Thanks for your interest in the DfT College of Experts. Applications are now closed for 2023, but will resume in 2024. Check back soon for key dates.
- Key Information
- Application Process
- Criteria for selection for members of the College of Experts
- Selection Process
DfT College of Experts – Key Information
Background to the DfT
The Department for Transport:
- is a Government department responsible for the English transport network and a limited number of transport matters in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland that have not been devolved
- is responsible for providing policy, guidance, and funding to English local authorities to help them run and maintain their road networks, improve passenger, and freight travel, and develop new major transport schemes and
- bases its work on the best available scientific evidence
The College of Experts
The DfT is seeking to appoint members to its College of Experts (CoE). The College will be a list of pre-approved experts from whom the DfT can commission short pieces of ad hoc work under contract to provide scientific and technical services. The main mechanism the Department currently uses to access expertise is the Science Advisory Council which brings together 12 external experts from academia/industry to provide expertise, challenge and advice on a quarterly basis. They have limits to their capacity and do not cover all skill areas. They instead provide broader cross-cutting strategic advice. For the SAC deep dives, the SAC expertise is supplemented with technical experts in specific areas.
The College is being created to increase the department’s access to scientific networks, broaden its evidence base, identify key areas of research interest for the department, and bolster the provision of scientific advice.
Examples of the types of expertise we wish to cover include:
- Provision of ad hoc advice and support to policy and analytical colleagues where appropriate, aiding with project and programme development and evaluation
- Provision of training, workshops, and discussion fora on specific technical or subject-specific areas
- Participation in working/advisory groups for DfT R&D projects and programme
- Provision of support to the Chief Scientific Adviser (CSA) by offering extended expert / scientific networks that can help guide DfT decision-making
- Provision of evidence, analysis, or expert advice to inform DfT’s Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) on deep dives, where technical experts in specific areas are needed
A more extensive list can be found in Annex A. The list is not exhaustive, and we welcome applications to any discipline in relation to transport.
The Application Process
Please follow the instructions in this document to complete your application. You will find the candidate pack and all the necessary information about the recruitment process on the College of Experts advert page.
You will need to submit:
- A current short CV (3 pages maximum)
- A Supporting Statement
- A completed Monitoring Questionnaire
CVs and Supporting Statements should be composed in line with recommendations from the Declaration on Research Assessment, https://sfdora.org/. These documents should be emailed in Word format (in a single email) to: [email protected]
Once the advertisement period has closed, we will review all applications. If you have any questions about this recruitment campaign, please feel free to email us at [email protected].
The criteria for selection are provided later in this document. Details of how to apply are given on page 5. There will not be interviews for selection to join the College. Full details on the recruitment process can be found below. We will inform you of the outcome of your application by email.
What happens if you are selected to join the College of Experts
If you are invited to join the College, we will send you an offer letter which will act as the formal offering of the position on the CoE and include summaries of the main terms, conditions of the offer, details about the role and the DfT. We will also ask you to complete a Declaration of Interest form (see Annex E), which we will review (and if necessary, discuss with you) to identify relevant interests and any associated conflicts.
If you agree to join the College, your details including a summary of your expertise, its application and the forms of input in which you have expressed an interest will be added to the College. We will keep and use your Supporting Statement and your Declaration of Interest form to help decide whether to contact you about specific pieces of work. Please see details on data protection and our Privacy Notice at Annex F.
The successful candidate will be required to have or be willing to obtain security clearance to Baseline Personnel Security Standard and demonstrate their right to work in the UK. See Security Clearance and Nationality for further information.
Once you are added to the College, we will consider you for work which matches your expertise and areas of interest. Inclusion in the College does not guarantee that you will be called upon to undertake work for the DfT.
What happens if you are invited to take on a specific piece of work
You will be contacted by a DfT Official who will provide an outline of the work and their expected requirements. They will offer you the opportunity to discuss and refine the scope. Following discussions, you will submit a bid stating how many days of work it would take you to meet the expected requirements and confirm that you have the appropriate permissions and capacity to conduct this work within the required timeframe. The DfT will then select the most suitable expert from all those that submitted a bid, and you will be informed of the outcome by email.
Day rates for payment for work will be a standard fee of £300 on appointment.
If you are interested in taking on specific work, we will ask you to review your Declaration of Interest form. If there are no conflicts and should you wish to undertake the work offered, the DfT will then send out an agreement letter to cover the nature of the work, expected timescales, along with the agreed pricing schedule and administration instructions,
To continuously monitor, evaluate and improve the CoE, members who are called upon to undertake work for the DfT as well as the DfT customer, will also be expected to complete an ‘end of contract’ survey to provide feedback.
Selection Criteria for Members of the College of Experts
Applicants must provide evidence showing how they meet the selection criteria below with reference to their areas of expertise.
Ability to work effectively in English in the areas and roles you have identified. This is a reserved post and therefore open to UK Nationals only (see Nationality for further information).
- A high level of relevant experience and expertise in the areas you have identified, evidenced by qualifications to postgraduate degree level or equivalent experience, and a strong record of achievement at a national or international level
- Experience in applying expertise in the specific transport areas, tasks and forms of input that the applicant has indicated an interest in and/or has identified as their area of expertise
- Experience and evidence of working in multidisciplinary groups to provide evidence-based assessments or advice. Examples which relate to Government working and/ or working with policy will be particularly welcome
- Ability to manipulate, analyse and present data, methods, or scientific concepts to a non-technical audience
- Experience and evidence of demonstrating the following behaviours in a collegial setting – delivering at pace; working together; changing and improving
Declaration and Management of Interests
In line with DfT policy and established good practice for accessing external expertise, members of the College of Experts are required to declare any personal or non-personal interests before joining the College. Interests must be reviewed again before taking on a specific piece of work to identify any new or additional interests that are relevant in the context of the specific task under consideration (and your recorded declaration will be updated accordingly). Types of interest are described in the guidance at Annex B.
The DfT will publish each year online an updated annual report (‘College of Experts – Register of Interests’) on the declarations of interest of members of the College of Experts who have carried out work for the DfT in that year. Interests which represent a real or potential conflict in respect of general or specific aspects of the work undertaken will be managed in accordance with the DfT’s policy and guidance on interests.
Further Details of the Application Process
Recruitment and appointment are by open competition. Applicants are expected to evidence each of the selection criteria. You are asked to provide a CV, and please cross-reference the relevant section of your CV in your Supporting Statement and explain its relevance to the relevant criterion. Entries which say only “see attached CV” will not be scored. The CV, Supporting Statement and Monitoring Questionnaire constitute the application. The selection panel will use only the information supplied by the candidate in their application. Please note, each candidate’s Monitoring Questionnaire will not be treated as part of the application and thus, will not be seen by the selection panel.
The application will go through an initial review by the Chief Scientific Adviser’s Office to check for completeness. Those that pass the initial sift will then be reviewed by a selection panel. The selection panel will consist of at least two assessors and will be drawn from the following:
- Deputy Chief Scientific Adviser
- A Senior DfT science/policy lead
- A scientific expert from the DfT (e.g., Science Advisory Committee chair)
Payment and Expenses
The standard rate for payment for work undertaken as a member of the College, in line with other Government departments, is £300 per day. Variation to this is subject to discussion and agreement with the Department. The number of days to be worked will be agreed upon by appointment for a specified piece of work. The expenses that CoE members may claim in respect of their work will also be agreed upon with the relevant DfT Official upon selection for a contracted piece of work. Members should contact the Chief Scientific Adviser’s Private Office (CSA PO) before incurring any expense that they believe should be reimbursed, in advance.
For further details on day rates travel and other expenses, including public transport (bus, underground, tram, etc.), accommodation, subsistence, and how claims should be submitted see Annex C.
Please note: Expenses incurred by candidates during the recruitment process will not be reimbursed except in exceptional circumstances and only when agreed in advance with the DfT Team.
Current members of DfT or other Government Scientific Advisory Committees are welcome to apply to be included in the College. SAC Members who are also on the College of Experts will not be asked to undertake work through the College which would inform the work of a committee of which they are a member. This will avoid the situation in which an expert assesses as a SAC member, work they have carried out as a contractor through the CoE.
- For successful applicants, your appointment as a member of the College of Experts 2023, will be made by the DfT Chief Scientific Adviser (CSA)
- The appointment will be for an initial term of 1 year, with the option of re-appointment by mutual agreement as part of the College’s annual review
- It should be noted that is contractual work; CoE members are neither employees of the Crown nor the Department for Transport. Such appointments are not normally subject to the provisions of employment law
- Experts will be expected to abide by the “Seven Principles of Public Life” set out by the Committee on Standards in Public Life
- Appointments may be ended prior to the conclusion of the period of appointment if a breach of contract occurs, for example, the expert does not meet DfT’s expectations and /or does not perform their obligations laid out in the agreement letter
The CoE will enable expertise to be brought in on short-term periods. Most requests will be for between 2 – 30 days’ worth of work. In some cases, a longer-term appointment (up to 3 months) may be requested by the Department.
Please note that inclusion in the College does not guarantee that you will be called upon to undertake work for the DfT.
The roles will primarily involve remote work. On rare occasions, you may be asked to travel to one of the DfT’s offices, in Birmingham, Leeds or London.
The successful candidate will be required to have or be willing to obtain security clearance to Baseline Personnel Security Standard (BPSS; Government baseline personnel security standard – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)). There may be instances where it is necessary to obtain clearance to a higher level – this will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.
Pre-appointment checks will also be undertaken on immigration and criminal convictions (DBS checks) as well as proof to work in the UK. These usually take between 4-6 weeks to obtain. Membership to the College will be offered on a conditional basis until the successful candidates have passed all checks.
We believe that by being a diverse and inclusive workplace, where everyone is valued, we are more motivated, higher performing and more committed to our team. We welcome applications from suitably qualified people, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, social background, religious beliefs, ethnicity, disability, age, marital status or working patterns.
We are particularly anxious to address the under-representation of women, people from ethnic minorities and people with disabilities. Decisions on eligibility for the College are based on merit and the principles of independent assessment, openness, and transparency of the process.
As part of the application process, we ask candidates to complete the equal opportunities Monitoring Questionnaire. This will help us to monitor selection decisions to assess whether equality of opportunity is being achieved. It will also help to ensure we do not create any barriers in our selection process and to help us implement our equal opportunities policy effectively. An employer can take steps to help or encourage certain groups of people with different needs, or who are disadvantaged in some way, to access work or training. Positive Action is lawful under the Equality Act.
Please note, each candidate’s Monitoring Questionnaire will be treated as confidential and will not be treated as part of the application. Thus, the information will not be seen by the selection panel. Following review by the panel, should the final number of candidates that meet the minimum requirements for the College exceed the total number of experts sought for the CoE, the CSA will prioritise based on the representation of characteristics utilising the Monitoring Questionnaire.
Following recruitment, the information will be used for statistical purposes only. It will be presented in the form of totals from which individuals cannot be separately identified.
Please let us know in your Supporting Statement (extra word count will be given) if you would like us to provide any assistance if appointed, to your performance in the post.
The Department for Transport values and promotes diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity for all and to the appointment of disabled people.
What do we mean by a disability?
You must be considered disabled under the Equality Act 2010. This means that you must have or have had in the last 12 months, a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial long-term adverse effect on your ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. This includes those whose disability has lasted, or is likely to last, for 12 months, or if the disability or condition is likely to progress or recur (you do not have to be registered as a disabled person).
This is a reserved post and therefore open to UK Nationals only. Reserved posts are open to UK nationals only, while non-reserved are open to UK, Commonwealth, EEA and certain non-EEA nationals. Contact your recruitment team if you’re unsure about this job’s status.
There must be no employment restriction or time limit on your permitted stay in the UK. You will not be asked to produce evidence to confirm your eligibility at the application stage, but you will be required to do so should you be selected as a member of the College.
Standards in Public Life
You will be expected to demonstrate high standards of corporate and personal conduct. All successful candidates will be asked to subscribe to DfT’s “Codes of Practice”. Candidates will be expected to abide by the “Seven Principles of Public Life” set out by the Committee on Standards in Public Life.
Members will need to show political impartiality during their time on the Board and must declare any party-political activity they undertake in the period of their appointment. Details of the successful candidate’s declared political activity must be declared alongside other interests as part of the declaration of interests.
Your political activity will be kept separate from your application. It is appreciated that political activities may have given you relevant skills, including experience gained from committee work, collective decision-making, resolving conflict and public speaking. If, therefore, you have had such experience and you consider it relevant to your application for the CoE, you may if you choose include it separately in the main body of your application.
Due diligence will be carried out as part of the application process. As well as checks made regarding the above, searches will be carried out via internet search engines and any public social media accounts.
Please see Annex F for details of how we handle your personal data.
How We Will Handle Your Application
Each application will be acknowledged by email. Your application will be assessed against the selection criteria laid out in this recruitment pack. All your information will be processed in line with the DfT Data Protection Policy and the Data Protection Legislation.
Each candidate will be considered very carefully and the reasons for decisions noted. Feedback will be provided on request. Records are kept in line with the DfT Data Protection Policy.
Once all applications have been assessed, the panel will make recommendations for appointments for those judged to demonstrate the closest match with the published criteria. The DfT Chief Scientific Adviser will consider the panel recommendations and make the final decision on the selection. We will let you know by email, followed up by a formal letter on whether you have been selected. Candidates are requested to accept their appointment in writing
Even the best organisations will sometimes get things wrong. For complaints about the DfT, please initially tell the person you have been dealing with. We will try to resolve any problem quickly and explain what we have done and why. If you are still dissatisfied and would like to take your complaint further, you should contact DfT Complaints.
Department for Transport
One Priory Square
East Sussex TN34 1EA
Email: [email protected]
Details of the DfT’s complaints procedure are available here:
Annexes can be found on pages on pages 11-24 of the Recruitment Information Pack and are as follows:
- Annex A – Areas of Expertise
- Annex B – Practice on the Declaration of Interests
- Annex C – Guidance on Pay and Expenses
- Annex D – Sample letter of engagement for providing professional scientific
services, as an individual or personal service company
- Annex D – Sample letter of engagement for providing professional scientific
services, as an individual or personal service company
- Annex F – Data Protection
Download the CoE Recruitment Information Pack
The Policy of Equality of Opportunity and Monitoring Questionnaire
To ensure that the Department for Transport (DfT) is complying with this policy, and in order for DfT to monitor the effectiveness of our advertising strategies and recruitment programmes to ensure they are open to all sections of the community, we have designed a Diversity Monitoring Questionnaire with the intention of having a separate, confidential record of your name, where you obtained information about the vacancy you applied for and information about the protected characteristics within the Equality Act 2010.