<< Back

This job listing is no longer active.
Please use our Environment Jobs Search to find current vacancies.


Science Policy Advisor, Atmospheric Quality and Industrial Pollution Programme

Reference RCRE 1273  (Please mention Stopdodo/Environment Jobs in your application)
Sectors Sustainability, Climate, CSR, EMS
Location England (London & Greater) - UK
Town/City London
Salary Additional Information £29,191 - £34,326
Type Fixed Term and Permanent Roles
Status Full Time
Level Mid Level
Deadline 19/04/2009
Company Name Defra
Contact Name
Website Further Details / Applications
Defra logo
Directory Entry : Defra is the UK government department responsible for policy and regulations on the environment, food and rural affairs.
Also Listing:
Grade of post

RCRE 1273: Higher Scientific Officer (HSO), Science Policy Advisor, Atmospheric Quality and Industrial Pollution Programme

Number of vacancies




Pay range

£29,191 - £34,326

Skills required

Job purpose:
To provide scientific support to policy development on air pollution and its impacts and to help manage a programme of research on air pollution monitoring, emissions and impacts on human health and the environment. The post is within the Atmospheric Quality and Industrial Pollution Programme (AQIP) of Defra, in a team providing the evidence base for UK and international air quality policy and support for interactions with other policy areas.

Job description:
HSO Science Policy Advisor: provision of technical and scientific advice on air pollutant emissions, concentrations and deposition, and their health and environmental impacts, liaising closely with colleagues in Defra and elsewhere. Responsibilities will include:

  • the provision of in-house advice on air quality for policy team members and science colleagues;
  • procurement and management of research projects, including the management of payments and the delivery and evaluation of research of outputs;
  • synthesis of up to date science and its interpretation for policy colleagues;
  • the provision of policy relevant data and other information, often at short notice and to tight deadlines;
  • preparation of and contribution to written and oral briefing for senior managers, politicians and external stakeholders;
  • communication of policy goals to researchers and contractors; and
  • liaison with technical colleagues across Government and in the wider scientific community.

The job will require occasional trips to international meetings and over-night stays at meetings in the UK.

Please note that:

  • Those applying for jobs who, following the assessment process, are judged by the Selection Panel to have been suitable for the job(s) but to a lesser degree than the selected candidate, may be nominated as reserves.  Reserves will only be considered for the post they applied for (or closely related posts) and may not be selected for other vacancies.  There is no guarantee that reserve candidates will be offered jobs in this way.
  • Selection will be based on a candidate’s ability to demonstrate at interview that they meet both the technical and behavioural requirements of the role.
  • The successful candidate for this post will be recruited into the Science and Engineering Career Home.

Specialist skills required

  • Scientific qualifications to at least degree level, in an area relevant to air pollution or atmospheric processes.
  • Demonstrable knowledge base in one or all of air pollution monitoring, emissions, chemistry, modelling, environmental effects, human health effects.
  • Experience of public sector or research procurement desirable.

Using the Core Competency Framework managers need to identify the 4-6 competencies relevant for the role and describe them in terms which managers, interviewers and applicants can understand. This will ensure that the selection process focuses on how candidates have demonstrated the relevant competences.

Leading and influencing
You will need to contribute to identifying priorities for research, be willing to take responsibility for issues, and pursue new areas of work  through discussion with policy leads, scientific community and other Government Departments.  The ability to liaise and negotiate with internal policy and scientific colleagues, research providers, research institutes and other funders of relevant R&D is essential for the position.

You must be able to demonstrate strong communication skills, with the ability to communicate complex scientific information concisely and clearly both verbally and in writing.

You will be required to forge strong working relationships with policy colleagues across Defra and in other Government Departments and Agencies to ensure that a robust evidence base is used to inform policy making.  The role requires frequent contact with policy leads from both Defra and other Government Departments, research providers and other funders of related research, and experts of national and international standing. It will therefore be necessary to develop a wide range of contacts and to foster effective working relationships with stakeholders active in your project area.

The post holder will be required to represent Defra at national and international meetings.  Experience of the development of cross Departmental negotiating lines and negotiations at International level is highly desirable.

Thinking with vision
The post holder must have a scientific background and knowledge of air pollution, including a good understanding of the main sources of air pollution, and its effect on human health and the environment. Ability to align R & D projects with policy needs, and understand how they feed into supporting negotiations and discussions at EU and UNECE is important.

The development of the evidence base for air quality policy is undertaken within a highly resource constrained environment, and so the ability to develop and carry through innovative and creative solutions to evidence delivery is highly desirable.

Making effective decisions
You will be required to display sound judgement in working with others, both in your team and externally, in developing agreed negotiating lines and positions. You will also be required to display such judgment in developing, agreeing and delivering research specifications, outcomes and timescales, and in procuring research projects.  The post holder will be expected to think creatively and strategically in managing project areas and to find solutions to any problems which arise from projects. The role also involves the representation of Defra at external meetings (national and International) for which the post holder will be expected to use their discretion while ensuring that the position of Defra is accurately reflected.

Delivering value for money
You will be required to prioritise competing demands on R&D and non-R&D budgets, linking in with wider Division and Departmental needs to identify most appropriate and  relevant projects to take forward.  You need to show sound judgement and good understanding of the links between policy and evidence needs. Experience of commissioning of R & D and non-R&D projects is highly desirable, as is familiarity with Defra’s procurement processes.

Making things happen
You must be able to demonstrate flexibility and a willingness to work on a wide variety of scientific and management support tasks.  You must be able to effectively prioritise and be able to work effectively under pressure and meet tight deadlines.  You will be required to use your research and knowledge retrieval skills to respond to information requests, often on very short timescales, and to communicate such information clearly and concisely.

Development opportunities and training:
The post is located within a dynamic team, working in an important and increasingly high profile policy area. Within the team there will be opportunities for new roles and responsibilities to be taken on, to allow for development and personal challenge. Technical and non-technical training and development will be made available where appropriate.

How to apply

For further information on this post, please contact Tim Williamson on 020 7238 1698 or email tim.williamson@defra,gsi.gov.uk

Apply on form EP317 available from Defra Enquiry Centre – 0845 603 7262 or ssd.enquiries@defra.gsi.gov.uk.  Along with your application form you will be asked to submit a short statement outlining why you think you are particularly suitable for this post.

Send an electronic copy of the completed form and suitability statement to ssd.applications@defra.gsi.gov.uk quoting reference number RCRE 1273

Hard copies of your application are not required.

Closing date for applications

19 April 2009

Add to My Account
<< Back