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Vacancy: Head of the PML International Office

Are you a dynamic, well-networked and strategically-minded scientist with high-level experience on the international stage and the science-policy interface? 
Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML) is seeking a new Head of the International Office to help drive forward its vision for a sustainable ocean future and further enhance its reputation for world-leading marine science.
With a strong scientific understanding of the key issues facing the marine environment and a track record of related research, you will engage effectively with a range of initiatives, programmes and stakeholders at UK, European, intergovernmental and global level, leading the development and delivery of PML’s international strategy, while helping PML science staff develop and deploy their own skills in order to maximise the organisation’s reach and influence.   

A confident and respected communicator and negotiator, you will create and secure opportunities for PML to bring its scientific research to bear on key decision-making, positioning PML and its research in high-level international activities, generating enhanced international visibility, influence, and impact, maximising existing partnerships and nurturing new strategic relationships. This will include working closely with PML’s Marketing and Communications, Impact and Fundraising teams on appropriate activities, events and initiatives as required.  

Salary competitive – from £60k depending on experience



About PML

A world leader in the field of marine research, Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML) is committed to the delivery of impactful, cutting-edge environmental and social science in support of a healthy and sustainable ocean.
Our research is globally recognised. We work with a broad range of partners internationally through research projects and wider initiatives, combining observational, experimental and modelling activity to provide a greater understanding of the dynamic and complex marine environment to inform knowledge-based solutions.
Through our science we contribute to achieving targets and aspirations set out in national and international directives and goals for a sustainable future. This includes addressing many of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive and the UK Government’s 25 year plan to improve the environment.
Our award-winning science team brings extensive interdisciplinary experience and skills to every project, with particular specialisms in areas including climate change, biodiversity, microplastics, marine autonomy, technology and artificial intelligence.


About PML’s International Office

The PML Strategy 2020-25 sets out our ambition for international activities and its research in the context of the UN “double decade” – the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development and the Decade of Ecosystem Restoration, and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. By understanding connections among the ocean’s physical, biological, chemical, societal and economic systems, PML carries out interdisciplinary research and innovation that mobilizes and shapes the narrative with its international networks and collaborators, turning scientific evidence into action. PML has been active on the international stage at many fora and has a successful record of accomplishment with partners across UK government, European programmes, intergovernmental agencies, and global initiatives over the last two decades.

Since being formally established in 2020, PML’s International Office has been very successful, most notably in leading the delivery of PML successes at UNFCCC COP events, most recently at COP27 in Egypt, the UN SDG14 Ocean Conferences, and in developing and mentoring the PML staff that delivered this. PML is an accredited UNFCCC Observer NGO, has Special Consultative Status with the UN ECOSOC and this year secured accreditation to attend CBD COP15. Such events and status provide opportunities to not only deliver high-level science impact but are also important platforms for networking and partnership building, opening avenues to broader scientific collaborations and funding. This approach contributed to PML achieving the highest rated impact case studies in the 2019 NERC centre REF exercise. 

About the Role

The Head of the International Office leads the development and delivery of the strategic objectives of PML’s International strategy.  Reporting to the Chief Executive, you will:
  • Enhance the reputation of PML on an international stage: Generating opportunities to promote PML’s international activities and impact to its stakeholders through various appropriate platforms and working with PML’s Marketing and Communications Group in highlighting activities through various channels.
  • Influence science-policy transfer of evidence on an international stage through facilitating and supporting the development and maintenance of PML’s international roles, networks, and key stakeholder relationships to ensure maximum impact, including with NGOs. This includes coordination of PML’s presence at key international events and monitoring impact from these and facilitating PML’s contribution to global assessment reports such as IPCC, WOA and IPBES.
  • Create opportunities for funding (directly or indirectly), from grants, foundations, and philanthropy. To help develop local to national activities and ideas (such as Marine Research Plymouth, Smart Sound Plymouth etc..) into international opportunities which can bring influence and lead to opportunities. Establishing bilateral relationships with key international partners.
  • Create opportunities to promote diversity and inclusion both within PML and across the globe.
  • Mentor willing and appropriate staff to bring their expertise to the identified priority actions.
  • Evolve the International Strategy to meet PML’s business priorities: working in concert with the PML Directorate and informed by internal and external stakeholders.
  • Income generation: the post holder is expected to generate income to partially support the activities of the IO.

Skills /Attributes

  • A recognised high profile as a scientist on the international stage
  • Experience of participating and influencing science policy on an international stage (e.g., UNFCCC, CBD, IPCC, IPBES etc.)
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Experience of negotiating and organising participation (events, trade stands, speaking opportunities) in key international events e.g., UNFCCC and CBD COPs, UN Ocean Conference
  • Scientific understanding of the major issues e.g., climate change and its mitigation and adaptation, biodiversity loss, pollution, fishing, impacts on the marine environment and society
  • A track record of peer reviewed or other influential publications
  • Experience of income generations / fund raising
  • A network of influential stakeholder and collaborators on an international stage
PML has attained Athena SWAN Bronze level accreditation and is committed to promoting a diverse and inclusive culture where we can all succeed based on our merit. To support staff from all backgrounds, we offer a range of family friendly and inclusive employment policies, flexible working arrangements and staff engagement forums.
Our full range of benefits can be viewed on our Employee benefits page.

How to apply

To apply please send your CV and a covering letter to including the job title and reference number as the subject: Head of the PML International Office - MR002.

Closing Date: 1700 GMT on 3rd February 2023