Environmental Economist

Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science

Apply before 11:55 pm on Thursday 25th April 2024



Reference number



£39,150 - £43,280
A Civil Service Pension with an average employer contribution of 27%

Job grade

Senior Executive Officer

Contract type


Business area

CEFAS – Science

Type of role


Working pattern

Flexible working, Full-time, Job share, Part-time

Number of jobs available



This vacancy is based at our site in Lowestoft.

Job summary

This post provides the opportunity for a motivated and skilled quantitative researcher with experience in environmental economic and social science methods to play a crucial role in the social and economic advice team at Cefas. The post holder will contribute research to an expanding portfolio of UK and international programmes as well as develop and apply emerging methods and tools to the environmental economics of the marine environment for the conservation and sustainable use of the Ocean.

The social and economic advice team at Cefas conduct a wide range of interdisciplinary research on the marine and coastal environment. Providing advice in support of Defra’s coastal and marine environmental policies, natural capital accounting projects in addition to contributing to national and internationally funded research in collaboration with academic and other research institutes, especially the University of East Anglia and their Centre for Social and Economic Research on the Global Environment (CSERGE). 

Within the interdisciplinary remit of research in Cefas and of the social and economic advice team, you will be required to lead national and international research on the human environment interface covering topics including environmental economics and natural capital accounting, marine and coastal spatial planning, environmental psychology and sustainable resource management.

Cefas is proud of a diverse and inclusive work environment, committed to fairness and the promotion of equality of opportunity for all. We know that having a range of experiences, backgrounds, ways of working and thinking, makes us a stronger organisation, better at reflecting the communities we serve. We embrace different views and experiences and value the fresh perspective that people from a variety of circumstances bring to the work we do. We welcome applications from candidates who have not previously worked for the Civil Service, mid- and late-career changers with transferable skills, people from all backgrounds and circumstances regardless of disability, gender, age, ethnicity, LGBT+ identity and socio-economic status.

Welcome to Cefas (youtube.com)

Job description

Your main duties and responsibilities will include, but are not limited to:

  • Developing and conducting economic research into the coastal and marine environment;
  • Leading on economic and statistical analyses, as well as study design and implementation of environmental valuations using stated and/or revealed preference methods;
  • The construction of natural capital accounts using collected and modelled quantitative socio economic and biophysical data;
  • Ensuring high data quality and recording standards;
  • Supporting the development of new business opportunities and writing research proposals both within Cefas and the wider national and international research community;
  • Communicating science/research outcomes to a range of stakeholders using a variety of media (incl. peer-reviewed scientific publications, presentations, briefings etc.).

In addition, Cefas reserves the right to ask staff to take on additional duties and responsibilities which are commensurate with their grade. Team Leaders and management will have a discussion with staff to explain the changes that are to be made. A new job description will be issued if required.

Person specification

The following are essential criteria required for this role and you must be able to demonstrate your skills and experience in the following areas:

  • Excellent econometric and statistical skills;
  • Substantial research experience in environmental economics;
  • Good knowledge of economic theory (applied to environmental economics) and the data challenges associated with its analysis in an interdisciplinary setting (e.g. within biological and ecological systems);
  • Being flexible and able of working on multiple projects at the same time and to adapt to various activities and committed, with the ability to work as part of a team, but also unaided to organise own work to meet deadlines;
  • Excellent communication skills verbally and written;
  • Experience in leading the publication of peer-reviewed papers;
  • Excellent time management;
  • Willing to mentor and support others in the team;
  • Being flexible, able to adapt to various activities and commitments at the same time, with the ability to work as part of a team, but also unsupervised to organise own work to meet deadlines; and
  • An MSc or equivalent masters degree in environmental economics or a closely related discipline and ability to demonstrate having previous work experience in a related field of work (e.g. statistics; ecological economics etc), or a PhD in (environmental) economics or a closely related topic. However, if the applicant doesn’t meet these qualification then being able to demonstrate having relevant work experience and meeting the criteria in this person specification will be considered.


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

  • Developing Self and Others
  • Delivering at Pace
  • Making Effective Decisions

We only ask for evidence of these behaviours on your application form:

  • Developing Self and Others

Technical skills

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

  • Excellent applied econometrics experience in designing and analysing stated and/or revealed preferences surveys (e.g. choice modelling, contingent valuation, and travel cost/random utility models).
  • Sound applied statistical and economic analysis background to natural capital analysis (valuation and/or accounting).
  • Substantial programming experience in R or similar package like Stata.
  • Sound understanding of statistical and economic analysis for natural capital.
Alongside your salary of £39,150, Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science contributes £10,571 towards you being a member of the Civil Service Defined Benefit Pension scheme. Find out what benefits a Civil Service Pension provides.
  • Generous annual leave entitlement – Cefas offers 25 days' annual leave on entry (rising to 30 days over first 5yrs) for full-time new entrants to the Civil Service. Employees receive 8 public holidays a year, plus an additional day to mark the King's birthday
  • Access to learning and development tailored to your role
  • A working environment that supports a range of flexible working options
  • A working culture which encourages inclusion and diversity
  • Eligible to join the Civil Service Pension scheme – more information can be found on the CSP website http://www.civilservicepensionscheme.org.uk/
  • Staff recognition vouchers
  • In-year award scheme

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles (opens in a new window), and will assess your Behaviours, Strengths, Experience and Technical skills.

Application Process

As part of the application process you are asked to provide a CV (job history, qualifications, past skills and experience), a 750-word Personal Statement on how you meet the essential criteria as stated in the person specification section, and a 250-word statement on how you meet the advertised lead behaviour – Developing Self and Others.

Further details around what this will entail are listed on the application form.

  • For guidance on Civil Service Success Profiles, this video tells you what you’ll need to provide throughout the assessment process with supporting guidance on each step. Link – Success Profiles
  • For guidance on how to construct your CV, you are encouraged to visit Civil Service Careers. Link - CV
  • For guidance on how to construct your personal statement, you are encouraged to visit Civil Service Careers. Link – Statement
  • For guidance on how to construct your lead behaviour statement, you are encouraged to visit Civil Service Careers. Link – Behaviours


The sift panel will use the information in your CV and Personal Statement to assess your experience and how you meet the essential criteria as stated in the person specification section. The sift panel will also assess the lead behaviour statement – Developing Self and Others. 

Should a large number of applications be received, an initial sift may be conducted using the lead behaviour – Developing Self and Others. Candidates who pass the initial sift may be progressed to a full sift or, progressed straight to assessment/interview.  

Sift and interview dates to be confirmed.


If successful at application stage, you will be invited to interview where you will be assessed on the three advertised behaviours, four advertised technical skills, your experience (as stated in the person specification section) and strengths. You may also be asked to prepare a presentation or undertake an exercise. If this is the case, you will receive further information with your invitation to interview. 
Please be aware that at this time, interviews will be held remotely via Microsoft Teams or in-person at our site in Lowestoft. 

If scores are equal following interview, an assessment of the lead behaviour – Developing Self and Others, will be used by the panel.


As part of the pre-employment process for this post, successful candidate(s) will be able to agree a contractual workplace from those locations listed in this advert. The agreed contractual workplace is then the substantive and permanent place of work for the successful candidate(s)

Where the location is ‘National’ the successful appointee should discuss and agree an appropriate contractual location in line with both Defra’s location policy and site capacity, prior to proceeding with pre-employment processes.

Successful applicants currently employed by the hiring Defra organisation for this post may choose to remain in their current contractual location or may choose to change contractual location to one of those listed above. This should be discussed and agreed prior to proceeding with pre-employment processes.

The agreed amount of time spent at a workplace for this post will reflect the requirement for Civil Servants to spend at least 60% of their working time in an organisation workplace with the option to work the remaining time flexibly from home. Working time spent at a workplace may include time spent at other organisational locations including field-based operational locations, together with supplier, customer or partner locations. This is a non-contractual agreement which is consistent with common Civil Service expectations.

Travel costs to non-contractual workplaces will be subject to departmental travel and subsistence policies. Travel costs to contractual workplaces are the responsibility of the employee.

The successful candidate is required to carry out all their duties from a UK location, and cannot do so from an overseas location at any time.

Defra includes the core department, APHA, RPA, Cefas and VMD.

Please be aware that this role will be contractually based at Lowestoft.

Reserve List

A reserve list may be held for a period of 12 months from which further appointments can be made.


New entrants are expected to start on the minimum of the pay band.

Visa Sponsorship Statement

Please take note that Defra does not hold a UK Visa & Immigration (UKVI) Skilled Worker License sponsor and are unable to sponsor any individuals for Skilled Worker Sponsorship.

Reasonable Adjustment

If a person with disabilities is put at a substantial disadvantage compared to a non-disabled person, we have a duty to make reasonable changes to our processes. 

If you need a change to be made so that you can make your application, you should: 

  • Contact Government Recruitment Service via defrarecruitment.grs@cabinetoffice.gov.uk as soon as possible before the closing date to discuss your needs
  • Complete the “Assistance required” section in the “Additional requirements” page of your application form to tell us what changes or help you might need further on in the recruitment process. For instance, you may need wheelchair access at interview, or if you’re deaf, a Language Service Professional


If you are experiencing accessibility problems with any attachments on this advert, please contact the email address in the 'Contact point for applicants' section.

Criminal Record Check

If successful and transferring from another Government Department, a criminal record check may be carried out.

In order to process applications without delay, we will be sending a Criminal Record Check to Disclosure and Barring Service on your behalf. However, we recognise in exceptional circumstances some candidates will want to send their completed forms direct. If you will be doing this, please advise Government Recruitment Service of your intention by emailing Pre-EmploymentChecks.grs@cabinetoffice.gov.uk stating the job reference number in the subject heading.

Internal Fraud Database Check

Applicants who are successful at interview will be, as part of pre-employment screening subject to a check on the Internal Fraud Database (IFD). This check will provide information about employees who have been dismissed for fraud or dishonesty offences. This check also applies to employees who resign or otherwise leave before being dismissed for fraud or dishonesty had their employment continued. Any applicant’s details held on the IFD will be refused employment.

A candidate is not eligible to apply for a role within the Civil Service if the application is made within a 5-year period following a dismissal for carrying out internal fraud against government.

Childcare Vouchers 

Any move to Defra from another employer will mean you can no longer access childcare vouchers. You may however be eligible for other government schemes, including Tax Free Childcare. Determine your eligibility at https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk

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


Successful candidates must undergo a criminal record check.
People working with government assets must complete baseline personnel security standard (opens in new window) checks.

Nationality requirements

This job is broadly open to the following groups:

  • UK nationals
  • nationals of the Republic of Ireland
  • nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK
  • nationals of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and family members of those nationalities with settled or pre-settled status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS) (opens in a new window)
  • nationals of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and family members of those nationalities who have made a valid application for settled or pre-settled status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
  • individuals with limited leave to remain or indefinite leave to remain who were eligible to apply for EUSS on or before 31 December 2020
  • Turkish nationals, and certain family members of Turkish nationals, who have accrued the right to work in the Civil Service
Further information on nationality requirements (opens in a new window)

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code (opens in a new window) 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 (opens in a new window).
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 (opens in a new window) initiative.
The Civil Service welcomes applications from people who have recently left prison or have an unspent conviction. Read more about prison leaver recruitment (opens in new window).
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 : Cefas Resourcing Team
  • Email : resourcing@cefas.gov.uk

Recruitment team

  • Email : defrarecruitment.grs@cabinetoffice.gov.uk

Further information

If you feel your application has not been treated in accordance with the Recruitment Principles and you wish to make a complaint, in the first instance, you should contact:
Government Recruitment Services via email: defrarecruitment.grs@cabinetoffice.gov.uk

If you are not satisfied with the response you receive from the Department, you can contact the Civil Service Commission: Click here to visit Civil Service Commission.

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