Ocean Career: Scottish Government Marine Directorate Science Assistant Chemist

Do you have good analytical chemistry skills and interested in working for an organization focused on the assessment and protection of the Scottish marine environment and the people it supports?

If you do, you may be interested in joining our group of chemists actively involved in the Climate Change, Biodiversity and Ecosystems (CCBE) work area of the Scottish Government Marine Directorate Science, Evidence, Data and Digital (SEDD) portfolio.

The CCBE work area provides advice and undertakes monitoring of the marine environment, including the measurement of contaminant concentrations in sediment and biota (fish and shellfish), measures the effects of contaminant exposure upon wildlife, and undertakes assessments of environmental status.

The main role of the Assistant Chemist post is to undertake particle size analysis (PSA) of sediment samples in support of the Marine Directorate priority work areas, such as environmental assessments for the Clean Seas National Performance Indicator, UK Marine Strategy (UK MS) and OSPAR. The results of PSA analyses are reported yearly alongside contaminant data to the UK Marine Environment Monitoring and Assessment National (MERMAN) database.

You will mainly be involved in the collection, logging and preparation of collected sediment samples for PSA, a method accredited by the UK accreditation service which follows ISO 17025 standards. You will also be involved in the preparation of day-to-day reagents and standards and will have the opportunity to support other chemical analyses such as Total Organic Carbon (TOC) analysis of sediment samples and the determination of organic contaminants in both sediment and biota samples.

This role will give you the opportunity to contribute to the organization and participate in the Clean Seas Environment Programme (CSEMP) winter sampling cruises where sediment and biota samples are collected every year for a range of analyses (including PSA).

This is an 18-month Fixed Term Appointment.


  • Prepare reagents, standards and QC samples for various chemistry accredited analyses
  • Undertake the preparation and particle size analysis (PSA) of sediment samples
  • Undertake the routine maintenance of the PSA analyzer as required, carry out troubleshooting under supervision of the marine chemist
  • Assist colleagues when required in other analytical methods such as Total Organic Carbon (TOC) analysis in sediment and the determination of a number of organic contaminants in both sediment and biota
  • Ensure stock of laboratory consumables is maintained
  • Follow standard operating procedures and quality control procedures ensuring all analyses meet the requirements of ISO 17025 accreditation standards
  • Participate in the timely calibration of laboratory equipment and in the laboratory glassware cleaning process
  • Contribute to the annual review of Control Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) as well as Risk Assessments for the contaminant analyses
  • Contribute to the organization of the Clean Seas Environment Monitoring Programme (CSEMP) winter sampling cruises


  • Team Working
  • Self-Awareness
  • Information Management
  • Customer Service

Essential Criteria & Qualifications

Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry preferably (or related science).

Essential Criteria:

  • Experience working in an analytical laboratory environment, gained through studies or in a previous role.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team, planning and organizing work to meet agreed deadlines.
  • An ability to follow written and verbal instructions and work accurately.
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Word and Excel.

Location: Marine Lab, 375 Victoria Road, Torry, Aberdeen, AB11 9DB

This is a Laboratory based role.

Closing Date: February 6, 2024

Learn more about this opportunity and how to apply.

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