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Ocean Science Officer


  • Organization: SPC - Pacific Community
  • Location: Suva
  • Grade: Level not specified - Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Maritime
    • Scientist and Researcher
    • Sustainable use of oceans, seas and marine resources
  • Closing Date: Closed
  • Suva-based position (Fiji)
  • Competitive expatriate package
  • Join the principal development organisation in the region


The Pacific Community (SPC) is the principal scientific and technical organisation in the Pacific region, supporting development since 1947. We are an international development organisation owned and governed by our 27 country and territory members. In pursuit of sustainable development to benefit Pacific people, our organisation works across more than 25 sectors. We are known for our knowledge and innovation in such areas as fisheries science, public health, geoscience, and conservation of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture.

The Geoscience Energy and Maritime Division provides advice, technical assistance, research and training support to Pacific Island countries and territories (PICTs). There are three (3) areas of scientific programming and two areas of focus within this division:

  1. Oceans and Maritime Programme (OMP) – assists member countries with services that provide applied ocean science and knowledge for evidence-based policy-making and technical solutions for improved ocean and maritime governance, management and capacity development.
  2. Georesources and Energy Programme (GEP) – assists member countries by applying technical knowledge in the areas of geoscience and sustainable energy use.
  3. Disaster and Community Resilience Programme (DCRP) – assists member countries to demonstrate strengthened resilience through integrated action on disaster risk management, climate change adaptation, natural resource management and increased access to water and sanitation.

The Ocean Science Officer will support the technical and applied science activities of the Oceans and Maritime Program, including planning, surveying, development of tools and products and associated documentation, training, and reporting. More specifically, the jobholder will develop technical tools and methodologies to support the Ocean Portal and other areas of work related to climate, ocean, coast and sea level products; provide quality technical support and advice on integrated ocean management to stakeholders; ensure that products, information and data are relevant and accessible; and that partners have the understanding and skills to use the products and information.

The key responsibilities of the role include:

Project support

  • Support national and regional projects in their data acquisition, including fieldwork, and reporting obligations.
  • Assist in drafting concepts for projects and for upscaling / replication of projects, ensuring that these meet the objectives of the workplan and requirements of SPC members.
  • Provide support to the Coordinator and Manager as relates to the COSPPac projects and reporting requirements
  • Undertake reporting and applied research into issues/science that cut across the coastal and ocean sectors.

Information Management, Training, and Knowledge Sharing

  • Responsible for operational tasks on the Ocean Portal such as - updates are available (weekly/monthly), update wave hindcast data (monthly), ad-hoc maintenance due to third party changes.
  • Respond to feedback, bug reporting, and new feature recommendations.
  • Service data requests from stakeholders and industry partners.
  • Support online information sharing and accessibility for stakeholders with a client focused approach.

Technical analysis and product development

  • Contribute content and shape the direction of the Ocean Portal.
  • Contribute to the content and layout of annual tide calendars and support the publication and distribution.
  • Forge relationships with ocean-related industries and sectors to understand how they use information in their decision- making.
  • Lead preparation or contribute to analytical work to develop new knowledge products e.g., outlooks, maps, forecasts etc.

For a more detailed account of the key responsibilities, please refer to the online job description.


Key selection criteria 


  • Postgraduate level in natural sciences preferably climate science, oceanography or related discipline. 

Technical expertise

  • 7 years’ experience of technical and applied science activities including planning, surveying, and development of associated tools and products.
  • Experience in reporting and conducting applied research into issues/science with focus on coastal and ocean sectors.
  • Writing scripts and algorithms using Python/Matlab.
  • Ability to interpret, translate and communicate results and findings into material accessible to the general public familiarity with climate science.
  • Strong integrative and collaborative skills with ability to undertake cross- sectoral work.
  • Ability to deliver in a dynamic environment with multiple demands and quick turnaround of outputs.
  • Experience in designing and delivering training on climate and/or ocean science concepts                               

Language skills 

  • Excellent English communication skills (oral and written). 

Interpersonal skills and cultural awareness 

  • Interpersonal skills with the ability to work in a multicultural, inclusive and equitable environment.


Salary, terms and conditions 

Contract Duration – This vacant position is budgeted for 3 years and is subject to renewal depending on funding and performance. 

Remuneration – The Ocean Science Officer is a Band 10 position in SPC’s 2023 salary scale, with a starting salary range of 2,575‒3,218 SDR (special drawing rights) per month, which currently converts to approximately FJD 7,595–9,494 (USD 3,450–4,313; EUR 3,268–4,085). An offer of appointment for an initial contract will normally be made in the lower half of this range, with due consideration given to experience and qualifications. Progression within the salary scale will be based on annual performance reviews. Remuneration of expatriate SPC staff members is not subject to income tax in Fiji; Fiji nationals employed by SPC in Fiji will be subject to income tax.

Benefits for international employees based in Fiji – SPC provides a housing allowance of FJD 1,350–3,000 per month. Establishment and repatriation grant, removal expenses, airfares, home leave travel, health and life and disability insurances and education allowances are available for eligible employees and their eligible dependents. Employees are entitled to 25 working days of annual leave per annum and other types of leave, and access to SPC’s Provident Fund (contributing 8% of salary, to which SPC adds a matching contribution).

Languages – SPC’s working languages are English and French.

Recruitment principles – SPC’s recruitment is based on merit and fairness, and candidates are competing in a selection process that is fair, transparent and non-discriminatory. SPC is an equal-opportunity employer, and is committed to cultural and gender diversity, including bilingualism, and will seek to attract and appoint candidates who respect these values. Due attention is given to gender equity and the maintenance of strong representation from Pacific Island professionals. If two interviewed candidates are ranked equal by the selection panel, preference will be given to the Pacific Islander. Applicants will be assured of complete confidentiality in line with SPC’s Privacy Policy.


Application procedure 

Closing Date: 4 October 2023 at 11:59pm (Fiji time)

Job Reference: JM000484 

Applicants must apply online at

Hard copies of applications will not be accepted.

For your application to be considered, you must provide us with:

  • an updated resume with contact details for three professional referees
  • a cover letter detailing your skills, experience and interest in this position
  • responses to all screening questions

Your application will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed at shortlisting stage if all the above documents are not provided. Applicants should not attach copies of qualifications or letters of reference. Please ensure your documents are in Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF format.

For international staff in Fiji, only one foreign national per family can be employed with an entity operating in Fiji at any one given time. SPC may assist on a case-by-case basis with submissions to Fiji Ministry of Foreign Affairs for their consideration and final approval. SPC cannot and does not make any guarantee whatsoever of approval for such applications to Fiji Ministry of Foreign Affairs and where an application is approved, the spouse or partner will subject to such terms and conditions as may be set from time to time by the Ministry.

SPC does not charge a fee to consider your application and will never ask for your banking or financial information during the recruitment process. 

Screening Questions (maximum of 2,000 characters per question):

  1. Briefly outline how you would add value to and improve Ocean Data Management tools such as the Pacific Ocean Portal-
  2. Give one example where you have contributed to a development outcome using ocean/marine data. Please describe the impact this has had at a national or community level
  3. What are the key elements of a successful training workshop?

Position Description

This vacancy is now closed.
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