Chief Scientific Advisor

Reference Number: 7946aa

Location: Christchurch

  • Internationally Recognised Science Programme
  • Guide the Future of Antarctic Science
  • Executive Leadership Opportunity


About The Role: 

At Antarctica New Zealand, we aim to ensure that Antarctica and the Southern Ocean are valued, protected and understood. Our role is to support world-leading science and environmental protection and to raise public awareness of the global significance of the continent and surrounding Southern Ocean. 

It’s an exciting time to be joining Antarctica New Zealand, with the organisation leading two influential initiatives on behalf of the New Zealand Government. Antarctica New Zealand is halfway through the initial seven-year term as hosts of the Antarctic Science Platform, a Strategic Science Investment funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. Additionally, the Scott Base Redevelopment (SBR) project is underway and will see the existing base built in the 1980s completely replaced by 2028. The new base will support New Zealand’s enduring presence in Antarctica and the Ross Sea, and enable the organisation to continue to facilitate world-leading science and better support local and deep-field science with improved efficiencies.

Based in Christchurch, the Chief Scientific Advisor is a key member of the Senior Leadership Team and accountable for the strategic leadership of New Zealand’s Antarctic research and for acting as a co-ordination point for Antarctic Science generally.

Responsibilities include:

  • Leading the Antarctica New Zealand science team to maintain a high quality, internationally recognised science programme across a diverse range of disciplines
  • Coordinating the Strategic Science Investment Fund (the Antarctic Science Platform) as a key contributor of Antarctic Science
  • Leading Antarctica New Zealand’s relationship with the science community, providing scientific leadership and expertise
  • Ensuring Antarctica New Zealand is well represented in a wide range of science and policy fora, both nationally and internationally
  • Supporting the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to deliver on international science diplomacy objectives and collaborations
  • Involvement with science funding programmes and delivery of the science field programme.


Skills & Experience: 

Candidates of interest will have a passion for the polar environment, will have credibility and be highly respected in the scientific community, along with superb relationship development/stakeholder engagement skills. You will have:

  • A PhD in a related science discipline
  • A strong publication record of high-quality research, ideally with involvement in Antarctic research
  • Experience with science strategy development and the development/implementation of a complex programme of projects
  • A high level of understanding of science and logistics working groups, and preferably experience of Antarctic groups such as SCAR, CCAMLR and COMNAP



  • Small, non-bureaucratic and values-based organisation
  • Full contributing member of the Senior Leadership Team
  • Opportunity to spend time working in Antarctica


About the Organisation:

Antarctica New Zealand works to ensure that Antarctica’s environment continues to be protected, that scientists are supported to find the answers to complex scientific questions, and that science outcomes are communicated back to policy makers and the public. Established in 1957, Scott Base is a bustling hub of scientists, staff and visitors from October to February. Since it was established, the base has had numerous upgrades with the last major infrastructure investment occurring in the 1980’s. In Budget 2021, the Government committed $344 million to the SBR project which will see the existing base replaced by three large, interconnected buildings, with a target completion date of 2028. 



Antarctica New Zealand’s overarching organisational goal is to continue to play an influential role in the kaitiakitanga (guardianship) of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean as a natural resource devoted to peace and science. We do this by facilitating high-quality scientific research in Antarctica and supporting initiatives to protect the environment.

Antarctica New Zealand Values:

•     Ka ngākau whiwhita tātou ki ā tātou mahi katoa 

We are passionate about what we do

•     Ka tiaki tātou i a tātou anō, ka tiaki hoki i te taiao

We care for each other and the environment

•     Ka mahi tahi tātou

We work together

•     He ngākau pono ō tātou

We act with integrity

•     Ka whai tātou i ngā taumata tiketike

We aspire to the highest standards


To apply in strict confidence now, please complete the ‘apply for this job’ application form, attaching your cover letter and CV. Applications close on 16 January 2022.  Emails will be electronically acknowledged and further correspondence may be by email.

Click here to view the Candidate Briefing document.

For more information please phone Louise Green on +64 3 353 4367.

To apply use application form or email

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