In a series that has begun to stretch the boundaries of “state-sponsored” and “research”, here are a few more companies primarily funded by the taxpayer that have civil service perks and may hold scientific interest.
The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) - an executive agency of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills - are the official government body responsible for granting IP rights in the UK. No vacancies at present, but a typical role is that of a patent examiner (1st or 2nd class degree) , or a “specialist”. Their HQ is in Newport (S Wales), and they have a small office in London. The 2009/10 annual report indicates that the IPO has ~900 employees.
The Defence Engineering and Science Group (DESG) is a virtual community of 9000 engineers and scientists, working within the MoD Civil Service to “equip and support UK Armed Forces with state of the art technology.” Recruitment is via a 2-year graduate scheme, sponsorship schemes during university, or through the Welbeck Defence Sixth Form College – these were most recently open Oct-Jan. Graduates with a 2:2 or above in engineering, IT, maths and physics are preferred. Graduate salary in 2010 was £24k, rising to £29k on completion of the scheme.
The Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) – an executive agency of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) – carries out advisory, research and monitoring services of the marine environment and fisheries. While there are currently no vacancies for external candidates, a wide range of scientific positions have been advertised in the last year, including for analytical chemists, analytical research chemists, and a chemical hazard assessor. Their 550 employees are largely based in Lowestoft (Suffolk) and Weymouth (Dorset)
The Animal Health Agency – an executive agency of DEFRA – was merged with the Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA) in 2010, and has around 1700 employees. Their wide-ranging duties include animal welfare, food safety and disease prevention and control. No jobs are available at present, but the VLA formerly advertised scientific roles of a veterinary/biology persuasion - a “relevant scientific or mathematical” degree or training was required.
The Food and Environment Research Agency (fera) – another executive agency of DEFRA – exists to “support and develop a sustainable food chain, a healthy natural environment, and to protect the global community from biological and chemical risks.” It employs 550 scientists across 40 sites, and funds PhD studentships. Their research and science programme may hold some interest for chemists (including chemical safety and profiling), but no jobs are currently available.
So in summary - while some organisations (The Met Office, AWE and DSTL) are still advertising jobs externally, the remainder are only seeking internal (civil service) candidates, if at all. This is likely due to the civil service recruitment freeze put in place last May, and recently extended this month. It looks like this could be another avenue of scientific recruitment that is being closed off, so if it appeals then get in quick!