Head of Innovation, Strategy and Resilience 9 views

Job summary

We recognise the challenges that people with protected characteristics may experience on the job market and in their career progression. We are fully committed to being an inclusive employer and ensuring equal opportunities. We are keen to make our workforce as diverse as possible, and we hope to attract applications from underrepresented groups, including ethnic minorities, people with a disability, and people with gender diverse identities.

Are you passionate about how science and technology can be used to solve problems?

Would you be comfortable working with uncertainty, not be afraid to test concepts and use innovative thinking?

Are you a proven leader and can motivate others to deliver high impact outcomes?

Have you got excellent communication skills and can build effective working relationships?

If so, we have an exciting and unique role where you will be given the freedom to be creative whilst working in a priority government area, and we’d love to hear from you!

Job description

This is a rare opportunity to lead the Innovation, Strategy and Resilience (ISR) team within the National Security Science and Research (NSSR) division. We are looking for someone with a passion for applying science and technology (S&T) to address real-world transport security and resilience problems.

The Division is responsible for providing robust evidence and advice to security and resilience policy teams across the Department, ensuring people and goods get to their destination without disruption.

NSSR attracts staff with a passion for applying S&T to solve exciting problems which benefit every travelling citizen in the UK. We are a multi-disciplinary team with a variety of technical specialisms including physics, chemistry, engineering and human factors as well as programme management and contracting expertise.

The postholder will lead a team of around 10 staff, setting an ambitious vision to improve the resilience and security of the UK’s transport systems through the application of S&T.

Sitting within the postholder’s portfolio are three programmes of work for which they are accountable.

Whilst we welcome applications from those looking to work with us on a part time basis, there is a business requirement for the successful candidate to be able to work at least 30 hours per week.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Team leadership
    • Lead a multi-disciplinary team to deliver high impact S&T programmes, fostering a culture of trying new things and learning if they don’t succeed.
    • Maintain team motivation and performance, developing the Team’s capability to meet current and future needs.
    • Setting clear expectations across the team, rewarding staff when they embrace them and holding account if needed.
  • Programme delivery
    • Set the direction and ambition of the new Transport Security Innovation programme with clear metrics for success to demonstrate impact.
    • Oversee the delivery and exploitation of the Resilience Science programme, ensuring that its content meets the needs of the various departmental customers and delivers impactful outputs.
    • Seek innovative approaches and routes to delivery across both programmes, making best use of resources to deliver value for money.
  • Setting long term strategic direction
    • Lead initiatives which anticipate future developments in technology and transport, quantifying the opportunities or threats they present.
    • Influence the development of future-proofed transport security and resilience policies and programmes so they are informed by the opportunities and threats technology poses.
    • Influence the development of new cross-government security and resilience strategies to ensure the S&T component is coherent with the Department and that our programmes align with them.
  • Divisional and Directorate leadership
    • Take an active role in leading the running and continual improvement of both the Division and Directorate.
    • Support the NSSR Deputy Director, which this post reports to, and Transport Security Directorate (TSD) Director as a member of the senior management team. Includes deputising at senior cross-Government meetings.
  • External partnerships
    • Build effective relationships across Government communities, transport operators, suppliers, academia, and international partners. Influence and leverage these relationships to enable effective and efficient delivery of the Division’s priority outcomes.

For more information, please see the attached Role Profile.

Person specification

About You

You will be a proven leader with the skills and experience to develop and motivate others. You will have confidence in your ability to come in and make a real impact within our team, where you will lead from the front and drive those around you to achieve the same shared strategic objectives. You will be comfortable leading in an area of uncertainty, setting the parameters and outcomes for teams to succeed against. You will be excited at the prospect of setting the direction for this exciting portfolio of work, inspiring the team to try out new concepts and learn if they don’t come to fruition.

You will have excellent communication skills and you gain rapport quickly with others as you build effective working relationships with both colleagues and stakeholders.

You will have experience delivering successful technical projects or programmes and can develop and communicate long term strategic visons.

Additional Information

A minimum 60% of your working time should be spent at your principal workplace, although requirements to attend other locations for official business, or carry out detached duty in another DfT workplace, will also count towards this level of attendance.

If not based in London the post holder will be required to travel to London around two or three times per month in order to spend time with their London-based team. Travel and accommodation costs will be covered by the Department if London is not your principle workplace. The role will also require occasional travel within the UK and possibly abroad.

This post is offered on a Fixed Term Appointment (FTA) basis to cover a maternity leave cover for a period of 12 months, however there is the possibility of extension or permanency.

For permanent Civil Servants, this role is only available on loan, so you must have your home departments approval to return to them at the end of the loan before you apply. There is no opportunity for a permanent Civil Servant to take on this role as a fixed term appointment. OGD applicants will be appointed on an inward loan and subject to the terms of the agreed inward loan. Internal candidates will return to their previous post at the end of the loan period, which will need to be agreed with your line manager in advance.

If you’re employed by a non-departmental public body (NDPB) by moving jobs this will involve a change of employer and you may break the statutory rules on continuity of employment.

There could be the potential of extension or permanency, subject to the role being available (and for those coming across on loan, your home departments agreement).


We’ll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

  • Leadership
  • Changing and Improving
  • Seeing the Big Picture
  • Communicating and Influencing

More Information

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