UCL Public Policy


Government Office for Science Policy Placement

Applications are open for a chance to work with the Government Office for Science and DEFRA on how research and innovation can deliver action on climate change.

This is a unique opportunity for a UK Universities Climate Network researcher and academics to work with the Government Office for Science (GO-Science) and the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to shape the research and innovation requirements needed to deliver action on climate change. 

GO-Science and DEFRA are currently developing a Climate Adaptation Research and Innovation Framework (CARIF), guided by the Climate Adaptation Research and Innovation Board (CARIB) which is co-chaired by the Government Chief Scientific Advisor and Chief Scientific Advisor for DEFRA. The aim of the CARIF is to identify the key research and innovation gaps that need to be addressed for the UK to be fully equipped to adapt to climate change over the coming years. 

More information on the CARIB and CARIF can be found here: www.gov.uk/government/groups/climate-adaptation-research-and-innovation-board 

More information on GO-Science can be found here: www.gov.uk/government/organisations/government-office-for-science 


A successful UCL candidate will gain funding from UCL Public Policy to conduct the fellowship. Duration and time commitment: 3-month duration on a part-time basis (minimum 2 days per week). 

Applicants must: 

• Meet the candidate requirements. 
• Be able to undertake the placement from September 2024 to December 2025 subject to the relevant security clearances. 

The deadline for applications is 5pm on Wednesday 10th July 2024. 

Practical details 

Working arrangements: 

3-month secondment (with the possibility of extension by mutual agreement) offered on a part-time basis (minimum 2 days per week). The working arrangements will be discussed and agreed at appointment. 

Subject to the relevant security clearances, secondments will run between September 2024 and January 2025. 

Location requirements: 

GO-Science operates hybrid working arrangements, with a blend of office and home working. The department has offices throughout the UK and arrangements will be discussed and agreed with the successful candidate. 

What we are looking for 

The secondee will be embedded in the Climate Energy and Environment policy team in GO-Science. 

Benefits to the secondee: 

  • Proximity to interesting and topical policy decisions at a national scale. 
  • The opportunity to inform and influence the development of a Government Framework. 
  • Experience of Government ways of working and how policy is made, to help ‘land’ research more effectively. 
  • Access to a network of policy, analysis and research teams in GO-Science. 
  • Line management and support from GO-Science. 

Candidate requirements: 

You should be able to demonstrate: 

  • A track record of relevant research and/or applied research experience relating to climate change adaptation. 
  • Robust analytic skills and good working knowledge of the main research methodologies of relevance in your field of expertise. 
  • Excellent communication skills and the ability to operate in multidisciplinary teams, at pace, to tackle complex challenges. 
  • The ability to translate complex information and research findings into meaningful narrative for a non-academic audience, verbally and in writing, to drive decision making and achieve impact. 
  • An understanding of the challenges and opportunities of co-production and collaboration, including with non-academics and government/its agencies. 
  • Be able to work effectively at pace to deliver expected outcomes, including working as part of a team on shared goals. 

In addition, we welcome applications from individuals who can demonstrate: 

  • Excellent stakeholder engagement and collaboration skills. 
  • Insight into working in a Governmental context. 

Opportunity requirements 

The secondee will be required to: 

  • Sign a secondment agreement between the department and their employer. This will include provision that all intellectual property rights which arise from or are connected with the individual’s work for the department shall vest in the Crown. 
  • Meet the security checks and other clearance and declaration of interest processes. Basic Personnel Security Standard checks and, if London based, Counter Terrorism Check. See National security vetting: clearance levels - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk). 
  • Observe the provisions of the Civil Service Code (GOV.UK) and the Official Secrets Act 1989.
  • Complete a ‘conflict of interest’ form. It is a condition of the secondment that the secondee ensures to the best of their ability that in the course of their duties for the department or government there will be no conflict of interest or perception of such that will or may cause either embarrassment to, or difficulties for, the employer or the department. 

The applicant’s employer must sign the secondment agreement (as above). 

How to apply 

Please submit the following documentation to Nithya.EswarVee@go-science.gov.uk by 5pm on Wednesday 10th of July

  • An up-to-date CV (maximum three pages of A4), including: contact details, qualifications (including class and subject), academic and professional posts held since graduation, a record of funded research, and a one-page (maximum) publication summary. 
  • A completed application form. 

If applying, please also inform UCL Public Policy Fellowship Coordinator, Alice Tofts, as they will be funding and supporting the fellowship (alice.tofts@ucl.ac.uk). Applications will be assessed against the candidate requirements and candidates that pass the application stage will be invited to attend an interview with colleagues from GO-Science. 

How your application will be assessed 

Assessment will have two stages: 

  • First, all applications will be assessed and shortlisted by GO-Science and DEFRA representatives. 
  • Second, a shortlist of applicants will be invited to attend an interview with GO-Science and DEFRA representatives. Interviews will be conducted online on Microsoft Teams. 

The panel will assess your written application and your interview against the candidate requirements listed above. 

We anticipate that interviews will commence in w/c 15th of July 2024. 

Contact details 

For any enquiries please contact Nithya Eswar-Vee or Alice Tofts