Head, Ocean Technology & Engineering Group – National Oceanography Centre, Southampton

Who are we?

We are the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) – the UK’s centre of excellence for oceanographic sciences. We are a national research organisation, delivering integrated marine science and technology from the coast to the deep ocean.

We are made up of a dynamic and vibrant community whose focus is on improving the world in which we live. Our work is balanced by our strong sense of purpose, values and behaviours. We have a rich history dating back to 1949, and our future has never looked more exciting as we aim to be the world’s most innovative oceanographic institution.

About the role:

Are you a leader passionate about the development of novel technology for oceanographic research?  We are seeking a Head for NOC’s Ocean Technology & Engineering Group, which comprises around 35 research engineers and scientists from a broad array of backgrounds. The group has a strong history of developing novel custom technology for marine research applications, working closely with scientists within NOC and internationally to enable cutting edge scientific research. This role combines running the Ocean Technology & Engineering (OTE) group (~50% of time) and research leadership as a Principal Research Scientist or Principal Research Engineer (~50% of time).

The group head is responsible for overseeing the group’s strategic priorities and direction, supported by the existing management and research leads within the group.  Activities include coordinating and prioritising group activities, developing strategies for future research directions, communicating with stakeholders, and mentorship or managing staff. 

Principal Research Scientists/Engineers (band 4) are highly accomplished researchers and leaders of significant research projects; they are the initiator of major projects, attract funding, and break into new research areas. In OTE, they lead projects and research programmes which drive the development of new technology and its application to oceanographic science. Science/engineering Leaders (band 3) are internationally-recognised leaders in their field; they have experience attracting funding for and running very large projects and creating and supporting international strategies or initiatives.

At present, the group focuses on developing technology for autonomous chemical sensing, in situ genomics, and the engineering of other new tools and platforms for ocean research. Technology developed by the group has been deployed around the globe, from the poles to the tropics, and from coasts to the deep seas, in support of a wide array of scientific themes.  The group head is also encouraged to build on and guide activity in other new or complementary areas. More information on the group’s activities can be seen at www.noc.ac.uk/ote.

About you:

We are seeking someone who shares our passion for enabling new oceanographic science through the development of cutting-edge technology.  The ideal candidate will have expertise which complements the existing work of the group, or which could take advantage of the group’s expertise and facilities to open up a new line of research activity. This could include individuals with a background in technology development for environmental or oceanographic applications or a scientist with a track record of collaboration with technology developers. 

You will have a track record of leadership though managing projects and/or teams, and training or mentoring staff.  You will be able to think strategically about the future and to create and articulate a vision for the future of ocean technology to a wide range of stakeholders.

As a Principal Research Scientist, you will be a highly accomplished researcher and leader of significant projects within an overarching research programme. You will have international standing, typically with a strong track record of post-PhD research experience, including successfully bidding for research funding, leading and developing research projects/teams, and producing high-impact outputs.

Other information:

The starting salary for this position will be £56,563 at band 4, or, for exceptional candidates, £70,573 at band 3. This position is open to individuals needing visa sponsorship.

Why the NOC?

We offer a generous set of benefits including 28 days annual leave, plus 3.5 local closure days and 8 public bank holidays, and a contributory Group Personal Pension Plan.

We are committed to flexible working, trusting our staff to get the job done. And we offer an inclusive and supportive environment where our people can meet their full potential.


This position will be based in Southampton: The centre is well connected by public transport and has ample cycle parking in addition to free onsite car-parking.

Our commitment as an employer:

The NOC is an equal opportunities employer and welcomes applications from all sections of the community. There is a guaranteed interview scheme for suitable candidates with a disability and we welcome applications from ethnic minorities currently under-represented. The NOC is an Investors in People organisation, and has signed up to the Athena SWAN charter principles to take action to address gender equality.

How to apply:

Please click ‘Apply for this job’ and submit an up-to-date CV and cover letter outlining your suitability for the role and your motivation for pursuing the position. If you are unable to apply online, please contact the NOC recruitment team at careers@noc.ac.uk

Before submitting your application please ensure you have reviewed the attached job description and assessment criteria.

Date advert posted: 8th July 2022

Closing date: 31st August 2022

We anticipate that interviews for this position will be held in early September 2022.


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