Job PositionLatest JobsNekton Foundation

Head of Expeditions at Nekton Foundation

Jobs offer for Head of Expeditions at Nekton Foundation. Nekton’s mission is to rapidly accelerate our scientific understanding and protection of the ocean for people and the planet. We work for the ocean. Nekton is a UK-registered charity, based in Oxford, UK.

NEKTON Foundation

A UK-registered charity based in Oxford, London, and New York, Nekton is launching a series of major expeditions into the deep ocean using the latest submersibles and deep sea technology to carry out a health check on the ocean. Our Missions provide the scientific data and media content to amplify ocean prioritization, accelerate ocean literacy and inform and catalyze marine protection. Through our expeditions, technology development, ground-breaking research, published discoveries, broadcast films, and high-profile communications and events, we aim to help revolutionize ocean science and conservation.


Nekton is actively searching for a Head of Expeditions to join our team to develop and run a series of ocean expeditions internationally combining dive teams, submersibles, ROVs and other subsea research technologies. This is an exciting opportunity for an experienced professional who enjoys taking a hands-on approach and who would be excited to take a project from the drawing board to successful delivery.


Nekton’s goals are audacious so we are looking for an individual with a special blend of experience of implementing complex multi-disciplinary ocean expeditions and working with the international academic / government / philanthropic fleets. communications and content production skills, who revels in innovation and who understands what it takes to tell stories in ways that are culturally appropriate to capture public and media attention worldwide.

You will be meticulous at project, safety and budget management and will thrive at being hands-on in implementing an expedition strategy that combines Nekton’s own expeditions along with collaborating with an international network of partners and their expeditions.

Proven experience of leading marine expedition development and implementation (ideally combining marine research and communications), subsea technology management and innovative development, along with expedition partner management and development are all critical.

This role will take consummate professionalism, maturity and good humour – a ‘glass half-full person’ who is able to utilise in-house and outsourced resources creatively and cost-effectively to drive rapid development.

We need a team player who wants to grow, who understands the big picture and who can contribute to its creation.

Someone who wants to help create an organisation that is diverse and inclusive, who respects all views, and who genuinely believes that talent is universal in a world where opportunity has not always been equally distributed.

Nekton’s success is based on being inspiring and trusted explorers, scientists, and storytellers. You will be instrumental in the next stage of that journey, telling the ocean story in creative ways that informs, educates and entertains.

Detail About Head of Expeditions at Nekton Foundation

  • Start: As soon as possible from 1 April 2023
  • Location: Hybrid including days at central Oxford HQ with UK and international travel including on expeditions for specific periods
  • Salary: Competitive based on experience
  • Contract: Full-time
  • Reporting to Expedition Manager / Logistics Coordinator
  • Working with the Science Director, Head of Finance, Media Director (i.e. as part of the Senior Management Team)

Responsibilities and Tasks in Head of Expeditions at Nekton Foundation

Tactical and operational lead for all ocean expedition activities, co-defining and driving the expedition strategy, overseeing safe and productive marine operations, leading some expeditions at sea for specific periods, development of a network of expedition partners (combining vessel owners and operators) and representing the organisation globally when required. In detail:

  • Reports to Project Director and the Board’s Expedition Committee.
  • Development and implementation of the Expedition Strategy and budgets for undertaking a series of field expeditions internationally combining Nekton-led and Partner-led missions.
  • Running and implementing safe and productive marine operations from surface (including SCUBA and technical dive operations) to 6000metre depths (ROVs, submersibles, AUVs etc) with established policies, procedures, Health & Safety and compliance frameworks and codes of conduct, environmental and cultural impact planning, that meet best-in-class standards (e.g. ISO 9001:2015 & ISO 45001:2018 and British Standards on Expeditions (BS8848)).
  • Leading expedition risk and crisis management and associated insurances for marine operations (supported by Senior Management Team).
  • Leading expedition logistics including equipment and biological specimen shipping, customs and agents, personnel travel.
  • Leading operations at sea as Mission Director for specific periods when required and appointing at sea Expedition leadership when not in the field.
  • Lead partnership management and development with academic / government / philanthropic vessel owners and operators to establish a network of expedition partners working towards a common global goal.
  • Lead the development and implementation of the pipeline of Expeditions undertaken by Nekton and partners to meet science and communications goals.
  • Leading on procurement, management and innovation of subsea research and communications technologies deployed on Expeditions.
  • Developing a network of technology partners to support technology innovation and marine operations.
  • Working with Science Director and Project Director to manage permitting.
  • Working with the Science Director and Media Director to develop and implement the scope of operation for each Expedition
  • Working with the Science Director and Media Director to ensure that all expeditions are implemented under Nekton’s Equity principles of co-creating and co-producing expeditions with host nation partners.
  • Working with the Project Director and Science Director to develop an Expedition Fund supported by philanthropic and business partners.
  • Acting as a leading spokesperson with international media, partners and stakeholders.

Attributes Business Development Manager at Nekton Foundation

  • Experience in development, running and leading complex multi-disciplinary marine expeditions
  • Senior management experience, developing and implementing strategies with tight budget management
  • Experience in complex international expedition logistics and equipment shipping (with agents) including to remote locations.
  • Established network of marine expedition experts from government, academic or commercial fleets and subsea technology providers to draw on.
  • A confident, proactive and independent self-starter able to work quickly, flexibly and responsively in a fast-changing environment
  • Highly organised, detail oriented.
  • Proven experience of successful project delivery and project development
  • Enjoys problem solving
  • Strong communication skills within a team, with stakeholders (science, academic, media, business, government, civil society) and with the media.


  • Experience of co-developing and co-producing expeditions with host nation science, political and media partners.
  • Experience of leading submersible, ROV expeditions in remote locations
  • Experience of leading SCUBA or technical dive expeditions in remote locations
  • Experience of innovating subsea technologies for research and communications
  • Experience of developing and managing ocean expeditions that combine both marine research and public communications
  • An establish network of contacts (e.g. logistics, marine researchers, permitting personnel, subsea rescue) to support marine operations internationally
  • An established network within the academic / government / philanthropic fleets (owners and operators)
  • Experience of working in the charitable, marine science  or media sectors
  • Experience of fundraising and partnership development specifically related to marine expeditions.

HOW TO APPLY for Head of Expeditions at Nekton Foundation

To apply for this position, please send your cv with a cover letter explaining why you think you would be a good fit for this role – notably including details of successful fundraising of the ocean or related environmental programs via the button below by 18:00 GMT, Friday 3rd March 2023.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for an interview.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the role of a Head of Expeditions at Nekton Foundation?

The role of a Head of Expeditions at Nekton Foundation is to lead and manage scientific expeditions and ocean research projects.

What skills are important for a Head of Expeditions at Nekton Foundation?

Strong leadership, organizational, and project management skills are important for a Head of Expeditions at Nekton Foundation.

What qualifications are required to become a Head of Expeditions at Nekton Foundation?

Qualifications for a Head of Expeditions at Nekton Foundation typically include a master’s or PhD degree in marine science, biology, or a related field, as well as extensive experience in ocean research and expedition management.

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