Science Programme Officer

Food Standards Agency

Apply before 11:55 pm on Sunday 10th July 2022



Reference number



£30,350 (National) per annum, £32,350 (London) per annum. Pro-rata for part-time working.


Higher Executive Officer

Contract type


Business area

FSA - Science, Evidence & Research - Science Strategy, Capability and Research Unit, Strategic Research Team

Type of role

Administration / Corporate Support
Operational Delivery
Project Delivery

Working pattern

Full-time, Job share, Part-time, Compressed Hours

Number of posts



Multi-location from one of our FSA Offices (Belfast, Birmingham, Cardiff, London or York), or home based in the UK. Please be aware that this role can only be worked within the UK and not overseas. Travel across the UK will be required on an occasional basis, possibly with overnight stays.


The FSA is a non-ministerial department of over 1300 people. Having left the EU, we play a critical role in protecting public health and consumers’ wider interests in food across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Our vision is an important one - to drive change, delivering “food we can trust” and working towards a healthier and more sustainable food system.

Job description

The Food Standards Agency finds itself at the centre of unprecedented change. Around 90% of Britain’s food law was created by the EU, and so the use of science to inform policy and process has become increasingly critical as the UK begins to take control of this legislative duty. From risk assessment and management to the controls we have in place for food hygiene, scientific research and understanding remains a key influencer in all that we do.

The goal, then, is to ensure that the research undertaken by the FSA is unparalleled in quality and unhindered in its process. We are constantly looking to support one another with the aim of creating high quality, insightful research that can lead the way in our evidence-based policy and direction.

The Science Programme Officer enables this research in a number of ways, removing obstacles and ensuring that the FSA is able to carry out the extensive, independent studies that it needs to inform policy at such a significant moment in its history.

With responsibility for a portfolio of projects aligned to two of the FSA’s four current research priorities, the post holder will be involved in the development of business cases, procurement, contract management and more.

The successful candidate will work with the Strategic Programme Coordinators as well as colleagues across the FSA, so will be an effective communicator who can influence others to help the Agency better meet research objectives.

You’ll also be an organised and efficient worker capable of juggling multiple priorities whilst achieving your objectives. In doing so, you’ll know you have played a part in bringing together objective independent research that enables the FSA to serve the British public in the most effective and targeted way possible. If you have the skills and enthusiasm necessary to make that happen, we’ll be looking forward to your application.


Please read the attached Candidate Pack to discover further details about the role, our organisation, who we are looking for and the criteria we will assess against during the selection process. We look forward to receiving your application and wish you every success.


A degree or equivalent experience in any science discipline.


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

  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Delivering at Pace
  • Working Together
  • Managing a Quality Service
Our candidate pack details the benefits that the FSA has to offer. Please also refer to the attached Terms and Conditions statement.


Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.
People working with government assets must complete basic personnel security standard checks.

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles, and will assess your Behaviours and Experience.
Full details of the selection process are detailed in the attached candidate pack. This will consist of shortlisting against the essential person specification criteria stated. If successful at shortlisting stage, you will be invited to the final selection stage consisting of an behaviours -based interview.

In the event of receiving a large number of applications an initial sift may take place on just the identified lead criteria indicated below:

• Experience and knowledge of project management (including financial management), while balancing competing demands and the ability to form effective relationships across numerous teams. (Lead Criteria).

Lead Criteria: In the event we receive a large number of applications, the minimum pass mark for the Lead Criteria may be raised at shortlisting stage. Candidates who apply under the DCS, GPTW or RIS schemes and meet the minimum requirements will be unaffected by the pass mark raise.

The FSA is dedicated to a policy of equal opportunity for all. Being truly reflective of our society and building a culture where everyone can perform at their best is critical to the work of the FSA. We are looking to recruit from the widest possible talent pool and encourage candidates to apply from a diverse range of backgrounds. We are proud to be an inclusive, equal opportunities employer and are committed to ensuring that all candidates are treated fairly throughout the recruitment and selection process and beyond. All appointments are made on merit.

Please be assured that diversity or socio–economic information requested during the course of your application plays absolutely no part in our selection processes and is not seen by anyone assessing applications. Any information provided is anonymised and used for statistical purposes only.

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

Our candidate pack details the benefits that the FSA has to offer. Please also refer to the attached terms and conditions statement.

Any move to the Food Standards Agency from another employer will mean you can no longer access childcare vouchers. This includes moves between government departments. You may however be eligible for other government schemes, including Tax Free Childcare.
Determine your eligibility at

A reserve list will be held for a period of up to 12 months from which further appointment may be made.

If applying on a job-share basis, the expectation would be that you are already in an established job-share partnership.

Sift: W/C 11th July 2022
Interviews: 25th July 2022

Interviews will be held remotely via MS Teams.

Please note that the interview date may be subject to change.

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

Nationality requirements

This job is broadly open to the following groups:

  • UK nationals
  • nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK
  • nationals of the Republic of Ireland
  • nationals from the EU, EEA or Switzerland with settled or pre-settled status or who apply for either status by the deadline of the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals working in the Civil Service
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals who have built up the right to work in the Civil Service
  • certain family members of the relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals
Further information on nationality requirements

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 equal opportunities. As such, we run a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.
The Civil Service also offers a Redeployment Interview Scheme to civil servants who are at risk of redundancy, and who meet the minimum requirements for the advertised vacancy.
This vacancy is part of the Great Place to Work for Veterans initiative.
The Civil Service welcomes applications from people who have recently left prison or have an unspent conviction. Read more about prison leaver recruitment.
Once this job has closed, the job advert will no longer be available. You may want to save a copy for your records.

Contact point for applicants

Job contact :

  • Name : Henry Nicholls
  • Email :

Recruitment team :

  • Email :

Further information

If you wish to raise a complaint then please email in the first instance.

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