Ocean Career: Cefas Environmental Economist

This post provides the opportunity for a motivated and skilled quantitative researcher with experience in environmental economic and social science methods to play a crucial role in the social and economic advice team at Cefas (Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science). The post holder will contribute research to an expanding portfolio of UK and international programs as well as develop and apply emerging methods and tools to the environmental economics of the marine environment for the conservation and sustainable use of the Ocean.

The social and economic advice team at Cefas conduct a wide range of interdisciplinary research on the marine and coastal environment. Providing advice in support of Defra’s coastal and marine environmental policies, natural capital accounting projects in addition to contributing to national and internationally funded research in collaboration with academic and other research institutes, especially the University of East Anglia and their Centre for Social and Economic Research on the Global Environment (CSERGE).

Within the interdisciplinary remit of research in Cefas and of the social and economic advice team, you will be required to lead national and international research on the human environment interface covering topics including environmental economics and natural capital accounting, marine and coastal spatial planning, environmental psychology and sustainable resource management.

Job description

Your main duties and responsibilities will include, but are not limited to:

  • Developing and conducting economic research into the coastal and marine environment;
  • Leading on economic and statistical analyses, as well as study design and implementation of environmental valuations using stated and/or revealed preference methods;
  • The construction of natural capital accounts using collected and modelled quantitative socio economic and biophysical data;
  • Ensuring high data quality and recording standards;
  • Supporting the development of new business opportunities and writing research proposals both within Cefas and the wider national and international research community;
  • Communicating science/research outcomes to a range of stakeholders using a variety of media (incl. peer-reviewed scientific publications, presentations, briefings etc.).

In addition, Cefas reserves the right to ask staff to take on additional duties and responsibilities which are commensurate with their grade. Team Leaders and management will have a discussion with staff to explain the changes that are to be made. A new job description will be issued if required.

Person specification

The following are essential criteria required for this role and you must be able to demonstrate your skills and experience in the following areas:

  • Excellent econometric and statistical skills;
  • Substantial research experience in environmental economics;
  • Good knowledge of economic theory (applied to environmental economics) and the data challenges associated with its analysis in an interdisciplinary setting (e.g. within biological and ecological systems);
  • Being flexible and able of working on multiple projects at the same time and to adapt to various activities and committed, with the ability to work as part of a team, but also unaided to organize own work to meet deadlines;
  • Excellent communication skills verbally and written;
  • Experience in leading the publication of peer-reviewed papers;
  • Excellent time management;
  • Willing to mentor and support others in the team;
  • Being flexible, able to adapt to various activities and commitments at the same time, with the ability to work as part of a team, but also unsupervised to organize own work to meet deadlines; and
  • An MSc or equivalent masters degree in environmental economics or a closely related discipline and ability to demonstrate having previous work experience in a related field of work (e.g. statistics; ecological economics etc.), or a Ph.D. in (environmental) economics or a closely related topic. However, if the applicant doesn’t meet these qualification then being able to demonstrate having relevant work experience and meeting the criteria in this person specification will be considered.


We'll assess you against these behaviors during the selection process:

  • Developing Self and Others
  • Delivering at Pace
  • Making Effective Decisions

We only ask for evidence of these behaviors on your application form:

  • Developing Self and Others

Technical skills

We'll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process:

  • Excellent applied econometrics experience in designing and analyzing stated and/or revealed preferences surveys (e.g., choice modelling, contingent valuation, and travel cost/random utility models).
  • Sound applied statistical and economic analysis background to natural capital analysis (valuation and/or accounting).
  • Substantial programming experience in R or similar package like Stata.
  • Sound understanding of statistical and economic analysis for natural capital.


Alongside your salary of £39,150, Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science contributes £10,571 towards you being a member of the Civil Service Defined Benefit Pension scheme. Find out what benefits a Civil Service Pension provides.

  • Generous annual leave entitlement – Cefas offers 25 days' annual leave on entry (rising to 30 days over first 5yrs) for full-time new entrants to the Civil Service. Employees receive 8 public holidays a year, plus an additional day to mark the King's birthday
  • Access to learning and development tailored to your role
  • A working environment that supports a range of flexible working options
  • A working culture which encourages inclusion and diversity
  • Eligible to join the Civil Service Pension scheme – more information can be found on the CSP website http://www.civilservicepensionscheme.org.uk/
  • Staff recognition vouchers
  • In-year award scheme

Closing Date: April 25, 2024

Learn more about this opportunity and how to apply.

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