Research and Innovation Data Science Lead


Full-time (Permanent)


We are an intelligence, security and cyber agency with a mission to help keep the UK safe. Our purpose is to pioneer a new kind of security in this ever more complex world.

Our people use cutting-edge technology and their combined ingenuity to identify, analyse and disrupt threats to us all. We work closely with MI5, the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), law enforcement, the military and international partners to counter real-world and online threats from a broad range of adversaries.

We are opening a new office in central Manchester; this new location will be fundamental to our mission, pulling on a wide mix of minds to create innovative and inventive solutions and enabling us to better identify and disrupt threats to the UK.

In a constantly evolving technology and threat landscape the Research and Innovation Business Unit offer insight and expertise to help guide GCHQ’s strategic and tactical decisions. We are looking to establish a world-class team in Manchester; working as a critical partner to the transformation, operational and engineering teams. We are seeking a Research and Innovation Data Science Lead to embed and lead this new team. They will work alongside GCHQ’s partners, academia and industry to accelerate and maximise mission impact from our Research and Innovation effort.

Job description

The Research and Innovation Business Unit are looking to build a world-class team in Manchester; working as a critical partner to the transformation, operation and engineering teams. Our Mission means that we have to be at the forefront of any emerging technology – which is changing faster than ever before. This brings new and exciting Mission relevant opportunities for us to respond to, and the technical and business challenges presented are complex. In this rapidly shifting, globally connected time in which we now live, our challenge to maintain the ability GCHQ and UK Government to harness future technologies is becoming more and more arduous.

You will be collaborating with a wide range of people across and outside of the organisation in support of our mission. This will require you to build the necessary relationships, understand and establish the research and innovation requirements, and increasing our organisation’s capacity and capability as you go.

The role will involve the following:

• Lead and establish a new Data Science and AI Research Team in Manchester

• Work with the Manchester R&I Lead, Manchester eco-system and wider Research eco-system to establish Research as a core function in Manchester

• Work closely with industry and academia to establish truly collaborative research work; delivering value to GCHQ’s mission and business

• Lead research and undertake world-class research using sound research methodologies to do so

• Support and lead researchers in Manchester

• Work with the R&I Leadership to report on research success


Whilst possessing the professional skills below is highly desirable, of equal importance is attitude, the desire to learn, be creative and having the enthusiasm, growth mind-set and interpersonal skills to deliver in a fast- paced environment.

In terms of professional and personal skills, the following are desirable:

• Data Science, AI and/or machine learning experience is required

• Experience of forging relationships at all levels

• Excellent Communication and Leadership skills with proven ability to influence and set direction for others

• Strong communication and stakeholder management skills

If you’re excited about working with us and think you have some of what we’re looking for but aren’t sure if you’re 100% there yet… Back yourself in and give it a go!



Working with and Leading Others Higher – essential now

Contribution to Delivery Higher - desirable

Managing the Customer Relationship Intermediate – essential now

Corporate Vision and Efficiency Intermediate – desirable

Change and Innovation Higher - desirable

Analysis and Decision Making Intermediate – desirable

Communications and Knowledge Sharing Higher – essential now



• Learning and development tailored to your role
• An environment with flexible working options
• A culture encouraging inclusion and diversity
• A Civil Service pension

Things you need to know


Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.

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


Successful candidates will be expected to have a medical.

Selection process details

To apply for this position, you must meet our nationality, residency and security requirements. You’ll find more details here: .

As users of the disability confident scheme, we also guarantee to interview all disabled candidates who meet the minimum criteria for our roles.

Once we’ve established that you meet our eligibility criteria, the next steps of this selection process are:
- Application evaluation and sift
- Personal interview*
- Drug Test

*Interviews will be held in Manchester

A DV is required for this role.
The closing date for applications is Wednesday 6th November 2019, however if we receive the amount of applications required we may close the vacancy early. Applicants are encouraged to apply promptly to avoid disappointment. We reserve the right to close the advert early.

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

Nationality requirements

Open to UK nationals only.

Working for the Civil Service

Please note this Post is NOT regulated by the Civil Service Commission.

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equality of opportunity. There is a guaranteed interview scheme (GIS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

Apply and further information

Once this job has closed, the job advert will no longer be available. You may want to save a copy for your records.

Contact point for applicants

Job contact :
Name : Recruitment
Email :
Recruitment team :
Email :

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