Ocean Career: National Oceanography Centre Chief Scientific Officer

We are the National Oceanography Centre (NOC)—the UK’s leading institution for integrated coastal and deep ocean research. Through our ground-breaking research, collaboration, and game-changing innovation we work to gain a deeper understanding of our ocean, helping every living thing on our planet flourish.

We are made up of a dynamic and vibrant community focused on solving challenging long-term marine science problems, underpinning international and UK public policy, business and societal outcomes.

The ocean has the potential to provide the solutions to so many of the social, economic and environmental challenges we face worldwide. To truly harness the value of the ocean, we put ocean research, science and discovery at the heart of our culture.

About the role

Following an internal promotion, we are now recruiting for a Chief Scientific Officer (CSO). Reporting directly to the CEO, the CSO takes overall responsibility for our science and technology research strategy, and leads our Directorate of Data, Science and Technology.

The key duties and responsibilities of this position include:

Strategic thinking—defining NOC’s science and technology research strategy in line with NOC strategic aims.

Scientific Leadership—acting as the lead science ambassador for NOC, promoting our reputation as a world class ocean science research institution.

Culture—fostering a research culture where everyone is valued.

Operational Delivery—ensuring delivery of NOC’s science and technology research strategy.

Financial Management—ensuring financial management of the Directorate of Data, Science & Technology (DS&T).

People Leadership—taking responsibility for career development and people and team performance management of the Directorate of Data, Science and Technology.

Engagement—ensuring NOC has positive relationships with research councils, university partners, public and commercial funders.

Funding—developing strategic funding bidding opportunities.

About you

We’re looking for someone who is a true leader – able to lead in ocean science, cultural change, and people management.

With ultimate responsibility for over 250 staff, you will ideally have experience of leading a high-performance research function. Exceptional emotional intelligence will be vital, with the ability to cultivate meaningful interpersonal connections.

An internationally renowned leader in ocean science (or a closely related area), you will be confident promoting our reputation as a world-class ocean research institution.

Strong engagement skills, and the ability to lead and inspire culture change, will be key to succeeding in this position.

The right candidate must have the ability to communicate effectively, understanding the most appropriate method to use depending on the situation. A strong track record of delivering research for a range of stakeholders (i.e., government, commercial interests) is also essential).

Why the NOC?

  • We offer a generous set of benefits, including:
  • 30 days contractual annual leave, plus 3.5 extra closure days and bank holidays
  • a 10% employer contribution pension scheme
  • access to a flexible benefits portal offering online discounts, cashback and eGift cards
  • a Cycle2Work scheme allowing employees to acquire bikes and accessories
  • a great working environment with a number of social events, including summer and Christmas celebrations


This position will be based in Southampton. The center is well connected by public transport and has ample cycle parking in addition to free onsite car-parking with over 40 EV charging points.

We have a hybrid working approach where for most positions staff can work from home up to 2 days per week. If you are interested in this position, but require a more flexible working arrangement, please contact the recruitment team using the contact details below.

We can support visa applications where required. For overseas applicants who are willing to move to the UK we may be able to offer financial support with relocation.

Salary: £125,000 - £135,000

Closing date: May 3, 2024

Learn more about this opportunity and how to apply.

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