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Applications Invited for Role of Chief Scientist (Health)

Applications Invited for Role of Chief Scientist (Health)

17th January 2022

Applications are invited from candidates with the relevant skills and experience, who are interested in an opportunity to fill the role of Chief Scientist (Health)

The closing date for applications is midnight on Sunday 6 February 2022.  The successful candidate will be required to take up the post as soon as possible. 

This is a three year fixed term and pensionable SCS appointment or secondment opportunity.  Part time, three days per week.  If secondment from an existing employer applies the successful candidate may retain their existing terms and conditions including salary.

Location and Working Pattern

The post will be ordinarily based in Edinburgh, however, in line with current guidance, you will be expected to work from home for the foreseeable future. This is a part-time role, but applicants on any working patterns are welcome to apply.  If you are interested in applying on a job-share basis, please make clear in your application if you wish to be considered as a pre-existing job-share partnership or if you are interested in moving into a job-share arrangement.  We will assess proposed working patterns against the business requirements for the post and discuss all options with candidates.

The Chief Scientist Office is part of the Chief Medical Officer Directorate, one of thirteen health directorates reporting to the Director General Health and Social Care, who is also the Chief Executive of the NHS in Scotland.  The post holder will work closely with the Chief Medical Officer and the Deputy Chief Medical Officers. 

The Chief Scientist Office (CSO) was established in 1973 and has had a Chief Scientist since its inception. The aim of the CSO is to identify, promote and encourage research which addresses the health and healthcare needs of the people of Scotland. CSO plays a key role in formulating and implementing the Research Strategy for the NHS in Scotland; the emphasis being on catalysing overall research strengths and funding research which is of direct relevance to the strategic priorities of the NHS. The CSO is responsible for one of the larger research budgets within the Scottish Government, supporting research infrastructure in the NHS and a range of grant and programme awards. CSO also has policy responsibility for health science innovation and, alongside the Enterprise and Innovation Division of the Economic Development Directorate, hosts the Scottish Health and Industry Partnership (SHIP) aimed towards strengthening Scotland’s innovation activities in health and social care in order to solve real problems and improve quality, efficiency and sustainability of healthcare.

The CSO covers the full range of public health, clinical and health service operational topics, including participation in joint initiatives with complementary funding bodies such as the other UK Health Departments, OSCHR (Office for Strategic Coordination of Health Research), the Medical Research Council, other Research Councils, major medical research charities and other parts of the Scottish Government. 

This is a unique opportunity for an exceptional candidate to lead research, development and innovation (R,D&I) in the Scottish NHS and ensure  that Scotland continues to be an internationally recognised centre for health R,D&I; builds its dynamic life sciences sector; and places health research, development and innovation in a central role in the transformation of the health service and the improvement of health outcomes.


The Chief Scientist (Health) champions science as a key driver of the modernisation of the Scottish Health Service and the economy and Scotland as a come to place for health research, development and innovation. 

Overall Job Purpose 

  • To provide the Chief Medical Officer with expert scientific advice on health research, development and innovation
  • To champion evidence-based policy making and the contribution of science to the health service in Scotland.
  • To ensure that Scotland retains and develops its health research, development and innovation infrastructure, and its vibrant life sciences sector.
  • To work with other UK funders of health research, development and innovation
  • Read the full breakdown of duties, responsibilities and qualifications required

How to apply

If you have any questions about the application process or eligibility, or would like to discuss any adjustments required please contact Diane Kinnaird ( in the Scottish Government Senior Resourcing & Staffing Team.

Applications are invited by 6 February 2022 at midnight, using the APPLY button via the application website.

In addition you will also be asked to send you CV and supporting statement to Please use this Supporting Statement Template.

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