Social Scientist - net zero - 23585

London, South West, Yorkshire and the Humber
Bristol , Leeds , London, York
Horizon House, Lateral, Foss House, Marsham Street, London, SW1P 4DF
Staff Grade 5
Fixed Term
Full Time, Part Time, Part Time/Job Share
Science, Social Research
£36,389 Pro-rata
The transition to net zero presents huge challenges for the environment and society. The Environment Agency has secured science funding from Government to ensure that our regulation and advice drives a sustainable pathway to net zero. This makes it an exciting time to join us and contribute to this big policy agenda.

We need to be able to generate sound evidence, incorporating the environmental, social, and technological dimensions of a sustainable transition to net zero. We need an engaging social scientist to join our national social science team. You will use your practical experience of applying social science to solving environmental problems (or similar policy issues like public health or innovation) to embed an understanding of society into our net zero science programme.

Working as part of a ‘virtual’ team of scientists, you will shape the programme and collaboratively delivering research outputs. You will add value by:
• identifying social scientific insights from the wider evidence base
• making links between projects and spotting opportunities to increase their impact
• developing compelling communication materials
• contributing to the design and delivery of research projects that explore different system and social science framings of the net zero transition.
You will join the national Social Science Team, which helps the Environment Agency to understand the social context of our work and implement interventions that are socially acceptable. We are expanding our activity on net zero, working closely with the Chief Scientist’s Group.

The team applies social scientific methods including interdisciplinary approaches that encompass the natural and physical sciences. We are developing the application of systems approaches to understand the transition to net zero society.
The role requires a qualified social scientist, most likely with a post-graduate degree or similar experience and expertise. Practical experience of applying social scientific methods and tools to the environment or a similar policy area is essential. Such approaches include discourse analysis, governance approaches and social actor analysis.
You will have experience of working effectively with a range of people from different scientific and technical backgrounds and communicating your ideas to diverse audiences.
Whilst being supported by other colleagues in the team, you will be a self-starter who focuses on delivering good quality evidence in a timely way.
Ideally, you will have experience of analysing socio-technical systems from a social scientific perspective and an ability to share this understanding with your peers who might be less familiar with these disciplines.
Experience of working on net zero is desirable or an ability to demonstrate transferable knowledge from other similar policy challenges.
The team works from our Bristol, London & Leeds offices. Other Environment Agency office locations may be considered. Flexible working patterns and locations are common and welcome in the Environment Agency. Interviews will take place in early October.

Our team promotes an inclusive culture and welcomes all applicants, including disabled, LGBT+, Black Asian and Minority Ethnic colleagues. Full time, part time and job share applications are all encouraged.

For further details please contact Peter Bailey on 07900226945 or email at

13/09/2022, 23:55 hours

Basic Check
up to 18 months
Scientific Knowledge
Scientific Knowledge - You'll be able to gather, critically assess and interpret social scientific evidence from a range of sources. You are able to lead your own research projects and contribute to the research of others across a range of disciplines.
Influences and Persuades Others
Influences and Persuades Others - Presenting a case in a convincing and attractive way that will win people over, encouraging them to participate in and contribute to joint endeavours willingly; often succeeding where hierarchy and reason alone would fail.
Achieves Results
Achieves Results - Sets and delivers high work standards, demonstrates the drive to meet targets. Prioritises and organises tasks and resources to ensure timely achievement of results.
If you are applying from the Civil Service please note that the Environment Agency is not a part of HM Civil Service and you would not be a Crown Servant in the event of being appointed. Therefore, you will not be eligible for continuous service. For applicants who currently work in local government or other bodies listed in the Redundancy Payments (Continuity of Employment in Local Government etc) (Modification) Order 1999, you may be eligible for continuous service for the purpose of calculating any future redundancy payment. If you are unsure of your status then you should contact your own HR Team.

We are fully committed to having a diverse and inclusive workforce to reflect the communities we serve. We welcome flexible working patterns for all our vacancies, including job share, so please include clearly any information regarding your preferred working arrangements on your application.

We also have a Guaranteed Interview Policy to support those with a disability who are seeking employment. We have committed to guaranteeing an interview to anyone with a disability whose application meets the minimum criteria for the post.

The Environment Agency, as a Non-Departmental Public Body, is committed to providing value for money and utilises Central Government frameworks and contracts for all external recruitment needs. For this reason, we are unable to engage with the market directly through post, email or phone calls . Should you wish to become a support supplier on one of these frameworks or contracts please visit for more information.

This Vacancy is closed to applications.