A career as a Behavioural Scientist at MI5 or MI6 is a unique and exciting opportunity to apply your specialist knowledge and skills to help keep the country safe from threats to national security including terrorism, espionage and cyber.
Whichever agency you join you will have access to an excellent programme of professional and personal development. Your work will be both challenging and varied and of national and international importance. As your experience grows you will get the opportunity to work across the UK intelligence community (MI5, MI6 and GCHQ) as well as other government departments.
Making behavioural science research and theory 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 MI5 and 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 investigative and operational work is grounded in the best available scientific evidence.
MI5 and MI6 are looking for Behavioural Scientists to support our assessment and technological capabilities. Working as a part of 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.
In the assessment roles, you will provide expert advice to Investigators, Analysts and Intelligence Officers. This includes providing risk assessments on individuals we are investigating and supporting the welfare of our intelligence operatives who gather vital information to progress our investigations. You will provide evidenced-based, psychological perspectives on their work with a focus on the assessment and management of risk. There will also be opportunities to participate in internal and external research and innovation projects.
MI6 also has opportunities for Senior Clinical Psychologists.
The technological roles focus on understanding the technological environments in which national security threats develop and can be mitigated.
The more senior roles apply to those with doctoral qualifications, relevant experience and a proven track record of strategic thinking and leadership.
We have flexibility in terms of salary and this will be applied based on your skills, experience, qualifications and performance.
Skills and experience
We are interested in people from a range of backgrounds and disciplinary expertise educated to at least Masters level, and ideally holding (or be near to completing) a doctorate. This will be coupled with training in a behavioural or social science discipline and a deep understanding of human behaviour.
For the technological roles, your discipline could be academic, applied or practitioner psychology. People with a background in criminology, anthropology, human geography, sociology or forensic linguistics could make a valuable contribution. 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. We need people with a strong background in the delivery of applied research and innovation, which may include a record of academic publications. Experience of analysis of online data would be an advantage.
The Senior Clinical Psychologist roles require demonstrable applied post qualification experience and HCPC registration is essential. Further experience in forensic psychology, organisational psychology, organisation consulting or executive coaching are desirable.
You do not need any experience of working in a national security context as training will be given. However, you will be able to demonstrate experience of applying your specialist skills to complex research or practical problems. You will have a proven ability to communicate effectively with people from a range of backgrounds. You should excel when working as part of a multi-disciplinary team as well as being able to work autonomously where the role requires.
The more senior roles require experience of programme management and leadership of behavioural science research and teams.
If you join us 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 you’ll be working in a structured environment that offers extensive support, ongoing professional development and peer review.
Click here to find out more about current job opportunities at MI5 and MI6.