Economic Advisor: Transport Cost Benefit Analysis Lead

Leeds, London , Birmingham
National Salary - £48,774 London Salary - £54,105
26 Mar 2021
26 Apr 2021
Contract Type


About the job Summary

We recognise the challenges that people with (multiple) protected characteristics may experience on the job market and in their career progression. 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 we hope to attract applications from underrepresented groups, including Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people, people with a disability, and people with gender diverse identities.

Are you able to build solid, collaborative relationships with multiple stakeholders?

Do you have strong technical and influencing skills?

If so, we have an exciting opportunity for an Economist to join our Transport Appraisal & Strategic Modelling Division and we would love to hear from you!

Job description

An economist vacancy has arisen in Transport Appraisal & Strategic Modelling (TASM) Division in the Department for Transport. TASM is a 30-strong analytical team that is Department’s centre of excellence for transport appraisal and modelling, providing analytical advice across the Department to embedded analytical and policy teams to support the delivery of a multi-billion pound investment programme at the core of the Government’s economic strategy.

The post is within the Modelling and Appraisal Methods team, a multi-disciplinary unit of 11 economists and transport modellers responsible for maintaining and developing cutting edge methods for analysing the impact of transport schemes and programmes. The economists in the team are at the forefront of transport appraisal economics, holding responsibility for maintaining and researching updates for the Department’s Transport Analysis Guidance (TAG) and, in their central role, advising analytical and policy teams across the Department on cost benefit analysis across the portfolio, often on schemes of national scale and importance.

The role is also strongly outward-facing. Industry stakeholders and academics are highly respectful of the team for offering excellent advice on undertaking scheme appraisal, often pushing the boundaries of appraisal economics in fascinating areas that affect the fundamental application of appraisal and investment decision-making. The role therefore offers considerable potential to build respect in industry and develop your professional network, working with many stakeholder groups to tackle nationally-significant, challenging and ultimately highly rewarding economic appraisal issues.

This is an excellent opportunity for a motivated and ambitious economist to develop their technical and influencing skills in a Department committed to using cutting edge analysis to drive policy decisions. The successful candidate will manage large scale research programmes, have responsibility for the work of an assistant economist, and will have the opportunity to develop good project management and governance arrangements to ensure research and development deliver value for money.


The main responsibilities of the role are to maintain a robust evidence base for appraisal across all modes of transport and researching appraisal methods to ensure the Department’s TAG guidance is robust for all types of investment. With an unprecedented level of investment in transport being a key policy priority, with major decisions on HS2, Crossrail 2 and the Northern Transport Strategy, economic analysis will be central to these decisions and it is vital that the Department can draw on a robust evidence base on which to base these (and other) decisions.

The post holder will be responsible for:
• Taking a lead role in developing and taking forward the Department’s Appraisal and Modelling Strategy, working closely with embedded analytical and policy teams to anticipate future analytical requirements, specify & deliver enhancements to the evidence base and influence policy development.
• Being the Department’s lead on appraisal accounting in cost-benefit analysis, understanding how issues such as discounting, rule of half and appraisal period may affect different modes and investments in different ways, so that the best appraisal advice can be given to decision-makers.
• Maintaining and developing the Department’s evidence on how travellers value improvements in transport (e.g. quicker and more reliable journeys), the distributional impacts of investment on social welfare, and exploring emerging sources of evidence to support the analysis of transport investments, including how transport impacts on economic growth.
• Developing and maintaining the team’s suite of appraisal software tools, including the TAG data book and TUBA (Transport User Benefit Analysis).
• Supporting the development of proposals for a range of high profile transformational schemes (e.g. HS2, Crossrail 2, Northern Transport Strategy) by providing expert advice and critical challenge, and working to ensure the development of the evidence base is relevant and robust and coordinated across the Department.
• Collaborating with colleagues in HMT, DECC, DEFRA and the Department of Health to ensure a consistent basis for decisions across Government.

Please refer to the attached Role Profile  for an in-depth view of this post.

About You

You will bring your ability to tailor your communication approach to the situation and individuals involved.

You will be able to build and maintain trusting working relationships, promoting and encouraging collaborative working.


Candidates will be expected to meet the professional qualifications of the Government Economics Service:
• a 2.1 honours bachelors degree (or international equivalent) with at least 50 per cent of economics in the two final years (or equivalent);
• or a Post Graduate Diploma (or equivalent) or a Masters degree in economics, including a substantial amount of taught macro and microeconomics.


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

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

Technical skills

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

  • Government Economic Service Framework - Application of Knowledge
  • Government Economic Service Framework - Effective Communication


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.

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

Things you need to know Security

Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security 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, Experience and Technical skills.

We are closely monitoring the situation regarding the 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. In addition, where appropriate, you may be invited to attend a video interview.

Please continue to follow the application process as normal and ensure that you check your emails regularly as all updates from us will be sent to you this way.

The Civil Service Nationality Rules has been updated following the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union. The new rules will come into effect on 1st January 2021. We urge people from the EU, European Economic Area and Switzerland to be familiar with the updated Nationality rules prior to applying for this role.

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

How to apply

As part of your application, you will be required to complete a CV and a Statement of Suitability. Further details around what this will entail are listed on the application form.

Please provide a CV outlining your career history and the key responsibilities you had in each of your roles. For your Statement of Suitability, please utilise the 1250-word count to outline your experience of the following:

• Experience in the applied use of cost-benefit analysis in appraisal, demonstrating how you have used or developed your knowledge in the underlying economic theory to produce high-quality outcomes.
• How you uphold the importance of analytical rigor and assurance and communicate this with others.
• Your involvement in overseeing research in a technical area, your project management of research, and how you have subsequently used your research to make an impact.
• How you go about collaborating with others in your field, in your organisation and across your wider professional network.

As part of your interview, you will be assessed against the Government Economic Service Framework, which can be found here.

This interview could be conducted via a video interview, details of which will be provided to you should you be selected for interview.

The sift is due to take place w/c 6th April 2021.

Interviews/assessments are likely to be held w/c 19th April 2021.

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.

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

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

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 visit our Careers website.

Further Information

To learn more about applying for a role within the Department for Transport, visit the Application Process page of our Careers website.

Before submitting your application, we encourage you to visit our Things You Need to Know page for further information about applying for a role within the Department for Transport and the Civil Service.

Throughout this job advert there are links to the DfT Careers website, which provides you further information to support your application. Should you be unable to access the information on our website, please email for assistance.

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

Nationality requirements

This job is broadly open to the following groups:

  • UK nationals
  • nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK
  • nationals of the Republic of Ireland
  • nationals from the EU, EEA or Switzerland with (or eligible for) status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals working in the Civil Service
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals who have built up the right to work in the Civil Service
  • certain family members of the relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals

Further information on nationality requirements

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.

Apply and further information

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 :   Robin Cambery Email :   Recruitment team : Email :

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