Science and Innovation Officer

Foreign & Commonwealth Office
  • Location
    Brussels, Belgium
  • Sector
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Aug 03

Position description

Our daily work relies on the input of dedicated individuals who engage on many different topics and activities. We seek to employ a diverse range of candidates who bring their own talents and perspectives to the role. We have a strong corporate agenda that ensures we create a positive and inclusive working environment where everyone is valued for their contribution.

The British Embassy in Brussels is part of a world-wide network, representing British political, economic, consular and prosperity interests overseas and is now looking for a Science and Innovation (SIN) Officer in Belgium. The applicant should be able to start work in approximately October 2022.

The SIN Officer will support the delivery of the UK Government’s Science & Innovation priorities in Belgium, with a particular focus on health and life sciences, climate and energy science, and critical and emerging technologies. Belgium has a thriving science and innovation landscape with world-class research institutions and particular strengths in the life sciences, pharmaceuticals and biotech, as well as in the fields of sustainable energy and digital and emerging technologies. We are looking for someone who has a good understanding of and strong interest in the Belgian or international science and innovation landscape and who is able to identify and spot opportunities to drive forward UK and Belgian collaboration in these areas.

The jobholder will be expected to get to grips quickly with UK science, technology and innovation policy and objectives, in order to be able to explain and project UK science excellence and leadership in Belgium, and facilitate dialogue on shared priorities such as diversity in science. They will part of the SIN Europe network, a welcoming and expert team, and will work closely with SIN managers based in Paris and The Hague.

The jobholder will sit within the Political and Public Diplomacy (PPD) team in the Embassy, which engages the Government of Belgium and provides reporting, analysis and external communications to support a range of UK interests in Belgium, including economic, security, climate change and foreign policy. The jobholder will also work closely with the Embassy’s trade and investment team. As such this is an exciting opportunity to support the UK’s ambitious agenda in Belgium, at a fascinating time following the UK’s departure from the EU.

Information on the UK’s Science and Innovation Network

The UK is a global leader in science and innovation. International collaboration is essential to maintaining the excellence of the UK’s research base. The UK Science and Innovation Network (SIN) has approximately 100 officers in over 40 countries/territories around the world, engaging with the local science and innovation community in support of UK policy overseas and creating strategic relationships to build partnerships and collaborations on science and innovation.

The work of the UK S&I Network is guided by the following objectives:

  • Projecting UK science, technology and innovation excellence and leadership globally
  • Actively building and facilitating science, technology and innovation collaborations of value to the UK
  • Providing insight and intelligence on emerging issues, opportunities and developments

The network focusses on the three main thematic areas of science and innovation:

  • Critical and emerging technologies
  • Climate and environment
  • Global health and life sciences

More information on the UK Science & Innovation Network is available at UK Science and Innovation Network - GOV.UK (


Roles and responsibilities:

  • Leading on delivery of SIN network/Embassy priorities on health and life sciences, climate and energy science and critical and emerging technologies in Belgium, pro-actively monitoring and reporting key Belgian developments, identifying and driving forward opportunities for UK-Belgian collaboration, (working with relevant leads from PPD/trade and investment team) and building and maintaining a network of key contacts in these areas.
  • Pro-actively monitoring, reporting and researching key developments in wider Belgian science and innovation policies, programmes and investments.
  • Conducting independent research in response to requests from UK stakeholders for concise reports on specific aspects of science and innovation policies, programmes and strengths in Belgium.
  • Understanding and explaining UK science, technology and innovation policies and objectives to Belgian contacts, projecting UK science excellence and global leadership.
  • Managing a network of contacts in government, research organisations and universities in the UK and Belgium to support SIN and Embassy objectives
  • Leading a programme of projects, visits, events and other activities aimed at facilitating scientific and innovation collaboration between the UK and Belgium and enhancing visibility of the UK’s science excellence and innovation capability.
  • Supporting the British Ambassador, ministerial and other senior official engagement in Belgium on science and innovation issues, through identifying high-level contacts, coordinating programmes and providing relevant briefing.
  • Leading on the development and delivery of the SIN Business Plan for Belgium.
  • Working collaboratively across the team to share expertise and contribute to the delivery of Embassy priorities, including crisis response and the corporate agenda.

The job description is subject to change and may evolve over time in response to changing circumstances (such as external events or political priorities). The role exists as part of a team and all staff are expected to be flexible in supporting colleagues, particularly at busy times.


The job of an Embassy is to understand the country it operates in. The job-holder may be required to travel to different parts of Belgium to engage with interlocutors as necessary. We encourage our staff to share their expertise and insights on Belgium, particularly across the areas on which the Embassy focusses, in order to deepen our understanding and promote a culture of learning.



Essential qualifications, skills and experience 

  • Fluency in English and either French or Dutch (written and spoken, minimum of C level all languages according to CEFR framework*);
  • A minimum of a university degree and/or some prior relevant experience in science or technology;
  • A good understanding of and/or strong interest in the Belgian science, research and innovation landscape;
  • Flexibility, self-starter, strong self-management, and time management skills;
  • Ability to work independently, as well as part of an international team;
  • Strong inter-personal and communication (oral and written) skills;
  • Ability to multi-task, plan ahead, and prioritise;
  • Ability to produce concise, timely and thorough reporting upon request;
  • Ability to manage and engage a network of stakeholders in both the UK and Belgium;
  • Working knowledge of MS Office applications (Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint).

Desirable qualifications, skills and experience 

  • A good understanding of the UK’s science, research and innovation landscape;
  • A demonstrated interest or experience in health and life sciences, emerging technologies and/or climate change and environment policy and research;
  • Excellent project management skills;
  • As well as advanced French or Dutch, a good working knowledge of the other language.


Application instructions

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