Science and Evidence Liaison - England


Peterborough, Cambridgeshire
£35,950 pa

Paid • Full Time • Fixed Term Contract

Sectors: conservation & wildlife, environmental policy & campaigning

Closing date: Monday, 18th July 2022  

Post TitleScience and Evidence Liaison – England
Team: Nature Conservation Policy & Advice
Ref No: 2022-38
Grade: S (SEO)
Type of appointment: Fixed-term for 2 years
Location: Peterborough

This post will have a base at JNCC’s office in Peterborough, which will be moving to a shared office with Natural England from 2023.

JNCC will be 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 we will be expected to work from our office base for 1 – 2 days a month as a minimum. We can provide more details at the interview and offer stages.

Secondments from Defra/other government agencies will be considered and in this case alternative office locations could be considered.

Who are JNCC?

Established in 1991, we’re the UK’s statutory advisor on issues affecting the natural environment across the UK and internationally. Our primary role is advising all four Governments of the UK. We also work with private sector organisations to support decision making on the sustainable use of marine waters and natural resources around the UK. JNCC is led by the Joint Committee, which brings together members from the nature conservation bodies for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and independent members appointed by the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs under an independent Chair. Support is provided to the Committee by almost 270 people who bring together scientific and technical expertise, extensive knowledge of policy at global, European and national levels, and skills in working with other organisations. Staff are based in two main offices in Peterborough and Aberdeen.


We’re small enough (c.270 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. This post may also be suitable for job share.

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.

Short Summary

In its unique UK role, JNCC works collaboratively with the four countries of the UK to support nature recovery. This requires a strong understanding of the developing policies and delivery mechanisms in the four countries, as well as internationally, to ensure JNCC’s evidence and advice evolves to meet the needs of each country.

JNCC is looking to appoint a Science and Evidence Liaison Officer for England, to help shape and prioritise its science and evidence. The role is focused on enhancing engagement and building JNCC’s collaborative relationship with Natural England and Defra.

The post holder will be based in the Nature Conservation Policy and Advice Team at JNCC and will work with teams across the organisation. Specifically, they will be part of a small and collaborative project team, comprising staff holding equivalent liaison roles covering Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. With strong links to the JNCC Executive Leadership Team, their work builds on the networks and working groups that already exist between JNCC and country partners, with the aim of identifying new opportunities and enhancing collaborations where JNCC’s skills and expertise can support the countries in delivering their priorities. Together they provide a co-ordinated UK overview and a hub for information exchange. They may also have responsibility for the delivery of specific projects and can contribute to projects aligned with their expertise.

This is a new role, and the post holder will have the opportunity to shape it, using the template and approaches already developed by the other country liaison officers, tailoring it to meet the ways of working that best support JNCC’s relationship with Natural England and Defra.

The portfolio of this role is broad, requiring day-to-day engagement across a range of work areas and interacting with staff, from the project level through to strategic-level interactions with senior managers and executive leaders. We are looking for someone to join our team who thrives in a fast paced and often reactive environment, who has a passion for building relationships and engaging with partners, who is tuned into and sensitive to their different perspectives, whilst bringing good organisational skills and a strong understanding of how scientific evidence and analysis supports the policy development cycle.

This is a critical time and new opportunities are arising as the Government drives forward its policy and legislative agenda to achieve transformational change to address the inextricably linked emergencies of climate change and biodiversity loss. Help JNCC’s science and evidence be at the heart of this.

Job Description:

Post Duties

The post holder will be at the forefront of promoting JNCC’s science and evidence capabilities in England through collaborative working with Natural England and Defra. They will liaise with individuals to develop a better understanding of their priorities, spotting opportunities and connections, conveying the work of JNCC, ensuring JNCC’s skills, experience and outputs are exploited to maximum effect, and generally building and maintaining relationships.

The main duties of the post are:

  • Develop and strengthen the working relationships between JNCC and Natural England and Defra. This will involve, but is not limited to, building and managing relationships with key individuals; becoming established as a key and trusted point of contact for developing relationships and enhancing collaborations where there is no pre-existing JNCC contact point; ensuring communications and information flows between JNCC and England are effective and resilient; representing JNCC in various country and UK-level fora and; providing briefings to senior staff and Executive Leaders.
  • Maintain Natural England’s and Defra’s awareness of JNCC’s work and its strengths. Increase their understanding of the context of JNCC’s work in terms of the position of the work in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and the benefits it brings or could bring to England.
  • Maintain an overview of joint working and collaboration between JNCC and England. Identify where JNCC might add value to England work and make relevant teams in JNCC, Defra and Natural England aware of the opportunity. Support JNCC teams in tailoring and promoting their work to meet England’s needs.
  • Maintain an in-depth knowledge and understanding of England’s environmental policy, including implementation, with an emphasis on proposed changes or new developments; show where JNCC’s work contributes to both the Government’s and Natural England’s priorities, identifying where developing policies and plans provide drivers for the provision of JNCC’s evidence and advice.
  • Communicate effectively within JNCC. Make information on England-related policies, work and meetings available in a clear and simple format, and brief and advise JNCC Executive Leadership Team and team leaders prior to Defra meetings.
  • Support the NCPA Team’s wider work on UK co-ordination and engagement. For example, this may include managing secretariat services to the Statutory Nature Conservation Bodies’ Chief Scientists Group, supporting development of the Implementation Plan of the UK Biodiversity Framework and helping make links between English bodies and organisations in other parts of the UK on topics of common interest.
  • Play an active part in JNCC’s Engagement, Legislation and Policy (ELP) project, in JNCC’s Nature Conservation Policy and Advice Team, in order to collaborate with colleagues in similar roles in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, to strengthen JNCC’s joint working and information flows within the four countries of the UK.

The post holder will be line managed from JNCC’s Nature Conservation Policy and Advice Team and will receive support from Natural England colleagues. You will be expected to work independently and/or remotely from your line manager. You will be self-motivated with excellent planning and organisational skills with the ability to manage a busy workload and respond quickly to a range of tasks. From time to time, there may be an opportunity to line manage other staff or interns, although this will not be required initially


To be a successful candidate you will be/have:

  • To be a successful candidate you will be expected to have a relevant degree, or equivalent qualification, in a relevant subject such as natural sciences or natural resource management.

Experience (Responsibilities)

To be a successful candidate you will have:

  • Good knowledge of the role and remit of JNCC in relation to other organisations, in particular the country nature conservation bodies, UK Government departments and Devolved Administrations and good understanding of environmental policy and legislation and an ability to analyse and brief on the content and implications of new and emerging policy.
  • Good general knowledge of ecology and nature conservation in the UK, with an ability to lead and facilitate technical discussions towards understanding how the science and evidence supports policy development
  • Excellent communication skills and demonstrable experience of conveying detailed and complex information to a range of audiences using a range of media. For example this could include, written briefings, webinars, web content, newsletters and more formal papers for senior management groups.
  • Experience of engaging with a wide range of stakeholders and partners, determining their priorities and working collaboratively through building strong relationships, including experience of organising and facilitating workshops and other engagement events.


  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Working Together
  • Delivering at Pace
  • 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 the Lead Behaviour of Communicating and Influencing

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

Closing date and interview date

The closing date for this post is 23:55 on Monday, 18 July 2022

The anticipated interview date is Thursday, 04 August 2022

Find out more & apply