Senior Data Scientist / Biometrician At Pacific Community Type

*The Pacific Community (SPC) invites applications for the position of Senior Data Scientist / Biometrician within its Oceanic Fisheries Programme located at its headquarters in Nouméa, New Caledonia.*


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 26 country and territory members. In pursuit of sustainable development to benefit Pacific people, our unique organisation works across more than 25 sectors. We are known for our knowledge and innovation in such areas as fisheries science, public health surveillance, geoscience, and conservation of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture.

The Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystems (FAME) Division includes the Oceanic Fisheries Programme (OFP) and Coastal Fisheries Programme (CFP). The goal of the OFP is to ensure fisheries that exploit the region’s resources of tuna, billfish and related species are managed for economic and ecological sustainability using the best available scientific information. In pursuing this goal, the OFP provides scientific support for the management of fisheries for tuna and associated species, with a strong focus on stock assessment and modelling, fisheries and ecosystem monitoring and analysis and data management. The OFP works closely with member countries and territories, the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission, the Forum Fisheries Agency, the Parties to the Nauru Agreement and other regional and sub-regional entities.

The role  The Senior Data Scientist / Biometrician will undertake a programme of work that supports the fisheries and ecosystem monitoring and analysis objectives in the FAME Business Plan. It will undertake analyses to support regional analyses to understand the impacts of fishing and changing climate regimes on the dynamics of tuna populations and their ecosystems in the western and central Pacific Ocean.

The key responsibilities of the role include the following:

1. Enhance data analysis services for fisheries & marine ecosystems

• Data acquisition, management and dissemination, including processing, auditing and consolidating data holdings.

• Develop systems, tools and support services for standardised data collection, analyses, management and reporting.

2. Provide analyses and advice for evidence-based fisheries management

• Provide ecosystem, climate change, biodiversity, marine resource ecology and fisheries assessments, models and analyses.

3. Support capacity development in fisheries and aquaculture among PICTs

• Enhance capacity development in science, technology, data management, analysis and advice.

4. Provide, and facilitate access to, fisheries information

• Develop information and knowledge products.

• Facilitate information management and circulation.

• Strengthen MEL (Monitoring Evaluation and Learning) and communicate FAME results and activities.

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

Key selection criteria

1. Qualifications

• A PhD in a highly computationally orientated field.

2. Technical expertise

• 7-10 years of high level statistical skills and experience in the analyses and modelling of large and complex natural resources data, ideally fishery related.

• Technical proficiencies in a range of mathematical and statistical methods, including Bayesian and non-linear parameter estimation.

• Programming and debugging skills, including proficiency in multiple languages such as C++, AD Model Builder and/or TMB, Javascript, R and python.

• Excellent data visualisation and presentation skills.

3. Language skills

• Strong documentation and communication skills in English or French.

4. Interpersonal skills and cultural awareness

• A team player, with the ability to work in a multi-diverse and multi-cultural environment.

• Knowledge of Pacific Island countries and territories is an advantage.

Salary, terms and conditions

Contract Duration – This vacant position is budgeted until 31 December 2023 and is subject to renewal depending on performance and funding.

Due to the current travel restrictions caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic, and the priority SPC places on its staff safety, health and well-being, please note that there may be delays in being able to relocate to the duty station (Noumea). In most cases, appointment would only commence when relocation to the duty station is possible. However, options for temporary flexible or remote working arrangements may be discussed with the selected candidate. In the event of remote working, the value of the remuneration package will be adjusted to reflect the staff member’s home location.

Remuneration – The Senior Data Scientist / Biometrician is a Band 12 position in SPC’s 2021 Nouméa salary scale, with a starting salary range of SDR (special drawing rights) 4,685-5,760 per month, which converts to approximately XPF 685,755-843,105 (USD 6,512-8,006; EUR 5,747-7,065). An offer of appointment for an initial contract will 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 presently subject to income tax in New Caledonia.

Benefits for international staff employees based in New Caledonia – SPC provides subsidised housing in Noumea. 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 bilinguism, 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 begiven to the Pacific Islander. Applicants will be assured of complete confidentiality in line with SPC’s private policy.

How to apply

Application procedure

Closing date: 25 July 2021 – 11:00 pm Noumea time

Job Reference: AL000399

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

Please ensure your documents are in Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF format.

All positions at SPC have specific screening questions. If you do not respond to all of the screening questions, your application will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed at shortlisting stage.

Screening questions

  1. Briefly describe why understanding the impact of climate on Pacific fisheries is important to Pacific Island Nations.
  2. Briefly describe an example of how the results of a statistical or modelling analysis you performed have been used.
  3. Briefly describe the biological and environmental processes that are likely to impact the spatial distribution of tropical tunas and related species. What types of data, and statistical approaches to modelling those data, would you view as potential means of estimating functional relationships between the movement and distribution of tunas, and their environment?
Share this job

Contact Us

Maiduguri Borno State Nigeria

Available Jobs