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Position: Senior Research Coodinator/Marine Research Manager
Organization: Central Caribbean Marine Institute
Location: Little Cayman, Cayman Islands, British West Indies / Caribbean

The Central Caribbean Marine Institute in the Cayman Islands seeks an experienced Research Manager to help plan, coordinate, execute and maintain field and lab reseach projects at the Little Cayman Research Centre. The work involves overseeing safe research dive operations including technical diving, maintaining research equipment (lab, dive, boats, field), building and maintaining flow-through seawater systems and other installations as needed by research projects. The research manager will assist the Director with planning field surveys, data collection and data management and reporting. CCMI conducts coral reef ecological research, maintains a long term monitoring program, a Coral Reef Early Warning System oceanographic buoy, and a coral nursery with related experiments. The individual supports and reports to the Director of Research/Distinguished Scientist. We seek a versatile, energetic individual who can manage excellent lab and field research experiments under the direction of the lead scientist. 


  • Provide daily oversight for research experiments coordinating field operations including but not limited to:
    • experimental design, installation and oversight
    • field experiments, data entry and analysis
    • dive, field equipment maintenance and repair (including research equipment and boats)
    • scientific diving
    • assist with getting permits for collecting and exporting samples
    • preparing dive plans and submitting plans for approval
    • provide dive safety oversight for research projects
    • captain research vessel as needed
  • Conduct scientific analyses in the lab being responsible to
    • construct lab installations and maintain the flow through water systems
    • collect and record data
    • prepare, preserve and dissect specimens for analysis
  • Manage and maintain laboratories and equipment including:
    • salt and fresh water pumping and flow through systems
    • maintain inventory, ordering needed supplies and equipment for research
    • maintain research boats and equipment
  • Manage and maintain the Coral Reef Early Warning System (CREWS) buoy including
    • fornightly cleaning and annual dry docking and maintenance
    • calibrate sensors assure high quality data is being broadcast through our website
  • Report results to scientists and communications team for grants and sponsors
  • Other duties as required by lead scientist


  • Bachelor’s degree in marine science, Master’s degree a plus, 5+ years as a scientific research technician or equivalent experience
  • Experience in maintaining physical plant, lab flowing seawater, pumping equipment, boats
  • Experience maintaining dive, laboratory equipment and field experiments
  • Knowledge of calibrating oceanographic sensors, monitoring and weather equipment
  • Technical diving experience
  • Certifications and experience servicing and inspecting equipment required for scientific research
  • Certified to blend Nitrox and tri-mix gases a plus
  • Boat captain’s license, dive instructor / AAUS Scientific Diver certification or equivalent
  • Excellent analytical and abstract reasoning skills, knowledge of GIS, basic computer skills.

REPORTING: The position reports directly to the Director of Research.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Additional Information about the operation, facilities and location are available from our website

DEADLINE: Recruitment will be ongoing until the position is filled. 

HOW to APPLY: Submit cover letter and resume (all organized as 1 pdf), include three professional references (address, phone number and email address), email to

COMPENSATION PACKAGE: Salary is competitive and commensurate with qualifications and experience. Benefits include health insurance, pension after 9 months and vacation. Employment is contingent upon approval of a Work Permit issued by the Cayman Islands Immigration Department. CCMI is an equal opportunities employer. Additional Information The Central Caribbean Marine Institute maintains an active field research programme in the Cayman Islands conducted by a team of scientists whom are supported by a broad suite of grant funds. Research is focused on factors affecting the structure and function of coral reefs and adjacent habitats. The Institute maintains three coral nurseries that provide the organisms needed to carry out manipulative field experiments intended to guide coral restoration activities. Additionally CCMI has a Coral Reef Early Warning System buoy and has a long-term reef monitoring program that began in 1999. Since opening the Little Cayman Research Centre, we have hosted multiple large and small scale research projects and explorations examining evolutionary developmental biology, microbiomes and resilience, ocean acidification, restoration ecology, climate change, and many other projects that have resulted in excellent publications and presentations.

The Location

The Central Caribbean Marine Institute Inc. was established in 1998 and is a 501c(3), a UK charity and a Cayman Islands non-profit academic institution. The principal facilities and field operations are located on a 1400 ft stretch of beach on the island of Little Cayman, which is 10 miles long by 1 mile wide. The resident population is approximately 200. Low development pressure and distance from continental land masses as well as the socioeconomic status (highest per capita income in the Caribbean) has led to relatively low human impact. Recently passed expansion of the marine environmental zones established in the 1980’s has increased protection to over 48% of the island. The remoteness from human populations and enforced marine zones have controlled exploitation of fish and have reduced the losses that are prevalent at most Caribbean reefs.

The Operations

The institute is supported by a number of granting agencies in the US and UK, foundations and philanthropists and is in the process of a $10M sustainability campaign to build the capacity of the organization. The institute has 15 employees with most working in the field at the research station on Little Cayman and an advancement team supporting the funding and outreach from Grand Cayman, the US and UK. The Operations Director oversees the facility which is staffed by a field station manager, dive/boat operator, marine operations coordinator, administrative officer, and cook. The research team includes both affiliated scientists and a research scientist, restoration assistant/lab tech and intern. The education team includes a program manager, program coordinator/teacher and an ocean science scholar/intern. The Advancement Director has a team including a communications and development manager, project manager/sponsored programs, and a donor manager. The Chief Financial Officer/Controller and accountant manages the finances and the organization’s IT is outsourced. The Department Directors report directly to the President and the Board. The Central Caribbean Marine Institute Inc. currently has a $2+ million operating budget which will expand to $3 million over the next 5 years. The Cayman nonprofit is considered the subsidiary (of the US) with all assets owned and controlled by the US company. The UK non-profit, CCMI-UK is a separate entity providing services and support for the US/Cayman consolidated organization.

The Facility

The facility is comprised of 4 buildings with sleeping quarters for 30 students and scientists, a classroom, offices, laboratory space with flowing sea water and fresh water, and a fully equipped diving system (compressor, tanks, gear). Improvements to the laboratory and facilities have been made possible from major grants from the Field Station and Marine Laboratory program as well as from private foundations. The research laboratory was expanded with funding from the NSF to enhance our capacity to conduct research and education on coral reefs and climate change. The research vessels which include a 21ft Mako, Carolina skiff, and larger 34ft research boat, laboratory and research equipment. The 34ft research boat is a shared resource with the education program.

Marine Research Positions

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Current status: Open/apply now.   Date posted: Oct 30 2019    ID: 55061