Postdoctoral Researcher (Fisheries Science)

Nouméa, New Caledonia

  • Noumea-based position
  • Attractive expatriate package
  • Join the principal development organisation in the region



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 27 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 Postdoctoral Researcher (Fisheries Science) will have responsibilities for providing technical support to the “Climate Science to Ensure Pacific Tuna Access” project activity “apply models to benchmark the vulnerability (including establishing baselines) of edible bycatch and important coastal food security species to climate change impacts”.


The key responsibilities of the role include the following:

Applying models to benchmark the vulnerability of edible bycatch and important coastal food security species to climate change impacts.

  • Lead technical analyses that apply EASI-FISH (and similar) models that can be used to estimate the vulnerabilities of species to the impacts of fishing and climate change.
  • Contribute to establishing baselines of edible bycatch and important coastal species distributions and life-histories.
  • Contribute to the establishment and testing of candidate indicators that are robust measure of the impacts of climate change on the physical and biological resources in the western and central Pacific Ocean.
  • Provide regular progress updates on project activities to key fisheries staff in-countries and and SPC Noumea.
  • Participate in the reporting and communication processes for the projects.

Assisting with preparing fisheries data for integration into population dynamics models and climate change analyses.

  • Contribute to the preparation of fisheries data for integration into the SEAPODYM model, models of intermediate complexity (MICE) and climate vulnerability analyses.
  • Contribute to the development of data preparation applications and loaders for SPC used population dynamics models and climate models.

Assisting with fast tracking the development of the Pacific Marine Specimen Bank to include/support sub-regional facilities that allow for in-situ processing and analyses of biological samples to support science and compliance needs.

  • Assist in the implementation of activities associated with FAME’s Pacific Marine Specimen Bank.
  • Assist in the scoping the feasibility for establishing sub-regional facilities for in-situ processing of biological samples in SPC member countries.

Provide, and facilitate access to, fisheries information.

  • Work with and co-ordinate industry involvement in FAME research.
  • Liaise and provide technical information to relevant agencies and partners, including local governments, fisheries agencies, NGOs, organization and communities.
  • Support industry, stakeholder groups, agencies, and communities to be involved in FAME related initiatives.

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


Key selection criteria


  • Postgraduate degree in natural resource management, fisheries science or a related field.

Technical expertise

  • A minimum of 3 years of proven expertise in quantitative fisheries or ecological sciences.
  • Knowledge of statistical methods for data integration and analysis.
  • Programming experience in R or Python, or similar high-level language for manipulating large volumes of data.

Language skills

  • Demonstrated technical report writing skills necessary to prepare technical reports and academic texts in English.

Interpersonal skills and cultural awareness

  • Proven ability to work as part of an inter-disciplinary and/or multi-cultural team.
  • Well-developed technical and executive communication skills required to interact with senior officials from member countries and non-member countries involved in tuna fisheries of the Western and Central Pacific Ocean.


Salary, terms and conditions

Contract Duration – This vacant position is budgeted until 31 December 2025 and is subject to renewal depending on funding and performance.

Remuneration – the Postdoctoral Researcher (Fisheries Science) is a band 10 position in SPC’s 2023 salary scale, with a starting salary range of 3,568–4,364 SDR (special drawing rights) per month, which currently converts to approximately XPF 540,472–660,991 (USD 4,781–5,847; EUR 4,529–5,539). An offer of appointment for an initial contract will normally be made in the lower half of this range, with due consideration being given to experience and qualifications. Progression within the salary scale is 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.


Application procedure

Closing date: 25 June 2023 – 11:00 pm (Noumea time)

Job Reference: CR000011

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

Your application will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed at shortlisting stage if all the above documents are not provided. Applicants should not attach copies of qualifications or letters of reference.

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

SPC does not charge a fee to consider your application and will never ask for your banking or financial information during the recruitment process.

Screening questions (maximum of 2.000 characters per question):

  1. In less than 300 words please provide a summary of the strength and weaknesses of methods commonly applied to assess the vulnerability of fisheries to fishing and climate impacts
  2. In less than 300 words please summarise how species distribution models can be effectively used in fisheries risk assessment
  3. In 100 words or less please describe the working environment that makes you perform at your best

Position Description

Type: Contract - International

Category: Fisheries - Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystems

Reference ID: CR000011

Date Posted: 25/05/2023