Lead Science Officer

Position Title: Lead Science Officer

Location: Malapascua Island, Daanbantayan, Philippines.

Closing date for applications: Ongoing (job posted 12th January 2020)

Contract duration: One Year (with a two month probation period). Possibilities for extension.

Start date:  As soon as possible.

Remuneration and benefits: Please see relevant section below

Organisation overview:

People and the Sea is a French and Filipino registered charity. We are a community-driven marine conservation organisation based on Malapascua island, Philippines. Our objective is to support local communities in identifying innovative ways to protect their marine environment whilst having a positive economic impact.

We are a young organisation. Now in our fourth year of operations, we are looking to restructure and expand our on-site team. This will facilitate the ongoing growth of our research activities as well as presenting the opportunity to initiate a variety of previously identified projects. This is an exciting time to join our team!

We are recruiting a new Lead Science Officer (LSO) to oversee the continued development of all our science and research activities. Responsible to the Operations Manager, the Lead Science Officer takes the on-site lead in working towards the fulfilment of project goals and conservation objectives.

*Please visit our Facebook page  for more information: www.facebook.com/peopleandthesea/

Summary Job Description:

The Lead Science Officer assumes responsibility for maintaining the success of all on-site science related activities of People and the Sea. A passion for marine environment is a must, as well as a solid understanding of marine conservation strategies, marine protection and sustainable resource management.

The role is suited to a dedicated individual who is able to work well under pressure in what is a physically demanding role. The LSO will need to be able to manage their time, and that of their team, efficiently and always be ready to apply quick-thinking and an adaptable approach when problems present themselves.

The role is multi-faceted and the successful candidate will need to possess skills and experience in the fields of research, data management and analysis, teaching, team-management, public speaking and project delivery.

The LSO is assisted by, and manages, a small team consisting of a Field Scientist (FS) and a Junior Field Scientist (JFS). On site, the LSO is part of a wider team of staff who, together, ensure the smooth running on an expedition site and deliver fulfilling and professional volunteer expedition experiences.

While the core focus of People and the Sea are marine related activities, a variety of terrestrial initiatives have been developed. These are often of a scientific nature and require the input and expertise of the Lead Science Officer for their successful delivery.


Identify and manage conservation objectives:

  • In consultation with Head Office, determine long term conservation strategies.
  • Provide requisite scientific perspective on proposed short/long term projects (conduct additional research under time pressure where necessary).
  • Establish survey/training/research targets for weekly, monthly and six monthly periods and provide regular, documented progress reports to People and the Sea Head Office.

Oversee volunteer science training programme:

  • Oversee the delivery of the volunteer expedition training programme.
  • Ensure the validity and quality of the data collected.
  • Perform a regular audit of the volunteer training process to ensure a robust process.
  • Take part in volunteer science training dives where required.
  • Adapt to unforeseen circumstances in the delivery of training programme (e.g. bad weather, equipment/boat breakdown etc.)

Produce Research Output:

  • Perform necessary analysis of collected data sets
  • Write and communicate research reports.
  • Summarise the progression of projects and efforts realised.
  • Where necessary, present research activities/results to relevant stakeholders.

Develop/Maintain Institutional & Stakeholder links:

  • Maintain and further develop relationships with relevant stakeholders (e.g. local educational institutions/universities, local government offices, dive centres, people’s organisations)
  • Present science related materials to a variety of audiences ranging from school children to other members of the scientific/conservation community.
  • Represent People and the Sea at external events e.g. symposiums, training events, seminars, technical committee’s


  • Keep up-to-date with scientific and research developments in marine conservation.
  • Adapt and develop research methodologies to suit conservation aims.
  • Supervise undergraduate and/or post-graduate research students on their thesis/research projects
  • Conduct independently-led research on selected subjects in order to further scientific understanding.

Team Management:

  • Both the Field Scientist and Junior Field Scientist report to the Lead Science Officer. The LSO co-ordinates the delivery of the volunteer science programme with his/her team.
  • Conduct regular team meetings to schedule volunteer’s science training and data collection dives.
  • In conjunction with the Operations Manager, compile and regularly review performance objectives of all science team staff.
  •   Lead the successful integration of new science team staff members.


  • Liaise with and support People and the Sea Head Office in the preparation of funding proposals for on-site projects.
  • Oversee the inventory/maintenance of all science related equipment.
  • Ensure that science diving operations are conducted in accordance with People and the Sea Scuba Diving Policy

Site related tasks:

  • Ensure that People and the Sea site rules are respected and adhered to by everyone on the site (both staff and volunteers).
  • Support the People and the Sea team on site with the day-to-day running of the wider project
  • Assist in the development of People and the Sea’s ongoing community programmes.
  • Contribute to the development of People and the Sea’s social media community (e.g. FB posts, Instagram, blogs)


Qualifications/Skills Required:

  • Qualified diver (Divemaster or above preferred, but not essential). Applicants also need to be in a very good physical condition – the role is demanding.
  • Masters graduate in Marine Science, Biology or Ecology (or related field)
  • Minimum 2 years’ work experience in a tropical marine science related field.
  • Experience conducting marine biophysical survey work (on tropical reefs and/or related habitats/species)
  • Proven experience of statistical/data analysis and report production.
  • Excellent oral and written English.
  • Experience of presenting science related materials to a variety of audiences.
  • Excellent interpersonal and motivational skills.

Qualification/Skill Desired:

  • Spoken and written French.
  • Teaching Experience.
  • Understanding and experience of living and working in a developing country.
  • Experience of database management.
  • Experience in use of GIS software (preferably ArcGIS)

Remuneration & Benefits

Salary: Monthly salary of 25,000-30,000 Philippine Pesos (Dependent on Experience/Qualifications, and diving background)

All meals provided (except on days off)

Free dive training (up to the level of PADI Divemaster, certain specialities also available)

Other Benefits:

  • Reef Check Eco-Diver certification.
  • Opportunities to conduct own research initiatives in-line with broader People and the Sea objectives.
  • Valuable project and team management experience.
  • The opportunity to contribute to real conservation goals.
  • Attendance at a variety of training seminars, symposiums and technical committees.
  • Work alongside a local community, helping them to realise the goal of sustainable resource management.

Application Process

If you wish to apply for this vacancy please send your CV and a cover letter to:  [email protected]. Please state in the subject line “Application: Lead Science Officer”.

Please indicate the following in your covering letter:

  • Earliest possible start date
  • What particularly interests you about this job opening.
  • How your personal/professional experience meets the requirements detailed in this posting.

Please note that applications will be reviewed upon receipt. This means that the interview process may begin before the application deadline has passed.

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