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View Vacancy - Senior Science and Innovation Policy Adviser and DC Head of Team

The British Government is an inclusive and diversity-friendly employer.  We value difference, promote equality and challenge discrimination, enhancing our organisational capability. We welcome and encourage applications from people of all backgrounds. We do not discriminate on the basis of disability, race, colour, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, age, veteran status or other category protected by law. We promote family-friendly flexible working opportunities, where operational and security needs allow.
Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Policy & Political roles)
Science and Innovation

The Senior Science and Innovation Policy Adviser & DC Head of Team is a key role in the UK’s Science and Innovation Network (SIN), a global UK government initiative to ensure that the UK benefits from high-quality relationships on science and innovation with 28 countries around the world.

The objectives of the global Science and Innovation Network are to:

  • influence science and innovation policies of governments, industry and academia to benefit the UK
  • improve UK policy based on international experience and emerging opportunities and issues
  • encourage high level science co-operation to benefit the UK and achieve wider policy objectives
  • make best use of international technology co-operation and investment to grow UK innovation potential


The Senior Policy Adviser is a member of the 14-person SIN team in the US and reports directly to the head of SIN USA.  The role is based in the British Embassy in Washington DC. The role holder will have regular interaction with other members of the SIN team, located across six British Consulates around the US. More information on the SIN team in the US can be found here:

The role of the Senior Policy Adviser is to represent the UK’s interests in science and innovation with Washington DC policy-makers and influencers including government departments and agencies, Capitol Hill, universities, policy institutes, thinktanks and foundations. The role holder will lead work across a range of sectors and topics – e.g. life sciences, global health, advanced engineering, space – identifying the areas of most potential for the UK, working in collaboration across the SIN team. The Senior Policy Adviser is also responsible for building relationships with universities in DC and surrounding areas to identify and shape opportunities for US-UK collaboration.

The role holder will have management responsibility for a Science and Innovation Policy Adviser in the Embassy in Washington DC.

Duties & Responsibilities:

  • Promote and influence UK science and innovation interests in US federal science and innovation policy.
  • Provide intelligence to UK government on plans and priorities, enable and support direct UK-US government engagement and influence policy to support UK’s policy interests
  • Communicate UK science and innovation policy to US policymakers and other key stakeholders in the DC community
  • Conduct outreach with universities and other research/innovation institutes in Washington DC and surrounding areas to identify and shape opportunities for UK-US collaboration, prioritising relationships that offer the greatest potential for UK benefit
  • Provide and oversee high-quality support to incoming UK visitors (Government ministers, senior Departmental officials, representatives from science/innovation funding agencies and universities)
  • Contribute to broader Embassy initiatives and programmes to deliver benefits for the UK
  • Manage a SIN Policy Adviser and the DC team’s objectives by setting priorities, direction and driving delivery
  • Actively contribute to the operation and development of the SIN team in the US, supporting continual refresh of the team’s pipeline of projects and opportunities and actively participating in team development activities  

  • A self-starting, entrepreneurial mindset and a proven ability to work independently to deliver results and to prioritise the highest value opportunities in an environment of multiple pressures and demands
  • Well-developed interpersonal and communication skills and an evidenced ability to establish effective working relationships with senior figures from industry, government, academia and the science and innovation community
  • Strong written and oral communication skills and an ability to convey complex scientific concepts to non-expert audiences
  • A track record in working in multi-site, multi-disciplinary teams and delivering results through team work and collaboration
  • Minimum of a Bachelor’s degree. Master’s or other advanced degrees in scientific or technical fields preferred.
  • At least 8-10 years experience in science and innovation, from an academic and/or corporate background. Fewer years of experience would be considered for candidates with advanced degrees or exceptional, relevant experience
  • A demonstrable enthusiasm for science, science policy and the internationalisation of science
  • Awareness and understanding of US science and innovation policy, including an appreciation of the government and congressional landscape
  • Leadership and management skills, including direct staff management


Under US State Department requirements, the Embassy Network may only employ, as non-diplomatic staff, persons who are US citizens, US Green Card holders or A or NATO visa holders with EAD cards*. If you hold a visa other than an A or NATO visa you are not currently eligible to work at the Embassy. Please refer to our website for information on exceptions to this policy at All candidates will be subject to background checks and security clearance.

*A visas or NATO visas with EAD cards are acceptable at the Embassy, Consulates, and British Defence Staff (BDS) outposts. The UK Mission to the UN (UKMIS) accepts G visas.

  • Knowledge and understanding of the UK and the science and innovation policy landscape


Seeing the Big Picture, Leading and Communicating, Collaborating and Partnering, Delivering at Pace
12 September 2017
D6 (L)
Full-time, Permanent
N. America, Caribbean and British Overseas Territories
United States
British Embassy
30 October 2017

The British Embassy Network offers a strong benefits package. This package includes medical, dental, vision, life, long term and short term disability insurance, a 401(k) retirement savings plan, generous vacation and leave time, and an enriching training package.

Resume and a cover letter should be submitted by 12 September 2017. Please identify in your cover letter whether you are currently eligible to work at the Embassy. Internal candidates must inform the Head of Group before applying.

Staff recruited locally by the British Embassy are subject to terms and conditions of service according to local American employment law.

Only successful candidates will be contacted. Please no phone calls. Due to the high volume of resumes we receive, we cannot guarantee consideration of your application if the submission instructions are not properly followed.

The British Embassy is an equal opportunity employer, dedicated to a diverse workforce. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, disability, age, veteran status, sexual orientation or other category protected by law

This opportunity is closed to applications.