Ecosystems research assistant 202131 Job at Joint Nature Conservation Committee – in Aberdeen

Job Description

Reference number





Executive Officer


Contract type

Fixed Term

Length of employment

Two years

Business area

JNCC – Marine Ecosystems

Type of role

Environment and Sustainability


Working pattern

Full-time, Job share

Number of posts



Aberdeen, Scotland, AB11 9QA : Peterborough, Eastern, PE1 1JY

About the job


Who are JNCC?

We’re the environment’s best kept secret. Established in 1991, we’re the UK’s statutory adviser on issues affecting the natural environment across the UK and internationally. Our primary role is advising all four Governments of the UK. With most of our work being within Government, our public profile is low but our impact is high.

Post Background

JNCC’s Ecosystems Analysis Team brings together three elements:

  • A set of long-term partnerships with organisations undertaking species surveys in terrestrial, coastal and freshwater ecosystems using networks of volunteers.
  • An analysis and modelling capability producing rapidly deployable models. These include a range of models focussed on predicting outcomes from changing land uses and environmental pressures.
  • An earth observation data processing and analytical capability which is migrating from an initial focus on spatial mapping of habitats to detecting change within spatial frameworks of habitats.

The team focus on helping to deliver the outcome of JNCC’s strategy which is designed to help JNCC’s stakeholders meet the challenges of managing our environment and the benefits it provides. Recent projects have included modelling and mapping ecosystem services in the UK and overseas, creating apps to help land managers consider the trade-offs of nature based solutions within their land, developing biodiversity impact indicators for UK consumption, and helping stakeholders make earth observation applications operational for upland management, forestry, waste, air pollution, protected site and other requirements.

The team delivers the outcomes needed by stakeholders by working closely with other teams in JNCC as well as external partner organisations.

The post would work flexibly across the Ecosystems Analysis team helping with rapid synthesis of information from research, analytical tasks, project administration and communication. Whilst much of the focus of the team is terrestrial, some work on marine environments is also possible.

Job description

Post Duties:

  • Investigations: Undertake short investigations to aid team analysis work from literature, stakeholders and other sources. To summarise and communicate the results for either internal or external audiences.
  • Meeting & Workshop support: Support preparation, delivery and reporting from workshops and meetings. Includes the development of meeting and workshop materials (eg: briefs, agendas, speaker briefs, exercises) through drafting, collation and editing, note taking, and preparation of post meeting/workshop outputs.
  • Communications; To contribute to the production (drafting, editing, assembly) and dissemination of appropriate material through a range of online and paper media, which communicates project objectives, outputs or practical tools to stakeholders, practitioners more generally, and which raises the profile of the work nationally and internationally
  • 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 is well managed, including data, databases and outputs, with appropriate version control and archiving, properly

described, and that priority elements are published externally in line with JNCC’s Information Management policies.

  • Quality Assurance: Providing support on projects to ensure organisational standards are met and quality products are delivered and well documented.
  • Working in partnership; To work collaboratively and maintain good relationships with stakeholders to contribute towards the management of projects and surveillance schemes.


Please demonstrate in your statement of suitability your reasons for applying and any other information you feel may be relevant to your application.


We’ll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

Communicating and Influencing

Working Together

Making Effective Decisions

Delivering at Pace

Managing a Quality Service

Technical skills

We’ll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process:

A degree or equivalent qualification and or recent practical work experience that provides the foundation of the knowledge needed for the technical and experience requirements of the post

The ability to understand and synthesise information on ecosystem components (habitats & species), how these relate to intrinsic values and functions linked to ecosystem services, and how a wide range of drivers and pressures affect ecosystems.

The ability to use spreadsheets, simple relational databases, GIS, and, at a basic level, scripting tools, to manipulate and interpret data sets

Knowledge of different types of data from field habitat sampling, field species sampling, citizen science data, satellite, airborne, and drone remote sensing

Experience in collecting or processing and analysing any of these types of data


Equality and diversity

JNCC is committed to creating an environment where everyone feels valued and respected and see this as a good place to work. JNCC has a responsibility to ensure that we have an inclusive culture where discrimination, harassment, bullying and prejudice will not be tolerated. Our selection process is determined on fair and open competition and regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnership.

Continuous professional development (CPD)

Employees are encouraged to keep developing skills and professional knowledge.

JNCC has made available, and encourages employees to use, on average, five working days per annum for CPD activities with access to related funding

Leave entitlement

JNCC annual leave allowance is 25 days per annum. After five years’ service, leave entitlement increases to 30 days per annum.

In addition to annual leave, JNCC offers 12 public and privilege days per annum, three of which are explicitly reserved for office closure between Christmas and New Year.

Work/life balance

JNCC supports flexible working hours and practices to help employees strike a good balance between work life and personal life.

Our policies are family-friendly and include flexi-time, flexible working patterns, compressed hours and dispersed working. JNCC also offers paid maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental leave, over and above the minimum statutory entitlements. Some work/life balance benefits are available following a minimum length of service.

Any move from another employer will mean you can no longer access childcare vouchers. This includes moves between government departments. You may however be eligible for other government schemes, including Tax-Free Childcare. Determine your eligibility at https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk/

Civil Service Pension

Employees will have the opportunity to join Civil Service pension arrangements, which include a valuable range of benefits. JNCC makes a significant contribution to the cost of employee pensions.

Employee Assistance Programme

JNCC provides employees with a free and confidential support service which gives unlimited access to information, advice and emotional support to help employees prepare for and manage all of life’s ups and downs, events and challenges.

Trade Union

JNCC has entered into a partnership agreement with its recognised Trade Unions: Prospect and PCS, which employees are able to join and be involved with.

Salary sacrifice schemes

Employee Discount Scheme

Civil Service Sports Club

About Company

Company: Joint Nature Conservation Committee –

Company Location:  Aberdeen

About Joint Nature Conservation Committee -