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Policy Fellowship with GO Science: New knowledge exchange mechanisms for emerging technology - CAPE


This is a fantastic opportunity to work in an innovative organisation that interacts with policymakers across the whole of government.

It will provide the fellow with experience of solving large-scale and complex problems, managing large numbers of stakeholders and presenting their work to senior leaders in government. 

Government Office for Science (Go-Science) works at the heart of government to ensure that government policies and decisions are informed by the best available scientific evidence and strategic long-term thinking.  

Go-Science’s priorities are: 

  • Supporting national growth and growing the UK’s productivity by linking science, innovation, and industrial enterprise. 
  • Supporting regional growth by building on existing science and innovation activity across the country. 
  • Using technology to develop modern and high value public services. 
  • Preventing or addressing emergencies and mapping national security risks 

To support these priorities, Go-Science has a well-established Futures, Foresight and Horizon Scanning programme which helps government to use scientific evidence to think strategically about the future. You can read more information online about the role of the Government Office for Science and its programme of Foresight work.

Role description 

This role will primarily be based within Go-Science’s Emerging Technologies (EmTech) team but will work closely with teams across Go-Science including the Science & Innovation, Systems and Capability Division. GO-Science has a strategic objective to deliver science mechanisms that are efficient, effective and embedded in Government systems. For the EmTech team, this means delivering timely input of high-quality expertise, from a diverse range of people, to underpin evidence supporting policy. The Emtech team is interested in trialling new mechanisms for knowledge exchange, with the overarching aim of bringing outside expertise into policymaking.  

The role will involve delivering research projects to complement the EmTech team’s programme of external engagement work. This will involve stakeholder engagement and management across government departments and a range of organisations in academia and industry. 

Role responsibilities 

A research project to assess interventions which leverage, build on or complement a brand new innovative GO-Science knowledge exchange mechanism – the EmTech knowledge mobilisers network 

  • Provide direction and support for delivery of the next phase of a project to foster a network of EmTech knowledge mobilisers – building on an initial trial.  
  • Identify and deploy 2-3 interventions which enable academic insights to be fed more effectively through to the tech scanning and/or policymaking process (e.g. through ensuring better join up between network members) 
  • Attract 3-5 more organisations to join the network – improving the mix of academia, industry, investors and learned societies to meet user needs 
  • Create a robust evaluation process for measuring the impact of these interventions, capturing supporting Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDIdata 
  • Write up the findings from GO-Science initial trial of the network in a way that other teams could learn from and use the idea in their own policy areas, share these findings widely both in and outside Government 

A two-way engagement event to support Go-Science’s external tech profile 

  • Plan and deliver an external engagement event to facilitate a conversation on how academics and industrial experts can help Go-Science to more effectively identify and flag “unknown unknowns” in tech scanning processes. The scope of the event would be open to discussion when in post but could include a problem solving ‘sandpit-style’ workshop on how to take outputs (e.g. from research) and feed these into government.    
  • Create a robust evaluation process for measuring the events impact and outline future events we could run 

A report into the value of different engagement mechanisms in improving diversity 

  • Produce research into how effective different interventions are in helping to bring diversity into tech policymaking processes  
  • Support Go-Science’s wider theory of change work through dissemination of findings. This is likely to involve working in close collaboration with GO-Science’s Science Systems and Capability Division to produce a report for senior leaders and policymakers.   

Personal Development  

Go Science will provide substantial opportunity for the successful candidate to:  

  • Develop knowledge, skills and experience of stakeholder engagement and project management in a policy environment  
  • Improve awareness of the key players within the tech landscape  
  • Establish strong personal networks with colleagues across Go-Science as well as more broadly across Government and beyond. There will also be opportunity for the fellow to support links with their wider academic network in order to progress more multilateral relationships between GO-Science and different research groups 

The fellow will be encouraged to actively reflect and evaluate their performance, share knowledge with others as well as contribute to wider Government communications (e.g. by sharing relevant learnings through a blog post).  

About you

Essential criteria 

  • Experience of stakeholder engagement and developing effective working relationships 
  • You will need to build strong relationships with policymakers in other Government departments as well as in industry and academia, not only to ensure your analysis is well-informed and authoritative but also to ensure your findings have influence and impact on policy.  
  • Ability to think creatively and systematically to solve very large-scale and embedded problems 
  • You will need to overcome the complexities of the project and bring solutions which work for the needs of a wide variety of stakeholders.  
  • Experience of conducting and interpreting high-quality research and analysis 
  • You will be comfortable getting to grips with new subject matter, understanding both technical detail and potential implications for policy.  
  • Ability to communicate clearly, succinctly, and persuasively in writing, in meetings and in presentations for a variety of audiences (including senior leadership) 
  • You will need to confidently communicate with science and engineering deep specialists alongside non-technical stakeholders. You will also need to be skilled in rapidly synthesising and distilling a broad range of scientific and non-scientific information.   
  • Comfortable with working autonomously as well as part of a team to establish a project direction in the face of uncertainty 
  • You will need to draw upon the strengths of colleagues with different skills and experience in order to deliver high quality outputs.  
  • An understanding and/or experience of working in academia 

Desirable criteria

  • Experience of project management, especially involvement in large scale projects with multiple dependencies  
  • An appreciation for the breadth of science and engineering work that goes on across government  
  • An understanding and/or experience of working on initiatives relating to diversity and inclusion  

About GO-Science’s EmTech team 

GO-Science’s EmTech team seeks to improve Government’s understanding of the technologies of the future. At the intersection of science and policy, the team identifies technologies that support wellbeing, boost the economy and protect national security. The team aims to support better, more forward-looking decision making at the centre and ensure cross-government EmTech analysis work is more consistent.   

The team is friendly and inclusive with significant emphasis placed on wellbeing and personal development. The team strongly believes that diversity of experience, thought, perspectives, skills, and background will make a more innovative and welcoming environment. 

You can read more about GO-Science’s EmTech in this article on government horizon scanning.

About CAPE 

CAPE is a partnership between UCL and the universities of Cambridge, Manchester, Northumbria and Nottingham, in collaboration with the Government Office for Science, the Parliamentary Office for Science & Technology, the Alliance for Useful Evidence, and the Transforming Evidence Hub, funded by Research England. It is a four-year collaboration created to support effective and sustained engagement between academics and policy professionals across the higher education sector. 

About CAPE Policy Fellowships 

This fellowship is open to eligible academic, research and university staff at CAPE partner universities. It is offered on a full or part-time basis (to a minimum of 0.6 FTE), for up to 6 months, in the first instance, with the possibility of renewal or extension to accommodate part time working. The fellowship award may be up to £50,000, dependent on current salary level, funded through CAPE. The fellowship will start as soon as possible, subject to successful security clearance.  

The successful candidate will be based remotely to begin with owing to current Covid-19 working restrictions. The candidate may also be required to attend meetings at either GO-Science London or Manchester offices.  However, GO-Science will provide active support for any accessibility requirements that are needed to perform the role.  

GOS will also ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided adjustments to participate in the job application and interview process. The team are keen to support wellbeing by putting flexible working at the heart of the offer – including where, when and how you work. If you are successful, you will be given the opportunity to discuss working arrangements with your new manager. 

GO-Science are actively seeking applications from every part of the community and particularly welcome applications from candidates of any age, background, disability, or from an ethnic minority background and any other protected characteristics. This will help GO Science to move to a workforce that reflects the people we serve so we can deliver better policies.  

How to apply 

Before applying, prospective applicants are encouraged to get in touch Charlie Rogers, Policy Advisor within GO-Science’s EmTech team:

To apply please send: 

  • a short CV (max 2 pp) 
  • covering letter outlining your suitability for the role 
  • letter of support from your line manager, HoD or supervisor confirming eligibility to take up the placement if awarded 

Please combine documents into one PDF where possible. 

Please note that fellowship is only open to academic and research staff at CAPE partner universities. 

Applications should be sent to the CAPE Project Manager, Robyn Parker: [email protected] 

Deadline: Monday 10 January 23:59 

Top ranked candidates will be invited to an informal interview.