Environment Economist

Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science

Closing date: 10 Jul 2019

Reference number



£27,711 - £31,570


Higher Executive Officer

Contract type


Business area


Type of role

Environment and Sustainability

Working pattern

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



Number of posts



Lowestoft, Eastern, NR33 0HT

About the job

Job description


To work in the Science Directorate, providing technical support to current and future research programmes. You will be required to: provide advice on economic study design, specifically on microeconomics modelling and policy appraisal and evaluation; extract, manipulate, analyse and model economic data, often coupled with biophysical data and qualitative data; and ensure high data quality and recording standards.

The core team of Cefas’ economists undertake interdisciplinary research and provide advice, largely in support of Defra’s coastal and marine environment policies and natural capital assessment, but also participate in national (UK) and internationally funded research, and other collaborations, including academia (especially with the University of East Anglia and CSERGE). Our research focuses on the valuation and management of coastal and marine ecosystem services in Europe and commonwealth and overseas territories using stated and revealed preference methods, as well as market analysis to inform cost-benefit analysis, impact assessment, cost-effectiveness analysis, and analysis related to the fisheries and aquaculture industry. The team is currently expanding their capability within several fields of economics beyond environmental economics; exploring innovative ways of using existing data sets on time series and cross-section, as well as primary survey data collection, and modelling approaches for the sustainable use, management and accounting of the coastal and marine natural capital. The post requires working as part of a multidisciplinary environment of economists and scientists from across Cefas and external organisations.


You will provide technical support to the socio-economic research programmes, primarily within the Social and Economic Assessment (SEA) team, but also collaborating with other teams to provide advice on study design, statistical analysis, and data management.

You must be outgoing, flexible and capable of undertaking a range of activities in support of the SEA Team. The focus of the role will be on survey design, statistical analysis, modelling, and data management of economic problems across Cefas. You will also be expected to support the team designing and implementing workshops and stakeholder interviews in the UK and abroad (Commonwealth Countries and Overseas Territories).

Duties will include:

• Conduct economic-based analysis in the SEA team and provide relevant support across Cefas.
• Analysing primary quantitative and/or qualitive sample survey data from both developed and developing countries with the use of software such as Stata, R etc.
• Create, find and expand microeconomic datasets containing information on food security, livelihoods and health in countries and communities.
• Manage and deliver research and consultancy work with government departments (in the UK (e.g. Defra), but also abroad), or within the EU research opportunities, the UK Research Councils and public sector, or the private sector.
• Working across Cefas and with other research and academic institutions to enhance existing relationships and identify and gather the data required by current and future econometric studies and provide support in data management and analysis.
• Extract, compile, and analyse data from local, national, and international databases.
• Publish in internationally peer-reviewed journals.
• Represent Cefas at national and international conferences/workshops/meetings to enhance the profile and reputation of the function.

Behaviours sought:

You will be expected to ‘see the big picture’ especially aligning activities to contribute to wider organisational priorities and seeking out and sharing experiences to develop knowledge within the SEA team. It is also important that you develop an understanding of how the strategies and activities of the team create value and meet the diverse needs of all stakeholders. You will be expected to work with others to identify areas for improvement and simplify processes to use fewer resources, whilst using technology where possible to increase efficiency. You will also be encouraged to share ideas for change from a wide range of sources.

Making effective decisions will involve understanding your own level of responsibility but also empowering others to make decisions where appropriate. In your work, you will be asked to analyse and use a range of relevant, credible information from internal and external sources to support decisions as well as presenting strong recommendations in a timely manner outlining the consideration of other options, costs, benefits and risks.

Leadership within your role will consist in taking into account different individual needs, views, and ideas, championing inclusion and equality of opportunity for all while being a role-model of commitment and satisfaction with your role. As a leader within your role, you will recognise and praise the achievements of others to drive positivity within the team, while effectively managing conflict, misconduct and non-inclusive behaviour, raising with senior managers where appropriate. You will also have to consider the impacts that your own and the team’s activities have on stakeholders and end users.

Effective communication will include communicating in a straightforward, honest and engaging manner, choosing appropriate styles to maximise understanding and impact, as well as sharing information as appropriate and checking understanding.

At Cefas we encourage joined up team working within the SEA team but also with other Cefas’ teams. We value and invest time to develop a common focus and genuine positive team spirit where colleagues feel valued and respect one another.

At Cefas we also encourage to reflect on own work, and continuously seek and act on feedback to improve own and team’s performance. Once capability gaps for self and team are identified, we ensure that development objectives are set and achieved to address any gaps and enable delivery of current and future work. Cefas will also encourage you to take time to coach, mentor and develop other colleagues promoting inclusiveness.

You will be asked to successfully deliver high quality outcomes that meet the customer’s needs and gives value for money, as well as identify risks and resolve issues efficiently. But also to involve a diverse range of colleagues, stakeholders and delivery partners in developing suggestions for improvements.

In your role, you will be expected to promote a culture of following the appropriate procedures to ensure results are achieved on time whilst still enabling innovation. You will also be asked to monitor your own and team’s work against milestones ensuring individual needs are considered when setting tasks, and promptly reassess workloads and priorities when there are conflicting demands to maintain performance.

When delivering a project within Cefas, you need to be: analytical, in the meaning that you will seek and analyse information to inform decisions based on the best available evidence; decisive, so you will use your judgement and take a considered approach to situations and tasks when making decisions; disciplined, so you follow processes, operating firmly within set standards, rules and guidelines; organised, so you will make plans and will be well prepared seeking to maximise time and productivity; focussed, so you will strive for quality outcomes and excellence in everything you do, and precise being detail-focussed, so to ensure everything is accurate and error free; efficient, converting resources into results in the most efficient and economical way. You will also want to be strategic, looking at the big picture and considering the wider factors and long term implications of decisions, but you will also think ahead to anticipate, identify and address any risks or problems before they occur.

You will be service focussed, so you will look for ways to serve customers putting their needs at the heart of everything you do, and will take a positive approach to tackling problems and find ways to identify suitable solutions being responsible taking ownership for your decisions and holding yourself accountable for what you have promised to deliver. You will also need to be resilient keeping an inner composure, recovering quickly from setbacks and learning from them.

In Cefas we welcome networkers that proactively create and maintain positive, professional and trusting working relationships with a wide range of people within and outside the organisation. In the SEA team we like individuals to be adaptable to variations in work or environment and keeping their effectiveness unimpacted by change by being flexible and versatile, but also authentic by being self-aware and true to yourself in all situations, even when under pressure. We value individuals that are emotionally intelligent drawing insight from your own emotions and those of others to demonstrate empathy, and inclusive recognising everyone as an individual, accepting people for who they are and treating everyone fairly. We are people with mission, so we pursue things which give us a sense of meaning and purpose, working towards a longer term goal, while being team players working well as part of a team and striving to ensure the team pulls together and is effective. So, we welcome relationship builders that quickly establish mutual respect and trust, building long lasting relationships with others, but that also bring a fresh perspective whatever the situation or context, and that are keen learners seeking out new information and looking for new ways to develop themselves.

Person specification

Experience sought:

• A strong understanding of economic theory (applied to environmental economics) and the data challenges associated with its analysis.
• Competent in analysing data in Stata for cross-sectional, panel, and time series (experience in other statistical packages is advantageous)
• Experience in analysing primary sample survey data from both developed and developing countries
• Good knowledge of evaluation methods (e.g. impact assessment, cost-benefit analysis etc.)
• Good knowledge of policy evaluation methods (e.g. instrumental variables, difference-in-difference, propensity score matching etc.)
• Strong analytical skills and the ability to process both quantitative as well as qualitative information.
• A basic understanding of socio-economic systems and the interaction with ecosystems (preferably marine/aquatic systems) and the data challenges associated with them.
• Competent in setting up spreadsheets and databases, and, extracting, manipulating and analysing data from them.
• Must be flexible and committed, with the ability to work as part of a team, but also independently to organise own work to meet deadlines.
• Candidates require good communication skills, excellent time management and must demonstrate excellent attention to detail.


Minimum Requirement is a Masters degree in economics, with an interest in one or more of the following: environmental economics; ecological economics; development economics; institutional economics; political economy; behavioural economics; experimental economics.

Applicants who are in the final stages of a higher degree course (PhD) or have equivalent work experience are also welcome to apply for this post.


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

  • Delivering at Pace
  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Managing a Quality Service
  • Seeing the Big Picture
  • Working Together

Technical skills

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

  • Competence in analysing data in Stata for cross-sectional, panel, and time series (experience in other statistical packages is advantageous)
  • Competent in setting up spreadsheets and databases, and, extracting, manipulating and analysing data from them.
  • Good knowledge of evaluation methods (e.g. impact assessment, cost-benefit analysis etc.)
  • Good knowledge of policy evaluation methods (e.g. instrumental variables, difference-in-difference, propensity score matching etc.)



Civil Service pension schemes may be available for successful candidates.

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

This vacancy is using Success Profiles, and will assess your Behaviours, Strengths, Experience and Technical skills.
As part of your application, you will be required to demonstrate the behaviours and technical skills listed above, and also complete a CV and experience.

Please note:
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.

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

Cefas is unable to contribute to interview expenses, however we are able to offer an initial interview via Skype for candidates who are unable to travel to Lowestoft.

Sift/interview dates and location

Sifting will be undertaken as soon as possible after the vacancy has closed.

Interviews will be held at the Cefas Lowestoft Laboratory, Pakefield Road, Lowestoft, NR33 0HT at a date to be confirmed.

Please note:

Further information

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

Legislative changes and the closure of Employer Supported Childcare scheme on 4 October 2018 will mean individuals moving across the Civil Service to a new PAYE scheme on any type of move other than TUPE/COSOP will lose the right to continue to claim Childcare Vouchers.

Whilst some employees may lose the right to continue claiming childcare vouchers via their employer, they may still be eligible to claim Click here Get Tax-Free Childcare

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.

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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