Behavioural Scientist

Date Posted: Posted30+ days ago

Job Description

About Us
We are MI6, also known as SIS. We work with the UK’s foreign partners to support global stability by combating international terrorism and the spread of weapons. We work secretly around the world gathering intelligence to help us stay ahead of our adversaries.

The Role
This is a fantastic opportunity to join our Behavioural and Social Science team. The team is the centre of excellence for Behavioural sciences in MI6 and has a strong track record of high impact work in support of our staff security, operational security and supporting the delivery of the UK government’s foreign policy objectives. We are seeking a behavioural scientist with an academic and applied background with a track record of using behavioural science theory and practice to help solve real world problems.

Relevant academic disciplines include all behavioural sciences such as Psychology, Anthropology and Sociology, but we are also interested in other disciplines such as Human Geography and Data Science where you can demonstrate relevant expertise. Educated to Masters level as a minimum, you will have worked in an applied setting for at least 3 years; we are interested in understanding how you have delivered behavioural science value to your customers and clients.

You will need to be able to work autonomously, make decisions and judgement calls. You will use your interpersonal skills to build and maintain good working relationships with internal teams, other government department customers, external visitors and contractors, and our Intelligence allies.

Key responsibilities include:
  • Working with non-specialist teams to identify where behavioural science can contribute to them achieving success.
  • Using behavioural science theory to support operations.
  • Working with MI6 Behavioural Scientists to develop behavioural science capabilities.
  • Working across government to improve knowledge, understanding and use of behavioural science.
  • Integrating behavioural science into operational teams’ objectives.
  • Where necessary, commissioning research to support operational activities.
  • Communicating and presenting findings to demonstrate how behavioural science can add value.

About You
You will have excellent communication skills, and the ability to distil meaningful parts of complex theories and models of human performance and demonstrate their importance and impact to an engaged but non-specialist audience. You will be committed to your own continuous professional development (CPD), while working within your own professional and ethical boundaries.

We are a collaborative and busy team, so you will need to be comfortable working at pace within multi-disciplinary teams and take a proactive approach to delivering behavioural science advice.

You be motivated to delivering the organisation’s goals and demonstrating creativity, respect, integrity and courage in your behaviour, work and values.

Essential experience or qualifications:
  • Undergraduate degree in a behavioural science subject (e.g. Psychology, cognitive science, behavioural neuroscience, criminology, decision science etc…).
  • Master’s degree or PhD in psychology / behavioural science.
  • Minimum of 3 years working in an applied setting.
  • Demonstrable experience of working in multi-disciplinary teams.
  • Good IT, presentation and statistical analysis skills.

Desirable additional experience or qualifications:
  • Awareness of or interest in foreign affairs.
  • Experience delivering socio-cultural studies.
  • Knowledge of behaviour change theory.

Rewards and Benefits
You’ll receive a starting salary of £52,788 plus other benefits including:

  • 25 Days Annual Leave automatically rising to 30 days after 5 years' service, and an additional 10.5 days public and privilege holidays.
  • Opportunities to work flexibly, subject to business needs
  • Interest-free season ticket loan
  • Excellent pension scheme
  • Cycle to work scheme
  • Facilities such as a subsidised gym and restaurant, and on-site coffee bars
  • Paid parental and adoption leave

Culture and Working Environment
As part of our team, you’ll discover a workplace that’s welcoming, supportive and encouraging. We recognise that you don’t get that without diversity. You’ll be part of an organisation where people want to support one another and make a difference. Aside from fostering an open culture, we’ve got a range of growing affinity groups. For example:

  • Ethnic Minority and gender equality networks
  • Groups supporting wellbeing, mental health, neurodiversity and disability
  • Faith/No Faith communities for staff to come together
  • LGBTQ+ support networks

You’ll also find a variety of sports, activity, interest and social groups to help you settle in and connect with people with similar interests.

Before You Apply
To work at MI6, you need to be a British citizen and you’ll need a real passion for the role. We do have a strict drugs policy, so once you start your application, you can’t take any recreational drugs and you’ll need to declare your previous drug usage at the relevant stage.
Honesty and integrity are really important if you want to work at MI6. Take some time to read about the vetting process and make sure you meet the criteria in the vetting pages of the ‘How to Apply’ section. The process can take some time, but this is just because it’s thorough. Giving misleading information and omitting or concealing information during the recruitment and vetting process is viewed very seriously.
The role is based in MI6, so you’ll need to live within a commutable distance. Please consider any financial implications and practicalities before submitting an application. We unfortunately don’t cover relocation costs.
Due to the sensitive nature of our work, you’ll need to be discreet. But don’t worry - while you can’t tell your friends what you do, you can continue to use social media and lead a completely normal life.

Equal Opportunities
At MI6 diversity and inclusion are critical to our mission. To protect the UK, we need a truly diverse workforce that reflects the society we serve. This includes diversity in every sense of the word: those with different backgrounds, ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientations, ways of thinking and those with disabilities or neurodiverse conditions. We therefore welcome and encourage applications from everyone, including those from groups that are under-represented in our workforce.

We’re Disability Confident
We’re a global organisation that represents and defends the UK’s interests. So, naturally, Diversity and Inclusion is at the top of our agenda. It’s essential that we have a diverse workforce and provide an inclusive environment.

As a Disability Confident leader, we will ensure that a fair and proportionate number of disabled applicants that meet the minimum criteria for this position will be offered an interview. This is known as Offer of an Interview. To secure an interview for this vacancy, the minimum criteria (in order of application process) are:

  • Successfully passing the application sift.

Eligibility Criteria
To be eligible to apply, you must be a British Citizen. One of your parents must be a British Citizen or must have the nationality or citizenship from our approved list of countries (for more info link to website/JD). If you hold dual nationality, of which one component is British, you will nonetheless be considered. (for more info link to website/JD). Candidates must normally have been resident in the UK for seven out of the last ten years. This is particularly important if you were born outside the UK. You can apply at the age of 17 years and 6 months, if successful you will not be offered a start date prior to your 18th birthday. Discretion is vital. You should not discuss your application, other than with your partner or a close family member. Please note, you should only launch your application from within the UK. If you are based overseas, you should wait until you visit the UK to launch an application. Applying from outside of the UK will impact on our ability to progress your application. Further information on our eligibility criteria can be found on the Applying section.

Recruitment Process

What to Expect
Stages of our recruitment process, in order:
  • Application form
  • Applications are sifted by the hiring manager
  • A telephone interview (technical)
  • A one-day assessment centre which includes:
o Documents check
o Presentation (subject provided in advance)
o Group Exercise
o Competency question-based interview
o Drugs test
o Occupational Psychologist interview
  • Vetting process
  • Contract signing
  • Induction course
Please note, you must successfully pass each stage of the process in order to progress to the next. Your application may take around 6 - 9 months to process including vetting, so we advise you continue any current employment until you have received your final job offer.

Our Vetting
To work in this role you will need the highest security clearance, known as Developed Vetting (DV). It’s something everyone in the UK Intelligence Community must go through and it can take some time. As part of the DV process you will be asked to fill in a detailed questionnaire and attend an interview with a vetting officer. In your interview the vetting officer will have a thorough, compassionate and honest discussion with you about you as a person and your life experiences, to ensure holding a DV clearance is right for you. You don’t need to do any preparation for your vetting interview, just be honest and be yourself. All applicants for DV are treated impartially and consistently, irrespective of gender, race, disability, religion, age, sexual orientation and other protected characteristics.

Right to Withdraw Statement:

Please be aware that we withhold the right to bring forward the closing date for this role from the original closing date once a certain number of applications have been received. Please be mindful of this and submit your application at your earliest convenience to avoid disappointment.

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