2013_07: SPC, Senior Fisheries Scientist (Statistical Modelling)

Deadline : 30 July

SPC invites applications for the position of Senior Fisheries Scientist (Statistical Modelling) within its Oceanic Fisheries Programme located at its headquarters in Noumea, New Caledonia.

SPC is the Pacific Island region’s principal technical and scientific organisation. It delivers technical, scientific, research, policy and training support to Pacific Island countries and territories in fisheries, agriculture, forestry, water resources, geoscience, transport, energy, disaster risk management, public health, statistics, education, human rights, gender, youth and culture. For more information, visit www.spc.int.

In applying, candidates should be guided by SPC’s vision, mission and corporate values, the role and profile of the position and the key result areas and selection criteria.

SPC’s vision for the region is a secure and prosperous Pacific Community, whose people are educated and healthy and manage their resources in an economically, environmentally and socially sustainable way.

Our mission is to help Pacific Island people position themselves to respond effectively to the challenges they face and make informed decisions about their future and the future they leave for the generations that follow.

Our corporate values are underpinned by the principle of ‘making a positive difference in the lives of Pacific Island people – putting people first’. They include accountability, integrity, respect, transparency, sustainability, people-centredness, gender equality and cultural sensitivity.

Fisheries Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystems Division – has two core units, the Oceanic Fisheries Programme (OFP) and the Coastal Fisheries Programme (CFP). OFP’s goal is to ensure that fisheries exploiting the region’s resources of tuna, billfish and related species are managed for economic and ecological sustainability, using the best available scientific information. The programme provides information to national and regional authorities on the status of stocks targeted or otherwise impacted by oceanic fisheries; it collects and analyses comprehensive scientific data on fisheries targeting the region’s resources of tuna and other oceanic species; and it aims to improve understanding of pelagic ecosystems of the western and central Pacific Ocean. OFP comprises four sections responsible for stock assessment, data management, fisheries monitoring and ecosystem analysis. The programme currently has 29 internationally recruited and 25 locally recruited staff and an annual budget of over USD 6 million. CFP helps to develop the capacities of member Pacific Island countries and territories to assess, harvest, develop, manage and conserve their marine resources through advice and training by skilled fishers, post-harvest specialists, scientists, managers, aquaculture specialists and planners.

The role – The new role of Senior Fisheries Scientist (Statistical Modelling) is accountable to the Principal Fisheries Scientist (Ecosystem Monitoring and Analysis). The role is responsible for conducting analyses of tuna tagging data, contributing to improved regional and national assessments of tuna stocks in SPC member countries and territories and adjacent areas. The appointment is for three years, renewable subject to performance and funding availability.

The profile – SPC seeks a team player with demonstrated experience in the application of modern mathematical and statistical methods, including Bayesian and non-linear parameter estimation. Attributes will include well-developed computer programming skills in AD Model Builder, R, or C++ and the interpersonal and communication skills required to work effectively with diverse stakeholders and partners in a regional context.

Key result areas – The successful applicant must be able to demonstrate strong ability, and potential to progress in the following four key result areas of the position:

1. Research to support stock assessment and ecosystem-based fisheries management – Lead the development and implementation of statistical analyses and modelling of the tagging data held at SPC to support the management of tuna in the western and central Pacific Ocean. Lead the enhancement of Multifan CL to better utilise tuna tagging data in stock assessments of tuna in the western and central Pacific Ocean. Contribute to the incorporation of tuna tagging data/information into the ecosystem models SEAPODYM and ECOPATH. Lead the documentation of research results for publication as scientific papers, technical reports and country reports. Present findings to regional and scientific meetings. Participate in project planning and reporting.

2. Support for ecosystem-based fisheries management – Provide advice and information derived from tuna tagging data and tuna biology to the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission Secretariat, its Scientific Committee and technical working groups, as required.

3. Capacity building – Build capacity within SPC member countries and territories for interpreting and undertaking tuna tagging data analyses. In collaboration with other senior programme staff, provide advice to members on the ecosystem impacts of regional tuna fisheries. Provide scientific support for the adoption of an ecosystem approach to fisheries management.

4. Administration – Maintain up-to-date corporate and administrative procedures for all activities undertaken. Contribute to SPC publications and reports. Produce high-quality technical and trip reports. Assist in developing funding proposals and donor reports.

Key selection criteria – Candidates will be assessed against the following selection criteria:

1. Strategic thinker and planner – Able to think and act with a long term perspective – develop and implement plans and projects that deliver strategic and long term outcomes.

2. Results oriented problem solving– Able to develop solutions to deliver tangible results for SPC, its members and other stakeholders.

3. Innovation and analytical – Able to generate new ideas/opportunities, develop policy advice based on sound analysis, and support original solutions.

4. Influencing and relationship building skills – Able to influence and guide others to achieve divisional and organisational goals. Demonstrate strong negotiation, communication and advocacy skills and excellent interpersonal and representational skills. Contribute to building productive relationships and partnerships across the organisation and with stakeholders.

5. Qualifications – A master’s degree in statistics, mathematics, fisheries science, population biology or a related discipline. A relevant PhD would be an advantage.

6. Technical expertise – Demonstrated experience in the application of modern mathematical and statistical methods, including Bayesian and non-linear parameter estimation. Well-developed computer programming skills in AD Model Builder, R, or C++. Excellent verbal and written presentation and communication skills in English.  Ability to meet project deadlines, often under difficult circumstances. Experience with the modeling of mark-recapture data obtained from both conventional and electronic tags; familiarity with large-scale integrated population dynamics models (MULTIFAN-CL, SEAPODYM) and direct experience in fisheries science and management would be advantages.

7. Language skills – Proficiency in English, with a working knowledge of French being an advantage.
8. Cultural awareness – Cultural sensitivity and demonstrated understanding of developing country environments, with knowledge of Pacific Island countries and territories being an advantage.

Remuneration – The Senior Fisheries Scientist (Statistical Modelling) is a Band 12 position within SPC’s 2013 salary scale, with a salary range of 4,185–6,087 SDR (special drawing rights) per month, which currently converts to approximately XPF 596,775–867,886 (USD 6,500–9,500; € 5,000–7,200). An offer of appointment for an initial contract will normally be made in the lower half of this range, with due consideration being given to experience and qualifications. Progression within the salary scale will be based on annual performance reviews. SPC salaries are not subject to income tax in New Caledonia at the present time.

Benefits – SPC provides subsidised housing in Noumea. An establishment and relocation grant, removal expenses, airfares, home leave, medical insurance and education allowance are available for eligible employees and their recognised dependants. Employees are entitled to: 25 days annual leave and 30 days sick leave per annum, life insurance, and access to SPC’s Provident Fund (contributing 8% of salary to which SPC adds a matching contribution).

Work environment – SPC has a standardised computing environment based on Microsoft Office. Smoking is not permitted in the work place.

Equal opportunity – SPC recruits on merit, but if two interviewed candidates are ranked equal by the selection committee, preference will be given to Pacific Islanders.

Application procedure – The closing date for applications is 30 July 2013. Candidates MUST provide: a detailed curriculum vitae; a written response stating their claims against the key selection criteria; and contact details, including email addresses and telephone numbers, for three referees.

Apply online – Please use SPC’s online recruitment system at http://www.spc.int/job.html. Important note: prepare and save your curriculum vitae, response to key selection criteria and referee information as Microsoft Word documents BEFORE attempting to submit your application online. It is not possible to partially complete your application via the online system, save it and return to complete it later. Can’t access the online recruitment system? Apply via email: recruit@spc.int; fax: + 687 26 38 18; or post to Sally Clark Herrmann, HR Adviser (Recruitment and Training), Secretariat of the Pacific Community, P.O. Box D5, 98848 NOUMEA CEDEX, New Caledonia. Need assistance? Contact SPC at recruit@spc.int or telephone + 687 26 20 00.

Background – SPC was established in 1947 and employs over 570 staff. Its headquarters are in Noumea, New Caledonia, with other offices in Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia and Solomon Islands. SPC has 26 member countries and territories including its founding members, Australia, France, New Zealand and the United States of America, which contribute a large proportion of its funding. Other major development partners are the European Union; Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; United Nations agencies; Asian Development Bank; World Bank and Global Environment Facility, to name a few.

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

Organisational structure: SPC is led by the Director-General supported by the senior management team, which includes three Deputy Directors-General and the Director of the Strategic Engagement, Policy and Planning Facility. Also contributing to SPC’s executive management are the directors of the seven technical divisions (Applied Geoscience and Technology; Economic Development; Education, Training and Human Development; Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystems; Land Resources; Public Health; and Statistics for Development); the directors of Finance, Human Resources and the North Pacific Regional Office and the coordinator of the Honiara country office.