Vacancy -- Chief Scientific Adviser for Wales

Recruitment Principles

The Welsh Government's recruitment processes are underpinned by the principle of selection for appointment on merit on the basis of fair and open competition as outlined in the Civil Service Commission’s Recruitment Principles.

Vacancy Details

Economy, Treasury and Constitution Group
Senior Civil Service 2
Circa £100,000
Full time (applications are welcome from people who work part time, as part of a job share or who work full time)
Pan Wales

Closing Date

23/08/2022, 12:00

Purpose of Post

Excellence in science and its exploitation is a vital enabler for the delivery of key policies within Welsh Government. Our goal is to build a strong and dynamic science base which supports the economic and national development of Wales.

The Chief Scientific Adviser has an exciting and leading role in taking these goals forward, providing high quality advice to Welsh Ministers and government officials, demonstrating leadership and creativity for building partnerships’ promoting collaboration across sectors, and developing science capacity and capability within and for Welsh Government. At the heart of the work lies the broad aim of supporting the growth of the Welsh economy, by delivery of more and better skilled jobs, by presenting Wales as a place where science, research and innovation are supported and done well and by creating an environment to help people take up and maximise opportunities. This includes consideration of Wales’ future skills needs, taking a proactive approach, encouraging and increasing the interest in STEMM (science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine) subjects. Valuing diversity and equality is a high priority for the Welsh Government and we want a motivated individual who can champion and embed these principles into their area of responsibility

Equality and Diversity

The Welsh Government is committed to providing services which embrace diversity and which promote equality of opportunity. This is underpinned by the Equality Act 2010 and will be adhered to at each stage of the recruitment process. Our goal is to ensure that these commitments are also embedded in our day-to-day working practices with all our customers, colleagues and partners.

We are committed to being an anti-racist organisation and increasing diversity in the Welsh Government by removing barriers and supporting all our staff to reach their potential. We are committed to recruiting Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people and disabled people who are currently under-represented in Welsh Government.

We welcome applications from everyone regardless of age, marriage and civil partnership (both same sex and opposite sex), impairment or health condition, sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, gender identity or gender expression.

We are a Stonewall Diversity Champion and a Disability Confident Level 3 (Leader) organisation. Key to supporting this work and providing peer support are five Board sponsored Staff Networks (Disability Awareness and Support (DAAS); Minority Ethnic Support Network (MESN); Mind Matters (Mental health and well-being); PRISM (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex +) and Women Together.

Disability Confident

Welsh Government accepts the social definition of disability, in which it is recognised that barriers in society act to disable people who have impairments or health conditions or who use British Sign Language. We are committed to removing barriers so that all (or potential new staff) can perform at their best. The Equality Act 2010 uses the medical definition of disability (“a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term impact on a person’s ability to carry out normal day to day activities”).

We guarantee to interview anyone who is disabled whose application meets the minimum criteria for the post. By ‘minimum criteria’ we mean that you must provide us with evidence in your application which demonstrates that you generally meet the level of competence for the role and any qualifications, skills or experience defined as essential. We are committed to the employment and career development of disabled people.

If you have an impairment or health condition, or use British Sign Language and need to discuss reasonable adjustments for any part of this recruitment process, or wish to discuss how we will support you if you were to be successful, please email as soon as possible and a member of the team will contact you to discuss your requirements and any questions you may have.

A Great Place to Work for Veterans

This vacancy is part of the Great Place to Work for Veterans initiative.

Welsh Language Requirements

The Welsh Government is a bilingual organisation and Welsh language skills are considered an asset to the organisation. We encourage and support staff to learn, develop and use their Welsh language skills in the workplace. 

The following list of language requirements represents an objective assessment by the line manager on behalf of the Welsh Government of the Welsh language skills required to undertake the duties of this particular post.

Can read some basic words and phrases with understanding
Can hold a basic conversation in Welsh
Can understand parts of a basic conversation
Can write basic messages on everyday topics

Social Partnership

In Welsh Government, the relationship between the employer and trade unions is based on social partnership. We believe our goals can best be achieved by management and trade unions working together.

Our 3 recognised trade unions are:
•         PCS
•         Prospect
•         FDA

This relationship is underpinned by a partnership agreement. This sets out how our unions work with Welsh Government on issues such as:
•         pay
•         terms and conditions
•         policies and procedures
•         organisational change.

Our Welsh Government trade union colleagues work together to give their members a real say in the workplace. They make sure that the interests of their members are promoted and protected. They also help reduce inequalities and improve terms and conditions.

The Welsh Government has an excellent track record of working in partnership with its trade unions. We encourage staff to get involved. We support you to join a recognised trade union, to ensure your voice is heard in the workplace. and to learn more about trade unions and partnership working.

Assessment Process

The Recruitment Team will acknowledge your application via the Welsh Government online system and when appropriate you will be advised about the outcome of any longlist or shortlist meetings.

Shortlisted candidates will undergo online psychometric tests that will include numerical and verbal reasoning and a discussion with a psychologist. You will receive a link to these on-line tests within 10 working days from the shortlisting meeting.
If you have completed the online psychometric tests in the last 2 years, for a civil service post at the same grade, it will not be necessary for you to take these tests again for this particular recruitment exercise.

Staff/Stakeholder Engagement Exercise
Further details will follow.

Media Test
Candidates will be asked to take part in a media test. Further details to follow.
The above activities will form part of the overall assessment required for this recruitment exercise in addition to the selection panel interview.

Ministerial ‘Fireside’ Chat
Candidates will be invited to a chat with the Minister for Economy, Vaughan Gething, as part of the assessment process. A member of the Civil Service Commission will also be present at these meetings. Further details to follow.

Interviews will be held remotely via Microsoft Teams. Interviews will last around 45 minutes.
The panel will receive feedback on your psychometric tests/ Staff/Stakeholder Engagement Exercise/ media test/and Fireside Chat before you are interviewed. Your interview will be a competency based interview that will consider how your skills and experience as outlined in your CV and personal statement meet the requirements for the post.
If candidates are asked to prepare a presentation for their interview, they will normally be given at least one week’s notice of the topic.
Please note that presentations are to be delivered without the use of hand-outs or electronic devices however, you are welcome to use prompt cards.
In the event of the panel finding candidates of equal merit the desirable criteria will be brought into play to determine the merit order.

How to apply

Completed application form, an up to date CV, together with a personal statement of suitability for the post should be submitted by the closing date.  All applications for this vacancy should be made online via the Welsh Government's online application system.  If you have an impairment which would prevent you from applying on-line, please e-mail to request an application pack in an alternative format or if you need to request a reasonable adjustment related to an impairment in order to submit your application.

To apply, you'll need to have an account on our online application system.  Click the 'Apply' button below, and you'll be asked to 'Log in' if you already have an account, or 'Register' if you don't yet have an account.  Registration takes just a few minutes to complete.  You'll need an e-mail address to be able to register.  Once you've registered for an account and logged in, you'll be taken to the online application form, which you'll need to fully complete and submit before the deadline on the closing date.  

If you’d like to apply for this vacancy in Welsh, please use the ‘Newid Iaith / Change Language’ link at the top of this page, to take you to the Welsh version of this advert, from which you can apply in Welsh.

For further information regarding the Senior Civil Service recruitment process within the Welsh Government, please see the SCS Recruitment Guidance for External Candidates (link). Further guidance on Preparing Your Personal Statement (link) is also available.

When evidencing your suitability for the post, it is recommended that you refer to the Civil Service Competency Framework (link)

Other information about the vacancy

The closing date for applications is: midday 23 August 2022
Longlist meeting: 1st September 2022
Shortlist meeting: 13th September 2022
Assessments: early October - dates to be confirmed
Panel Interviews: 27th October 2022

This vacancy is closed to applications.