Principal Biodiversity Economist


Post Title: Principal Biodiversity
Team: Economics Team
Ref No: 202340
Grade: G7
Type of appointment: Permanent
Location: Peterborough or Aberdeen
Salary: £47,189 (Please note a pay award is pending so
this figure is expected to increase)

This post will have a base in either Peterborough or Aberdeen.

JNCC has adopted a hybrid working approach, allowing colleagues to benefit from time in
the office, with the flexibility also to work from home. Employees are expected to work from
our office base for 1 – 2 days a month as a minimum, this will vary by team and the exact
balance will depend on the nature of your role. We can provide more details at the interview
and offer stages.

Who are JNCC?

Established in 1991, we’re the UK’s statutory advisor on issues affecting the natural
environment across the UK and internationally. Our primary role is advising all four
Governments of the UK. We also work with private sector organisations to support decision
making on the sustainable use of marine waters and natural resources around the UK. JNCC is led
by the Joint Committee, which brings together members from the nature conservation bodies for
England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and independent members appointed by the
Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs under an independent Chair.
Support is provided to the Committee by approx. 290 people who bring together scientific and
technical expertise, extensive knowledge of policy at global, European and national levels, and
skills in working with other organisations. Staff are based in two main offices in Peterborough
and Aberdeen.


We’re small enough (c.290 staff) that your voice is heard by everyone including the
CEO, but big enough that we have all the skills, resources and people you’ll need to get the
job done. All our staff are passionate about the natural environment and making a difference to
the world we live in. We have a very flexible, inclusive and welcoming organisational culture.
We provide employees with the freedom and tools you will need, support for your continued
professional development, and a collaborative stimulating multidisciplinary work

Our vision is thriving nature for a sustainable future. Our strategic priorities from 2023 to
2030 are:

  • Use our scientific expertise to facilitate a collective response to the global biodiversity
  • Use our trusted expertise and judgement, advising on the effectiveness of existing
    policies, and on the design of new policies and action, to underpin progress towards nature
  • Lead the discussion to align action for nature and climate change, to deliver outcomes that
    tackle the climate breakdown and accelerate nature recovery.
  • Continue to innovate and advance our learning on nature recovery, so that science,
    technology, and new digital knowledge is applied to tackle ecological collapse.
  • Work collaboratively to support the transition to a sustainable blue/green economy, linking
    nature recovery to societal prosperity and wellbeing.
  • Seek opportunities to integrate the value of nature into decision-making, mainstreaming
    nature recovery into other policy areas.
  • Invest in our people and culture to ensure a motivated, inclusive, and learning
    organisation, where staff wellbeing is prioritised, and our partners are engaged and respected.

JNCC is committed to maintaining employee health and wellbeing, whether it is
physically, emotionally, financially or socially, and offers a range of benefits to support
employees in this. Such benefits include the option to join the Civil Service Pension Scheme,
professional and personal development opportunities as well as an exciting job in a unique

Hours of work: Full-time

Normal minimum hours of attendance for the post are 36 hours per week over a 5-day period,
Monday to Friday.

Flexi time is available. This post may also be suitable for job share.

Annual Leave:

The annual leave allowance is 25 days per year, rising to 30 days per year after 5 years
service. There are also 12 days public and privilege leave. Part-time staff will receive this
on a pro rata basis.The annual leave allowance is 25 days per year, rising to 30 days per year
after 5 years’ service. There are also 12 days public and privilege leave. Part-time staff will
receive this on a pro rata basis.

Short Summary: Post background

Economists in JNCC work in a small, collaborative team, undertaking a variety of cross-cutting,
high-profile projects. We work closely with UK government departments, country conservation
bodies (such as Natural England and Nature Scot) and advise governments overseas.

To deliver ambitions on nature conservation and recovery and compete with other policy
priorities in the UK and abroad – such as resource security (e.g. water, food and energy),
economic growth and climate change – it will be essential to integrate the value of nature into
policy making. For example, how could optimal land-use decisions incorporate nature positive
measures that will result in better outcomes for food production, healthier environment, higher
returns to farmers and greater well-being for society. This will require bold economic
thinking, incorporating the framework of the Dasgupta Review for Economics for biodiversity,
which accounts for humanity’s dependence on nature and sets the parameters for sustainable
development that protects and enhances our prosperity and the natural environment.

The key areas of work for the post holder will include:

  • Natural Capital Accounting

Advising and supporting on Natural Capital Ecosystem Accounting (NCEA) approaches that assess
the provision of ecosystem services (ES). They will help develop ecological models and other
tools assessing the impacts of human activities on the flow of ES services and their values.
The post holder will work with JNCC marine and terrestrial natural capital teams in assisting
our government partners (UK and abroad) to develop tools for managing, supporting, and
implementing NCEA approaches.

  • Transitioning to Sustainable blue and green economy

This will encompass advising on a range of policy areas including 1) working with colleagues in
UK governments to develop market frameworks aimed at increasing the flow of private investments
into restoration and protection of marine/terrestrial habitats, 2) working with land-use policy
colleagues to assess demand of land use decisions and identifying solutions that embed value of
nature in these decisions 3) investigating emerging approaches to carrying out marine spatial
prioritisation in UK seas, where economics, social and environmental dimensions are considered
appropriately and 4) analysing sustainable and innovative financing options in the Overseas
Territories (OTs), including the preparation of natural capital investment plans and 5)
investigate the scale and impact of existing UK subsidies in sectors, such as agriculture and
fishing, and advise on options to help incentivise outcomes that mitigates environmental damage
and increases overall societal well-being.

  • Nature-proofing our international policy:

There is the opportunity for UK trade and Official Development Assistance (ODA) spending
decisions to integrate biodiversity to influence more nature-positive policies both through
global footprint and in direct spend internationally. The post holder will be working with
relevant teams in JNCC to help provide evidence on how the value nature can provide for
achieving international trade, climate implementation plans, security (including food, water,
and energy security) targets abroad.

  • Enhancing JNCC impact and evaluating effectiveness:

Increasing JNCC impact through appropriate deployment of cost-benefit analysis and
cost-effective analysis techniques across terrestrial, marine and international projects.

  • Generating new knowledge

Building partnerships with the economic research, development and innovation (RDI) community to
explore and apply novel economic approaches that have the potential to further nature recovery.
Capitalising on JNCC’s rich data assets to develop new models and analyses.

Job Description: Post Duties

The G7 Economist is a key leadership position within JNCC. The post will report to the Chief
Scientist and will have management responsibility for the economics team.

The principal responsibilities of the G7 Economist are to:

  • Be a people leader for the economics team: providing technical and pastoral leadership to
    economics colleagues; guiding workloads, prioritisation and professional development.
  • Work with the Chief Scientist to build economic capability through the organisation and
    acting as the ‘Head of’ for the Government Economic Service profession within JNCC.
  • Provide thought leadership for economic functions – interfacing with natural sciences and
    policy – to ensure a coherent interdisciplinary approach is taken to JNCC advice and projects
    when appropriate.
  • Working with the Director for UK co-ordination, International and Marine programmes to
    embed economic tools and approaches into statutory advice and novel emerging projects; to
    understand economic opportunity and demand across JNCC’s strategic delivery portfolio.
  • Support mainstreaming nature into the policy agenda, by providing strong economic evidence
    of the value nature can provide for achieving gains from trade, higher returns from ODA
    spending, higher food production, achieve resource security (including food, water, and energy
    security) targets both at home and abroad, emphasising the links between nature, economic
    resilience and societal wellbeing.
  • Develop productive working relationships at a senior level with stakeholders in UK and
    devolved governments, the wider public sector, NGOs and research organisations. Communicate and
    synthesize complex technical economic information to a non-technical audience.
  • Be an effective member of senior management teams and programme boards.


To be a successful candidate you will be/have:

We also require the following technical skills (GES technical

  • GES – Application of knowledge
  • GES – Analysis of data
  • GES – Effective communication
  • You must also possess the following Professional Memberships:
    • Applicants must be able to meet the requirements for the Government Economic Service (GES).
      This includes a degree in economics, specifically a first or upper second class honours degree
      with at least 50% of the modules in economics, or a masters in economics. Modules must have
      covered both micro and macroeconomics to qualify.


  • Seeing the Big Picture
  • Leadership
  • Making Effective Decisions

In the event that we receive a large volume of applications we reserve the right to conduct the
sift based on the Lead Behaviour of Seeing the Big Picture

Please see the CS Behaviours framework for more details at this grade.

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

JNCC do not have the amenities for sponsorship.

Closing date and interview date

The closing date for this post is 23:55 on Sunday, 15 October 2023.

The anticipated interview date is week commencing Monday, 23 October 2023.

Find out more & apply

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