Social Science Research Officer - Flexible Working Available

London, Cardiff, York , Birmingham and Homeworking
£27,936 - £35,880
18 Oct 2019
08 Nov 2019
Full Time
Contract Type


Office Based, Multi Location or Home Based in any of the FSA Hubs, London, Cardiff, York or Birmingham. Successful candidate will be expected to be fully office based or multi-location whilst they learn the role – (i.e. the first 3 months) following this their contract can be reviewed. Some travel may be required across the country with the possibility of overnight stays.

About the job Summary

The FSA is a non-ministerial department of over 1300 people, with a big vision – to drive change in the food system so that it delivers “food we can trust” - as the country prepares to leave the EU, the scale of this challenge cannot be underestimated. More than 90% of food and feed law in the UK currently comes from Europe and our primary goal is to continue to protect public health and UK consumers’ wider interest in food.
The social sciences have an important role to play in helping the FSA consider challenging and complex issues alongside research in the natural and physical sciences. In particular, understanding and effecting positive behaviour change is critical in achieving the Agency’s strategic aims, including reducing foodborne disease and improving business compliance

Job description

We take pride in thinking creatively about how we can use data in new ways, or use other tools, such as social media to understand people better, and in working closely with other experts in the field. External engagement, including international engagement is a priority, so we have the opportunity to share our skills with others across the world and contribute to communities of practice formally through publications and conferences, and less formally through building networks. The FSA has a progressive and location-agnostic approach to working, meaning that we can choose how and where we work, and a genuine focus on science and evidence, which means that the work you do here will be heard and make a difference.

An exciting opportunity has arisen to join the FSA’s Social Science team. Social Science is one of four analytical disciplines that make up the Analytics Unit at the FSA, working closely alongside Economics, Statistics and Operational Research.
We are seeking a highly motivated individual who is already a member of the Government Social Research (GSR) profession, or who would like to join this profession of approximately 1,000 researchers working across government. More information about GSR can be found here:


If successful, the post holder will be required to support the Social Science team in delivering research advice, management and support to stakeholders across the FSA.

Please read the attached Candidate Pack to discover further details about the role, our organisation, who we are looking for and the criteria we will assess against during the selection process. We look forward to receiving your application and wish you every success.

As someone with pride and passion for public service, you’ll recognise the wider Civil Service priorities and always work in the national interest. You’ll seek out opportunities to create effective change and suggest innovative ideas for improvement. You’ll use evidence and knowledge to support accurate, expert decisions and advice. You’ll value difference, diversity and inclusion, ensuring fairness and opportunity for all.


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

  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Managing a Quality Service

Technical skills

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

  • Government Social Research (GSR) Membership – for candidates who are not currently a GSR member, there will be an opportunity to become badged as part of the recruitment process
  • Hold a 2:1 or above in an undergraduate degree OR a 2:2 or above in an undergraduate degree with a postgraduate degree, in a social science subject 1
  • Hold a 2:1 or above in an undergraduate degree OR a 2:2 or above in an undergraduate degree with a postgraduate degree, in any subject, or hold a degree equivalent (e.g. an advanced Certificate or Diploma from MRS),
  • If candidate does not hold the GSR membership, then they will be required to take an online GSR knowledge test and, if shortlisted, take part in an oral briefing exercise before interview

Benefits Benefits

Our candidate pack details the benefits that the FSA has to offer. Please also refer to the attached Terms and Conditions statement.

Things you need to know Security

Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.

Selection process details

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

Shortlisting sift is planned to take place on 08 November 2019.
Interviews are planned to take place on 25 November 2019
Full details of the selection process are detailed in the attached candidate pack. This will consist of shortlisting against the essential and desirable person specification criteria stated. If successful at shortlisting stage, you will be invited to the final selection stage consisting of a 45-minute interview which will be used to assess Behaviours, Strengths and Experience.
Candidates who do not hold a GSR membership will also be invited to take part in an oral briefing exercise.

We actively review the deployment of talent on a periodic basis in the interests of optimising personal development and the achievement of business plans.

Please note – regrettably we are unable to refund travel costs if candidates attend an interview/selection stage for the vacancy.

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.

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