Applied Behavioural or Social Scientist
Status: Permanent roles 2020
Salary: £52,788 depending on experience and qualifications
Full or part-time, Secondment, Flexible working, Job share and Compressed hours all considered.
As an Applied Behavioural or Social Scientist in MI6, you’ll be helping to keep the country safe from threats to national security including terrorism, espionage and cyber attacks.
Your work will be challenging, varied and of national and international importance – plus you’ll have access to an excellent programme of professional and personal development. As your experience grows, you will have the chance to work across the UK intelligence community (MI6, MI5 and GCHQ) as well as other government departments.
Making behavioural science research, theory and practice relevant and accessible is a core part of what we do. Depending on your skills and experience, you could provide specialist consultancy advice, undertake individual assessments, design and facilitate training, conduct in-house research on threats to national security, advise MI6 policy makers or collaborate with external researchers and international partners.
It goes without saying that you will make a significant contribution to ensuring that our work is grounded in the best available scientific evidence.
We’re looking for Behavioural Scientists to give high-quality advice on social and psychological aspects of our work to support our planning, delivery and management. Joining a supportive, multi-disciplinary team, you will capture requirements, commission work, communicate findings to colleagues, and support innovation to build behavioural science insights into UK intelligence capabilities.
It’s all about providing evidenced-based, psychological perspectives with a focus on understanding complex human systems. This includes the factors that drive behaviour and behaviour change. There will also be opportunities to participate in internal and external research and innovation projects.
You should be educated to Masters level and ideally have a doctorate (or be near to completing one). This should be coupled with training in a behavioural or social science discipline and a deep understanding of human behaviour.
Your discipline could be academic, applied or practitioner psychology. A background in criminology, anthropology, human geography, sociology or forensic linguistics could be valuable too. We’re also interested in people with a computer science, cyber security or data science background who have applied their expertise to the analysis of human behaviour and social systems. Whatever your specialism, you should have a strong background in the delivery of applied research and innovation, which may include a record of academic publications. Experience of online data analysis, computational social science or behavioural analytics would be an advantage.
To join us, you’ll need experience of applying your specialist skills to complex research or practical problems. It’s also important that you can communicate effectively with people from a range of backgrounds.
For the more senior roles, you’ll need experience of programme management and leading behavioural science research and teams.
Direct experience in Intelligence or National Security isn’t essential. If you are a competent clinical/counselling psychologist in your area with strong formulation, risk assessment and interpersonal skills, we’ll welcome your application.
We are an all-inclusive employer, committed to diversity in our workforce. We would be particularly interested in receiving applications from behavioural and social scientists from a BAME background.
- Keen to work as part of a team, and yet confident enough to work autonomously.
- Natural gravitas and credibility when presenting a psychological perspective to non-psychologists.
- Customer focus plus enhanced listening, empathy and communication skills.
- Resilient enough to work under pressure and turn around assessments and advice within short time scales.
- Committed to evidence-based practice and psychological codes of conduct, and pragmatic when it comes to delivering client solutions.
- Willing and able to travel and be away from home for short periods of time.
- A proven commitment to ethical, evidence-based practice and to continuous professional development.
Specific skills and capabilities
- Relevant Master’s or Doctorate in behavioural or social science.
- Experience of applying behavioural or social science to real-world problems.
- Experience of conducting high quality behavioural or social science research.
- Coaching and supervision skills.
- A very constructive approach to learning and development – both self and others.
- The cognitive flexibility and motivation to design training programmes, sometimes on previously unfamiliar topics, ensuring that these are grounded and evidenced in psychological theory.
- A natural ability and interest in developing the behavioural science knowledge of non-psychologists, with the aim of augmenting the quality and efficacy of other people’s practice.
- A rigorous approach to considering cross-cultural, religious, gender and personality differences in producing psychological formulations and risk management plans.
- Basic IT competence.
Preferred additional experience or qualifications
- Skills in applied behavioural analysis and behaviour change techniques.
- Expertise in human factors of cybersecurity.
- Understanding of online behaviours and computer mediated communication.
- Experience in Computational Social Science or Behavioural Analytics.
- Experience of delivering and/or leading high-quality behavioural science research.
- Experience of working with other government departments and/or in military/police/security settings.
- Experience of, and commitment to, public service .
- Experience of using new technology to enable clinical psychological or behavioural science-based assessments, interventions and research.
- Experience of working cross-culturally and/or working or living overseas.
- Foreign language skills.
- Advanced IT skills.
Join us, and you’ll enjoy access to a variety of benefits throughout your career. These include an excellent work-life balance with flexible working hours and a good pension scheme. We also have part-time working opportunities where business need allows. In addition to a fulfilling and rewarding career, we offer a structured environment that offers extensive support, ongoing professional development and peer review.
To find out more and to apply please click the Apply Now button below.
To apply to MI6, you must be a born or naturalized British citizen, over 18 years old and normally have been based in the UK for six of the last ten years. You should not discuss your application with anyone other than your partner or a close family member providing that they are British. They should also be made aware of the importance of discretion.
MI6 strives for diversity in the workplace and is committed to the creation and maintenance of a climate in which all staff are treated fairly on the grounds of merit and ability.