Vacancy -- Head of NHS and Social Care Research Environment

Working for the Civil Service

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.

The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

Vacancy Details

Health and Social Services Group
Research and Development
Grade 7 - £53,440 - £63,900
Full time (applications are welcome from people who work part time, as part of a job share or who work full time)
Fixed term, Secondment or Loan
2 years
Pan Wales
'Pan Wales' means that the location in which the vacancy can be based is flexible, subject to the needs of the business. Please note it may not always be possible to accommodate a preference for a specific office location, but requests will be taken into consideration.

Purpose of Post:

The post holder will join a team of 22 within the Research and Development Division (RDD) in the Welsh Government’s Directorate of Health and Wellbeing. RDD’s role is to develop and implement the policies and priorities for health and social care research and development in Wales to ensure that research and development activity meets the needs of the Welsh Government’s priorities. The Division also provides funding to support a research  infrastructure across Wales in health and social care as well as running a range of programmes that build capacity and fund excellent research, all of which come under the brand of Health and Care Research Wales.

The post holder will have responsibility for developing policy and overseeing implementation across a range of areas linked to the NHS and social care research environment. They will need to develop strategic partnerships with Welsh Government policy officials and senior leads working in the NHS and social care sector, as well as UK R&D government departments on research policy relating to improving the research culture and infrastructure across those settings. They will also have responsibility and ownership for providing operational, technical and strategic advice, and assistance to Head of Policy and Chief Advisor for Health and Social Care Research/Director of Health and Care Research Wales. As well as leading on Welsh initiatives, the post holder will have a leading role on behalf of Wales to facilitate policy alignment on a range of cross border strategies, with a view of ensuring that Wales plays a full role and is adequately represented in UK wide initiatives such as the UK Vision for Clinical Research Delivery. 

The post holder will have:

  • Policy responsibility and oversight for strategies and implementation plans related to strengthening the NHS research environment, including oversight and performance management of the NHS R&D funding;  
  • Responsibility and oversight for a range of initiatives to facilitate research within social care service settings; 
  • Ownership and responsibility for working with Welsh Government colleagues to ensure the NHS and social care research agenda is embedded into wider strategies and planning and performance management frameworks.
  • The post holder will line manage one SEO line and will report to the G6 Head of Policy. 

Key tasks:

  • Responsibility for providing both strategic and operational advice to the Head of Policy and Chief Advisor for Health and Social Care Research, and Ministers on research related issues relating to their work areas;  
  • Draft strategies, programmes, and implementation plans focused on the Welsh environment and/or in line with developments in the UK as appropriate; 
  • Responsibility and ownership for the effective development and successful delivery of Welsh initiatives, seeking funding when appropriate and ensuring value for money
  • Liaise with key external bodies to ensure successful implementation of relevant R&D programmes in Wales, including, where relevant, NHS, social care sector, UK government departments, UK funding agencies, higher education institutions, voluntary organisations and industry;
  • Represent Wales at UK meetings to ensure that Welsh interests are promoted and taken into account by the UK Government, UKRI and other research agencies by influencing, agreeing and promoting priority Government needs and facilitating Welsh participation in opportunities offered by UK-wide initiatives.
  • Responsibility for UK and Welsh engagement in seeking specialist advice from the research community, and establishing and maintaining links;
  • Responsibility for the briefing and writing of relevant reports and Ministerial papers,  which will involve interpreting information on relevant issues in a clear, concise and timely way to inform strategic discussions and decisions;
  • Responsibility for data gathering, marketing, publicity and events in relevant work areas;
  • Manage and facilitate enhanced stakeholder relationships with both internal and external partners, including liaison with other relevant Welsh Government policy leads and representing Research and Development Division at meetings;
  • Responsibility for advising the Head of Policy and Chief Advisor for Health and Social Care Research on issues relating to health and care research and both improve healthcare outcomes and facilitate greater success in bringing investment into Wales;
  • Ensure appropriate budget management controls and reporting processes are in place;
  • Contribute to strategic and operational plans within Research and Development Division;
  • The post holder will work both independently and in a close team environment, ensuring harmonization of all activities associated with relevant research initiatives.

Development opportunities:

The post holder will be expected to work with autonomy and with minimal supervision.  They will have considerable discretion and have responsibility for the achievement of defined objectives and for identifying issues which have political or policy implications, and taking work forward appropriately.  As a direct result of the high profile associated with all of these work areas, the post holder will also have significant influence on the organisation’s reputation with internal and external stakeholders.

Closing Date:

09/01/2023, 16:00


Posts recruited to as part of this recruitment campaign are broadly open to UK nationals, those with right to remain and work in the UK and those that meet the Civil Service Nationality Rules only. Check your eligibility here:

Prior to appointment, all successful applicants will be required to produce original, acceptable documents as part of the pre-employment checks. If it becomes apparent at a later stage in the process that you aren’t eligible to apply, your application will be withdrawn, or offer retracted.

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

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.

Not necessary to undertake the duties of this post

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.

Competencies / Job Specific Criteria


Strategic Cluster – Setting Direction
Making effective decisions: Analyse and evaluate data from various sources to identify pros and cons and identify risks in order to make well considered decisions.

People Cluster – Engaging People
Leading and Communicating: Confidently engage with stakeholders and colleagues at all levels to generate commitment to goals.

Performance Cluster – Delivering Results
Managing a quality service - Make clear, pragmatic and manageable plans for delivery using programme and project management principles.

People Cluster – Engaging People
Collaborating and partnering: Seek constructive outcomes in discussions, challenge assumptions but remain willing to compromise when it is beneficial to progress.

Job Specific Criteria 

1. A postgraduate qualification, or equivalent experience in health and social care or related scientific area where research is a key component. 
2. A proven track record of successful academic and public sector engagement and partnership working.
3. A strong track record of policy and/or programme development and delivery.

Assessment Process

The application will be assessed in three stages:

Role specific questions
As part of your application, you will be asked to answer three role specific questions, which will be a closed yes or no response.  If you do not meet these requirements, the system will automatically sift you out from the next stage of the assessment process

Sift Stage
An initial sift will be carried out against the job specific questions.  Candidates who are successful at this stage will then be evaluated against the required competencies.

Candidates who have passed the sift stage will be invited to participate in an interview (face to face or remote video session with Interview Panel).  The interview will include a presentation, the title of which will be issued along with the invitation to interview.

Other Information

  • Unless stated otherwise in ‘actual starting salary’, all candidates will start at the minimum of the pay scale being appointed to (this includes existing civil servants).This is not negotiable.
  • Unless stated otherwise in ‘type of opportunity’, this recruitment advert is not open on a Loan or Secondment basis.
  • For more information on the eligibility criteria and terms and conditions for Loan and Secondment positions in Welsh Government, please see external recruitment candidate guidance.
  • Unless stated otherwise in ‘Location of Post’ the role/s recruited to via this campaign can only be worked in the UK, not overseas.
Please ensure you have discussed and obtained agreement to be released on secondment or loan ahead of applying for this role.
Carys Thomas

How to apply

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 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 Welsh Government recruitment process, please see the Recruitment Guidance for External Candidates (link).

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

Grievance and Complaints

Anyone who believes they have been treated unfairly, or has a grievance or complaint, about how the process was conducted should either write to the Head of Resourcing, Welsh Government, Cathays Park 2, Cardiff CF10 3NQ or email  If you are unhappy with the outcome of the complaint raised with the Welsh Government and feel that the principles of appointment on merit through fair and open competition have not been met you have the right to pursue your grievance with the Civil Service Commission.

This vacancy is closed to applications.