Job description


Birmingham, Cardiff, Darlington, Edinburgh, London, Manchester

About The Job

Job summary

The Government Office for Science works at the heart of Government, ensuring policies and decisions are informed by the best scientific evidence and strategic long-term thinking. It's an exciting time to join the organisation; we have outstanding and high-profile positions providing you an opportunity to inform and influence policy-making and the systems for use of science and engineering across government. If you are highly motivated and looking for your next career challenge we want to hear from you.

Our mission is:

  • Science advice mechanisms that are efficient, effective, speak truth to power and are embedded irreversibly in Government systems.
  • Visible impact through both pro-active and demand-led science advice that is relevant, excellent, and delivered fit for purpose.

Our values are:

Collaboration – We draw on the experience, skills and knowledge of individuals and partners to reach goals.

Kindness – We are always inclusive, respectful, and compassionate. We look out for one another on work related and non-work-related matters where appropriate.

Openness – We are curious and always open-minded to new ideas, ways of working and points of view, irrelevant of how unconventional they might seem or who suggests them.

Integrity – We commit to upholding the civil service value of integrity by remaining moral, honest, and transparent. We always strive to do the right thing.

Further information can be found here.

We strongly believe diversity of experience, thought, perspectives, skills, and background makes us a more innovative, welcoming Department, thus making better decisions and better delivering our objectives. We are actively seeking applications from every part of the community and particularly welcome applications from candidates of any age, background, disability, or from an ethnic minority background and any other protected characteristics. This will help us move to a workforce that reflects the people we serve to deliver better policies.

We are a friendly, inclusive team and emphasise personal development. We will ensure individuals with disabilities are provided adjustments to participate in the job application and interview process. We support your wellbeing by putting flexible working at the heart of our offer.; if successful, you will be able to discuss working arrangements with your new manager.

We maintain an internal surge capability of staff who may be called at short notice to support an activation of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE). Training and support will be provided. This is an excellent opportunity to develop crisis management skills.

Job Description

This data scientist role sits within our Technology and Science Insights (TSI) team. Our team is diverse, inclusive and focused on individual wellbeing. We are proud to support lots of different working patterns, locations and learning and development activity. We are a multidisciplinary team of analysts, data scientists, scientists, economists, and policy professionals.

The team's purpose is to provide high quality, independent evidence to inform strategic decisions on science and technology. We undertake horizon scanning for new technologies and international comparisons to understand the UK's relative areas of strength and weakness in science and technology. We work with a wide range of data and information sources including academic publication records, patents, financial and national security information. The post holder will work collaboratively to produce intelligence, reports and data for policy makers on science and technology.

You will be responsible for developing and undertaking quantitative and qualitative assessments of science and technology, feeding into our horizon scanning and comparative analysis. You will lead on developing and acquiring data sources, managing analytical pipelines (including automation), and implementing digital approaches for sharing information across government.

Person specification

Working closely with lead Data Scientists and Principal Analysts, the HEO Data Scientist responsibilities will include:

  • Contributing robust analysis of technologies to inform science and technology deep dives, Rapid Technology Assessments and GO Science’s database of high-level insights on key emerging technologies, which are shared with senior Government officials. This includes developing methodologies and conducting analysis to understand opportunities and risks of technology on society, the economy and national security.
  • Collaborating with other analysts across the team to implement digital tools for cross-government information sharing. This includes designing, coding, testing, correcting and documenting methods, with a particular focus on ensuring the correct use and communication of data.
  • Implementing new data flows that support users within TSI and beyond the team. Maintain data repositories to ensure information remains accurate, up to date, and accessed appropriately.
  • Linking TSI team to the wider community of government S&T analysts, sharing knowledge and developing best practice in using common data sources.
  • We work flexibly across different projects, and there will be opportunities to work with teams across GO Science. GO Science maintains an internal surge capability of staff who may be called on at short notice to support urgent areas of work. There may be opportunities to volunteer to support this activity.

Skills And Experience

Essential for this role:

  • Undergraduate degree or qualification of an equivalent level in a quantitative/analytical science, engineering, technology, finance or economics subject.
  • You can conduct and design analysis to provide evidence to support decision making. You can present your findings in a way that supports the policy development process.
  • You can select between different approaches for communicating data-driven insight and be able justify those choices.
  • You are able to translate technical concepts into non-technical language and can communicate complex analysis clearly in a variety of styles.
  • Some ability at programming languages such as Python, R, SQL or similar, or a desire to develop this skillset.
  • You can collaborate with others efficiently using tools such as Git, reviewing specifications where appropriate.

Desirable for this role:

  • You know how to use agreed standards and tools to design, code, test, correct and document moderate-to-complex programs and scripts from agreed specifications and subsequent iterations, maintaining and updated relevant data models for specific business needs.
  • A demonstrable interest in horizon-scanning and using an understanding of science and technology to improve government policy and operations.
  • Project Management Experience.
  • 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.


Memberships: You are not required to currently be a member of one of the cross-Government analytical professions but professional standards for those roles give an indication of the professional skills we require, and membership of one of these professions is required in order to receive the analytical allowance. This post requires skills aligned to aspects of the following professions: Government Operational Research Service, Government Statistical Service, Government Social Research Service. As part of the application process, you will be asked to state which one you associate with most closely, and badging for this profession will then be tested at interview stage. If applying on promotion from within the Civil Service, the selection process will be configured to allow you to retain your professional badge. For a successful external candidate, after appointment, we will provide the opportunity for further accreditation processes to formally join one of the cross-Government professions where necessary and desired, but completion of this process is not a condition of employment for the role.


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

  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Seeing the Big Picture

We only ask for evidence of these behaviours on your application form:

  • Making Effective Decisions

Technical Skills

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

  • You will be assessed against ONE of the three listed professions: Competency: ‘Data Analysis’ for GSG, ‘Knowledge and application of OR skills and techniques’ for GORS; ‘Technical Skills’ for GSR. -


Alongside your salary of £31,120, Government Office for Science contributes £8,402 towards you being a member of the Civil Service Defined Benefit Pension scheme. Find out what benefits a Civil Service Pension provides.

DSIT offers a competitive mix of benefits including:

  • A culture of flexible working, such as job sharing, homeworking and compressed hours.
  • Automatic enrolment into the Civil Service Pension scheme with an average employer contribution of 27%.
  • A minimum of 25 days of paid annual leave, increasing by 1 day per year up to a maximum of 30.
  • An extensive range of learning & professional development opportunities, which all staff are actively encouraged to pursue.
  • Access to a range of retail, travel and lifestyle employee discounts.
  • A hybrid office/home based working model where staff will spend a norm of 40-60% of their time in the office (minimum of 40%) over a month with flex dependent on balancing business and individual need (from September 2021, depending on how the public health guidance evolves).

For the full list and to see our commitment to diversity and inclusion, please see the attached Employee Offer booklet.

Things you need to know

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles (opens in a new window) , and will assess your Behaviours, Experience and Technical skills.

As part of the application process you will be asked to complete a CV, behavioural statement, personal statement and a technical skills statement.

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

Please use your personal statement (in no more than 250 words) to outline why would you like to work in the Government Office for Science.

Applications will be sifted on the CV, a behavioural statement, personal statement, and any technical skills required.

In the event of a large number of applicants, applications will be sifted on the Technical Skill statement only

Candidates who pass the initial sift may be progressed to a full sift, or progressed straight to assessment/interview.

The interview will consist of behaviour and technical questions.

Interviewees will be asked to deliver a presentation; further details will be provided nearer the time.

Technical Skills To Be Assessed

You will be assessed against ONE of the three listed professions: Competency: ‘Data Analysis’ for GSG, ‘Knowledge and application of OR skills and techniques’ for GORS; ‘Technical Skills’ for GSR.

Links to technical/professional competency framework for suitable professions:

  • Government Operational Research Service (GORS) - Knowledge and application of OR skills and techniques -

    Government Statistical Group (GSG) - Data Analysis -

    Government Social Research Service (GSR) - Technical Skills -

    Sift and interview dates

    Expected Timeline subject to change

    Sift dates: w/c 27th November 2023

    Interview dates: w/c 18th December 2023

    Interview Location: MS Teams.

    Candidates are asked to note the above timetable, exercising flexibility through the recruitment and selection process.

    Further Information

    Reasonable Adjustment

    We are proud to be a disability confident leader and we welcome applications from disabled candidates and candidates with long-term conditions.

    We fully support adjustments throughout our recruitment process and we encourage candidates to discuss their adjustment needs by emailing the job contact which can be found under the contact point for applicants section.

    We do not have an exhaustive list of adjustments that we support but just some examples include additional time to complete your application form, behaviour questions up to 72 hours prior to interview and having extra time at interview.

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

    If successful and transferring from another Government Department a criminal record check may be carried out.

    New entrants are expected to join on the minimum of the pay band.

    A location based reserve list of successful candidates will be kept for 12 months. Should another role become available within that period you may be offered this position.

    Please note terms and conditions are attached. Please take time to read the document to determine how these may affect you.

    Any move to the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology from another employer will mean you can no longer access childcare vouchers. This includes moves between government departments. You may however be eligible for other government schemes, including Tax Free Childcare. Determine your eligibility

    DSIT does not normally offer full home working (i.e. working at home); but we do offer a variety of flexible working options (including occasionally working from home).

    DSIT cannot offer Visa sponsorship to candidates through this campaign. DSIT holds a Visa sponsorship licence but this can only be used for certain roles and this campaign does not qualify.

    In order to process applications without delay, we will be sending a Criminal Record Check to Disclosure and Barring Service /Disclosure Scotland 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 stating the job reference number in the subject heading.

    For further information on the Disclosure Scotland confidential checking service telephone: the Disclosure Scotland Helpline on 0870 609 6006 and ask to speak to the operations manager in confidence, or email

    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.


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


    Successful candidates must undergo a criminal record check.

    People working with government assets must complete baseline personnel security standard (opens in new window) checks.

    Nationality Requirements

    This job is broadly open to the following groups:

    • UK nationals
    • nationals of the Republic of Ireland
    • nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK
    • nationals of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and family members of those nationalities with settled or pre-settled status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS) (opens in a new window)
    • nationals of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and family members of those nationalities who have made a valid application for settled or pre-settled status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
    • individuals with limited leave to remain or indefinite leave to remain who were eligible to apply for EUSS on or before 31 December 2020
    • Turkish nationals, and certain family members of Turkish nationals, who have accrued the right to work in the Civil Service

    Further information on nationality requirements (opens in a new window)

    Working for the Civil Service

    The Civil Service Code (opens in a new window) 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 (opens in a new window) .

    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.

    The Civil Service also offers a Redeployment Interview Scheme to civil servants who are at risk of redundancy, and who meet the minimum requirements for the advertised vacancy.

    Apply and further information

    This vacancy is part of the Great Place to Work for Veterans (opens in a new window) initiative.

    The Civil Service welcomes applications from people who have recently left prison or have an unspent conviction. Read more about prison leaver recruitment (opens in new window) .

    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 : Katherine Burgess
    • Email :

    Recruitment team

    • Email :

    Further information

    Appointment to the Civil Service is governed by the Civil Service Commission’s Recruitment Principles. If you feel that your application has not been treated in accordance with the recruitment principles, and wish to make a complaint, then you should contact in the first instance . If you are not satisfied with the response that you receive, then you can contact the Civil Service Commission. For further information on bringing a complaint to the Civil Service Commission please visit their web pages: Click here to visit Civil Service Commission/Complaints

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