<< Back

This job listing is no longer active.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


Senior Scientific Officer, TB Science, TB Programme

Reference   (Please mention Stopdodo/Environment Jobs in your application)
Sectors Sustainability, Climate, CSR, EMS
Hydrology, Hydrogeology, Water Resources
Location England (London & Greater) - UK
Town/City London
Salary Additional Information £34,336 - £41,851
Type Fixed Term and Permanent Roles
Status Full Time
Level Senior 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:
Skills required

Job purpose:

This is an exciting post acting as the science /policy link in an integrated policy and veterinary programme developing bovine TB control policies. It requires  someone with a scientific background able to work at a fast pace gathering and distilling policy relevant scientific  information from a wide range of sources

Job description:

  •  To act as a scientific link between policy makers and veterinary advisors in the TB Programme, managers of the bovine TB R&D programme in the  Evidence Base Unit, research contractors and consultants to provide a sound science base for bovine TB policy.
  • To drive the identification of gaps in the research programme and definition of research requirements and help ensure the commissioning of high quality, policy relevant and value for money research.
  • To assess the relevance of  on-going research projects to the TB Programme and advise on the best steps to achieve a broad research programme..
  • To distil the outputs of on-going and recently completed research, both that funded by Defra and elsewhere (including economic, social and legal aspects), and provide relevant scientific advice on for use by Defra policy makers, senior officials, Ministers and other parts of Government .
  • To assist with the development of lines to take, answer PQs and correspondence related to science subjects and help keep Knowledge Bank up to date.
  • Ensure good project and budget management practices in liaison with Evidence Base Unit.
  • Ensure that research information is clear and well publicised and oversee the relevant Defra web pages.
  • Ensure that the TB vaccines research portfolio reflects the TB vaccine research requirements identified in the approved full business case for additional vaccines research funding and ensure adequate budget available in liaison with Evidence Base Unit. Help organise audits of the vaccine research programme.
  • To provide and coordinate advice on the scientific aims that could be met by the injectable BCG badger vaccine deployment project and which meet the policy requirements for the project, which can be robustly defended and support the business case for necessary funding
  • To ensure that the correct research work is commissioned and integrated into the badger vaccine deployment project to meet the scientific aims identified in approved full business case for this work.
  • Assist as required on other science matters in support of head of TB Science activity manager and TB Programme as a whole.

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

  • Animal/ Biological science graduate
  • Epidemiology/stats skills preferred
  • IT skills (Word,Powerpoint,Excel)

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
The post holder will be required to lead with the management of the science component of the badger vaccine deployment project.

Provide the link and ensure regular two-way communication between the eminent independent, external scientists, research contractors and Defra senior officials. Draft contracts for external audits and reviews of research . Provide regular feedback on progress to senior officials. Strong communication skills are required, both written and oral.

Developing high performance
The post holder will be self-motivated ,able to take work forward independently and a good team participant.  You will involve other individuals within the team in decisions about objectives and working practices getting to know what motivates people and  making people feel at ease whilst encouraging them to raise their ideas and concerns. You will need to be able to produce high quality work requiring attention to detail but also an understanding of the broader picture, to short deadlines.   Provide recommendations on how to achieve value for money research. Ensure adequate research budgets are available through close liaison with Defra research managers.

Post requires the ability to build links and networks with stakeholders, policy makers, research project managers, Ministers, Chief Veterinary Officer/Chief Scientific Advisor, key research groups, independent advisory groups, Eradication Group etc.  You will need to understand and take account of the pressures that external and internal colleagues may be under when in contact with them.  You will need to develop an effective rapport with customers and stakeholders at all levels both within and outside Defra whilst being aware of their interests and priorities.

Manage a science working group to identify and address scientific, policy and commercial issues surrounding deployment of a bovine TB badger vaccine. You will need to draw on expertise from individuals across the Department (e.g. economists, veterinary advisors), researchers, representatives from the devolved administrations and independent advisors.

Thinking with vision
Maintain an awareness of research commissioned by other funding bodies in the UK, EU and elsewhere through attendance at scientific conferences and workshops, the scientific press and Defra R&D reviews. Prevent overlap of research and aid the identification of areas where further research is required. Report key and politically relevant research results to policy and veterinary colleagues in TB Programme  and use knowledge of existing and on-going research to put the findings of Defra research projects in to context. Provide critical advice and manage the appraisal of research project proposals and concept notes. Prepare summary and referenced material for use by senior officials and scientists to tight deadlines.

Making things happen
Lead/manage cross-disciplinary, multi-institutional project teams consisting of veterinary advisors, scientists and policy officials from Defra, its agencies and the Devolved Administrations. Use programme management tools  for instance draft Project Initiation Documents and take these forward to  Outline and Full Business Cases. Arrange project team meetings, distribute and prepare relevant papers and information to the group, and coordinate and collate their feedback. Be prepared to reprioritise and change  own work objectives and define role further, in close liaison with activity managers according to TBP needs. Maintain regular contact with policy teams to ensure you  maintain an up to date appreciation of their requirements.

  • Development opportunities and training:

This post provides a great opportunity to develop an in depth knowledge of bovine TB from the latest research findings and tapping into the extensive network of expertise available within and outside the Department, and then relating these into policy development. There will be opportunities to attend some scientific conferences as well as internal training courses in a variety of subjects.

How to apply

For further information on this post, please contact Fiona Stuart on 02072386308 or email Fiona.stuart@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 1255.

Hard copies of your application are not required.

Closing date for applications

19 April 2009

Add to My Account
<< Back