See job eligibility requirements: Marine Natural Capital Cross-Cutting Engagement Lead

U.K. Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)

York, UK 🇬🇧


2 Marsham Street, Westminster SW1P 4DF Horizon House, Deanery Road, Bristol BS1 5AH Foss House, Kings Pool, 1-2 Peasholme Green, York YO1 7PX. Other locations may be considered.

About the job


The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is the UK government department responsible for safeguarding our natural environment, supporting our world-leading food and farming industry, and sustaining a thriving rural economy. Our broad remit means we play a major role in people’s day-to-day life, from the food we eat, and the air we breathe, to the water we drink.

The objective of the Marine and Fisheries Directorate is to ensure our seas are cleaner, healthier, safer, more productive and biologically diverse. This means protecting and improving the marine environment, both in the UK and internationally, and managing our diverse range of fisheries sustainably. Now that we have left the EU it provides the opportunity to improve how we manage our seas, whilst enabling marine, fisheries and seafood businesses to thrive and develop.

We recruit by merit based on fair and open competition, we embrace diversity and promote equality of opportunity, and we are committed to building a team that represents a variety of backgrounds, perspectives and skills. There is a disability confident scheme (DCS) for people with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

We are inclusive:
We are fully committed to being an inclusive employer and ensuring equal opportunities. We are keen to make our workforce as diverse as possible and recognise how important inclusivity is to achieve the best outcomes. We hope to attract applications from all underrepresented groups.

We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform crucial job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us to request accommodation.

This role can be based at any Defra office. We value flexible working so once things return to normal the ability to work at home on an adhoc basis will be available to be considered. Due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, all staff are currently required to work from home. This applies to this role, with the intention for all staff to return to the office in the future in line with government guidance.

Job description

The NCEA is a Defra flagship science programme with a very high profile with policy makers in Defra, and other government departments (OGDs), including Treasury. The successful candidate will be supporting the marine NCEA team in developing the marine component of the programme aimed at delivering effective monitoring and evidence collection, informing key policy areas and setting the building blocks for long-term investment in strategic evidence collection, with explicit links to achieving the government’s ambition set out in the 25 Year Environment Plan to improve the environment within a generation.

Working with a wide range of stakeholders and in a multi-agency and inter-disciplinary team, you will continue and extend the current NCEA work to build a programme that addresses the decline in marine biodiversity by deepening the evidence on the health of our seas and that provides policy makers and industry with a powerful natural capital evidence base make science-led decisions.

This programme cuts across a number of other Defra flagship interventions and policy areas, such as climate change mitigation & net zero, UK marine strategy, marine spatial planning, sustainable fisheries under the Fisheries Act, and will provide the successful candidate with a deep and varied experience. This role presents an exciting and challenging opportunity to join the Marine Evidence team within Marine & Fisheries Directorate in Defra and provide crucial communications and engagement support to the marine component of the NCEA programme.

You will join a multi-disciplinary team, line managing two members of staff and supported by a team leader. The team is expected to grow as the programme evolves further. You will also directly work alongside a number of other teams supporting the NCEA programme data strategy and delivery

Some of the activity that this role will be delivering includes:

• Owning and leading communications and engagement strategies for the programme
• Owning and maintaining all programme communication products
• Acting as a spokesperson externally, raising the profile of the programme and building strong external relationships
• Working directly with industry partners to deliver key aspects of the programme, understanding individual needs and building trust
• Building connections with strategic communications and press office, ensuring that mNCEA is appropriately covered in external government communications
• Driving forward the delivery of key communication and guidance products, ensuring that they are targeted to the correct audience.
• Developing an excellent understanding of decision making, at all levels, for the marine environment. Leading on where mNCEA should focus their efforts on providing guidance and support to decision makers for the marine environment.
• Evaluating communications activities, and adapting techniques where necessary

This list isn’t exhaustive but provides an overview of the activities the role will carry out.


Essential Criteria
• Experience of being a self-starter, and demonstrating ability to work on own initiative, in identifying opportunities for engagement
• Experience of communicating to multiple audiences using different techniques
• Experience of building and maintaining a network of colleagues and contacts, including other organisations, to achieve progress on shared outcomes.
• Experience of managing multiple work strands to tight deadlines
• Comfortable with uncertainty and responds positively when events and positions change
• Experience of delivering dynamic presentations to large audiences
• A history of working across a multidisciplinary team and with policy professionals, preferably within a data/science led programme
• A proven track record of producing high-quality communications products


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

  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Seeing the Big Picture
  • Delivering at Pace


A career in the Civil Service is like no other. If you’re looking to join a world class team and develop your career with us, then the Civil Service is the place for you! You might be wondering, “what’s in it for me”? Take a look below at some of the benefits available to you as a civil servant in Defra.

M & F Directorate Benefits

Learning and Development
Everyone in Defra is supported to develop their skills and capabilities. When you join the Marine and Fisheries Directorate, you will be welcomed into your new team through an induction programme that will provide you with helpful information on the civil service, Defra, our work and our policies.

Department Benefits

We’re a firm believer in agile and flexible working. When you join Defra, we’ll kit you out with a new Windows 10 Laptop, to make sure that you perform your best wherever you are.

25 days’ paid leave per annum rising to 30 days after five years’ service, in addition to eight public holidays and the Queen’s Birthday privilege day. We also offer
– competitive maternity, paternity, parental and adoption leave;
– study leave for the pursuit of academic studies;
– 3 days paid leave for volunteering per annum;
– 15 days paid leave per year for reservist training; and,
– generous paid sick leave.

Cycle to Work Scheme
Defra loans you a bike for your commute as a tax-free benefit. At the end of the loan period, you have the option to buy the bike, saving 30% of the original cost.

Season Ticket and Bicycle Loan
We offer interest-free season ticket loans, to all Defra employees with more than three months’ service, for purchasing train and bus season tickets, as well as station car parking. For those unable to take advantage of tax-free benefits, we also offer an interest-free bicycle loan to enable the purchase of a bicycle for commuting.

Gym, Social and Sports Activities
Our offices have a range of different onsite facilities, including gym, fitness facilities, games room, showers and cycle storage. There are also a variety of networks and social groups to join. Ask your line manager for more information.

Restaurant and Café Facilities
A range of our offices offer onsite restaurant and café facilities.

Civil Service Benefits

Your pension is a valuable part of your total reward package, and you will be given the chance to join one of three different pension plans. You can find more information on the Civil Service Pension on the MyCSP Website at

Civil Service Sports Council
The Civil Service Sports Council (CSSC) organises a wide choice of activities throughout the UK, from art, gliding, abseiling and orienteering to cabaret weekends and quiz and curry nights. Your CSSC membership will provide you with FREE access to hundreds of national and local sites, in addition to savings at many high street stores, cinemas, restaurants and historic houses.

Things you need to know


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, Strengths and Experience.Application Process
As part of the application process you will be asked to complete a CV, 4 x behaviour statements and a 500-word statement of suitability.

Further details around what this will entail are listed on the application form.

Should a large number of applications be received, an initial sift may be conducted using the lead behaviour ‘Communicating and Influencing’. Candidates who pass the initial sift may be progressed to a full sift or progressed straight to assessment/interview.

Sift and interview dates to be confirmed. Interviews will be held online via Microsoft Teams.

If successful at application stage, you will be invited to interview where you will be assessed on behaviours, strengths and experience.

A presentation or additional exercise may also be assessed.

Please be aware that this role(s) will be contractually based in a Defra group workplace/office. The successful candidate is required to carry out all their duties from a UK location, and cannot do so from an overseas location at any time

Reserve List
A reserve list may be held for a period of 12 months from which further appointments can be made.

Merit Lists
Where more than one location is advertised, candidates will be posted in merit order by location. You will be asked to state your location preference on your application.

New entrants to the Civil Service are expected to start on the minimum of the pay band. The internal roles rules apply to existing Civil Servants, i.e. level transfers move on current salary or the pay range minimum, transfers on promotion move to new pay range minimum or receive 10% increase. Either case is determined by whichever is the highest.

Visa Sponsorship Statement
Please take note that Defra does not hold a UK Visa & Immigration (UKVI) Skilled Worker License sponsor and are unable to sponsor any individuals for Skilled Worker Sponsorship.

Reasonable Adjustment
If a person with disabilities is put at a substantial disadvantage compared to a non-disabled person, we have a duty to make reasonable changes to our processes.

If you need a change to be made so that you can make your application, you should:

– Contact Government Recruitment Service via [email protected] as soon as possible before the closing date to discuss your needs.
– Complete the “Assistance required” section in the “Additional requirements” page of your application form to tell us what changes or help you might need further on in the recruitment process. For instance, you may need wheelchair access at interview, or if you’re deaf, a Language Service Professional.

If you are experiencing accessibility problems with any attachments on this advert, please contact the email address in the ‘Contact point for applicants’ section.

Criminal Record Check
If successful and transferring from another Government Department, a criminal record check maybe carried out.

In order to process applications without delay, we will be sending a Criminal Record Check to Disclosure and Barring Service on your behalf. However, we recognise in exceptional circumstances some candidates will want to send their completed forms direct. If you will be doing this, please advise Government Recruitment Service of your intention by emailing [email protected] stating the job reference number in the subject heading .

Internal Fraud Database Check
Applicants who are successful at interview will be, as part of pre-employment screening subject to a check on the Internal Fraud Database (IFD). This check will provide information about employees who have been dismissed for fraud or dishonesty offences. This check also applies to employees who resign or otherwise leave before being dismissed for fraud or dishonesty had their employment continued. Any applicant’s details held on the IFD will be refused employment.

A candidate is not eligible to apply for a role within the Civil Service if the application is made within a 5 year period following a dismissal for carrying out internal fraud against government.

Loan and Fixed Term Appointments
Existing Civil Servants and applicants from accredited NDPBs are eligible to apply, but will only be considered on loan basis (Civil Servants) or secondment (accredited NDPBs). Prior agreement to be released on a loan basis must be obtained before commencing the application process. In the case of Civil Servants, the terms of the loan will be agreed between the home and host department and the Civil Servant. This includes grade on return.

This is a Fixed-term Appointment as Marine Natural Capital Advisor Cross Cutting Team Lead on the marine Natural Capital Ecosystem Assessment Programme (mNCEA). Your responsibilities are listed above. This post will end 2 years after the successful applicant starts in post.

Higher Security Clearance:
All of these posts require the successful candidate to hold basic security clearance. Candidates posted to Marsham Street, London may be subject to a higher level of clearance because of the security requirements for that location. Security vetting will only take place after the receipt of a job offer.

Childcare Vouchers Any move to Defra from another employer will mean you can no longer access childcare vouchers. You may however be eligible for other government schemes, including Tax Free Childcare. Determine your eligibility at here

We are closely monitoring the situation with regard to Coronavirus, and will be following central Government advice as it is issued. There is therefore a risk that recruitment to this post may be subject to change at short notice. Please continue to follow the application process as normal and ensure that you check your emails regularly for any updates from us as this is how we will communicate with you.

As government restrictions continue to lift, Defra group is exploring future ways of working with flexibility in mind. This means, that subject to business need, successful candidates will be offered the option to combine working at home with working at their contractual Defra group workplace, with occasional travel to other work locations. Further information relevant to this post will be available for candidates invited to interview.

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.

Apply and further information

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 : Vicki Castro-Spokes
Email : [email protected]
Recruitment team :
Email : [email protected]

Further information

If you feel your application has not been treated in accordance with the Recruitment Principles and you wish to make a complaint, in the first instance, you should contact Government Recruitment Services via email: [email protected] If you are not satisfied with the response you receive from the Department, you can contact the Civil Service Commission: Click here to visit Civil Service Commission




IHE Delft Institute for Water Education - MSc in Water and Sustainable Development