Marine Planning and Policy Advisor


£38,242 pa

Paid • Full Time • Fixed Term Contract

Sectors: marine conservation

Closing date: Monday, 8th July 2024  

Job title: 1020-358 Marine Planning and Policy Advisor | Grade: D | Vacancy type: Fixed term for 1 year | Hours: 35 | Salary £38,242 | Location: Any NatureScot office, home or hybrid working | Closing date: Midday, 8 July 2024 | Internal Interview date: 18 July 2024 | External Interview date: 2 August 2024

Job Purpose Summary:

This is a fixed-term role within our Sustainable Coasts and Seas Activity, designed to provide a timely boost for positively influencing marine planning in Scotland. 

Scotland’s Blue Economy Vision recognizes that nature and climate are fundamental to decisions on how Scotland uses, benefits from and manages its seas. The revision of Scotland’s National Marine Plan has a key role in delivering the Blue Economy outcomes, including opportunities to stimulate greater protection and recovery of nature, and to delivery on net zero ambitions. NatureScot aims to take a proactive and enabling approach for positive change through strategic marine planning.

The post holder will support our timely advice to Scottish Government for the revision and implementation of the National Marine Plan, collating and providing policy advice, guidance and evidence on topics relating to protecting and restoring nature across our coasts and seas. The specific policy themes the post holder leads on will be adapted to fit the interests and experience of the successful candidate, with team members taking lead roles on particular issues. Similarly, other parts of the role will be tailored to the individual, which for example may include (a) supporting our input to Regional Marine Planning and Local Coastal Partnerships, (b) influencing coordination between marine and terrestrial planning systems, and/or (c) preparing responses to consultations on the statutory assessments (SEA/HRA) of marine plans. There may be opportunities to become involved in wider marine and coastal collaborative work that contributes to our overall corporate priorities to Protect, Restore and Value Scotland’s nature.

You will work as part of a small marine planning and policy team, but connected to and collaborating with a much broader network of specialists, covering a range of connected policy themes. 

We are looking for someone who enjoys a dynamic and demanding work environment, a motivated and independent worker who is also a team-player, and is able to build good relations with government and other key stakeholders. The post holder is expected to have a strong understanding of Scotland’s marine environment, as well as policy and regulations relating to its sound use and management. 

Key Responsibilities and Accountabilities:

  • Compile and provide science and policy advice into marine planning and other linked areas of government, for the adoption and implementation of marine plans that drive positive outcomes for nature and climate. 
  • Maintain relations with, and influence, internal and external contacts to steer work on key areas of policy development and implementation. As well as policy officials, this can include liaison with industry, the scientific community and other stakeholders. 
  • Identify data and evidence gaps, for possible future projects by NatureScot or others. We can commission projects directly, influence strategic scientific priorities, contribute to project steering/advisory groups, or form collaborations for delivery.
  • Contribute to the wider team within NatureScot, building knowledge and capacity for engagement of a broad spectrum of colleagues with marine planning processes and outcomes. 

Skills (Please refer to these in your supporting statement)

  • A degree in a relevant subject or other equivalent relevant experience.
  • Knowledge of marine planning, management, licensing and environmental assessment processes, and related legislation and policy processes in Scotland
  • A strong understanding of the marine and coastal ecology, habitats and species of Scotland and issues relating to their conservation, use and benefits to society. 
  • Familiarity with government strategies and commitments underpinning opportunities for nature-positive and net-zero outcomes.
  • Knowledge of the current trends, challenges and ambitions of different marine sectors.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, to communicate complex and specialist topics to varied audiences.
  • Proven ability to plan and manage workloads, work to deadlines and adapt to changing priorities.
  • Strong interpersonal skills with an ability for and experience of relationship building and collaborative working.


  • Right to work in the UK
  • To undertake a disclosure Scotland Application
  • Although Gaelic language is not a prerequisite it is a desirable skill in support of our commitment to our Gaelic Language Plan.

Working for NatureScot

NatureScot offers some great benefits to reward and support you whilst you are working for us. Our benefits package includes the civil service pension scheme, a generous holiday leave allowance plus flexi time, and employee discount scheme. Visit the NatureScot website for further details.

NatureScot’s Net Zero commitment

Whether working at home or in an office, or travelling to meetings and site visits, as a NatureScot you will contribute to our Net Zero plan, for example through positive carbon travel choices. You will aim to minimise travel in accordance with NatureScot’s low carbon operating procedures. However, you will, in some circumstances, be expected to work with colleagues and stakeholders from across Scotland, which will involve some travel and may involve overnight stays. 

Nature is vital to all of us, so it is vital that we are an organisation for all of Scotland. The more diverse NatureScot is, the better we will be in connecting everyone with nature. We particularly encourage applications from people from Minority Ethnic (ME) backgrounds and people with a disability.

Find out more & apply