Senior Scientific Advisor (Dietary Health)

Food Standards Agency

Closing date: 27 Mar 2017

Reference number



£32,800 - £41,000


Senior Executive Officer

Contract type


Business area


Type of role


Working pattern

Flexible working, Full-time, Job share


37 Hrs per week

Number of posts



Belfast, Northern Ireland

About the job

Job description

The FSA in Northern Ireland is responsible for ensuring food safety and the provision of advice on food safety, diet and nutrition, both directly and via a range of stakeholders.

As Senior Scientific Advisor (Dietary Health) your primary focus will be on the development and implementation of policy relating to a range of dietary health priorities, including dietary health related surveys and surveillance.

In doing this you will be responsible for

leading on the use of evidence, data and intelligence in FSA in NI by undertaking research, investigatory and consultative work and making recommendations for action. You will provide professional advice to colleagues, other Government Departments, commercial organisations and individuals as well as representing the FSA at meetings and in the media. . You will also be expected to work effectively with local authorities, other government departments and industry to promote the effective development, implementation and evaluation of dietary health initiatives.

The Food Standards Agency is a non-ministerial department of 1200 people, with a big vision – to drive change in the food system so that it delivers “food we can trust”.

Want to find out more? Then please take a look at the attached job description which details the key responsibilities.

Person specification

The successful candidate will have a proven experience and understanding of food and nutrition policy development and implementation along with an understanding of Assembly and Parliamentary processes in Northern Ireland. They will play a major role in contributing to the development, implementation and evaluation of key NI Government outcomes identified for the FSA in Government initiatives, including Department of health policies relating to food, nutrition and obesity prevention.

The successful candidate will also lead on the development of appropriate dietary health related surveys and surveillance for Northern Ireland including consumer attitudes and consumer purchasing surveys.


You will be educated to degree level in a nutrition related qualification and / or nutrition related scientific post-graduate qualification relevant to the requirements of the post.


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

  • Collaborating and partnering
  • Making effective decisions
  • Leading and communicating
  • Seeing the big picture
  • Building capability for all
  • Delivering at pace

Civil Service Competency Framework



Civil Service pension schemes may be available for successful candidates.


We offer excellent benefits, including a generous holiday entitlement, an attractive pension scheme, flexi-time and flexible working.

Things you need to know


Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.
Successful candidates must pass basic security checks.

Nationality statement

Candidates will be subject to UK immigration requirements as well as Civil Service nationality rules.

If you're applying for a role requiring security clearance please be aware that foreign or dual nationality is not an automatic bar. However certain posts may have restrictions which could affect those who do not have sole British nationality or who have personal connections with certain countries outside the UK.

Selection process details

Subject to the volume of responses we may conduct a preliminary sift based on the lead competences of Making effective decisions and
Collaborating and Partnering

Please note the interview process will include an unseen 5 Minutes presentation which you will have 30 minute to prepare for. Instructions will be given to you on your arrival

We actively review the deployment of talent on a periodic basis in the interests of optimising personal development and the achievement of business plans.

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

Nationality requirements

Open to UK, Commonwealth and European Economic Area (EEA) and certain non EEA nationals. Further information on whether you are able to apply is available here.


Candidates in their probationary period are eligible to apply for vacancies within this department.

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 equality of opportunity. There is a guaranteed interview scheme (GIS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

Apply and further information

Contact point for applicants

Sift/interview dates and location

Interview date is provisionally planned for Wednesday 12th April 2017

Further information

Candidates can claim travel costs if they attend an interview/selection stage for the vacancy.

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