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Science and Evidence Liaison – Scotland

Reference   (Please mention Stopdodo/Environment Jobs in your application)
Sectors Nature Conservation, Ecology, GIS
Town/City Edinburgh, Inverness or Aberdeen
Salary Additional Information £36,669
Salary (Minimum)
Salary (Maximum)
Type Fixed Term and Permanent Roles
Status Full Time
Level Mid Level
Deadline 26/10/2022
Company Name Joint Nature Conservation Committee
Contact Name
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:

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 Scotland, to help shape and prioritise its science and evidence.  The role is focused on enhancing engagement and building JNCC’s collaborative relationship with NatureScot and the Scottish Government.  

The post holder will be based in the Nature Conservation Policy and Advice (NCPA) 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, England 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.

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 Scottish 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.

Job description

Post Duties 

The post holder will be at the forefront of promoting JNCC’s science and evidence capabilities in Scotland through collaborative working with NatureScot and Scottish Government. 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 NatureScot and Scottish Government.  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 Scotland are effective and resilient; representing JNCC in various country and UK-level fora and; providing briefings to senior staff and Executive Leaders. 

•    Maintain NatureScot’s and Scottish Government’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, England and Wales, and the benefits it brings or could bring to Scotland.  

•    Maintain an overview of joint working and collaboration between JNCC and Scotland.  Identify where JNCC might add value to Scotland's work and make relevant teams in JNCC, NatureScot, Scottish Government aware of these opportunities.  Support JNCC teams in tailoring and promoting their work to meet Scotland’s needs, helping ensure JNCC staff are aware of priority work in Scotland.   

•    Maintain an in-depth knowledge and understanding of Scotland’s environmental policy, including implementation, with an emphasis on proposed changes or new developments; show where JNCC’s work contributes to both the Scottish Government’s and NatureScot’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 Scotland-related policies, work and meetings available in a clear and simple format, and brief and advise JNCC’s Executive Leadership Team and team leaders prior to 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 Scottish 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 project, in JNCC’s NCPA Team, in order to collaborate with colleagues in similar liaison roles in Northern Ireland, England and Wales, to strengthen JNCC’s joint working and information flows between the four countries of the UK.

The post holder will be line managed from JNCC’s NCPA Team and will receive support from NatureScot colleagues. You will be expected to work independently and 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 or experience, 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 and Devolved Governments, a good understanding of environmental policy and legislation (specifically in a
  • 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


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 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 1000 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.

Contact point for applicants

Job contact :

  • Name :Recruitment Team
  • Email :recruitment@jncc.gov.uk

Recruitment team :

  • Email :recruitment@jncc.gov.uk

Further information

Selection for appointment to the Civil Service is on merit, on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission’s Recruitment Principles. In accordance with the Civil Service Commissioners’ Recruitment Principles, our recruitment and selection processes are underpinned by the requirement of appointment on the basis of merit by fair and open competition. If you feel your application has not been treated in accordance with the Recruitment Principles and you wish to make a complaint, you should contact recruitment@jncc.gov.uk in the first instance.

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