Data Support Officer


Peterborough or Aberdeen, with hybrid working
£24,250 pa

Paid • Full Time • Permanent

Sectors: conservation & wildlife

Closing date: Sunday, 24th July 2022  

Post titleData Support Officer
Team: Digital and Data Solutions
Ref No: 202269
Grade: O
Type of appointment: Permanent
Location: Peterborough or Aberdeen

This post will have a base in either Peterborough or Aberdeen.

JNCC will be adopting a more flexible approach to working options and, once we are able to return to working in our office locations, our people will have more flexibility about where they choose to work. The expectation is that we will be expected to work from our office base for 1 – 2 days a month as a minimum. We can provide more details at the interview and offer stages.

Who are JNCC?

Established in 1991, we’re the UK’s statutory advisor on issues affecting the natural environment across the UK and internationally. Our primary role is advising all four Governments of the UK. We also work with private sector organisations to support decision making on the sustainable use of marine waters and natural resources around the UK. JNCC is led by the Joint Committee, which brings together members from the nature conservation bodies for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and independent members appointed by the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs under an independent Chair. Support is provided to the Committee by almost 200 people who bring together scientific and technical expertise, extensive knowledge of policy at global, European and national levels, and skills in working with other organisations. Staff are based in two main offices in Peterborough and Aberdeen.


We’re small enough (c.270 staff) that your voice is heard by everyone including the CEO, but big enough that we have all the skills, resources and people you’ll need to get the job done. All our staff are passionate about conservation and making a difference to the world we live in. We have a very flexible, inclusive and welcoming organisational culture and our friendly team will assist you in your role. You will benefit from our supportive workplace culture, excellent holiday and pension benefits, as well as an exciting job in a unique environment.

Hours of work: Full-time

Normal minimum hours of attendance for the post are 36 hours per week over a 5-day period, Monday to Friday.

Flexi time is available. This post may also be suitable for job share.

Annual leave:

The annual leave allowance is 25 days per year, rising to 30 days per year after 5 years’ service. There are also 12 days public and privilege leave. Part-time staff will receive this on a pro rata basis.

Post background

The Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) is the statutory adviser to Government on UK and international nature conservation. One of JNCC’s key roles is the provision of biodiversity related evidence.

Access to good evidence to underpin biodiversity and nature conservation advice has become increasingly important as the demands and pressures on the environment rise. Evidence activities relating to biodiversity and nature conservation, such as data collection, dissemination, analysis, and reporting, are all critical elements of JNCC’s core functions.

The Data Support Officer will work in the Digital and Data Solutions team. This technical team provides support and creates innovative solutions to all digital, data and IT-related work as well as providing information management advice and guidance to teams across JNCC. The Digital and Data Solutions team leads both internal and external projects across the full range of JNCC’s work. The post holder will join the data engineering section of the team working across an interesting range of projects developing routines and solutions. Projects include processing of Sentinel 1 and Sentinel 2 (Earth Observation) data (which supports the Simple Analysis Ready Data (ARD) Service), data analysis to support Biodiversity Indicators work and collaborating to create repeatable data collation and validation routines to supply key datasets for a range of both internal and external science projects and corporate reporting.

Post duties

The main duties of the Data Support Officer post are:

  • Technical support and automation: Support JNCC’s teams through the management of data and databases. Provide innovative technical mechanisms and processes to support internal and external dataflows and reporting.
  • Testing and quality assurance: Test newly created functionality against success criteria and user stories to approve build quality. Assist in quality assuring and management of ‘production’ level analytical scripts and promoting good practice in script creation and versioning.
  • Investigations: Undertake short investigations to aid team analysis work from literature, stakeholders, active projects and other sources. To summarise and communicate the results for either internal or external audiences.
  • Spatial data support: Manipulation of spatial data (earth observation, species samples, habitat maps, physical and human activities) using QGIS (or ArcGIS), earth observation data processing tools, and scripting tools to produce high quality and consistent inputs to analyses, or to prepare outputs for use by stakeholders.
  • Data Management: Ensure that the evidence base of the team is well managed, with appropriate version control and archiving, properly described, and that priority elements are published externally in line with JNCC’s Information Management policies.
  • Meeting & Workshop support: Support preparation, delivery and reporting from workshops and meetings. Includes the development of meeting and workshop materials (e.g.: briefs, agendas, speaker briefs, exercises) through drafting, collation and editing, note taking, and preparation of post meeting/workshop outputs.


To be a successful candidate you will have:

  • Ability to write R, Python, or a similar scripting language to manipulate and analyse data and automate processes, including robust testing of outputs and quality control checks on code produced in the team and elsewhere in JNCC.
  • Ability to use relational databases, writing SQL queries to manipulate and extract data from large and complex datasets.


To be a successful candidate you will have:

  • A relevant degree or equivalent qualification.
  • Relevant experience in management, manipulation and analysis of large or complex data for environmental applications including the creation of metadata, audit trails, version control and establish processes/rules for changing and archiving them (note that ecological knowledge would be helpful).
  • Experience or aptitude for working with spatial data including establishment of links to databases.
  • Experience of, or aptitude for writing user requirements and testing functionality against user stories or success criteria.
  • Experience of, or aptitude to use source-control, package management, multiple computer operating systems or working on remote cloud computing platforms.
  • Ecological knowledge would be useful.


  • Working Together
  • Changing and Improving
  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Managing a Quality Service

In the event that we receive a large volume of applications we reserve the right to conduct the sift based on the Lead Behaviour of Working Together

Please see the CS Behaviours framework for more details at this grade.

Closing date and interview date

The closing date for this post is 23:55 on Sunday, 24 July 2022.

We expect interviews for this role to occur in the week commencing Monday, 01 August 2022.

Find out more & apply