on trends and results.

8. Track record of working to a high level of individual responsibility and accountability with minimal supervision delivering outcomes against targets.

9. Genuine passion for the mission and purpose of the Botanic Garden and enthusiasm for contributing to its success, team spirit, reputation, and ethos.

Desirable Criteria

10. Fluency in written and spoken Welsh, as well as commitment to the people, language, and culture of Wales.

11. Experience of the education sector including formal and informal education and public engagement.

12. A postgraduate qualification (MSc, PhD) in an environmental or conservation focused discipline.


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