View Vacancy - AUH/ DXB - Science and Innovation Country Lead, UAE (HEO)

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Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (Policy & Political roles)
Science and Innovation

The British Embassies in Abu Dhabi and Dubai have a vacancy for a Science and Innovation Country Lead on a fixed-term contract for three (3) years.

The UK Science and Innovation Network (SIN) is the British Government’s organisation for international science diplomacy, using the UK’s excellence in science and innovation to develop partnerships and collaborations that support UK prosperity and help tackle global challenges. SIN is jointly funded by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) with more than 100 staff based in over 40 countries and territories worldwide, including the SIN Gulf Team, led from Doha.

The Science and Innovation Country Lead for the UAE must work as part of the wider SIN Gulf Team, ensuring they continue to promote the UK as the partner of choice for research, development and innovation.

The six countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC: Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, and Bahrain) are investing heavily in research capacity as they seek to diversify and build their knowledge-based economies. In addition to Post and wider FCDO objectives, the SIN Gulf Team also manage programme funding to support the UK’s Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Strategy, with the SIN Country Lead assuming responsibility for programme delivery in the UAE along with supporting activities across the wider Gulf region. SIN Gulf has already identified significant opportunities for the UK research base to engage beneficially with Gulf research institutions in priority research sectors and is looking to extend its coverage both in the region, and with UK institutes and businesses.

The role is also open in Riyadh and Doha. Applicants should only apply once to their preferred job location. 


Duties and responsibilities:

  • Implement the UK Government’s science and innovation strategy for the Gulf with direct responsibility for the UAE.
  • Responsible for planning and delivery of programme funded scientific focussed initiatives.
  • Manage the UK relationship with UAE research, innovation, and funding bodies.
  • Report on UAE trends, policy and funding in the areas of research, science and innovation.
  • Develop communications strategies and campaigns to promote the vibrant, creative and ambitious UK-UAE science and innovation partnerships to a wide range of target audiences.
  • Provide support to senior UK Government staff and the UK research base regarding the science and innovation environment in the UAE.
  • Act as the first point of contact for UK Government lobbying on research, scientific and technology policy issues in the UAE.
  • Collaborate with UAE partners on the development of common science and innovation policies.
  • Work with UK partners - UK Department for International Trade (DIT), Prosperity, British Council and others to deliver wider UK prosperity objectives.
  • Develop and maintain a network of senior level contacts across the UK and Gulf research landscape.
  • Support UK entities to leverage Gulf research funds to tackle pressing global challenges.
  • Support VIP visits – curate events with a range of high level, diverse thought leaders and influencers to promote our bilateral scientific partnership.

The above list is not exhaustive and the jobholder will be required to be flexible and take on other ad hoc tasks as required, including participating in the Embassy’s emergency planning and any other response to a crisis affecting UK citizens. 


Key behaviours required:

  • Working Together - Form effective partnerships and relationships with people both internally and externally, from a range of diverse backgrounds, sharing information, resources and support.
  • Delivering at Pace - Taking responsibility for delivering timely and quality results with focus and drive.
  • Managing a Quality Service - Deliver service objectives with professional excellence, expertise and efficiency, taking account of diverse customer needs.
  • Seeing the Big Picture - Understand how your role fits with and supports organisational objectives. Recognise the wider priorities and ensure work is in the national interest.


  • Applications will only be considered from those who are currently residing in the UAE and with a current and valid UAE resident visa. Applicants will be asked to provide evidence of their UAE resident visa/ Emirates ID as part of their application.
  • Applicants must be available in a full time capacity.
  • Applicants must be able to obtain a valid UAE police clearance certificate.
  • BSc, BA, or BEng in a relevant field
  • A scientific background: experience working with the research, academic, or commercial scientific community of the Gulf region, and an understanding of the UK science and innovation landscape.
  • Ability to plan strategically, assimilate information from a range of sources, and to see the bigger picture to spot opportunities.
  • Flexible, resilient under pressure, and decisive, with a proven track record of working quickly and reliably with attention to detail and with limited supervision. Strong organisational skills.
  • Ability to work independently and to take the initiative as well as being able to work well as part of a larger team to deliver results.
  • Collaborative approach to colleagues and stakeholder partnerships. Ability to initiate and maintain a wide range of working relationships.
  • Experience in project management and/or events management.
  • A confident communicator with excellent interpersonal skills and good presentation and representational skills. Proven ability to engage at all levels internally and with external stakeholders.
  • Excellent communication skills in English, both verbal and spoken. Able to express ideas and messages clearly and concisely, both orally and in written communication.
  • Strong IT skills and literacy in Microsoft Office applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Teams, and Outlook).
Arabic language skills (both written and spoken).
Seeing the Big Picture, Managing a Quality Service, Delivering at Pace, Working Together
17 August 2022
Higher Executive Officer (HEO)
Full-time, Fixed term, with possibility of renewal
Middle East & North Africa
United Arab Emirates
Abu Dhabi, Dubai
British Embassy
24 October 2022

The Embassy aims to offer an attractive working environment and remuneration package for this role, including: 25 days of leave per annum; on-site swimming pool, gym, and sports facilities (subject to COVID-19 restrictions).

Salary is at AED 22,500 per month.

There are no other allowances payable as part of this package. No accommodation and relocation expenses are payable in connection with this position.

Effective 01 January 2022, the Embassy will be open from Monday to Friday, from 07:30 to 18:00. Conditioned working hours are 38 hours per week (including breaks), and specific working hours for this role will be confirmed at a later time.

Whilst the role may be based in either Abu Dhabi or Dubai, the jobholder will be required to visit the Embassy in the other Emirate, subject to COVID-19 restrictions and to operational needs. The jobholder must also be available for occasional travel within the Gulf region and further afield to the UK for business/ official purposes.

The jobholder will be required to be flexible in their approach to hours worked as these will be dictated by operational needs and may involve working out of hours (evening/ weekend) during visits and to attend networking events, receptions, and seminars.

Flexible working arrangements may be considered based on operational requirements and agreement with the line manager, and in line with FCDO and Embassy policies.

The successful candidate will be required to transfer their visa under the Embassy's sponsorship.

How to apply:

Interested candidates must attach 1) an updated Curriculum Vitae (CV) with a copy of UAE resident visa and passport (all in one file); 2) a covering letter/ motivation essay stating how you meet the requirements of the role; and 3) examples, in the relevant sections of the online application form, of how you meet the key behaviours required.

Applications that do not include these this information will not be considered.

Closing date for applications is at 23:55 (UAE local time) on 17 August 2022. 

Applications received after the stated deadline will not be considered.


The recruitment process, including security clearance, is expected to take around two months.

Due to the large number of applications we receive, only those shortlisted for the next step of the recruitment process will be contacted. Any assessments and/ or interviews will be done remotely if the existing situation determines this to be the right course of action.

The start date mentioned in the job advert is a tentative start date and the successful candidate will be required to undergo security-vetting procedures. Any offer of employment will be subject to the candidate achieving suitable clearances. 


The British Embassies in Abu Dhabi and Dubai are an equal opportunities employer, dedicated to inclusivity, a diverse workforce and valuing difference.

Please be aware that you will only be able to apply to vacancies for Country Based Staff roles with the British Government through this official site (operated by Oleeo). Jobs may be advertised on third party websites, however our adverts will always link back to the official site. If you complete and send an application through any other site, we will not receive it.

This opportunity is closed to applications.