The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), are seeking a senior member of the environmental science community to take on a key role linking NERC science with Defra policymaking at the highest level. This part-time senior Fellow will work between NERC and Defra, developing and implementing processes to identify, translate and feed in NERC’s research to Defra’s policy teams in a timely and appropriate manner, prioritising areas which will have most impact on policymaking and practice.
Particular duties will include:
• Identifying specific policy topics where evidence generated from NERC-funded science can make the most impact upon the economy and society, lead to improved science-policy links, and support the development of the Green Economy.
• Analysing evidence sources used at present by different policy and evidence teams in Defra, leading to ‘filling of gaps’ by brokering links with NERC-funded scientists and relevant data/evidence sources.
• Working with Defra policy team Evidence deputy directors and others to help articulate the questions they need answers to, and engaging researchers to address them.
• Organising visits as appropriate, with Defra colleagues, to Research Centres and university research groups to help communicate Defra’s policy needs and discuss how these can be met and barriers overcome. Also arranging science briefings in Defra, ensuring that the science is appropriately communicated and that there is follow up action.
• Developing practical mechanisms of improving science-policy translation, e.g. through secondments, briefings, seminars, use of science writers and economists to develop impact narratives/ metrics etc.
• Participating and taking a leading role (on behalf of both/either Defra and/or NERC as needed) in cross-government groups where possible in NERC-relevant areas, e.g. low carbon energy, geoengineering, ecosystems approach etc.