Senior Scientist (Citizen Science)

The Freshwater Biological Association

Role description 

The Freshwater Biological Association (FBA) in partnership with Natural England’s Natural
Capital & Ecosystem Assessment (NCEA) programme are seeking to appoint a Senior Scientist
(Freshwater Citizen Science). 

Employed by FBA, this is full time, permanent role with a salary in the range of £35,000
dependant on qualifications and experience. You will be based at FBA’s headquarters situated on
the shore of Windermere, one of the most iconic and studied lakes in the world. FBA offers a
progressive and flexible working environment including hybrid working, continued professional
development, health plan and participation in wellbeing initiatives (e.g. Wild swimming

The successful candidate will lead FBA’s citizen science team and will contribute to a
freshwater citizen science community of practice being developed by the Defra department
Natural Capital Ecosystem Assessment. The community of practice will be supported by FBA,
Natural England and key organisations such as regulatory agencies, eNGOs and industry

This role will be pivotal in integrating FBA’s and Natural England’s citizen science programmes
and that of our partner organisations. The successful applicant will also be encouraged to
connect with the FBA’s scientific Fellowship, the European Federation of Freshwater Sciences
Citizen Science Working Group and other national citizen science networks. You will play a key
role in enabling and evolving a new focus in programme design, data analysis, development of
citizen science networks and knowledge exchange with professional and community-based

The goals of this new initiative are i) the development of new citizen science projects for
documenting freshwater ecosystems ii) analysing existing data from a range of citizen science
projects, iii) developing and improving design, integration and use of citizen science data by
public, private and community-based actors iv) the use of citizen science data for conservation
policy advice and advocacy.

Your responsibilities will include

  • Line management of key staff and scientific overview of FBA’s citizen science programmes
    (with a focus on methods, approaches, impacts and data uses) 
  • Developing and contributing to strategic freshwater partnerships and collaborative projects
    (e.g. with Natural England and the Environment Agency). 
  • Evaluating, researching, and advancing citizen science methods and supporting data
    infrastructure to address gaps in knowledge, maximise participation and address stakeholder
  • Evaluating, researching, and advancing data analysis and integration of ‘open and closed
    source’ freshwater citizen science data sets.
  • Advancing the preparation, interpretation and dissemination of open access data and
    analysis to a wide range of stakeholders, including community-based actors. We actively
    encourage publication of findings across a range of platforms including peer-reviewed journals.
  • Participating in and contributing to the formation and operation of a Freshwater Science
    Community of Practice to advance the scientific study of freshwater ecosystems and natural
  • Contributing to the design of frameworks and projects to improve understanding of the
    status of freshwater ecosystems (and gaps in data) using citizen science.
  • Development (via a programme of workshops, surveys, etc) of a best practice framework for
    freshwater citizen science to address the multiple pressures faced by our freshwater
  • Networking with other partners in the fields of citizen science and freshwater ecology. 
  • Preparation of third-party funding applications to support identified priorities. 
  •  Working within a cross-organisational programme team. 

We are looking for a highly motivated, open-minded person with the following background and

  • PhD in Biology, Ecology, Fisheries or Environmental Sciences or 6+ years of relevant
  • Advanced understanding and experience of statistical analysis (e.g. R) 
  • Passionate interest in biodiversity, water quality and citizen science, preferably with
    experience in these three areas. 
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills 
  • Very good English language skills in written and spoken form, confident public appearance
    and presentation experience 
  • Freshwater species and ecology knowledge of at least one group of animals/plants 
  • Awareness of the importance of participation, diversity, and equal opportunities 

Additionally, the following, knowledge skills and experience are advantages: 

  • Experience in recording animal or plant species using digital applications and with large
    citizen science online databases 
  • Water chemistry – particularly nutrients and/or faecal coliforms 
  • Previous work experience in freshwater ecosystems 

Special note: All applicants must be able to provide proof of their right to work in the United
Kingdom and be in possession of a full (and approved) driving licence. 

About the Freshwater Biological Association 

We are a small environmental NGO with a large remit – understanding and conserving freshwaters
across the globe. Our innovative work on species recovery and citizen science engages hundreds
of people to participate in protecting our vital freshwater ecosystems. Our goal is to increase
understanding, learning and participation in freshwater ecology and this exciting role will
help us achieve that.

You will be joining a small but perfectly formed team of enthusiastic and dedicated people
working in the beautiful English Lake District. This exciting opportunity is being offered on a
permanent basis with a base package including 25 days annual leave (rising to 30 after 5
years), additional paid bank holidays, 3% employers pension contribution, life insurance and
personal health & wellbeing programme. 

How to apply

Please send a covering letter and CV to [email protected], detailing why you would be the best
candidate for this role. Consider the key responsibility areas and deliverables when applying
The closing date for applications is 5pm on 24th June 2024 with interviews anticipated w/c 1
July 2024. Interviews will be held face-to-face at FBA’s offices in Newby Bridge, Cumbria. 

To help us track our recruitment effort, please indicate in your email/cover letter where ( you saw this internship posting.

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