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February 01, 2011

Job Offer: Senior Researcher (Finance and Economics) With the Scottish Parliament REF: P2549

An exciting opportunity for a high calibre individual to support MSPs and parliamentary committees in scrutinising public expenditure and revenue, and the Scottish economy.

Applications are invited from suitably qualified and experienced candidates to fill a secondment opportunity as a Senior Researcher with the Scottish Parliament, Holyrood, Edinburgh (subject to the donor organisation’s agreement).  The assignment will provide additional capacity to support the Parliament’s scrutiny of the public finances and the economy and will last for a period of twelve months from 1 April 2011 to 31 March 2012.  As a secondee, the successful candidate will remain on their current terms and conditions of employment with their existing employer. To give some indication of the level the person will be expected to work at, the current salary range for the post is £39 - £47,000.


The Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body (SPCB) ensures that the Parliament has the property, staff and services it needs.  The SPCB is made up of the Presiding Officer and four MSPs who are appointed by the Parliament.  It makes decisions on a wide range of issues to do with running the Parliament.  It also employs the staff who work for the Parliament.  Parliamentary staff are not civil servants.  They are independent of the Government and provide an impartial service to MSPs of all political parties.  There are many groups of staff performing a variety of tasks.  These roles range from clerks who advise MSPs on detailed matters of parliamentary procedure, to security and IT staff.  The Clerk/Chief Executive is the Parliament’s most senior official.  The Chief Executive has the ultimate responsibility for ensuring the Parliament runs smoothly and efficiently.  You can find out more about the Parliament on our website, www.scottish.parliament.uk

The Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) provides research, information and documentation services to the Parliament. Within SPICe, a team of 27 researchers working within three research units provide expert information and briefing to MSPs, their staff, parliamentary committees and to the staff of the Parliament in relation to their parliamentary duties. This work includes responding to personal enquiries, providing briefing on bills and on committee inquiries. The work is non-partisan and, when carried out for individual MSPs, is confidential.

General Duties

You will work within the Financial Scrutiny Unit (a team of eight), ensuring that the Parliament’s committees and MSPs are appropriately and impartially briefed on public finance and economic issues as directed.  The work of SPICe is driven by the demands of the Parliament and you will be required to work flexibly to respond to requests from the Finance, Economy and other subject committees, as well as requests from individual MSPs and their staff.  For example this may include the costing of policy announcements and alternative spending proposals, or analysis of economic trends.  You will be expected to cover other subject areas as required by the Principal Researchers, for example local government also falls in the unit’s remit, and potentially other devolved subjects covered by other research units. You can find out more about the Parliament’s Financial Scrutiny on our website, http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/business/financialscrutiny/index.htm

Specific duties will include:

1. The provision of research support to all parliamentary committees, including the Finance Committee and Economy Committee,
2. The provision of briefing material in anticipation of parliamentary business in finance and economics subject areas
3. Answering research-based enquiries from individual MSPs and their staff in finance and economics subject areas
4. The provision of research support to committees, MSPs and their staff on any matters as required, including, as necessary, issues reserved to the UK parliament, within time and resource constraints
5. Working with other research and information specialists within SPICe to develop services, and joint working across the Parliament as directed by SPICe management
6. Further development of your own knowledge in order to better provide research support in all subject areas within the team’s portfolio
7. The development and maintenance of contacts within the external research community and information providers.

Qualifications and Experience

A sound knowledge, background and experience in economics and finance is essential.  You will have knowledge of research methods and enquiry handling, excellent communication skills, a flexible approach to work and the ability to work efficiently under time pressure.  It is expected that you will have 3 years’ relevant experience and a degree in a relevant subject.

Skills and Knowledge
You must also be able to demonstrate:

• Ability to communicate effectively at all levels orally and in writing
• Well developed interpersonal skills including the ability to work effectively in a team and on own initiative, with a proactive and flexible approach to work
• Ability to work under pressure and on own initiative to tight deadlines
• Knowledge, background and experience in finance and economics
• Knowledge of research methods including analytical and numerical ability and how to approach enquiry handling
• Knowledge of the Scottish Parliament and government


Please note that we can only consider applications for secondment made with the donor organisation’s agreement from the outset.  This should also include agreement to release you on or very close to the intended start date of 1st April 2011.

Closing date for receipt of applications is Friday 11 February.  Please complete the application form below and send it to jobs@scottish.parliament.uk or to the Scottish Parliament, Human Resources Office, Edinburgh EH99 1 SP (tel 0131 348 6500).  We expect to hold interviews on 22 and/or 23 February 2011.

If you have any specific enquiries about the post, or the above timings, please contact Simon Wakefield on 0131 348 5372 or by e-mail to simon.wakefield@scottish.parliament.uk 

Download Application

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