Graduate Development Scheme: Research and Evidence Division, Climate, Energy and Water Team

London, , GB

Job description

Background to Graduate Scheme:-

The DFID Graduate Development Scheme was launched in January 2012 to provide graduates with work experience to assist them in obtaining future employment. DFID is also keen to bring fresh thinking into the organisation. The scheme offers challenging and rewarding opportunities and a step into the international development sector and working in the Civil Service. We have 16 placements from across all areas of DFID. Applicants should only choose one placement to apply for. We will not accept duplicate applications.

Our 50 week, paid programme will begin October 2016. It will provide the chance for you to become immersed in DFID’s dynamic environment and contribute to priority projects which make a real difference to improving people’s lives in developing countries. Integrated throughout your placement will be a programme of formal and informal learning and development activities, including: induction, e-learning courses, skills and knowledge development options, speaker events, peer learning and mentoring.

Graduates should have gained the relevant degree at 2.1 or above in 2015 or be graduating in 2016 with a predicted result at 2.1 or above. If you are completing a postgraduate qualification in 2016, you should have gained the relevant 2.1 degree in your undergraduate qualification in 2015.

If you have commenced a career and/or have over 12 months paid work experience at the time of applying whether at the end of your qualifications or prior to post graduate qualifications, (excluding any work undertaken whilst in full-time education or volunteering), you will be ineligible to apply for the Graduate Development Scheme.

The application form contains a short section entitled Your CV, this includes details of employment history. Please specify clearly in this section whether work undertaken was paid or unpaid. This will support your eligibility for the scheme.


The Graduate will work with Climate Energy & Water Team (CEW) Programme Managers and Advisers on two main areas of work, with large scope for creativity and pursuit of individual interests and expertise in each:
1) Improving the development, tracking and reporting of high-quality research and evidence results and Value for Money (VfM). A key element of the Graduate’s role will be working to understand what works in delivering effective results for research across the range of team’s four technical areas: climate resilient development; environment & natural resources; water security & WASH; and energy access & innovation. This will build upon the work of the previous graduate in the team.
2) Providing an assistant programme management and advisory role for CEW programmes. CEW maintains a diverse portfolio of programmes at multiple stages of delivery and with a wide range of partners. The graduate will have the opportunity to work alongside the SROs and programme managers for multiple programmes providing support with briefings, annual reviews, business cases, communication and strategic direction.
The placement will enable the graduate to understand the range of programming across RED and to make a meaningful contribution to the delivery of the department’s aims and objectives.
While structured work on results reporting and programme assistance will form a key part of the Graduate’s placement, there will also be the opportunity to work on a variety of cross-cutting work, including drafting Insight articles, making connections across DFID and providing input to the CEW Twitter account and wider outreach.
The graduate will be offered mentoring support from their placement manager and colleagues, and encouraged to develop their skills during their time with the CEW – key learning opportunities and access to civil service trainings will be provided.
Upon leaving the post the successful candidate will have gained an understanding of the importance of results and VfM within the development agenda and DFID’s role within HMG, and how research leads to impact in critical areas such as climate, energy and water.
Specifically the graduate will help to further build the evidence base and monitor the cost effectiveness of DFID’s work on climate and environment issues. They will build their confidence to use data and evidence in support of their arguments such as interpreting trends and synergies across the portfolio. The graduate will also have developed their skills in the area of programme management, communications and team working.
Short-term secondments to other parts of DFID – in policy division or private office cover are encouraged to help the graduate experience a wide range of DFID environments, if this wider experience is desired by the graduate. These opportunities are subject to certain parameters i.e. placement, other development pathway activities and also cost.

Specific duties include:
• Undertake a review of the CEW programme portfolio, including business cases and log-frames to identify weaknesses or gaps in our results offer to DFID (i.e. results that contribute to: DFID’s Results Framework, RED’s Operational Plan, and International Climate Fund).
• Review existing results tracking and monitoring systems and make recommendations for improvement. Work with implementing partners to improve their result reporting systems.
• Develop a map-based system to show where our research is having an impact in developing countries. This work could build on the recently commissioned UK CDS work on the infrastructure portfolio of the CEW and Growth Research Team in RED.
• Programme assistance, including: delivering ministerial briefings, attending meetings with partners, developing programme logframes, communicating with internal and external stakeholders, developing business cases and providing background research where needed.
Key learning opportunities include:
• Working across the RED team on a broad range of topics in climate change, energy, water and environmental research.
• Building on competencies and gaining valuable insight into DFID and the civil service more generally.
The graduate will be given the opportunity to attend a range of civil service learning and development courses as well as being encouraged to participate in DFID’s broader events and learning network for example through the CSA briefings and lunchtime seminar series.


A 2:1 degree in environmental sciences, environmental economics, environmental management, geography, engineering or related subject is essential. An analytical skill set would be essential and a strong research skill set desirable. Knowledge and an underststanding of the climate, energy, water and development context would be an advantage.


You will be asked to supply evidence of meeting these competencies when you apply.

  • Changing and improving
  • Collaborating and partnering
  • Delivering at pace

Civil Service Competency Framework



Civil Service pension schemes may be available for successful candidates.

Things you need to know


Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.
Successful candidates must pass basic security checks.


Successful candidates will be expected to have a medical.

Nationality statement

Candidates will be subject to UK immigration requirements as well as Civil Service nationality rules.

If you’re applying for a role requiring security clearance please be aware that foreign or dual nationality is not an automatic bar. However certain posts may have restrictions which could affect those who do not have sole British nationality or who have personal connections with certain countries outside the UK.

Selection process details



Initial shortlisting will be assessed via
• The online application form.
• Online situational test – please see Civil Service Initial Sift Test (CSIST) FAQs

If selected to attend the assessment centre – selection will be based on:

• an online numerical and verbal psychometric tests
• interview
• group exercise

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

Nationality requirements

Open to UK, Commonwealth and European Economic Area (EEA) and certain non EEA nationals. Further information on whether you are able to apply is available here.


Candidates in their probationary period are not eligible to apply for vacancies within this department.

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 equality of opportunity. There is a guaranteed interview scheme (GIS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

Apply and further information

Contact point for applicants

David Woolnough email [email protected]
Tel: 01355 835 1147

Online Test Deadline

16 Jun 2016

Sift/interview dates and location

The assessment workshops will take place in July/August 2016

Further information

For Frequently Asked Questions, please see Graduate Development Scheme FAQs attachment.

For further information or queries not answered in our FAQs, you can email enquiries to [email protected]
If you experience any technical issues with your application form or situational test, please contact Civil Service Resourcing System Support Team at

[email protected]
Candidates can claim travel costs if they attend an interview/selection stage for the vacancy.


Competency Framework Opens in new window (pdf, 1535kB)
CSIST FAQ’s Opens in new window (DOC, 35kB)
Graduate FAQ’s Opens in new window (docx, 35kB)