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SCS2, Chief Scientific Adviser

SCS Pay Band 2

Science, Senior Leadership, Other

Salary Range:

£110,000 Existing Civil Servants on level transfer will retain their existing base salary. Candidates on promotion will have their substantive base salary increased by 10% or start on the minimum of the SCS PB2 scale of £95,000 per annum, whichever is higher. In addition, if based in London, you will be eligible for a £2,000 Location Allowance. For further information about the position and additional details on qualifications, requirements, terms and conditions of service and how to apply, please visit: quoting Advert Reference Number: AXWD

Department and Location:

Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office

London or East Kilbride (frequent travel, three-four days a week to our London HQ at 2 King Charles Street, Whitehall is required)

Advert Closing Date:


Contract Type:

Fixed Term

Available Working Pattern:

Flexible Working, Full-time

Civil Service Jobs Reference:


Job Description:

The Role
The Chief Scientific Advisor (CSA) is the most senior scientist in the FCDO, and plays a leading role in enabling the FCDO and the Government
to harness the power of research, evidence, expertise and science diplomacy to deliver the Integrated Review, International Development
Strategy, International Technology Strategy and support the UK to be a leading science power globally.
The CSA is professionally independent and performs an independent challenge function to FCDO, having lead responsibility for the provision
of science advice to the FCDO, and ensuring that policy advice and action is underpinned by science, rigorous evidence and sound technical
analysis, and that reliable sources of analysis and technical expertise can be accessed, including at pace, in emergencies.
They have overall leadership and management of over 100 staff, with direct responsibility for research management and delivery of approx.
£1.1b R&D in this Spending Review period.
Key Responsibilities:
The CSA has 4 key roles:
• Lead responsibility for the provision of science advice to the Foreign Secretary and the FCDO across the spectrum of FCDO interests,
from diplomacy to development, security to sustainability, including in emergencies (such as armed conflict, natural disasters, and terrorist
• Lead the Research and Evidence Directorate, delivering specialised research commissioning, innovative technology development;
supporting global science diplomacy, leadership of relevant expert cadres; and responsive research analysis and science advice.
• Take overall responsibility for research management and delivery (with a budget of approximately £1.1b ODA) and research/science policy
for the FCDO.
• Participate as a member of the FCDO’s Executive Committee, contributing technical and independent input across the FCDO’s policy
areas, and work with the wider community of Departmental Chief Scientific Advisors, to inform wider government science policy and make
government wide contributions of subject specific knowledge and networks. The Executive Committee is the primary day-to-day
operational decision-making body of the FCDO.

Person Specification:

It is important that in your application you provide evidence and examples of proven experience of the essential selection criteria below.
Candidates will be assessed against Experience and Behaviours. Responses will be developed and discussed with candidates invited to
The successful candidate will be able to demonstrate ability to:
• An outstanding track record in leading and conducting applied research of internationally recognised standing, in an area of interest to
the FCDO, that has delivered demonstrable impacts on policy or populations. Particular areas of interest include health and climate
change with a development focus;
• Proven ability to understand and synthesise science / research findings across a broad range of quantitative and qualitative disciplines,
and an ability to communicate complex concepts clearly and accurately to policy makers verbally and in writing;
• Widely recognised leadership skills, excellent interpersonal and communication skills, an ability to inspire and mobilise teams, even in
times of crisis and uncertainty, and excellent organisational skills with an ability to strategically prioritise over a wide portfolio of work;
• A track record of successfully working with policy makers and a broad interest in and understanding of: government structures and
research funding systems; the main issues facing UK and international universities and the wider science sector; development and
foreign policy; and the role of governments in helping to harness the economic, social and security opportunities that science provides.
• Experience of operating across multiple geographies and cultures.

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