Organisation NERC
Organisation Detail National Oceanography Centre
Reference Number IRC241714
Location Liverpool See on Map
Salary £45271 - £49119
Date Posted 06 July 2017
Grade NERC-4
Contract Type Open Ended
Hours Full Time
Closing Date 13 August 2017
Interview Date 23 August 2017

This is a Band 4 position and the salary will be £45,271 to £49,119 per annum.

About the role:
The British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC) is built around our in-house developed software systems that manage and disseminate complex marine science data sets. Hence, software development is core to our success. The purpose of this role is to lead the BODC systems team including: project delivery, team capability, software development tools, methodologies and technical strategies.

This is a full time, permanent position offered on Natural Environment Research Centre (NERC) terms and conditions and is open to internal and external candidates.  

About you:
Do you want to contribute to our understanding of the changing oceans? You may be an experienced software development manager looking for an exciting opportunity to apply your expertise in a data-rich research environment or perhaps a senior data manager with extensive software development experience looking for that next step into a senior management role. You will have an interest and an aptitude for building high performing teams and well-designed software systems. Experience with specific technologies (but we don’t use much Microsoft) is less important than an understanding of development methodologies, tools and teams. Reflecting the growing importance of our software development team, this is a new position, so would suit someone with initiative and wanting to make a contribution to the scope of the role.

Your work experience will be complemented with a good honours degree (or masters) in Computer Science. An interest in marine or environmental science and working with scientific data would nicely round out your suitability.

What we can offer you:
In return for your contribution, we offer a competitive remuneration package, including an RCUK pension scheme, 30 days annual leave with a further 14 local and public days.  Opportunities for further training and development are supported.

About BODC:
The British Oceanographic Data Centre is part of the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) and works closely with other groups in NOC to provide a deck-to-desktop data delivery service to the international marine science community. BODC is part of a worldwide network of oceanographic data centres created to support global, regional and climate-related studies of the world’s oceans. We are at the forefront of managing and disseminating large, complex marine data sets. We are a component of NERC’s environmental data centre network and collaborate widely with other international data centres, on interoperability and semantic web initiatives, to make data discoverable and easily available to scientists, the marine community, industry and the public.

About NOC:
The National Oceanography Centre (NOC), part of the Natural Environment Research Council, is a national research organisation, delivering integrated marine science and technology from the coast to the deep ocean and is one of the top five institutions of its kind in the world.

With sites in Liverpool and Southampton, it is the UK’s leading centre for sea level science, coastal and deep ocean research and technology development.  Working closely with its partners and associates, it provides capability to meet needs across the UK marine science community (

For further information visit & or contact Dr Graham Allen at: to arrange an informal chat about the role.

Our Commitment as an Employer:
The NOC is an equal opportunities employer and welcomes applications from all sections of the community. People with disabilities and those from ethnic minorities are currently under-represented and their applications are particularly welcome. The NOC is an Investors in People organisation and is working towards achieving Bronze status for Athena SWAN – a scheme that recognises excellence in women's employment in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) in UK higher education. There is a guaranteed Interview Scheme for suitable candidates with disabilities.
The NOC is committed to making the NOC ‘a great place to be, where our people succeed and deliver great work’. The NOC is committed to being recognised as a flexible employer to support employees’ work and personal commitments where possible and the NOC’s Flexible Working Policy gives all employees the right to request flexible working.

Person Specification

Personal Skills/Qualities


  • attention to detail and accuracy, but pragmatic enough not to be a perfectionist
  • work independently, but knows when to consult and inform
  • self-improver, always striving for self-improvement.


  • an interest in marine or environmental science data
  • an interest in research in climate science and/or marine science.

Knowledge & Experience related to position


  • technical management
  • software development management or development team leadership experience.

Tools & Process

  • experience and expertise in using agile and lean techniques to deliver easy-to-use web applications, APIs and web services
  • expertise in implementing software development process improvement and the rapid adoption of required tools
  • experience with using and managing software development tools, such as JIRA, SVN, Git.


  • experience of working with teams employing a broad suite of  technologies, including Java, Matlab, Python, PL-SQL, Linked Open Data, RDF, XML, SPARQL, JSON.


  • experience of technical design and strategy decision making.



  • experience of data-intensive processing and management systems
  • experience delivering well-architected Web Applications.

Technical Management

  • software development experience in a research or scientific environment.



  • honours degree (or equivalent) in Computer Science.


  • software Project management certification
  • Certified Scrum Master.

Presence/Communication Skills:


  • ability to organise and schedule your own work effectively, to plan ahead and meet deadlines on budget
  • ability to lead, ability to gain trust quickly and effectively amongst technical teams
  • good written and oral presentation skills
  • negotiation and networking skills.

Job Purpose:

BODC systems are used by the international marine community to manage and access UK and international marine data to gain a better understanding of the world’s oceans and climate system. On behalf of the UK marine community, BODC is responsible for managing, making easily discoverable and delivering these datasets. Making the data widely available increases the opportunity for re-use of these valuable data assets and delivers increased scientific and societal impacts from the original investment in data collection.

The core of BODC is our in-house developed software systems built by our 8 software developers. The Software Development Manager is responsible for the development and support of the BODC marine data management and delivery systems, development of team capability and software development tools, defining development methodologies and developing technical strategies. With rapid advances in technology, instrumentation and the move to more real-time data acquisition, the complexity and volume of data we manage continues to accelerate. The Software Development Manager will ensure the BODC’s systems remain ahead of the curve, responsive to emerging requirements and innovative.

As well as delivering data through web interfaces, we are increasingly making our data searchable and accessible via standards-based APIs and web services as we continue to play a major part in the move to an interoperable global network of marine data centres. BODC has a world-leading role in marine data semantics and providing tools and services to the international marine community. We participate in many international collaborative projects on marine data interoperability. The Software Development Manager will ensure BODC continues to innovate our semantic systems and services and participates in international projects.

Key Accountabilities/Primary Responsibilities:

The overarching responsibility is the development and support of the BODC marine data management systems through:
• delivering a complex, technically demanding programme of system development projects

• developing team capability: ensure software developers are skilled in modern and appropriate software development best practises

• correct use of tools: ensure BODC is using the most suitable set of software development tools

• architectural strategy: continue to evolve the architecture to accommodate new datasets, modes of delivery and dissemination

• provide leadership and guidance and lead team members to enable their optimum performance and development. 

Internal & External Relationships

Within BODC:

• Programme Manager:
o The BODC Programme Manager is responsible for the successful delivery of our software development projects. The Software Development Manager will work closely with the Programme manager to ensure the teams are appropriately skilled and trained to deliver the projects.

• Software Development teams:
o Work closely with software development teams to ensure they are adequately skilled.

• Production Support Manager:
o The BODC Production Support Manager is responsible for the availability of the BODC website, data portal and other data services. Ensure the Production Support Manager is supported by a suitably skilled team of developers.

• BODC Management:
o Software Development Manager will work closely with members of the BODC management team.

Special Requirements:

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: 
o attending training in Health and Safety requirements as necessary, both on appointment and as changes in duties and techniques demand
o following local codes of safe working practices
• ensure that your actions conform with the overall environmental aims of the centre and minimise your 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 you develops, there will inevitably be some changes in the emphasis to the duties of the post.  NERC expects that you 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.

How to apply:
Applications are handled by UK Shared Business Services Ltd (UK SBS); for further information about the role please visit our website at quoting reference number IRC241714. Applicants should provide a CV and covering letter explaining your suitability for the position.  If you are unable to apply online please contact us by telephone on 00 44 (0) 1793 867000.

Closing date:  13th August 2017. It is proposed that interviews will take place on 23rd and 24th of August 2017.