Deputy Director, Central Research Division Job at Department for Transport – in Birmingham

Reference number




For existing Civil Servants the usual pay rules should apply.


SCS Pay Band 1

Contract type


Business area

DFT – Aviation, Maritime, International & Security Group (AMIS)

Type of role

Senior leadership

Working pattern

Flexible working, Full-time, Job share, Part-time

Number of posts



Birmingham, Leeds, London

About the job


This role makes a key contribution to the Department’s strategic priority to Improve Transport for the User. The post holder will lead and influence workstreams across the transport agenda, with the aim of improving the day-to-day lives of UK citizens. They will provide professional leadership to the 52 social researchers within the Department, maintaining their professional excellence and ability to be impactful and innovative.

Covid has demonstrated the critical role social research and behavioural science can play in decision-making, and how they can be deployed in an agile way to inform operational decisions. Likewise the establishment of the Evaluation Task Force and the push from Ministers and HM Treasury has highlighted the crucial role of evaluation in both policy delivery and government accountability.

Job description

The post holder will be responsible for providing vision and leadership to the behavioural science, social research and evaluation teams, ensuring their impact and influence across DfT. Demand for the work of these teams has never been greater, and part of the work will be to both encourage this interest and demand, while at the same time prioritising and maximising the impact of a scarce resource.

The successful candidate should also proactively engage across government, to strengthen collaboration and coordination in key areas.

The successful candidate will be a strong social scientist, with an understanding of and an ability to add value across all three areas of professional expertise: behavioural science, social research and evaluation. They will be able to both lead medium-term research programmes and flex to respond to emerging priorities and urgent demands. They will be skilled in managing the wellbeing, engagement and delivery of professional teams. They will create a culture where honest, transparent, trusting and supportive behaviours are expected and within which differences of thought and outlook are valued.

Note we are currently reviewing the structure of this division, reflecting the Department’s User Focus strategic priority. This may result in some reporting line changes within this division and the wider directorate, which would be discussed with the successful candidate.


The successful candidate will be part of the Analysis Directorate Senior Leadership Team, working directly to the Chief Analyst. The post holder will lead three G6-led teams, an overall division of around 18 FTE and a budget of around £700K per year.

Responsibilities include:

  • Leading a talented group of three G6-led teams who are all experts in their field. Overseeing their delivery of high-quality research, analysis, advice and capability-building.
  • Providing visible and insightful leadership and ensuring the division has the necessary capability to develop and deliver impactful work programmes that support DfT’s Strategic Priorities.
  • Helping set the strategic direction for the wider Analysis Directorate, and supporting its delivery through the Central Research Division.
  • Identifying opportunities for collaboration, engagement and multi-disciplinary working across DfT, working with other analytical teams as well as working closely with policy, science, strategy and delivery teams to maximise the impact of the division’s work. This will require building effective relationships with senior leaders across DfT and an ability to demonstrate how robust research and analysis can support effective decision making.
  • Championing and joining-up social research, evaluation and behavioural science both within and outside of DfT, enhancing our ability to bring in and use external work and expertise, and influencing across government and the wider academic and agency sector to better focus external work to our priorities.
  • Directly supporting the delivery of DfT’s Strategic Priorities through working with, supporting and helping steer the PMO and SROs leading this work.
  • Leading the Department for Transport social research profession, assuring that outputs are high quality. Instilling professional integrity and high professional standards in line with the GSR code. Promoting a learning culture for all staff, encouraging breadth and depth in research skills including innovative methodologies and techniques and good understanding of other analytical disciplines.

Person Specification

The successful candidate must be able to demonstrate their capabilities and experience in the following areas:

Leadership. Strong track-record in building and leading diverse teams and getting the best from your people by creating the culture and environment that motivates and is inclusive for the whole workforce.

Seeing the Big Picture. Identifies and shapes how research and analysis programmes fit within and supports the priorities of the organisation.

Making Effective Decisions. Takes effective decisions in regard to the content and prioritisation of workstreams so that the right work is done and has impact.

Communicating and Influencing. Role models and demonstrates excellent interpersonal and communication skills and instils a culture of effective cross-professional collaboration.

Government Social Research Technical Skills. Keeps abreast of critical methodological developments within social research and related government analytical professions and identifies their value. Champions excellence in social research practices and application.


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


Seeing the Big Picture

Making Effective Decisions

Communicating and Influencing


Whatever your role, we take your career and development seriously, and want to enable you to build a really successful career with the Department and wider Civil Service. It is crucial that our employees have the right skills to develop their careers and meet the challenges ahead, and you’ll benefit from regular performance and development reviews to ensure this development is ongoing. As a Civil Service employee, you’ll be entitled to a large range of benefits.

  • Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. The Civil Service values and supports all its employees. We have strong and pro-active staff networks, special leave policies for hospital appointments, reasonable adjustments put in place for those who need them, and diversity talent programmes to help everyone irrespective of background, to achieve their potential.
  • Pension. Your pension is a valuable part of your total reward package. A competitive contributory pension scheme that you can enter as soon as you join where we will make a significant contribution to the cost of your pension; where your contributions come out of your salary before any tax is taken; and where your pension will continue to provide valuable benefits for you and your family if you are too ill to continue to work or die before you retire. Visit Civil Service Pension Scheme for more details.
  • Generous Annual Leave and Bank Holiday Allowance. 25 days annual leave on entry, increasing on a sliding scale to 30 days after 5 years’ service. This is in addition to 8 public holidays.

This will be complimented by one further day paid privilege entitlement to mark the Queen’s Birthday.

  • Staff Wellbeing
  • Flexible working including part-time or time-term working and access to Flexible Working Schemes allowing you to vary your working day as long as you work your total hours.
  • Generous paid maternity and paternity leave which is notably more than the statutory minimum offered by many other employers.
  • Childcare benefits (policy for new employees as of 5 April 2018): The government has introduced the Tax-Free Childcare (TFC) scheme. Working parents can open an online childcare account and for every £8 they pay in, the government adds £2, up to a maximum of £2000 a year for each child or £4000 for a disabled child. Parents then use the funds to pay for registered childcare. Existing employees may be able to continue to claim childcare vouchers, so please check how the policy would work for you.
  • Any move to the DfT from another employer will mean you can no longer access childcare vouchers. This includes moves between government departments. You may however be eligible for other government schemes, including Tax Free Childcare.

Determine your eligibility at https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk

  • Onsite facilities Opportunity to use onsite facilities including fitness centres and staff canteens (where applicable).
  • Season Ticket and Bicycle Loan. Interest-free loans allowing you to spread the cost of an annual travel season ticket or a new bicycle.

About the Company

Company: Department for Transport –

Company Location:  Birmingham

Estimated Salary:

About Department for Transport -