Head of Academic & International Engagement & Head of the Transport Research & Innovation Board

London (Central), London (Greater)
£52,504 - £57,506
05 Jul 2019
19 Jul 2019
Full Time
Contract Type


London : City of Westminster, London, SW1P 4DR

About the job Job description

Are you an experienced scientific research or innovation professional who can work with and influence stakeholders from a variety of backgrounds to deliver a wide range of complex, interacting, objectives? 

Are you excited by the opportunity to use your knowledge and skills to shape and inform high profile policies and research spending decisions, backed up by expert advice and robust research, and provide strategic guidance to ministers and senior departmental colleagues? 

If so, we are looking to recruit experienced science or innovation professionals to work on external engagement within DfT’s Office for Science. The successful candidates will collaborate with national and international Research and Innovation stakeholders to shape the transport system of the future and deliver the departments policy ambitions. 

Job Description 

Head of Academic & International Engagement 

As the Head of Academic and International Engagement you will be responsible for ensuring that DfT receives timely independent advice and challenge from academic and industry experts, shaping external research programmes and prioritising our national and international engagement. 

This is a key role within the team, leading the secretariat of the Science Advisory Council - a forum of senior academic and industry research and innovation stakeholders. 

You will also be influencing the academic community to work on DfT priorities by communicating our needs; acting as the focal point for the EU funded transport projects in the UK; influencing future national and international funding programmes; and supporting/focussing the Chief Scientific Advisor’s international engagement. 

The successful candidate will support the CSA in his role as head of the Government Science and Engineering profession within DfT. 

Head of the Transport Research Innovation Board 

As the Head of the Transport Research and Innovation Board (TRIB) Secretariat you will lead the department’s efforts to align transport research and innovation activities across the DfT’s Arm’s Length Bodies, and partner organisations, so activities can become greater than the sum of their parts and drive better transport outcomes for the economy and society. 

This is a high-profile role, overseeing a board established by the Chief Scientific Advisor on behalf of ministers. The main purpose of the role is to lead the planning, management and delivery of DfT’s Transport Research and Innovation Board (TRIB) meetings, ensuring that its activities are timely, relevant and impactful to the departments current and future challenges. 

You will drive activities through the Boards working groups, interacting with a range of stakeholders to inform and influence decisions relating to transport research and innovation within existing infrastructure projects, and working to establish new R&I programmes where necessary. 

Please refer to the attached role profiles for the full role profiles, candidates will be considered for both roles at both sift and interview. 

About you 

Are you strong scientific or innovation leader, with excellent communication skills and able to communicate complex issues clearly across all levels of a business to ensure commitment and achievement of departmental goals? If so we would love to hear from you. 

We’re looking for experienced science / innovation professionals with excellent communication, influencing and project management skills, who have experience of working with policy colleagues and wider stakeholders. You’ll be confident applying your expertise to set your own direction and influence decisions and thrive managing a dynamic and challenging workload, welcoming autonomy to your role. 

You’ll have exceptional interpersonal skills and be able to communicate complex information to others, with the capability to provide guidance and information to inform decisions at all levels of the business. 

For this role, it’s essential to be able to proactively manage your workload whilst retaining focus on the evolving priorities of DfT and wider Government. 

Across the department decisions are made and informed by robust analysis and research, and our work is a key part in shaping the transport system of the future. 

About us 

We are part of the Department for Transport (DfT). DfT is a great place to work, and our ‘one team’ approach really makes a difference. We value our staff and that’s why we’re committed to nurturing an inclusive environment across the Department. 

You’ll be part of an innovative organisation that invests in all our people, ensuring we have the diverse skills to deliver transport that moves Britain ahead now and into the future. 

Find out more about what it's like working at the Department for Transport

DfT has been recognised for its leadership on workplace gender equality by being included in The Times Top 50 Employers for Women 2017. 

DfT’s inclusion is recognition of our commitment to make the Department a great place to work through our culture of equality and inclusivity and the great strides we’ve made to raise the number of women in senior positions.


A degree in STEM, Social or Related Sciences or Considerable work experience from a similar field.


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

  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Seeing the Big Picture
  • Working Together
  • Delivering at Pace

Technical skills

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

  • Government Science & Engineering Professional Skills

Benefits Pensions

Civil Service pension schemes may be available for successful candidates.


Being part of our brilliant Civil Service means you will have access to a wide range of fantastic benefits. We offer generous annual leave, attractive pension options, flexible working, inclusive working environments and much more to support a healthy work/life balance.

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 security check.

Nationality statement

Candidates will be subject to UK immigration requirements as well as Civil Service nationality rules.

If you're applying for a role requiring security clearance please be aware that foreign or dual nationality is not an automatic bar. However certain posts may have restrictions which could affect those who do not have sole British nationality or who have personal connections with certain countries outside the UK.

Selection process details

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

The selection process will be designed specifically for the role. As a result, your assessment could include: 
• an interview 

The Department for Transport alongside other Government Departments recruit using Success Profiles. This means for each role we consider what you will need to demonstrate in order to be successful. This gives us the best possible chance of finding the right person for the job, drives up performance and improves diversity and inclusivity. For further information on Success Profiles please click here 

Your interview may consist of a range of question types. These may include questions about: 
• what energises and motivates you 
• how you would manage situations relevant to the role 
• your previous experience 
• your professional skills and knowledge 

You’re encouraged to become familiar with the role profile, as you may be assessed against any of the criteria recorded within. 

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

For further information on this vacancy please contact - Simon Shapcott 
Email: Simon.Shapcott@dft.gov.uk

Sift/interview dates and location

The sift is due to take place w/c 22nd July 2019 

Interviews/assessments are likely to be held w/c 12th August 2019. 

We will try to meet the dates set out in the advert. There may be occasions when these dates will change. You will be provided with sufficient notice of the confirmed dates. 

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

Further information

We have adopted anonymised recruitment. This means that your name, date of birth and other personal details will not be seen by the sift panel. 

We may hold a merit list for up to twelve months. During this time, if a similar role is identified and you have been placed on the merit list you may be considered for the post. Within the merit list period, your application form and selection information may be shared across the department and its agencies. 

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 DfTRecruitment.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 

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: dftrecruitment.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 

Any move to the Department for Transport (DfT) will mean you will no longer be able to carry on claiming childcare vouchers. 

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