Field Researcher (Temporary Role)

As a Field Researcher with the Economics team you will be responsible of collecting primary social data on UK fishing vessel fleet from ports around the country.

Job Title: Temporary Field Researcher
Contract: Fixed-term (approx. 6 weeks) contract commencing 15/05/17
Salary: Salary is competitive, plus performance related bonus scheme
Location: Edinburgh based, with extensive travel required across the UK
Division: Economics
Reports to: Economic Project Manager


  • Responsible for collecting primary social data about the crews of UK commercial fishing vessels.
  • Responsible for handling sensitive data in line with our data confidentiality policy.
  • Reporting to the team about the major challenges facing the industry.

Principal Accountabilities

  •  As one of a team of four field researchers you will be responsible for arranging and conducting face-to-face interviews with vessel owners and skippers. 
  • Each week, researchers are assigned a new survey location and are responsible for managing their time in that area to undertake interviews. Researchers return to the office every Friday to submit completed survey forms. 
  • Researchers are expected to carry out a set number of surveys each week, to ensure a statistically viable sample.

Planning and Organising

  • This job role is suited to pro-active, self-motivated and independent individuals. 
  • Researchers are in constant contact with and supported by the office based team, however they must also be able to work unsupervised in the field and be capable of working on their own initiative. 
  • Researchers are provided with materials to get them started in survey locations but must proactively seek information from local contacts and industry representatives to learn about the local fleet and maximise their time in the field. 

Decision making/use of judgement

  • Researchers are responsible for planning their own schedule while in survey locations to achieve sample targets. 
  • Researchers are required to be flexible and adapt their plans to suit the availability of the local fishing fleet.

Essential internal and external work relationships

  • Researchers must be confident and have excellent communication skills.
  • Researchers will be required to communicate with fishermen, particularly skippers and/or vessel owners both in person and via telephone. Researchers may also be required to liaise with representatives of industry associations and trade organisations.
  • Researchers will communicate daily with a member of the office based team to discuss schedule and make arrangements for travel and accommodation. Researchers may also liaise with members of the Seafish regional team and other office based staff.

Knowledge, skills and experience required 


  • Must have a full, clean driving licence and be able to travel across the UK where required, including to remote geographical areas.
  • Must have excellent communication skills and be confident communicating effectively in person and by phone with both colleagues and industry representatives. 
  • Must be reliable, enthusiastic and self-motivated, with the ability to deliver agreed results and outputs in a timely manner.
  • Must be organised and able to plan own workload and work unsupervised on multiple tasks.
  • Must take a professional approach to promoting the Sea Fish Industry Authority to the UK seafood industry and members of the public. 
  • An Honours Degree including a research component, preferably in social or natural sciences with an emphasis on qualitative research.


  • Experience working in the seafood industry and knowledge or understanding of seafood industry supply chain.
  • Experience collecting qualitative data and undertaking face to face interviews would be an advantage.

Special features

  • This job will involve a significant amount of travel around the UK.
  • This is not a 9am-5pm job, researchers may have to adapt their schedule to suit the working patterns of fishermen and in some instances, antisocial working hours may be necessary.
  • Opportunity for researchers to contribute to team publications.
  • Basic salary plus performance related bonus for achieving targets.
  • All travel and subsistence costs are paid while researchers are working in the field.

To apply please email your CV and a covering letter to highlighting any relevant field experience you have and include your interview availability on the following dates: 18th-21st April. For an informal discussion about this position please contact Kirsten Milliken on 0131 524 8668 or Steven Lawrence on 0131 524 8663.

The closing date for applications is midnight on Sunday 2nd April 2017. Interviews will be scheduled for 18th-21st April.