Secondment Opportunity - Further Particulars

Job Description and Person Specification 

Department / Division: International and Strategic Partnerships office (ISPO), National Oceanography Centre, Southampton
Post Title: Director, International Climate Variability and Predictability (CLIVAR) Project Office (ICPO)
Grade: NERC Band 3 
Posts Responsible to (and Level): Head of ISPO and Director, World Climate Research Programme
Posts Responsible for (and Level): NERC Bands 6 (two); NERC Band 8 (one) plus 2.5 full time external contractors funded by US CLIVAR office and others as may be seconded internationally to the IPCO from time to time.  

Job Purpose:

The primary function of the Director, ICPO is provide scientific guidance and programmatic leadership to ensure, that the ICPO provides an effective executive arm of the CLIVAR Scientific Steering Group (SSG) and its panels and working groups and contributes to meeting the overall mission and strategy of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP).

Key Accountabilities/Primary Responsibilities (6-10 bullet points maximum) Percent_Time
1. Be responsible for maintaining adequate funding for the ICPO through appropriate resource mobilization. 1 and 2: 40%
2. Be responsible for the management of the Project Office staff, budget and operations, in accordance with the procedures laid out by the hosting institution and those of contributing agencies or organizations.  
3. Oversee and manage the implementation of the plans and activities of each of the project elements of CLIVAR as determined by the CLIVAR SSG and its’ expert panels and working groups 3, 4 and 5: 40%
4. Support the CLIVAR SSG and its Panels and Working Groups by organizing meetings, workshops and scientific conferences and implementing SSG decisions.  
5. Ensure that CLIVAR develops as an effective component of the WCRP, coordinating with its evolving priorities and contributing effectively both to its Strategic Plan 2005-15 and related implementation activities and as a player in the wider field of global change research.  
6. Maintain effective links between CLIVAR as an international project and the wider community that contributes to and benefits from CLIVAR research; encourage and promote the application of CLIVAR research to wider societal benefit.


7. Ensure the timely flow of pertinent information to CLIVAR participants and relevant international scientific bodies, representing CLIVAR in various international forums and promoting CLIVAR objectives in the broader science community. In particular publish a regular project newsletter; maintain a CLIVAR web site and produce publicity material as appropriate.



Internal & External Relationships: (nature & purpose of relationships)


  • Direct responsibility to the Director of WCRP and the CLIVAR SSG for programmatic management to progress CLIVAR’s coordinating and facilitating role, interacting with the CLIVAR SSG, its Panels and Working Groups and the Joint Planning Staff for WCRP, all under the general direction of the Joint Scientific Committee for WCRP.
  • Interact with the wider international community on CLIVAR issues.
  • Interact with sponsors/funders of the ICPO to raise funding and meet specific provisions of the support.


  • Direct responsibility to the Head of ISPO on matters of direct relevance to ISPO and NOC.
  • Interact with, direct and be responsible for the staff of the ICPO.
  • Interaction with NOC scientists on CLIVAR-relevant issues.

Special Requirements:

  • To be willing to undertake short periods of international travel.  In particular to organise and attend international meetings on behalf of CLIVAR in various parts of the world
  • All staff are expected to:
    • Positively support equality of opportunity and equity of treatment to colleagues and students in accordance with the NERC Equal Opportunities policy;
    • Help maintain a safe working environment by:
      • Attending training in Health and Safety requirements as necessary, both on appointment and as changes in duties and techniques demand;
      • Following local codes of safe working practices
    • Ensure that their actions conform with the overall environmental aims of the Centre and minimise their environmental impact
    • Undertake such other duties within the scope of the post as may be requested by your Manager.
    • Comply with the NERC Core Expectations

This job description reflects the core activities of the post, as the Centre and the post-holder develops there will inevitably be some changes in the emphasis to the duties of the post.  NERC expects that the post-holder will recognise this and adopt a flexible approach to work and be willing to participate in training where necessary.  Should significant changes to the job description become necessary, the post-holder will be consulted and the changes reflected in a revised job description

Person Specification

Criteria Essential Desirable How to be assessed
Qualifications, Knowledge and Experience:      
Ph.D. or equivalent work related experience in a relevant field. Y    
Considerable experience of working in climate science. Y    
Internationally known and respected. Y    
Demonstrated ability to win external funding. Y    
Proven record of science management. Y    
Knowledge of national and international organizational structures in the climate sciences.   Y  
Previous experience in management of international projects and of international programmes.   Y  
Planning and Organising:      
Demonstrated ability to conceive, organize and manage interdisciplinary and international science activities and initiate and sustain international cooperation Y   application/interview
Problem Solving and Initiative:      
Must be able to tackle problems across a range of climate science and seek solutions acceptable to the international science community Y   application/interview
Management and Teamwork:      
Clear ability to work with others.  Must be a team player who enjoys working with people and getting the best out of them, at the same time providing clear leadership. Y   application/interview
Communicating and Influencing:      
Excellent written and oral communication skills in English. Y   application/interview
Must be able to communicate ideas and influence in a manner that enables agreement/consensus amongst the international science community. Y   application/interview
Other Skills and Behaviours:      
Ability to represent CLIVAR on the international stage. Y   interview