FOI & PQ lead

£32,750 - £36,000
05 Aug 2020
23 Aug 2020
Contract Type

We are a new and high-profile area of GO-Science set up to coordinate and deliver the central science advice needs to support the Government’s ongoing response to Covid-19. We are looking for highly motivated individuals who want to help us deliver the best possible science advice for HMG’s response to the Covid-19 epidemic.

The role of the Government Chief Scientific Adviser (GCSA), Sir Patrick Vallance, is to advise the Prime Minister and Cabinet on all science and technology issues. He is supported by the Government Office for Science (Go-Science) who coordinate across Government, industry and academia to ensure HMG has the right systems to access excellent science advice and provide effective and impactful advice on major issues. We also provide scientific support to HMG in planning and preparedness for major national risks and emergencies, through the provision of the secretariat function for the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE). SAGE exists to provide timely, independent, high quality, consensus-based science advice to the PM, COBR, departments and agencies on national and international crises and incidents. Details of SAGE structures as well as the inputs to and outputs from SAGE are published and can be found at

Covid-SAGE is co-chaired by GCSA with the Chief Medical Officer, and work is coordinated and delivered by the GO-Science Covid Teams. The Covid Strategy and Delivery area is responsible for providing all the support functions to the GO-Science COVID response.

Job description

Your role will be part of the Engagement and International team in GO-Science COVID Strategy and Delivery. This team ensures a robust and accessible body of international scientific evidence on the Covid-19 response is held, including delivering on international comparators via the International Comparators Joint Unit (ICJU), ensuring science is properly considered within cross-Whitehall International Covid-19 strategy discussions and supporting the GCSA in international engagement related to COVID-19 outbreak and response. They also handle the role of National Academies in Covid-19 science advisory mechanisms, coordinate national studies, ensure clearance and publication of evidence tabled at and minutes issuing from SAGE and responding to FOIs, briefing, correspondence and PQs.

Essential skills / experience:

• Ability to prioritise tasks and manage busy workloads
• Excellent written and oral communication skills
• Teammate with the ability to work collaboratively across various teams
• Ability to deliver at pace in a timely and effective manner.
• Networking across Government

Desirable skills/experience:

• Working in science and / or science policy in government.
• Secretariat or similar experience.
• Responding to PQs / FOIs.


• Supporting GCSA to achieve maximum transparency of Covid-19 science advice.

• Working with the team to maintain a pipeline and scheduling of requests through accurate record keeping.

• Working across the GO-Science Covid team to identify material and then supporting the answering PQs and Freedom of Information Act requests.

• Preparation of briefings to support the GCSA appearances at Science and Technology Select Committees and/or other high profile engagements.

• Support and promote an inclusive working environment where all opinions and challenges are taken into account.

• Lead on implementation of best practice records management to support future Inquiry preparedness.

Due to the evolving landscape of the cross-government Covid-19 response the job role may develop over time.

We are constantly looking to diversify our workforce to give us the broadest range of perspectives possible. We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable adjustments to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits of employment. Please contact us to request any adjustments needed.


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

  • Working Together
  • Seeing the Big Picture
  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Delivering at Pace


BEIS 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.
  • 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.

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