Science Advisory Council Board members with expertise in natural sciences (and allied disciplines)

Body: Science Advisory Council (SAC)
Appointing Department: Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs
Sector: Environment, Food & Rural Affairs
Location: London
Number of Vacancies: 2
Remuneration: £39.00 per hour plus preparation time. Reasonable, standard class rate travel expenses are also paid.
Time Requirements: During the year, SAC business will require a total of approximately 11 days. This comprises mainly of four meetings in London each lasting about five hours, seven monthly teleconferences each lasting an hour, monthly half hour Defra/SAC pairing scheme teleconference and ad hoc meetings that the Member may be invited to. Additional time may also be required to provide input to the work of Council subgroups.


An announcement has been made on the outcome of this appointment.

Professors Peter Cox and Rowland Kao have been appointed as members of the Science Advisory Council (SAC) from 15 January 2018 for three year periods.

Professor Charles Godfray has been re-appointed as SAC Chair and Professor Sarah Whatmore as a SAC member. Their terms commenced on 1 January 2018 for three year periods.

Date: 26/01/2018

View Announcement

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications

    15/09/2017 at 12:00

  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement

    26/01/2018 at 16:00


Assessment Panel

  • Professor Ian Boyd Added 21/08/2017

    Panel Chair

    Defra Chief Scientific Adviser • Departmental Official

    Show more information

  • Professor Sir Charles Godfray Added 21/08/2017

    Hope Professor of Zoology at Jesus College, Oxford, and Director of the Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food. Chair of the Science Advisory Council. • Representative of Organisation

    Show more information

  • Professor Dame Georgina Mace Added 21/08/2017

    Professor of Biodiversity and Ecosystems, and Head of the Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research at University College London. • Independent Member

    Show more information

Vacancy Description

SAC plays a vital role in assisting the Defra Chief Scientific Adviser (CSA) in assuring and challenging the evidence that Defra uses in its policy development. We are looking for up to two members with expertise in the natural sciences and allied disciplines, who have the right qualities to work alongside the SAC Chair and fellow SAC members.

The SAC’s remit is broad and focuses primarily on the strategic direction of the Departments’ evidence. As a member you will contribute to the delivery of independent high-level, cross cutting, strategic advice and challenge to help assure the evidence used in Defra policy development and delivery.

Person Specification

You will provide high-level strategic advice, support, and assurance to the CSA and Defra on developing and implementing an effective strategy for obtaining and using evidence and scientific advice (often at pace) including on high profile and contentious issues. You will provide strategic oversight on Defra’s use of evidence, help to identify sources of external advice to input to Defra evidence, and act as a conduit between Defra and evidence providers.

You will also advise on broader issues such as how Defra obtains its advice, its access to the scientific community and on maintaining and developing its scientific capabilities into the future. These duties will be performed through discussions and engagement with Defra officials and key stakeholders, and a mixture of meetings and smaller working groups.

Additional Information

The appointment will commence on 1st January 2018 and will be for a period of three years.

We actively encourage applications from individuals from a wide range of backgrounds. Defra operates a Guaranteed Interview Scheme for disabled people.

How to Apply

All candidates are required to complete the following forms:

• Monitoring form 1 (Political Activity and Conflict of Interest Questionnaire)
• Monitoring form 2 ( Diversity Monitoring Questionnaire)

Candidates should submit their CV with education, professional qualifications and employment history and the names and contact details for two referees, together with their statement of suitability.

The statement of suitability should give evidence of the strength and depth of your ability to meet the essential criteria for this role. Please provide specific examples to demonstrate how you meet each of the criteria (max two pages please).

Your CV and statement should be returned to the following address by the closing date: 12.00 (midday) on Monday 15th September 2017. Email: -quoting reference APPT 07/17.

1_Candidate information Pack
2_Public Appointments Guidance notes
3_Monitoring form 1
4_Monitoring form 2
Return to Search