Head of Science & Technology Innovation – Digital, Data and Technology (DDaT)

  • Anywhere
  • Anywhere

National Crime Agency


TRACER is searching for a G1 Head of Science & Technology Innovation at our London, Bristol or Warrington sites.

What our team does –

The Science & Technology Innovation team is a new function which will provide a ‘hub’ for Innovation across the agency and SOC system.

NCA received funding for Research and Development for FY21/22 in line with UK Government priorities to maintain the UKs position as a Science Super power and build its capability in turning science into technology for everyday economic and social benefit. In the SOC context, this means using science and technology to counter the threats posed by our adversaries and their use of emerging technologies to facilitate and enable their criminal activity.

How our team contribute to the wider work of the NCA.

The team is within the our Threat and Risk Assessment, Capability Exploration and Research (TRACER) Department. Hosted by the National Crime Agency, TRACER is a multi-agency and multi-disciplinary team which provides an opportunity and threat management function and assesses their impact on digital investigative capability. It then researches and develops propositions to exploit opportunities and mitigate threats. The aim of TRACER is “to represent the voice of a broad and diverse community to ensure that investment decisions in digital investigative capabilities are operationally relevant, fit for purpose and support the attainment of operational outcomes.”

The Agency/DDaT needs a workforce from different backgrounds, perspectives and ways of thinking to ensure that we effectively lead the fight against serious and organised crime – how does our team or role reflect this?

TRACER is a multi-agency, multi-disciplinary team; we have lawyers, academics, graduates, as well as individuals from policing and other partner agencies with a huge range of skill sets and backgrounds. This diversity creates a synergy of ideas and viewpoints from which our work benefits in our role of protecting the public.

Job description

This role will form part of the TRACER Science, Technology and Innovation team. As the G1 Head of Science, Technology and Innovation you will lead officers at all levels across the agency to identify, develop and scope innovation initiatives, securing support and business buy-in and ensuring alignment to the NCA strategic objectives.

You will provide scientific advice to the innovation team and wider NCA on potential innovations as well as increasing awareness across the NCA of scientific and technological developments, trends and their potential applications.

You will work in collaboration with a wide range of Government Departments, industry and academia and will often be called on to represent the views of the NCA at a variety of cross organisation meetings.
To be considered, you will require SC Enhanced to be achieved upon entry and DV clearance with STRAP within the first 12 months.

***All NCA officers must hold SC Enhanced upon entry as a minimum. To meet the National Security Vetting requirements for this role you will need to have resided in the UK for a minimum of 3 out of the past 5 years and a minimum of 7 out of 10 years for DV clearance. For more information please see the Candidate information Pack***

To obtain DV STRAP clearance you need to be a full British national or hold dual-nationality/citizenship of which one component is British. Dual-nationals will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.


Key Responsibilities:

• Be the primary point of contact on Science, Technology and Innovation with key stakeholders, including external partners and actively develop strong working relationships.
• Lead, identify, develop and drive forward key innovation work across the Agency.
• Drive implementation of the agency & wider stakeholder Science, Technology and Innovation strategy.
• Work with a wide range of stakeholders to utilise and leverage scientific expertise and provide advice and leadership on technical or scientific content across all elements of the Innovation team and wider Agency as required.
• Work across teams within the organisation to secure support and business buy-in, and alignment on, related long-term strategic objectives. This may include participation in expert panels and committee meetings, advising on policy and strategy development or participating in emerging cross-government and international efforts in horizon scanning and futures.
• Champion the application of scientific rigour and research based approach when developing innovation proposals.
• Keep up to date with research and innovation activities across the organisation and in the wider sector, both in terms of current tech and emerging tech.
• Provide scientific advice to the innovation team on potential innovations. You may be required to deputise for the innovation lead in meetings.
• Champion learning, development and accreditation, cultivate talent and foster an inclusive, diverse and motivated workforce.
• Work with the heads of specialisms to promote cross-government security mindedness.
• Influence, change and impact decisions both internal and external stakeholders.
• Promote the government Cyber Security Profession and advise on Cyber Security risks.
• Work with industry, including security manufacturers and security consultants to drive best practice.
• Drive professional development by working with the Government Security Function to set and drive continuous learning standards.
• Embed a Cyber Security culture across the agency at all levels. Lead the tracking of value of data capabilities across the organisation, embedding the Data Strategy into the strategic investments made across the agency working closely with Change and portfolio team.


The following qualifications/skills are essential to the role and proof will be required at interview:

At degree level or higher – Life Sciences or STEM qualification

Please ensure the dates of any accreditations you are relying on, are entered on to the CV.

Should you progress to the assessment stage of the process, you will be required to provide a copy of the original certificate.

Failure to provide evidence at interview may result in your application not progressing to the next stage.


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

  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Delivering at Pace
  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Managing a Quality Service
  • Seeing the Big Picture
  • Leadership

Technical skills

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

  • Detailed understanding of Research & Development / Innovation approaches in particular FRASCATI principles with a deep interest in Science & Technology
  • Good verbal and written communication skills with the ability to engage with internal and external stakeholders at all levels and across OGD’s, industry and academia
  • Demonstrable experience of delivering, innovations at scale, that achieves mission impact


If you are an active police pension member immediately prior to joining the NCA, you can continue your membership throughout your employment with us as if you were a serving police officer. If you do remain an active member and subsequently return to a police force, you should be able to continue your membership there too.
All officers in the NCA are members of the UK Civil Service. You will be eligible for:
• Civil Service pension scheme
• 26 days annual leave rising to 31 on completion of 5 years continuous service
• Training and development opportunities
• Cycle2work scheme

We take the welfare of NCA officers very seriously. All staff have access to Occupational Health services and there are a number of staff representative groups. We also have a range of sporting and other activities on offer.

We can provide flexible working arrangements if the role in question is suitable. These include flexi-time, job sharing and compressed hours (working contracted hours over a shorter period).

Things you need to know Security

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

See our vetting charter.

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


Successful candidates will be expected to have a medical.

Selection process details

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

If you wish to apply for this vacancy, you must submit your application by 23:55 on Monday 22nd November 2021.

Once submitted your application will be acknowledged by the Government Recruitment Service.

After submission of your application you will be invited to complete a Civil Service Judgement test. Please complete the online tests as soon as possible (within 24-48 hours is recommended).

The closing date for the tests is 23:59 on Wednesday 24th November 2021. If you fail to complete the online test before the deadline your application will be withdrawn.
Do not leave completing the tests until the last minute in case you experience any access or technical issues. There may not be technical support available after business hours and after 3pm on the closing date of Wednesday 24th November 2021.

While the tests should work on most operating systems and modern browsers with a good internet connection, we cannot guarantee that every combination will work. At the beginning, the test will check which browser you are using, and alert you if it is likely to be incompatible.
It is highly recommended that you complete the online tests on a desktop computer, not a mobile phone or tablet.
Please note that online tests associated with this vacancy are not subject to time limits.
Guidance for each test will be available when you are invited to take the test. The tests are administered online and accessed via the Civil Service Jobs website.

Please note depending on the volume of applications a Longlist at sift may be conducted on following criteria:

• Detailed understanding of Research & Development / Innovation approaches in particular FRASCATI principles with a deep interest in Science & Technology
• Civil Service Judgment Test

Candidates must pass this criteria for their application to be progressed.

A panel will then assess your application to select those demonstrating the best fit with the role by considering the evidence you have provided against the criteria set out in the Entry Criteria section.

Failure to address any or all of these may affect your application.

Sift results are expected to be released w/c 20th December 2021.

Interviews will take place throughout January and February 2022 – locations to be confirmed. Please be advised that the interview process may change due to the current situation regarding COVID-19.

The above sift and interview dates are an indicative timeline.

Should you be successful at sift but cannot attend on the interview date(s) listed the recruitment team cannot guarantee an alternative date. Please contact the recruitment team.

You will then be asked to attend an interview in order to have a more in-depth discussion of your previous experience and professional competence. The interview process will include a presentation.

Full details of the assessment process will be made available to shortlisted candidates.

Please note, only advertised locations can be offered. Notes populated in a free text box will not be taken into consideration.

We encourage all candidates to thoroughly review the candidate pack which explains the role further before submitting an application.

Reasonable Adjustment
We are committed to ensuring our recruitment process is inclusive and accessible to all. As part of our application process you will be prompted to provide details of any reasonable adjustment to our recruitment process that you may need. If you have a disability or long-term condition (a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long term effect on your ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities protected under the Equality Act 2010) and need us to make any adjustments or do anything differently during the recruitment process, please let us know by emailing [email protected], we have a duty to make reasonable changes to our processes.

If you need a change to be made so that you can make your application, you should:
Complete the “Assistance required” section in the “Additional requirements” page of your application form to tell us what changes or help you might need further on in the recruitment process. For instance, you may need wheelchair access at interview, or if you’re deaf, a Language Service Professional.

Please contact us by emailing [email protected] or calling 0117 372 0000 as soon as possible before the closing date if you wish to discuss any reasonable adjustments before applying.

Inclusion and Accessibility
Being truly reflective of the communities we serve and building a culture where everyone can perform at their best is critical to leading the UK’s fight against serious and organised crime – something which affects us all. At the NCA we are looking to recruit from the widest possible talent pool and encourage applications to apply from a diverse range of backgrounds. We are proud to be an inclusive, equal opportunities employer. As a Disability confident leader we are committed to ensuring that all candidates are treated fairly throughout the recruitment process.

If you are experiencing accessibility problems with any attachments on this advert, please contact [email protected]
“Great Place to Work for Veterans” InitiativeThis Role is included in the “Great Place to Work for Veterans” Initiative, which is aimed at encouraging veterans from the armed services into public sector roles. For more information and eligibility requirements please visit https://www.gov.uk/government/news/making-the-civil-service-a-great-place-to-work-for-veterans

If you have any specific queries about the role that is not covered by the candidate pack, please contact:
[email protected]

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

Nationality requirements

This job is broadly open to the following groups:

  • UK nationals
  • nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK
  • nationals of the Republic of Ireland
  • nationals from the EU, EEA or Switzerland with settled or pre-settled status or who apply for either status by the deadline of the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals working in the Civil Service
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals who have built up the right to work in the Civil Service
  • certain family members of the relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals

Further information on nationality requirements

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

To apply for this job please visit www.cybersecurityjobsite.com.

To apply for this job please visit www.cybersecurityjobsite.com.

Contact us

National Crime Agency

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