Science advisor: EU Exit and Earth Observations

Department for Business and Energy and Industrial Strategy
London, United Kingdom
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
Experience Level: 
Not Specified
Degree Required: 
Bachelor's (Or Equivalent)


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Job description

Organisation Details

BEIS is a new department at the heart of the Government’s agenda, with a vision of an economy that works for everyone. We are responsible for developing and delivering a comprehensive industrial strategy and leading the Government’s relationship with business; we work to tackle climate change and ensure that the country has secure energy supplies that are reliable, affordable and clean. Our role is vital to lead the Government’s vision in a context of momentous change, responding to both the short-term domestic impact of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union and working to define the next stage.

We feel the department has an exciting remit, and we hope you agree.

Job description

About the role:

BEIS’s Science and Innovation for Climate and Energy (SICE) Directorate is looking to recruit a scientist to lead on the development of strategy to support policy in the exciting area of climate change and energy issues. This is an important and interesting role working in SICE’s Science Team of more than 20 scientists and analysts.

About the team:

The Science Team provides scientific and technical advice to BEIS and wider government in support of BEIS’s international and domestic climate and energy policies on issues including negotiations under the UNFCCC, global and regional impacts of climate change, adaptation to climate change, geo-engineering, energy, bioenergy and mitigation options. It leads on the UK’s input to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and prepares the data on the UK’s GHG emissions to enable us to set targets for emissions reduction and monitor progress against these. The team identifies climate policy evidence needs and research gaps, develops and manages research in support of the above and is responsible for strategic communication of developments in climate and energy science, and engagement with scientific stakeholders.

As we work as an integrated agile team using matrix management approaches to deliver outcomes there are likely to be opportunities to get involved in a range of projects within the Science Team.

Key responsibilities:

You will be responsible for:

1. Developing in-depth knowledge of the issues that the UK's exit from the EU might present for the provision of climate science to guide BEIS policy on tackling climate change. In particular you will need to understand how EU exit may affect the science programmes managed by the Science Team, including the Met Office Hadley Centre Climate Programme, the UK GHG emissions inventory, UK input to the IPCC, plus other commissioned climate research projects and environmental monitoring programmes.

2. Using this knowledge of the issues to provide advice across BEIS and other Government departments, in order to ensure UK capability to produce policy-relevant climate science is retained and developed through EU exit and beyond. To do this you will need to be proactive in forming networks with policy teams across Government, and in addressing challenges and opportunities, as well as acting as a bridge with external scientific organisations.

3. Managing the Science Team's involvement with existing Earth observation programmes (Argo and JASON3), including responsibility for overseeing finance and project delivery.

4. Developing a new strategy for the Science Team's approach to Earth Observations. This is an opportunity to engage with exciting new initiatives making use of advances in sensing and data technologies, and to identify opportunities for these to meet needs in tackling climate change. You will need to engage with the UK Space Agency, Defra Earth Observations, Space 4 Climate, Met Office and others, to set a feasible, impactful strategy for the Science Team that is co-ordinated with the strategies of other Departments and organisations.

5. Taking responsibility for delivery of key Science Team objectives, making and delivering effective plans and reporting on progress, risks and issues.

6. Working flexibly on projects across the Science Team, reflecting business needs.

7. Investing in your own professional and personal learning and development. The SICE Directorate strongly supports the continuous professional development of staff.

Person specification:

You will be highly motivated with a relevant specialist background in climate science, Earth observations or a related area. You will have good project management skills and an ability to communicate complex technical issues to non-experts. In addition a postgraduate qualification or equivalent work experience in a relevant subject, and experience of contract specification, are desirable.

Competency framework link below;


Essential: Relevant scientific background in climate sciences.
Experience in developing and applying an excellent understanding of relevant science issues.
Ability to communicate complex scientific and technical issues to non-experts.
Good project management skills.

Desirable: A post-graduate qualification or equivalent work experience in climate science or another related subject.
Experience of contract specification


We'll assess you against these competencies during the selection process:

  • Applying scientific and technical knowledge

    Understands and can explain the strengths and weaknesses of analytical approaches. Identifies what questions need to be asked rather than just answering questions that are presented. Makes quality assessments and reviews scientific content of programmes of work. Identifies future potential direction for programmes and long term implications and issues. Guides contractors and staff on appropriate methods for specific projects. Identifies links from broader areas and new technologies. Understands the context of their work within the organisation’s objectives. Understands the limitations of their own knowledge and expertise and knows when to seek further advice, escalate issues and highlight the need for further training and development.

  • Seeing the Big Picture

    Please see competency framework

  • Leading and Communicating

    Please see competency framework.

  • Collaborating and Partnering

    Please see competency framework.

  • Managing a Quality Service

    Please see competency framework.



Civil Service pension schemes may be available for successful candidates.

Things you need to know


Successful candidates must pass basic security checks.

Selection process details

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.

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

Name: Steve Smith


CLOSING DATE: 21/03/2018 23:55GMT

Sift/interview dates and location

Interview dates

Week of interviews: 9th April 2018

Further information

To apply please click on the link below


Information for Candidates Opens in new window (pdf, 405kB)