View Vacancy - SRR - Science and Innovation Country Lead, KSA (HEO)

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

The British Embassy Riyadh has a vacancy for a Science and Innovation Country Lead for a fixed-term contract of two (2) years. There is a strong possibility of extension of the contract depending on performance and operational requirements.

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 Saudi Arabia 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 Saudi Arabia 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. 

Duties and responsibilities:

  • Implement the UK Government’s science and innovation strategy for the Gulf with direct responsibility for Saudi Arabia.
  • Responsible for planning and delivery of programme funded scientific focussed initiatives.
  • Manage the UK relationship with Saudi research, innovation, and funding bodies.
  • Report on Saudi 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-Saudi science and innovation partnerships to a wide range of target audiences.
  • Provide support to senior UK Government staff and the UK research base regarding Saudi Arabia’s science and innovation environment.
  • Act as the first point of contact for UK Government lobbying on research, scientific and technology policy issues in Saudi Arabia.
  • Collaborate with Saudi 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.


The position is available to Saudi Nationals and to current holders of valid Saudi residence permits or transferable iqamas. The successful candidate will be required to transfer their sponsorship to the British Embassy.

  • BSc, BA, or BEng in a relevant field
  • 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).
  • 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 is highly desirable.
  • Arabic language skills (both written and spoken).
Seeing the Big Picture, Managing a Quality Service, Delivering at Pace, Working Together
3 November 2022
Higher Executive Officer (HEO)
Full-time, Fixed term, with possibility of renewal
Middle East & North Africa
Saudi Arabia
British Embassy
3 January 2023

The Embassy aims to offer an attractive working environment and remuneration package for this role.

Salary details:

  • Base Salary including Eid bonus - SAR 13,890.44
  • Housing Allowance - SAR 3,472.61 (subject to eligibility)*
  • Travel Allowance - SAR 400 (subject to eligibility)*
  • Total - SAR 17,763.04

*Allowances are not payable to staff who receive official provision for such expenditure in some other form.

No accommodation and relocation expenses are payable in connection with this position.

This position is full-time, based on 35 hours per week. Normal working hours for the Embassy are from 08:00 to 15:00 from Sunday to Thursday, with core working hours from 10:00-15:00. Core working hours is the period of the day that employees are required to be at work. The working day outside of the core hours is a flexible period, which allows employees to choose when they work, subject to operational needs.

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.

The successful candidate must also be available for occasional travel within KSA and the Gulf region, and further afield to the UK for business/ official purposes.

The successful candidate will be subject to a 90-day probationary period.

How to apply:

Interested candidates must attach 1) an updated Curriculum Vitae (CV) and 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 this information will not be considered.

The closing date for applications is at 23:55 KSA local time on 03 November 2022.

Applications received after the stated deadline will not be considered.

Due to the large number of applications we receive, only those shortlisted for the next step in the recruitment process will be contacted.

The start date mentioned in the advert is an assumed 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, medical clearance and reference checks.


The British Embassy Riyadh is an equal opportunities employer, dedicated to inclusivity, a diverse workforce and valuing difference. Staff recruited locally by the British Embassy is subject to Terms and Conditions of Service according to local Saudi Arabia employment law.

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.