2 x G6 Head of Evidence and Analysis

Bristol, London, York
£57,114 - £71,019
14 Oct 2020
19 Oct 2020
Contract Type
Full Time

2 x G6 Head of Evidence and Analysis

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

About the job 

It has never been a more exciting time to join the Defra group, which is responsible for the environment, the countryside and the rural economy. Defra’s diverse teams deal with a vast range of issues that profoundly affect people's day to day life from the food we eat, the air we breathe and the water we drink.

We are looking to recruit dedicated and experienced professionals to fill two senior analysis and evidence roles in Defra’s Environmental Quality Directorate. The Directorate’s aim is to improve and protect health and the environment by improving air quality, managing noise, promoting resource efficiency, managing risks from chemicals, to support our objective to be the first generation to leave the environment in a better state than we inherited it.

The two roles are:
1) Chemicals, Pesticides and Hazardous Waste (CPHW) Division: Head of Analysis and Evidence Hub

CPHW is a large multi-disciplinary team dedicated to delivering policies and regulations which ensure the effective management of chemicals throughout their lifecycle, for everyone, the environment and the economy. We work with a number of delivery partners to achieve our goals, including other Whitehall departments, as well as the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Environment Agency (EA) and international organisations such as the OECD. At the end of the transition period, the UK will be making independent policy on chemicals, pesticides and hazardous waste which will need to balance facilitating innovation and growth with protecting human health and the environment and presents a unique opportunity to reconsider chemical and pesticides policy from first principles.

2) Air Quality and Industrial Emissions (AQIE) Division: Head of Evidence Team

AQIE is a large team of 65 staff with the primary objective of delivering the Clean Air Strategy. Published in 2019 and described by the World Health Organization as an example for the rest of the world to follow, the Clean Air Strategy sets out an ambitious and comprehensive package of measures to improve our air quality, contributing to achieving improved public health and biodiversity outcomes.

There is a strong and vibrant community of scientists and analysts within EQ and Defra and the posts offer many development opportunities, including collaborating with national and global analysts as well as scientists in many research establishments and academia to shape policy and research programmes.

Job description

G6 CPHW Head of Evidence and Analysis:-

The G6 Head of CPHW Evidence and Analysis will lead the work of over ten analysts to shape the development of our evidence base which informs ambitious policy making agendas. This is a unique opportunity to set the pace and direction of evidence, and its impact on policy priorities, in a fast moving and exciting policy area. The post holder will work creatively and collaboratively with policy, analysts and delivery partners to develop the evidence base, structure policy problems and influence decision making in order to deliver excellent outcomes and strong value for money.
Reporting directly to CPHW’s Deputy Director, the post holder will lead a dynamic group of analysts which includes a mix of disciplines such as economists, social researchers, statisticians and scientists supporting policy development and regulatory implementation. The role is part of CPHW’s senior management team and the post holder will be influential in setting the future strategic direction and priorities of the Division, working with the other senior managers to lead the whole team to implement these.

The post holder will:

• Provide confident leadership to the team on evidence priorities to assist policy making - this is particularly important and prescient given that we will be delivering and embedding new UK regimes after the end of the TP and adopting EU repatriated functions.
• Be instrumental in helping to define longer term goals for chemicals and pesticides and building a strong evidence base to support this.
• Define strategic analytical direction for the division: working with the team and division to identify evidence priorities and ensure value for money of evidence budgets including outreach to other agendas.
• Ensure the analytical work of the team is of high quality and presented confidently to influence policy agendas, manage stakeholder relationships and inform Ministerial decisions.
• Manage a team from various disciplines and varying degrees of expertise and ensure they deliver to the best of their ability.

G6 AQIE Head of Evidence:-

The G6 Head of the AQIE Evidence Team will play a key role in contributing to achieving the Clean Air Strategy’s ambitious and comprehensive package of measures to improve our air quality in order to achieve improved public health and biodiversity outcomes. The post holder will lead an inter-disciplinary group including statisticians, economists, operational researchers, and air quality scientists to deliver the evidence and analysis essential to underpinning policy development. The post reports directly to the AQIE Deputy Director.

The post holder will:
• Be responsible for shaping and delivering an ambitious multi-disciplinary research programme to develop innovative approaches to understanding air pollution and developing solutions, and delivering high quality analysis, often under challenging timescales to support the development of ambitious policies. This will require close working with policy teams to ensure that analysts understand the objectives and challenges so that commissioned evidence is fit for purpose.
• Play a key role in the AQIE and wider EQ senior leadership team, being a visible presence, deputising for senior leaders as required, able to handle financial management, and contributing to the wider organisation, ensuring an inclusive and fair working environment.
• Play a lead role in the wider science community across Defra Group, including supporting AQIE’s Deputy Director in their role as the EQ champion for the science and evidence community, and contributing to developing career progression and development in the science community.
• Brief senior leaders and Ministers on air quality science, and working closely with the Defra Chief Scientific Advisor, Heads of Professions and systems leads to ensure that science teams are working collaboratively across the Department. This is an opportunity to influence the shape and priorities of the Departments science agenda.
• Work with international team lead to support the Gothenburg Protocol Review and to ensure UK science presence is strong and influential in the Convention on Long Range Transboundary Air Pollution (CLRTAP) working groups in shaping future target setting and evaluating progress.
• Manage the Air Quality Expert Group (AQEG), maintaining strong relationships with the chair and independent membership, defining the work programme, and building collaborations with other independent expert bodies, including the Committee for Climate Change, and the Committee on Medical Effects of Air Pollutants (COMEAP).
• Lead engagement with Defra agencies and external partners seeking opportunities for collaboration (e.g. UKRI, Met Office, Public Health England, Academic teams and consultancies, and other Government departments). Engagement with stakeholders and interested parties in a wider range of fora, including speaking at conferences, communicating Government policy as well as science. Holding delivery partners accountable for delivering effective services to budget, including the national air quality monitoring networks.

The posts offer some flexibility to be based outside London, but the post holder is likely to be required to travel to London regularly, and may need to be able to attend meetings at short notice.

All of these posts require the successful candidate to hold basic security clearance. Candidates posted to London will be subject to a higher level of clearance because of the security requirements for that location. Job offers to these posts are made on the basis of merit. Security vetting will only take place after the receipt of a job offer.


The posts require:
• People with inclusive management and leadership skills who work well with and through others, as well as someone who is curious, embraces change and constantly looks for new ways to add value in an ambitious and challenging policy environment.
• Experience in identifying ways to quantify impacts to businesses and communicate trade-offs of policy options.
• Experience in the use of quantitative and qualitative analytical approaches.
• Experience in understanding and simplifying complex policy choices into analytical frameworks to facilitate policy making.
• Experience in long term evidence planning. Pro-actively identify opportunities for research to make a positive impact on policy priorities.
• Strong experience of leading multi-disciplinary teams and actively managing people to deliver required outcomes, ensuring join-up between different disciplines and creating a positive, supportive team culture.
• A track record of collaborative working across disciplines and organisational boundaries to deliver a programme of work and holding delivery partners accountable for progress and outcomes.
• Excellent knowledge of the application of science, analysis and evidence for the delivery of policy, and the ability to communicate clearly to diverse audiences, including senior staff/stakeholders.

Specifically for the Air Quality role, you will need a scientific background and training, with experience and a technical knowledge in air quality science.


An undergraduate degree in a science or analytical subject (such as economics, social research, or air quality science for the AQIE role) or equivalent experience is required.


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

  • Leadership
  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Working Together
  • Managing a Quality Service

Technical skills

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

  • AQIE role – air quality science or CPHW – economic analysis


A career in the Civil Service is like no other. If you’re looking to join a great team and develop your career with us, then the Civil Service is the place for you! You might be wondering, “what’s in it for me”? Take a look below at some of the benefits available to you as a civil servant in Defra.

• A working environment that supports a range of flexible working options.

• A civil service pension.

• A working culture which encourages inclusion and diversity.

Defra is committed to taking positive action on diversity through recruitment, and actively encourage applications from as diverse a group of candidates as possible. We are particularly interested in applicants from communities such as BAME, LGBTQ+, veterans, disabled and ex-offenders, for example. The delivery challenges Defra faces are great, and we know that as a team and department we will only succeed by bringing a diverse set of views and backgrounds together. We are wholly committed to the Civil Service principles of diversity and equality of opportunity and will recruit through a fair, open and unbiased competition.

Access to learning and development tailored to your role:-

Everyone in Defra is supported to develop their skills and capabilities. When you join the Environmental Quality (EQ) Directorate, you will be welcomed into your new team through an induction programme that will provide you with helpful information on the civil service, Defra, our work and our policies. Your line manager will also work with you to establish your priorities for the fiscal year, developing a performance, learning and development plan tailored to you and your role, while also working with you to connect you with a civil service mentor to help empower you in your new role with the opportunity to benefit from paid-for coaching.

Most importantly, we’re keen to invest in you! EQ ensures that each employee has clear learning and development opportunities funded through the financial year. As a civil servant, you will also have access to Civil Service Learning where you can participate in professional development programmes across a wide spectrum of subjects and professions.

Things you need to know Security

Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.

Successful candidates must meet the security requirements before they can be appointed. The level of security needed is counter-terrorist check.

People working with government assets must complete basic personnel security standard checks.

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles, and will assess your Behaviours, Strengths, Ability, Experience and Technical skills.

Application process
After submission of the first stage of your application, you will be invited to complete a Verbal Reasoning. If you successfully pass the test, you will be invited to complete the second stage of the application.

Please complete the online tests as soon as possible (within 24-48 hours is recommended), the closing date for the tests is 23:55 on 19th October 2020. If you fail to complete the online test before the deadline your application will be withdrawn. Guidance for the test will be available when you are invited to take the test. The tests are administered online and accessed via the CS Jobs website.

As part of the application process, you will be asked to complete 250-word statements on each of the following four Behaviours – (1) Leadership; (2) Working Together; (3) Managing a Quality Service, and (4) Making Effective Decisions – together with a Statement of Suitability, which should be no more than 500 words and should be aligned to the following guidance:

Using the job description and person specification, outline how you meet the criteria for this role, including technical skills. Please provide details of relevant past experience and how this will assist you in meeting the needs of this post.

As part of the application process, you will also be asked to complete a CV. The CV will ask for your Job History, Qualifications and Past Skills and Experience.

Should a large number of applications be received, an initial sift may be conducted using the lead behaviour, Leadership. Candidates who pass the initial sift may be progressed to a full sift, or progressed straight to assessment/interview.

Sift is likely to take place in mid to late October with interviews early to mid November.


All candidates invited to interview will be required to give a short 5-minute verbal presentation. The topic will be provided prior to interview.

The interviews will be a Behaviour, Experience, Technical and Strength-based.

**Please note that due to COVID-19 restrictions, we will not be interviewing face-to-face at this time. All interviews will be conducted remotely via video call. Further information will be provided to candidates in advance of interviews.**

Reserve list
We have a number of opportunities coming up across EQ and Defra. Candidates who pass the interview criteria but are not offered a post will be kept on a reserve list for 9 months and may be offered similar roles elsewhere.

Near miss
Candidates who are judged to be a near miss may be considered for other posts in Defra which may be at a lower grade, but have a potential skills match.

Merit Lists
Where more than one location is advertised, candidates will be posted in merit order by location. You will be asked to state your location preference on your application

Reasonable Adjustment
If a person with disabilities is put at a substantial disadvantage compared to a non-disabled person, we have a duty to make reasonable changes to our processes.

If you need a change to be made so that you can make your application, you should:

- Contact Government Recruitment Service via defrarecruitment.grs@cabinetoffice.gov.uk as soon as possible before the closing date to discuss your needs.
- Complete the “Assistance required” section in the “Additional requirements” page of your application form to tell us what changes or help you might need further on in the recruitment process. For instance, you may need wheelchair access at interview, or if you’re deaf, a Language Service Professional.

Criminal Record Check
If successful and transferring from another Government Department, a criminal record check maybe carried out.

In order to process applications without delay, we will be sending a Criminal Record Check to Disclosure and Barring Service on your behalf. However, we recognise in exceptional circumstance 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 Pre-Employment.Checks@cabinetoffice.gov.uk stating the job reference number in the subject heading.

Childcare Vouchers
Any move to Defra will mean you will no longer be able to carry on claiming childcare vouchers. You will however have access to the governments Tax Free Childcare scheme.

Internal Fraud Database Check
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.

If you feel your application has not been treated in accordance with the Recruitment Principles and you wish to make a complaint, in the first instance, you should contact Government Recruitment Services via email: defrarecruitment.grs@cabinetoffice.gov.uk.

If you are not satisfied with the response you receive from the Department, you can contact the Civil Service Commission: Click here to visit Civil Service Commission

We are closely monitoring the situation with regard to Coronavirus, and will be following central Government advice as it is issued. There is therefore a risk that recruitment to this post may be subject to change at short notice. Please continue to follow the application process as normal and ensure that you check your emails regularly for any updates from us as this is how we will communicate with you.

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 equal opportunities. As such, we run a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.