Principal Research Officers

London (Greater)
London £50,250 - £59,290, National £45,690 - £53,910
15 Jan 2018
26 Jan 2018
Contract Type
Full Time

Principal Research Officers

London £50,250 - £59,290, National £45,690 - £53,910

Two-year fixed term appointments (with potential for extension/permanency)

Bristol, South West: London: York, Yorkshire and the Humber

Support the future success of the United Kingdom.

If you are an ambitious and proactive team-player with dynamic leadership capabilities, the Civil Service is the perfect place in which to further develop your skills.

At the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), amongst our wide portfolio of responsibilities we are entrusted with protecting the environment and devising policies that will support the rural economy. Our work spans from providing support to the food, farming and fishing industries to increasing resilience to environmental threats. With the UK’s impending exit from the European Union, Defra is going through an exciting period of change and you could be at the heart of this when you join. These posts provide the opportunity to commission research studies and lead complex in-house analysis. In addition, you will be tasked with creating a clear evidence-base to underpin crucial decisions and changes to our policies.  

We currently have vacancies in Future Farming, Marine and Fisheries, the Strategy Directorate and Chemicals and Pesticides Teams:

  • In the Future Farming Team, you will lead social research input into the shaping and delivery of a new environmental land management system that will succeed the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy. Undertaking in-house analysis and commissioning research, you will also design and deliver evaluations that will be required to test policy options and measure the potential impacts of these policies.
  • In the Marine and Fisheries Team, you will lead a wider analytical team in the development and implementation of a strategy for social research. Developing evidence around public perceptions and fishermen’s behaviours and attitudes, your findings will contribute to a multi-disciplinary research programme. As such, you will undertake in-house analysis and commission external projects, working with social researchers across the government to ensure our evidence base is robust.
  • In the Strategic Policy Evaluation and Social Research Team, you will lead policy evaluation development. Providing guidance on the most appropriate methods to tackle complex evaluations, you will build evaluation capacity in the department and forge close relationships with external experts such as the Trial Advice Panel and the Centre for Evaluating Complexity Across the Nexus (CECAN). Ultimately, everything you do will support advocating, planning for and supporting new EU Exit related policy.
  • In the Chemicals and Pesticides Team, you will develop the future domestic chemicals and pesticides regulations that will apply once the UK leaves the EU. Identifying key issues for social research, you will help us understand how future regulatory approaches will impact on both individuals and organisations. You will also review consultation questions, shape evidence strategies and build an evidence base on how farmers are using pesticides, and how this should be regulated.

To be considered for these posts you must be comfortable commissioning and undertaking research as well as having excellent communication skills so that you can translate your findings into easily understandable conclusions and directly engage with stakeholders including Ministers. You will therefore need strong communication and leadership skills as well as a social science degree (minimum 2:1) or a relevant postgraduate qualification with a good grounding in social research methods. Keen to promote innovative research approaches, you will be excited about the prospect of working at pace to secure a bright future for the UK.

Defra is a fantastic, diverse organisation to join and offers industry leading benefits as well as an exciting opportunity to be involved in such a critical part of the nation’s future.   Benefits include contributory pension, generous annual leave and Bank Holiday allowance, staff bonuses and recognition, learning & development opportunities, volunteering days, special leave for reservists, salary sacrifice schemes and employee discount schemes.

Closing date: 25 January 2018

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