What will I be working on?
The government’s online front door, gov.uk is used by over 6 million people every week to access services, navigate daily life in the UK and find the information, support and resources we need.
Currently gov.uk consists of more than half a million pages, generated by different teams in different departments. The scale of the site, and the huge range of user needs, means ensuring people can find what they’re looking for is one of the most important things we can do to improve the lives of the people we serve.
Advancements in AI mean that we now have an incredible opportunity to improve this.
One of our Fellows will therefore lead a high priority project, developing a conversational front end to gov.uk. This will allow users to find information and services through a natural language interface, asking for example, “I am a single parent with no fixed abode, what do I need to do to get childcare vouchers and how do I check that I qualify?”
The Fellow will work with a small multi-disciplinary team to design, generate and test rapid prototypes to improve the government’s digital front door.
Evidence House is a 10 Downing Street initiative that aims to solve wicked problems in delivery of public services, whilst radically upgrading government’s data science and technology capability. We do this through a mixture of machine learning and AI focussed hackathons, delivery sprints and formal learning and development offers.
Through this programme we regularly bring together developers, engineers and analysts from across government under one roof to compete in teams over several days, delivering high impact MVPs that tackle PM and Government priorities.
We now have a thriving community of over 300 Civil Servants who, with our guidance, are generating a growing number of promising prototypes with the Prime Minister personally invested in seeing some of them come to fruition.
All Fellows will be invited to contribute to this exciting program, but we are looking for who to help us spearhead this drive. You will help identify targets (for example: tackling benefits fraud, prison safety, reducing public service backlogs, more effective triaging to support more efficient health services, human assistive decision support tools in high profile areas). You will help to set up and run hackathons, from selecting possible data sources to mentoring teams, and then help us pick the best projects that result and develop them into fully fledged products that help transform government on short timeframes.
For this role, our lead Fellows will have complimentary but differing skill sets. Both will be expert in one or more programming language, adept at working with large data sets, have a track record in AI and other advanced data science techniques and thrive on delivering experimental products end-to-end.
National Situation Centre
We are seeking to identify a Fellow with expertise in Natural Language Programming to lead a project on early identification and mitigation of public risk from large text datasets. This is a program of vital national importance, and you will use your proven technical expertise and track record of delivering change to scope, design and delivery the project from inception to implementation.
The project will involve working with 10DS, National Situation Centre (“SitCen”), and stakeholders from across government to build a digital product that will derive actionable insights about potential emerging risks to HMG and produce quantifiable estimates of risk that will help inform a proportionate response that also drives value for money. Appropriate security clearances will be required.
The exact method and approach will vary based on your background and expertise, but for example could include analysing sentiment during an emergency situation to inform public safety decisions or quantifying the interaction between online and real-world events such as infectious disease spread, combining insights from media with simulation-based approaches. There is no such thing as a “typical Fellow”, and data scientist from 10DS and SitCen will work with suitable candidates to identify a suitable project and approach.
What is the salary range for a Fellow?
The standard Fellow is recruited at SCS (Deputy Director) level, with a salary of up to £85K.
We are however open to applicants of all experience levels and will consider recruiting at lower grades where appropriate. In such cases we will work with the applicant to determine the most appropriate grade.
We are also willing to consider secondment arrangements. If you join us on a secondment you would continue to be employed by your existing employer and your continuous employment would be unaffected. Your salary and benefits would remain unchanged and you would continue to be paid by your existing employer. We will reimburse your employer up to £85K.
Secondment offers are subject to your existing employer agreeing to the terms of your secondment agreement and the satisfactory receipt of pre-employment screening checks.
What is the application process and how do I apply?
Please send an application including a CV and short covering letter to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are seeking people with strong technical expertise and experience in applying AI, who also possess the innate leadership skills our Fellows require in order to affect long lasting change.
Our recruitment process therefore includes the following elements:
- As short introductory phone call to learn more about you and answer any questions you have about the Fellowship.
- A technical test which may be completed remotely and takes approximately 4 hours to complete.
- A 15 minute presentation where you will discuss and answers questions on your technical assignment.
- A 15 minute presentation on a the work you are most proud of in terms of applying AI.
- A short code review, preferably related to the work you present on (in instances where code related to that work is not sharable we can discuss alternatives).
- Final panel interview.
How long is the recruitment process?
We will be recruiting on a rolling basis throughout the year, when priority projects emerge we will aim to move candidates through the process at pace.
From initial phone call to final stage interview we expect to complete the process in between 2-3 weeks.
How long does a Fellowship last?
We will be recruiting new Fellows on a rolling basis as new PM and Government priorities emerge, generally our tours of duty will last 6-12 months, with 12 months being usual.
Who is administering this Fellowship programme?
The Fellowship programme is being run by the No.10 Data Science Team (“10DS”)
Is there an opportunity to extend my Fellowship into a permanent appointment?
The Fellowship will not automatically lead to permanent Civil Service roles but we hope many Fellows will be inspired to apply for senior leadership roles in government at the end of their Fellowship.
When will the Fellowships start?
We will be recruiting Fellows on a rolling basis throughout the year, as new PM and Government priorities emerge which require your unique skill set.
Will I be able to work remotely?
All Fellows are expected to be based in the UK for the duration of their Fellowship. Flexible and partially remote working is usually possible.
Will I work directly with decision makers?
Fellows may be working with very senior government decision makers, depending on the nature of the projects they engage with. They can expect to have opportunities to showcase their projects to senior officials at 10 Downing Street. The Fellowship Team will organise a series of events throughout the year, allowing Fellows to meet a wide variety of government stakeholders.
Are any part-time positions available?
The majority of the roles are full time due to the critical and urgent nature of the work. However, you may be able to agree flexible working arrangements, such as compressed hours, and we would consider part time working for the right candidates.
What does diversity and inclusion look like in the Civil Service?
The Civil Service is committed to becoming the most inclusive employer in the UK. We are committed to understanding, respecting and representing as broad a range of views and backgrounds as we have in UK society. We know that diverse perspectives and experiences are critical to an effective, modern Civil Service.
Our passion for diversity and equality means creating a work environment for all employees that is welcoming, respectful, engaging, and enriched with opportunities for personal and professional development. We are also a Disability Confident employer and part of the “A great place to work for Veterans” scheme. We offer a guaranteed interview for applicants who opt in to either scheme and meet the essential criteria for the role.
I have a disability. What support is available during the application process?
The No.10 Innovation Fellowship aims to recruit individuals from a range of different backgrounds and provide every candidate with equal opportunities. If you require adjustments to allow you to complete the assessment process, you will be given the opportunity to indicate this when you apply and we will arrange this for you.
If you are successful in your application, we will work closely with you to ensure any reasonable workplace adjustments are in place.
Am I eligible to work in the UK and on this Fellowship programme?
You are eligible to apply for the No.10 fellowship if you satisfy both the Nationality requirements (A) and Right to work/Immigration requirements (B).
a) Nationality requirements (Civil Service Nationality Rules)
You are eligible to apply if you are a:
- British citizen
- European Economic Area (EEA)
- Commonwealth citizen
- Swiss national
- Turkish national, in some circumstances
You must be a British citizen to apply for some posts, particularly those related to security and intelligence. Where this is the case these projects will be clearly marked.
Nationality requirements are explained in more detail in the Civil Service nationality rules.
If you don’t meet the nationality requirements we may consider a secondment agreement with your current employer subject to conditions being met. So, we encourage you to reach out to us first on: no10InnovationFellowship@digital.cabinet-office.gov.uk
b) Right to work / Immigration requirements
You must have the right to work in the United Kingdom and meet the Immigration and Visa requirements. Further details can be found on the Gov.uk Visas and Immigration page.
Can you advise on visas? Is visa sponsorship available? Are there security requirements?
Please note that the Fellowship Team is unable to offer advice on Visa and Immigration cases to applicants. The Fellowship Programme does not sponsor visas.
Fellows may be required to pass security clearances up to SC level, this will be discussed at interview.
Do you offer a relocation package?
We do not offer a relocation package.