Transport Security Research and Advice Lead

11 Jun 2021
16 Jun 2021
Contract Type

About the job Summary

We recognise the challenges that people with (multiple) 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 Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people, people with a disability, and people with gender diverse identities.

Transport Security Research and Advice Lead

Salary: £42,466

Location: London

Are you a resilient individual who would be confident in your ability to respond to high-profile terrorist incidents on the Transport network?

If so, we are looking to recruit an exceptional scientist to join our team in the National Security Science and Research division and we would love to hear from you!

Job description

Transport Security, Resilience and Response (TSRR) leads on national security matters, ranging from counter terrorism and cyber security to planning for and responding to natural hazards or civil contingencies. We deliver expertise to support security and resilience policy teams whilst also providing the department's 24/7 response for all security or civil contingency incidents. The team works with security and intelligence partners from across government to mitigate risk to the UK’s transport sector.

TSRR is a major player in delivering both the Government's counter-terrorism strategy (CONTEST), and the department’s aim for a transport system that works for everyone and balances the needs of society, the environment and the economy. A key factor in that aim is to deliver a safe, secure and resilient transport network, for people and goods, for today and tomorrow.

We are looking for someone with a science background to join the National Security Science and Research (NSSR) Division within TSRR. This is a very busy team working in a fast-paced environment, often responding to high-profile terrorist incidents on the Transport network. We provide scientific and technical advice across a wide range of disciplines, from physics and chemistry to engineering, human factors and ergonomics.

Your role will be to lead the Department’s thematic transport security research and development projects and be a focal point between NSSR and our land and maritime policy teams. You will establish and run a range of technical projects that provide advice on understanding threats to transport, and also suggest and evaluate options for mitigating the threats or reducing their impact.

The role will involve working closely with senior policy leads, scientific and technical experts across the Government National Security community (and overseas counterparts), and colleagues in the intelligence agencies, as well as the transport industry. You will work particularly closely with the Homeland Security Group (HSG) and Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) in aligning counter-terrorism research, and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) and other suppliers in commissioning and delivering the research projects.

Please note – The successful candidate can start employment once Security Check clearance has been obtained but must have a willingness to undergo Developed Vetting clearance once in post.

National Security Science and Research (NSSR) Division plays a crucial role in the Department’s emergency response mechanisms. You therefore may be required to participate in the Department’s response to a security or civil contingencies incident. This may include out of hours working on occasion, but we make every effort to allow for your personal circumstances.

Transport Security, Resilience and Response invests significantly in training and developing staff to prepare them not just for an interesting and challenging job, but also for a rewarding career in the Government security profession. Our expectation is that our staff will remain in post for at least two years.

Some travel will be required for this role, taking into account any COVID restrictions in place at the time. In normal circumstances travel within the UK can be up to six or seven times a month, with some international travel, primarily to mainland Europe up to two or three times per year.


Your Role Responsibilities include (but not limited to):

• Lead the commissioning, delivery and exploitation of the Department’s transport security research and development projects
• Build strong tactical and strategic relations with key sector operators, for example, Transport for London, British Transport Police, Maritime and Coastguard Agency and Port operators.
• Be the subject matter expert for a specific research theme (actual technical area will be dependent on your skills and qualifications) across all transport modes, providing support and advice both to the NSSR division and policy colleagues.
• Represent the Department at various cross-government fora, ensuring that outputs meet the Department’s needs.
• Influence and leverage related research and development taking place internationally, including representing the UK at bilateral meetings with partner Countries.
• Developing effective partnerships with your expert counterparts across Whitehall Departments and intelligence agencies.
• Lead the development of spending bid proposals related to transport security research.

Specific examples of ongoing projects include:
• Understanding how emerging technologies could be used to screen crowds in stations without using airport-style measures.
• Exploring new approaches to screening Heavy Good Vehicles using the Channel Tunnel, effectively and quickly.
• Planning and conducting trials of prototype systems in operational environments, setting success criteria and evaluating results.
• Running tabletop exercises to understand the decision making processes during a terrorist incident and identify opportunities to provide technical interventions.

About You

You are a strong team player with capability to drive projects forwards by communicating effectively and building strong relationships. You will be sensitive in dealing with others and can achieve peaceful resolutions by facilitating discussions diplomatically but when needed, have confidence to stand your ground.

We will look to you to use your own initiative and be able to translate and convey scientific information to a non-technical audience, expressing information clearly and concisely.

You will be confident in your own expertise and knowledge of scientific topics using your judgement to draw out detail by asking informed questions. You will be proactive by always looking ahead at future activities, projects and events and anticipating needs, problems and possible outcomes.


Formal qualification in a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subject to at least degree or equivalent level


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

  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Leadership
  • Communicating and Influencing

Technical skills

We'll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process:

  • Government Science and Engineering Career Framework - Applying Knowledge
  • Government Science and Engineering Career Framework - Engagement with Others


Being part of our brilliant Civil Service means you will have access to a wide range of fantastic benefits. We offer generous annual leave, attractive pension options, flexible working, inclusive working environments and much more to support a healthy work/life balance.

Find out more about what it's like working at the Department for Transport.

Things you need to know Security

Successful candidates must meet the security requirements before they can be appointed. The level of security needed is developed vetting.

See our vetting charter.

People working with government assets must complete basic personnel security standard checks.

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles, and will assess your Behaviours, Strengths, Experience and Technical skills.

We are closely monitoring the situation regarding the coronavirus, and will be following central Government advice as it is issued. There is therefore a risk that recruitment to this post may be subject to change at short notice. In addition, where appropriate, you may be invited to attend a video interview.

Please continue to follow the application process as normal and ensure that you check your emails regularly as all updates from us will be sent to you this way.

The sift is due to take place from 17th June.

Interviews/assessments are likely to be held from 29th June.

How to apply

As part of your application, you will be required to complete a CV and Statement of Suitability, please utilise the 750-word count to outline your experience of the following:
• Working in a scientific or technical area, including leading or overseeing technical delivery.
• Understanding of science and technology for security.
• Ability to manage team and stakeholder relationships.
• Experience of making effective decisions to deliver against requirements.
• Experience of communicating scientific principles to a non-technical audience.

Candidates will also be expected to demonstrate their technical experience and skills against the Government Science and Engineering Career Framework; in particular, Applying Knowledge and Engagement with Others.

This interview could be conducted via a video interview, details of which will be provided to you should you be selected for interview.
We will try to meet the dates set out in the advert. There may be occasions when these dates will change. You will be provided with sufficient notice of the confirmed dates.

The selection process will be designed specifically for the role. As a result, your assessment could include:

• an interview and presentation

You’re encouraged to become familiar with the role profile, as you may be assessed against any of the criteria recorded within.

The Department for Transport alongside other Government Departments recruit using Success Profiles. This means for each role we consider what you will need to demonstrate in order to be successful. This gives us the best possible chance of finding the right person for the job, drives up performance and improves diversity and inclusivity.
For further information on Success Profiles visit our Careers website.

Further Information

To learn more about applying for a role within the Department for Transport, visit the Application Process page of our Careers website.

Before submitting your application, we encourage you to visit our Things You Need to Know page for further information about applying for a role within the Department for Transport and the Civil Service.

Throughout this job advert there are links to the DfT Careers website, which provides you further information to support your application. Should you be unable to access the information on our website, please email [email protected] for assistance.

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.

Nationality requirements

Open to UK nationals only.

Working for the Civil Service

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

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's recruitment principles.

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As such, we run a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

Apply and further information

Once this job has closed, the job advert will no longer be available. You may want to save a copy for your records.

Contact point for applicants Job contact : Name :   Claire Franks Email :   [email protected]   Recruitment team : Email :   [email protected] Further information

If you feel your application has not been treated in accordance with the Recruitment Principles and you wish to make a complaint, in the first instance, you should contact Government Recruitment Services via email: [email protected] If you are not satisfied with the response you receive from the Department, you can contact the Civil Service Commission: Please visit the following website ( for Civil Service Commission.