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Science & Evidence Liaison Officer - England - 2022- 38 (Peterborough or Aberdeen)

Reference   (Please mention Stopdodo/Environment Jobs in your application)
Sectors Nature Conservation, Ecology, GIS
Town/City Peterborough
Salary Additional Information £35,950
Salary (Minimum)
Salary (Maximum)
Type Fixed Term and Permanent Roles
Status Full Time
Level Mid Level
Deadline 18/07/2022
Company Name Joint Nature Conservation Committee
Contact Name
Telephone 01733 562626
Joint Nature Conservation Committee logo
Directory Entry : The Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) is the public body that advises the UK Government and devolved administrations on UK-wide and international nature conservation. Originally established under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. For Careers with the JNCC visit the Civil Service Career Portal.
Also Listing:
Whilst this role will be contractually based in a JNCC workplace/office (Peterborough or Aberdeen) the successful candidates are required to carry out all their duties from a UK location, JNCC will be adopting a more flexible approach to working options. More detail can be provided at the interview and offer stages.


This post will have a base at JNCC’s office in Peterborough, which will be moving to a shared office with Natural England from 2023.

JNCC will be adopting a more flexible approach to working options and, once we are able to return to working in our office locations, our people will have more flexibility about where they choose to work. The expectation is that we will be expected to work from our office base for 1 – 2 days a month as a minimum. We can provide more details at the interview and offer stages.

Secondments from Defra/other government agencies will be considered and in this case alternative office locations could be considered.

Who are JNCC?

Established in 1991, we’re the UK’s statutory advisor on issues affecting the natural environment across the UK and internationally. Our primary role is advising all four Governments of the UK. We also work with private sector organisations to support decision making on the sustainable use of marine waters and natural resources around the UK. JNCC is led by the Joint Committee, which brings together members from the nature conservation bodies for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and independent members appointed by the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs under an independent Chair. Support is provided to the Committee by almost 270 people who bring together scientific and technical expertise, extensive knowledge of policy at global, European and national levels, and skills in working with other organisations. Staff are based in two main offices in Peterborough and Aberdeen.


We’re small enough (c.270 staff) that your voice is heard by everyone including the CEO, but big enough that we have all the skills, resources and people you’ll need to get the job done. All our staff are passionate about conservation and making a difference to the world we live in. We have a very flexible, inclusive and welcoming organisational culture. Our Executive Management provides advisers with the freedom and tools you will need, and our friendly team will assist you in your role. You will benefit from our supportive workplace culture, excellent holiday and pension benefits, as well as an exciting job in a unique environment.

Job description

In its unique UK role, JNCC works collaboratively with the four countries of the UK to support nature recovery. This requires a strong understanding of the developing policies and delivery mechanisms in the four countries, as well as internationally, to ensure JNCC’s evidence and advice evolves to meet the needs of each country.

JNCC is looking to appoint a Science and Evidence Liaison Officer for England, to help shape and prioritise its science and evidence. The role is focused on enhancing engagement and building JNCC’s collaborative relationship with Natural England and Defra.

The post holder will be based in the Nature Conservation Policy and Advice Team at JNCC and will work with teams across the organisation. Specifically, they will be part of a small and collaborative project team, comprising staff holding equivalent liaison roles covering Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. With strong links to the JNCC Executive Leadership Team, their work builds on the networks and working groups that already exist between JNCC and country partners, with the aim of identifying new opportunities and enhancing collaborations where JNCC’s skills and expertise can support the countries in delivering their priorities. Together they provide a co-ordinated UK overview and a hub for information exchange. They may also have responsibility for the delivery of specific projects and can contribute to projects aligned with their expertise.

This is a new role, and the post holder will have the opportunity to shape it, using the template and approaches already developed by the other country liaison officers, tailoring it to meet the ways of working that best support JNCC’s relationship with Natural England and Defra.

The portfolio of this role is broad, requiring day-to-day engagement across a range of work areas and interacting with staff, from the project level through to strategic-level interactions with senior managers and executive leaders. We are looking for someone to join our team who thrives in a fast paced and often reactive environment, who has a passion for building relationships and engaging with partners, who is tuned into and sensitive to their different perspectives, whilst bringing good organisational skills and a strong understanding of how scientific evidence and analysis supports the policy development cycle.

This is a critical time and new opportunities are arising as the Government drives forward its policy and legislative agenda to achieve transformational change to address the inextricably linked emergencies of climate change and biodiversity loss. Help JNCC’s science and evidence be at the heart of this.

The post holder will be at the forefront of promoting JNCC’s science and evidence capabilities in England through collaborative working with Natural England and Defra. They will liaise with individuals to develop a better understanding of their priorities, spotting opportunities and connections, conveying the work of JNCC, ensuring JNCC’s skills, experience and outputs are exploited to maximum effect, and generally building and maintaining relationships.

The main duties of the post are:

• Develop and strengthen the working relationships between JNCC and Natural England and Defra. This will involve, but is not limited to, building and managing relationships with key individuals; becoming established as a key and trusted point of contact for developing relationships and enhancing collaborations where there is no pre-existing JNCC contact point; ensuring communications and information flows between JNCC and England are effective and resilient; representing JNCC in various country and UK-level fora and; providing briefings to senior staff and Executive Leaders.

• Maintain Natural England’s and Defra’s awareness of JNCC’s work and its strengths. Increase their understanding of the context of JNCC’s work in terms of the position of the work in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and the benefits it brings or could bring to England.

• Maintain an overview of joint working and collaboration between JNCC and England. Identify where JNCC might add value to England work and make relevant teams in JNCC, Defra and Natural England aware of the opportunity. Support JNCC teams in tailoring and promoting their work to meet England’s needs.

• Maintain an in-depth knowledge and understanding of England’s environmental policy, including implementation, with an emphasis on proposed changes or new developments; show where JNCC’s work contributes to both the Government’s and Natural England’s priorities, identifying where developing policies and plans provide drivers for the provision of JNCC’s evidence and advice.

• Communicate effectively within JNCC. Make information on England-related policies, work and meetings available in a clear and simple format, and brief and advise JNCC Executive Leadership Team and team leaders prior to Defra meetings.

• Support the NCPA Team’s wider work on UK co-ordination and engagement. For example, this may include managing secretariat services to the Statutory Nature Conservation Bodies’ Chief Scientists Group, supporting development of the Implementation Plan of the UK Biodiversity Framework and helping make links between English bodies and organisations in other parts of the UK on topics of common interest.

• Play an active part in JNCC’s Engagement, Legislation and Policy (ELP) project, in JNCC’s Nature Conservation Policy and Advice Team, in order to collaborate with colleagues in similar roles in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, to strengthen JNCC’s joint working and information flows within the four countries of the UK.

The post holder will be line managed from JNCC’s Nature Conservation Policy and Advice Team and will receive support from Natural England colleagues. You will be expected to work independently and/or remotely from your line manager. You will be self-motivated with excellent planning and organisational skills with the ability to manage a busy workload and respond quickly to a range of tasks. From time to time, there may be an opportunity to line manage other staff or interns, although this will not be required initially


Please demonstrate in your statement of suitability your reasons for applying. You will then be asked later in this application to provide a short statement against how you meet each of the technical and experience requirements


We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Working Together
  • Delivering at Pace
  • Seeing the Big Picture

Technical skills

We'll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process:

  • To be a successful candidate you will be expected to have a relevant degree, or equivalent qualification, in a relevant subject such as natural sciences or natural resource management
  • Good knowledge of the role and remit of JNCC in relation to other organisations, in particular the country nature conservation bodies, UK Government departments and Devolved Administrations and good understanding of environmental policy and legislation an
  • Good general knowledge of ecology and nature conservation in the UK, with an ability to lead and facilitate technical discussions towards understanding how the science and evidence supports policy development
  • Excellent communication skills and demonstrable experience of conveying detailed and complex information to a range of audiences using a range of media. For example this could include, written briefings, webinars, web content, newsletters and more formal
  • Experience of engaging with a wide range of stakeholders and partners, determining their priorities and working collaboratively through building strong relationships, including experience of organising and facilitating workshops and other engagement event
Equality and diversity

JNCC is committed to creating an environment where everyone feels valued and respected and see this as a good place to work. JNCC has a responsibility to ensure that we have an inclusive culture where discrimination, harassment, bullying and prejudice will not be tolerated. Our selection process is determined on fair and open competition and regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnership.

Continuous professional development (CPD)

Employees are encouraged to keep developing skills and professional knowledge.
JNCC has made available, and encourages employees to use, on average, five working days per annum for CPD activities with access to related funding

Leave entitlement

JNCC annual leave allowance is 25 days per annum. After five years’ service, leave entitlement increases to 30 days per annum.
In addition to annual leave, JNCC offers 12 public and privilege days per annum, three of which are explicitly reserved for office closure between Christmas and New Year.

Work/life balance

JNCC supports flexible working hours and practices to help employees strike a good balance between work life and personal life.

Our policies are family-friendly and include flexi-time, flexible working patterns, compressed hours and dispersed working. JNCC also offers paid maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental leave, over and above the minimum statutory entitlements. Some work/life balance benefits are available following a minimum length of service.

Any move from another employer will mean you can no longer access childcare vouchers. This includes moves between government departments. You may however be eligible for other government schemes, including Tax-Free Childcare. Determine your eligibility at https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk/

Civil Service Pension

Employees will have the opportunity to join Civil Service pension arrangements, which include a valuable range of benefits. JNCC makes a significant contribution to the cost of employee pensions.

Employee Assistance Programme

JNCC provides employees with a free and confidential support service which gives unlimited access to information, advice and emotional support to help employees prepare for and manage all of life's ups and downs, events and challenges.

Trade Union

JNCC has entered into a partnership agreement with its recognised Trade Unions: Prospect and PCS, which employees are able to join and be involved with.

Salary sacrifice schemes

Employee Discount Scheme

Civil Service Sports Club


Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.
People working with government assets must complete basic personnel security standard checks.

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles, and will assess your Behaviours, Experience and Technical skills.
As part of the application process you will be asked to complete a CV and a statement of suitability. In your statement, refer to the responsibilities and experience section of this advert to show how you’re suitable for the role. Make your statement no longer than 1250 words.

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.

Nationality requirements

This job is broadly open to the following groups:

  • UK nationals
  • nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK
  • nationals of the Republic of Ireland
  • nationals from the EU, EEA or Switzerland with settled or pre-settled status or who apply for either status by the deadline of the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals working in the Civil Service
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals who have built up the right to work in the Civil Service
  • certain family members of the relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals
Further information on nationality requirements

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's recruitment principles.
The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As such, we run a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.
This vacancy is part of the Great Place to Work for Veterans initiative.
The Civil Service welcomes applications from people who have recently left prison or have an unspent conviction. Read more about prison leaver recruitment.
Once this job has closed, the job advert will no longer be available. You may want to save a copy for your records.
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