Senior Research Coordinator 

Responsible to: Head of Standards and Science

Salary and benefits: Commensurate with experience

Contract: 1 FTE (40 hours)

Location Flexible but European based preferred, terms to be agreed

Date written: September 2020

Time period: Fixed term contract to start as soon as possible, maternity cover January 2021- September 2021

About ASC

ASC is an independent, not-for-profit organisation established in 2010 to set and operate global standards for responsible aquaculture. Certified farmed products are promoted to consumers through the use of its logo.

The aquaculture industry is growing strongly and is already supplying more than half of all seafood consumed worldwide, but this growing demand increases the environmental and social footprint associated with this expansion. The ASC certification and labelling programme incentivises improved farming practices by promoting the benefits of responsibly farmed seafood and encourages an industry towards achieving environmental sustainability and social responsibility.

We work with aquaculture producers, seafood processors, retail and foodservice companies, scientists, conservation groups and the public globally to promote the best environmental and social choice in farmed seafood. For more information go to www.asc-aqua.org.

The ASC is a growing organisation. We have around 70 people working from various countries, including the Netherlands, UK, Germany, Spain, Australia, Japan, China, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Brazil and the US. There are five functional Departments covering: Standards and Science, Programme Assurance, Market development, Marketing and Communication, Administration/Governance. We operate an office in Utrecht (NL) and in London (UK) for staff based in these countries.

The Standards and Science (SaS) Department is made up of three Teams: 1) Standards Team, 2) Research Team and 3) Impacts Team. Collectively, these teams cover work streams that deal with standard development and implementation, conducting research and assimilating data to serve multiple purposes both within and external to the organization. The Department currently (September, 2020) consists of 11 staff, each responsible for a number of specific projects as well operational workflows.

Job summary

The Research Team fulfils a knowledge developing and background information providing function primarily (but not exclusively) within the SaS-department, working either in response to requests, or as initiator of knowledge destined for further uptake by the other SaS-Teams. 

In addition to this function, the Research Team embeds the work of ASC more within the scientific community – for instance via (peer reviewed) publications, or partnership development with universities and research institutes. 

Research is an integral part of Standard setting in order to understand and reflect the current situation. As an ISEAL-member, ASC is committed to work according to the ISEAL Standard Setting Code, which requires standards to reflect the best scientific understanding of a good practice and adapt where necessary to local conditions. This is not only crucial in relation to standard setting, but also as part of the credibility of the ASC. 

With the growth of the organization, a need for more focus on the above outlined tasks, has been expressed. The position will be responsible for overseeing, developing and coordinating this further development in collaboration with the wider SaS-Department and ASC.

Role and responsibilities

The Research Team is a Team in development. The role of the position will be initially to act as interim-Head of Team, to cover the maternity leave period of the formal Head of Team. In this role, the position must be able to define and delegate research items as and when the arises. ASC collaborates with a network of external consultants – these will be the primary leads of the work items, with overall coordination anchored with the position.

Beyond this interim period, the position will be part of the Research Team as Senior Research Coordinator and support the work streams that fall under the responsibility of this team. These range from coordinating the implementation of scientific principles into metric standard setting (i.e. ASC Metrics Methodology), to coordinate the development of white papers and background papers where the need arises (e.g. for standard setting or based on incoming requests), to the coordination of research projects and collaboration with research institutes. It is intended to develop longer running research projects that eventually serve the Standards and/or Impacts Team. Collaboration with universities/research institutes, grant applications and article publication are all considered as possible part of these longer term projects. Together with the Head of the Team, the position will define the needs and possibilities that can be delivered by the Research Team.Involvement in SaS (and where needed, also with other Departments) projects and workstreams is expected as well in order to support and strengthen capacity where needed and to elevate matters within the SaS Department, across the organisation to any of the other operational Departments, governance bodies (TAG, TWG) or to external partners.

It is expected that the role will bring a collaborative and positive working attitude and will be pro-active in engaging internal and external stakeholders, partners and collaborators. It is expected that the role will undertake the work in a systematic and scientific robust manner.

Main tasks include:

  • Supporting all workstreams that fall under the responsibility of the Research Team
  • Interim management of workflows within the Research Team in collaboration with (external) project leads, including;
    • Operalisation of the ASC Metrics Methodology;
    • Conducting of (background) literature review and collection of information related to (integrity) issues and research needs;
    • Coordination of the development of white papers for various needs within, and beyond, SaS;
    • Development of institutional relationship with universities and research institutes;
    • Publication of Research Articles across relevant platforms and journals;
    • Analysis of data into usable information.
  • Coordination of workflows between the other teams of the SaS Department (i.e. Standards, M&E);
  • Coordination of research projects and cooperation with research institutes;

Key qualifications

  • Fluent in spoken and written English;
  • Relevant University degree and experience working in the aquaculture sector;
  • Experience in team management;
  • Established networks in the aquaculture research sectors globally;
  • An understanding of issues in seafood sustainability and the role of farm certification; 
  • Scientific expertise within the field of aquaculture with proven skills in data collection and conducting statistical analysis;
  • A pro-active and result-oriented approach to operation, with diplomacy and the ability to garner support and cooperation with key influencers in the sector;
  • A fact-driven, science-driven, pro-active and result-oriented approach to work
  • Excellent presentation and communication skills;
  • Ability to make pragmatic decisions;
  • And not unimportant …. be an enthusiastic, self-motivated and fun colleague to work with!

Application details

Please e-mail a cover letter, and CV to: recruitment@asc-aqua.org by October 26th 2020.

Selection process 

All applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Short listed candidates will be invited to take part in an interview. Successful candidates might be asked to prepare additional written materials. The vacancy will be closed before the closing date if a suitable candidate is found.

ASC take data protection very seriously. We will only use any personal information you may choose to give us in connection with your application for this position. In the event that your application is unsuccessful we will keep your personal information for 6 months, in case any other vacancies arise for which we think you may be suitable. For more information please read our privacy policy, which can be found here; https://www.asc-aqua.org/privacy/

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