Team Leader – Oceanography & Ocean Climate

Contract: Contract of Indefinite Duration
Service Group: Ocean Science and Information Services (OSIS)
Location: Marine Institute, Rinville, Oranmore, Co. Galway, Ireland

Brief description of the Marine Institute:

The Marine Institute is a non-commercial semi-state body, which was formally established by statute (Marine Institute Act, 1991) in October 1992.

Under the Act, the Marine Institute was given the responsibility:

“to undertake, to co-ordinate, to promote and to assist in marine research and development and to provide such services related to marine research and development, that in the opinion of the Institute will promote economic development and create employment and protect the marine environment ”.

The Marine Institute is the national agency responsible for marine research, technology, development and innovation (RTDI). The Marine Institute seeks to assess and realise the economic potential of Ireland’s 220 million acre marine resource; promote the sustainable development of marine industry through strategic funding programmes and scientific services; and safeguard the marine environment through research and environmental monitoring. The Institute works in conjunction with the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine (DAFM) and a network of other Government Departments, semi-state agencies, national and international marine partners.

Our vision - The Marine Institute, as a global leader in ocean knowledge, empowering Ireland and its people to safeguard and harness ocean wealth.

Our Mission - The Marine Institute, provides government, public agencies and the maritime industry with a range of scientific, advisory and economic development services that inform policy-making, regulation and the sustainable management and growth of Irelands’ marine resources. The Institute undertakes, coordinates and promotes marine research and development, which is essential to achieving a sustainable ocean economy, protecting ecosystems and inspiring a shared understanding of the ocean.

In order to achieve this vision, the MI have six service areas; (1) Ocean Science and Information Services, (2) Marine Environment & Food Safety Services, (3) Fisheries Ecosystems Advisory Services, (4) Irish Maritime Development Office, (5) Policy, Innovation and Research Services and (6) Corporate Services.

The Marine Institute 5 Year Strategic Plan (2018 to 2022) is available Here

Harnessing our Ocean Wealth (HOOW) is an Integrated Maritime Plan (IMP) for Ireland. HOOW sets out a roadmap for the Irish Government’s vision, high level goals and integrated actions across policy, governance and business to enable our marine potential to be realised. Goal 2 of HOOW focuses on healthy marine ecosystems and specifically; to protect and conserve our rich marine biodiversity and ecosystems; manage our living and non-living resources in harmony with the ecosystem; implement and comply with environmental legislation (see

Description of appropriate Service Group:

Ocean Science and Information Services (OSIS) The mission of OSIS is "To provide scientific, operational and analytical support and services to strategic RTDI and statutory monitoring programmes (at national and international level) to promote and support the sustainable development of Ireland's marine resources"

Ocean Science and Information Services incorporates:

  • Information Services & Development
  • Advanced Mapping Services
  • Research Vessel Operations
  • Oceanographic Services
  • Research Infrastructures
  • Galway Bay Test Site and Cabled Observatory

Oceanography in the Marine Institute

Oceanographic Services (OS) is responsible for the national ocean observing infrastructure including the national weather buoy and tide gauge networks, developing and using ocean forecast, hindcast and climate models, acquisition and quality assurance of Irish oceanographic data, servicing oceanographic data requests and providing a lead in the MI’s climate activities including the contribution to national climate coordination and marine climate policy support. In addition, OS supports various activities at the two SEAI wave energy test sites and the delivery of multiple EU funded oceanographic and climate research projects. The OS team will be central to expansion of oceanographic and climate capacity within the Marine Institute underpinning national monitoring programmes such as MSFD, ocean modelling and forecasting in support of national policy and sustainable marine development. These services will be further improved by expansion in research activity and participation in EU projects, programmes and fora driven by the EU Blue Growth and Atlantic strategy programmes. It is anticipated that the OS team will be expanded internally and that other MI capacity build initiatives will further augment activity in this area.

Summary of the Role:

The Team Leader - Oceanography will be the Marine Institute lead in observational oceanography responsible for the management of the annual ocean and climate Rockall survey, supporting the development of the national ocean observing infrastructure, contributing to international ocean observing research, and acting as the link to national and international ocean observing and research communities. Further they will ensure the quality and delivery of Marine Institute ocean and climate data to the relevant national and international data portals and aggregators and support the Institute’s Strategic Focus Area on 'Forecasting Ocean and Climate Change'.

Principal Tasks:

The Team Leader - Oceanography will be responsible for delivering the following aspects of the Oceanographic Services programme:

  • Securing funding and the management of oceanographic and climate Research Vessel programmes.
  • Ensuring the delivery of high quality oceanographic and climate data from the national ocean observing network.
  • Collaboration with and advice to MI groups involved in the collection, quality control and assessment of oceanographic data and ensuring delivery to appropriate national and international data portals and aggregators.
  • Representing the Marine Institute /Ireland on the GO-SHIP Committee.
  • Acting as the national focus point for GOOS and as proxy for the OS Section Manager on the National GCOS Committee as required.
  • Driving engagement and collaboration with the HEI sector to ensure coordination across the observational oceanography on a national level.
  • Networking at national and international level towards the development of collaborative oceanographic and climate research relevant to the strategic goals of the MI.
  • Developing new and ensuring delivery of MI deliverables in OS led activities in EU projects and developing new projects at national, EU and international level.
  • Contribution to relevant task forces and working groups in fora such as EuroGOOS and implementation of the Atlantic Ocean Observing Blueprint.
  • Support requirements development for future ocean and climate observing infrastructures working closely with the Marine Operations and Marine Infrastructures teams.
  • Supporting responses to media and policy requests for information relating to ocean and climate observation activities.

The Team Leader Oceanography will also have responsibility for the following:

  • Preparation and monitoring of annual plans and budgets for observational oceanography activities.
  • Contributing to the OS Strategy and implementation planning in line with wider MI strategic goals.
  • Line management of a developing Oceanography team including Climate Services PDR and Economic Analyst STO.
  • Input to staff development and PMDS.
  • Supervising Marine Institute Cullen PhD fellows as relevant.
  • Meeting all financial, procurement, compliance and safety related deliverables in line with MI policies, procedures and appropriate legislation.
  • Management of external suppliers and consultants as relevant.
  • Any other duties appropriate to the role as grade as required from time to time.
Reporting Structure:

The Team Leader Oceanography will report to the Oceanographic & Climate Services Section Manager or whomever the Director of OSIS designates as appropriate.


Within the Marine Institute: Chief Executive Officer, OSIS Director, other Directors, Section Managers, Staff of the Institute.

Outside the Marine Institute: External contacts including those in the oceanographic and climate research communities (national and international, Met Éireann, OPW, EPA, other partner agencies and Departments, and 3rd level research organisations. International contacts will include the EU Commission, European Networks (e.g. EuroGoos etc.), NOAA, Oceanographic research centres, ICES, and Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission.

Education, Professional or Technical Qualifications, Knowledge, Skills, Aptitudes, Experience, and Training


  • An honours degree in oceanography or related discipline.
  • Seagoing experience, ideally as chief scientist on ocean going research vessels, with a commitment to go to sea occasionally and medically fit to meet the requirements of an ENG II (Seafarer's) Medical.
  • Proven experience in developing, delivery and management of EU projects (at Work Package Leader level).
  • Proven experience of ocean or climate service delivery including stakeholder engagement.
  • At least three years relevant post qualification work experience to include direct experience of people management, motivation, and development in both seagoing and office environments.
  • Effective communication skills both verbally and in writing - internally and externally at all levels.
  • Proven collaborative skills and experience including team working and wider project outreach and networking.
  • The ability to work unsupervised and demonstrated ability to use initiative.
  • Proven experience in financial management (in particular budgeting and reporting).
  • Demonstrated ability to credibly liaise with key stakeholders e.g. the research community both nationally and internationally, policy makers and industry.
  • Performance oriented and the ability to work under pressure to deliver agreed targets.
  • Higher level of experience in the use of Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint.
  • Experience in supervision of research students.


  • A PhD in oceanography or closely related discipline.
  • Strong publication record
  • Knowledge of the current development of the national and international ocean observing infrastructures, policy and strategies.
  • Experience of reviewing and evaluating scientific proposals and programmes.
  • Experience of working in/leading multidisciplinary teams.
  • Demonstrated public and policy science communication experience
  • Proven experience in the preparation and evaluation of high value tenders.

Special personal attributes required for the position:

  • Enthusiasm and dedication to science.
  • Demonstrates energy, dynamism reliability and a positive attitude.
  • Takes ownership of tasks and is determined to see them through to a conclusion.
  • An ability to work in an organised manner and progress work independently, managing time effectively to deliver multiple outputs on time.
  • A collaborative and open nature.
  • Self-sufficiency, while being a good team player.
  • Willing to travel for international project meetings.
  • Possesses sound, balanced judgement and strong analytical abilities.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate effectively at all levels.
  • Possess a diplomatic manner, with the ability to resolve issues before conflict occurs with stakeholders.
  • Ability to effectively communicate results of teamwork in written, oral and audio-visual formats.
  • A commitment to environmental sustainability.


Remuneration is in accordance with the Public Sector, Department of Finance approved Salary Scale for the Team Leader (Engineer II grade) with a salary scale ranging from of €60,967 to €74,102 per annum pro-rated with time worked. You will commence on the first point of the scale and will become a member of the Single Public Service Pension Scheme unless you are currently employed in or have worked in the Public Sector in the past 6 months and are a member of another Public Sector Scheme.

Annual Leave:

The annual leave entitlement for a Team Leader (ENG II grade role) is 27 working days per annum pro-rated to reflect time worked. Annual leave entitlements are exclusive of Public Holidays. All leave must be approved in advance in line with Marine Institute leave policies, by your manager or their authorised representative.

Duration of Contract:

This full time contract working 39 hours per week exclusive of unpaid breaks will be issued on the basis of a contract of indefinite duration. The contract of indefinite duration is subject to the successful candidate completing a 12 - month probation period delivering to the required standard of output with consistency.

How to Apply:

A current C.V. and detailed letter of application, summarising experience and skill set applicable to the position should emailed to or posted to Human Resources at the Marine Institute, Rinville, Oranmore, Galway, H91 R673. All correspondence for this post should quote reference OSIS / TL OS / FEB-2019

Closing date for Applications:

All applications for this post should be received by the Marine Institute in advance of 12 noon on March 19th 2019. Please note that late applications will not be accepted

Use of Data - all personal data and the information submitted for this application will be used solely for the purpose of this campaign, after which it will be deleted in line with our General Data Protection Regulation Policy and data retention schedule. All information will be treated with the strictest confidence and accessed only by those involved directly in the campaign.

The Marine Institute is an equal opportunities employer

posted: 04 March 2019     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.