Senior Adviser, Air Pollution


Peterborough or Aberdeen
£35,879 pa

Paid • Full Time • Permanent

Reference: 202138

Sectors: conservation & wildlife, environmental policy & campaigning, food, farming & horticulture

Closing date: Friday, 25th June 2021  

Senior Adviser, Air Pollution

Team: Nature Conservation Policy and Advice
Ref No: 202138
Grade: S (SEO)
Type of appointment: Permanent (secondment considered)
Location: Peterborough or Aberdeen
Salary: £35,879 with a possible recruitment and retention allowance of £3,744.

This post will have a base in either Peterborough or Aberdeen.

JNCC is adopting a more flexible approach to working options and, once we are able to return to working in our office locations, our people will have more flexibility about where they choose to work. The expectation is that staff will be expected to work from our office base for 1 – 2 days a month as a minimum. These posts may require foreign travel, subject to JNCC, Government and international regulations and guidelines on Covid safe international travel. We can provide more details at the interview and offer stages.

What is JNCC?

We’re the environment’s best kept secret. Established in 1990, we’re the UK’s statutory adviser on issues affecting the natural environment across the UK and internationally. Our primary role is advising all four Governments of the UK. With most of our work being within Government, our public profile is low but our impact is high. Our combination of scientific and analytical excellence with deep knowledge of how to facilitate joint working across jurisdictions allows us to deliver a much-valued service to the UK and other governments.


We’re small enough (c.200 staff) that your voice is heard by everyone including the CEO, but big enough that we have all the skills, resources and people you’ll need to get the job done. All our staff are passionate about conservation and making a difference to the world we live in. We have a very flexible, inclusive and welcoming organisational culture. Our Executive Management provides advisers with the freedom and tools you will need, and our friendly team will assist you in your role. You will benefit from our supportive workplace culture, excellent holiday and pension benefits, as well as an exciting job in a unique environment.

Hours of work: Full-time

Normal minimum hours of attendance for the post are 36 hours per week over a 5-day period, Monday to Friday.

Flexi time is available.

Annual Leave:

The annual leave allowance is 25 days per year, rising to 30 days per year after 5 years service. There are also 12 days public and privilege leave. Part-time staff will receive this on a pro rata basis.The annual leave allowance is 25 days per year, rising to 30 days per year after 5 years’ service. There are also 12 days public and privilege leave. Part-time staff will receive this on a pro rata basis.

Post background

The Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) is the statutory adviser to Government on UK and international nature conservation working at the science-policy interface.

Air pollution and its effects on people and nature are rising in profile. All UK countries have or are developing strategies to tackle air pollution and specifically mention the need to address interactions with biodiversity loss, ecosystem function and global issues such as land use and climate change. Now is an opportune time for an experienced project manager with scientific knowledge in air quality and ecosystems to help us deliver advice in the UK and internationally.

Within the Nature Conservation Policy and Advice team, JNCC leads and co-ordinates joint-working with the UK Country Nature Conservation Bodies (CNCBs) through an Inter-agency Air Pollution Group (IAPG). This role provides evidence and advice about air pollution effects on ecosystems over a range of scales, from local assessment to national reporting, and is driven by national and international policy. The work includes:

  • assessment, evidence and reporting on impacts;
  • providing advice to Government e.g. on research and evidence requirements, links between biodiversity and air quality policy;
  • providing information and support tools (e.g.;
  • collating, providing and sharing information and best practice;
  • networking with other organisations and countries.

Job Description:

The main focus of the post will be to lead our UK joint-working air pollution portfolio and key evidence projects including UK AERIUS and the Integrating Tools for Air Pollution Assessment project and technical advice to colleagues working on sustainable farming practices in the UK.

The post holder will work closely with other pollution and sustainable farming advisers on a range of projects, evidence gathering and advice requests concerning the effects of air pollution on ecosystems and the targeting of measures to mitigate effects to inform policy for these areas. This will be achieved through a combination of government, CNCB and environmental Non-Governmental Organisation engagement, commissioned research and analysis of air quality monitoring or modelling and ecosystem monitoring.

JNCC recognise that candidates may have a wide range of skills. The focus of this work is on air pollution impacts and solutions. Air pollution expertise and other technical skills such as environmental modelling, data analysis, statistical analysis and data interpretation are highly desirable. Proven ability to manage projects effectively and to work with contractors to ensure delivery of the desired outputs in a very challenging time frame is essential. Also important are report writing skills, the ability to work with a range of stakeholders and to translate scientific outputs into policy relevant advice. The post holder will carry out the functions listed below:

  • Manage the major inter-agency projects on air pollution, working with the contractor to ensure that the contract delivers robust scientific information and tools to meet current policy and operational needs;
  • Manage the UK AERIUS pilot tool project and during the progress of the contract consider how to develop relevant advice on the outcomes for policy makers;
  • Support CNCBs using technical skills (e.g. data analysis, mapping, statistical analysis data interpretation for use in policy) as needed and dependent on candidate skill set;
  • Work with JNCC Communications Team to produce a Communication Pack for Defra and Devolved Administrations to cover UK and country specific outcomes of the projects; and
  • Work with the JNCC Finance and Planning Team to manage the project budget, and support the financial procedures cycle, such Year-end procedures.

In addition, and depending on experience, the post holder will:

  • Provide policy-relevant analysis, evidence and advice to government and others on air pollution effects on the natural environment;
  • Assist with required data analysis, assessment and reporting on air pollution impacts;
  • Contribute to JNCC response to Government and other consultations or official requests relating to air pollution matters, co-ordinating with the CNCBs as required;
  • Support the Inter-agency Air Pollution Group (IAPG) and other project-specific inter-agency groups, undertaking work planning and reporting as well as statistical analysis and data interpretation;
  • Communicate JNCC's air pollution work through presentations, report and scientific paper publishing, websites, newsletters and other fora; and
  • Contribute to development of JNCC’s air pollution work to respond to the evolving policy needs (e.g. supporting funding applications).


To be a successful candidate you will have:

  • A relevant degree in environmental science, physical sciences or environmental management or similar; and
  • Knowledge of air pollution effects, ecosystem function, terrestrial and/or aquatic habitats, their monitoring and surveillance and/or skills in analysing data about environmental pressures or mapping them.

Experience (Responsibilities)

To be a successful candidate you will have:

  • Experience in contract and multi partner project management, including communication, management of risks and evidence quality assessment (EQA);
  • Knowledge of UK, EU and international environmental legislation and policies and ideally those related to air pollution; and
  • Knowledge of the roles and functions of UK Government, the devolved administrations, the regulatory bodies, CNCBs.


  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Working Together
  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Seeing the Big Picture

In the event that we receive a large volume of applications, we reserve the right to conduct the sift based on Technical and Experience categories and the Behaviour of Making Effective Decisions.

Please see the CS Behaviours framework for more details at this grade:

Closing date and interview date

The closing date for this post is 21:55 on Friday, 25 June 2021

The anticipated interview date is week commencing Monday, 05 July 2021

Find out more & apply