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Job Description (Roles and Responsibilities)

The British Embassy in Berne is part of a worldwide network, representing British political, economic and consular interests overseas and is now looking for a Science & Innovation Officer for a set period until March 2026 to work at Post for the UK 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 130 officers in over 43 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 Science and Innovation 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 following three main thematic areas of science and innovation:
• Critical and emerging technologies;
• Climate and environment;
• Global health.

More information on the UK Science and Innovation Network is available at UK Science and Innovation Network - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

Role details

As SIN Officer in Berne, you will work with the Head of Science and Innovation Switzerland to deliver the Science & Innovation Network and Embassy’s science, technology and innovation objectives for Switzerland.

The role is centred on engagement, delivery and insight, as per the roles and responsibilities but the work is varied and as such the day-to-day responsibilities may change over time:
• supporting a strong bilateral science, innovation and technology relationship between the UK and Switzerland;
• identifying and taking forward opportunities for building research and innovation collaborations and partnerships.

You will also play an active role in the SIN DACH (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) team as well as the wider SIN Europe team.

The job holder reports to the Head of SIN Switzerland. The successful candidate will also work closely with the Embassy’s Policy Sections as well as the Embassy’s Department for Business and Trade team.

All staff are expected to contribute to the wider objectives of the British Government’s Switzerland network and to support the Embassy’s positive working environment.

Roles and responsibilities:

This a very varied role and as such the day-to-day responsibilities may change over time, however responsibilities will include:
• Pro-actively monitor and report key developments in Swiss science, innovation and technology policies, programmes and investments, preparing thorough, timely and concise reports, to inform UK international engagement.
• Conduct independent research in response to requests from UK stakeholders for concise reports on specific aspects of science, innovation and technology policies and programmes in Switzerland.
• Manage a network of contacts in government, research organisations and universities in the UK and Switzerland to support SIN and Embassy objectives.
• Contribute to a programme of projects, visits, events and other activities aimed at facilitating scientific and innovation collaboration between the UK and Switzerland and enhancing visibility of UK’s science excellence and innovation capability.
• Support Ministerial and other senior official visits to Switzerland relating to bilateral science and innovation issues, through identifying suitable contacts, coordinating meetings and providing relevant briefing.
• Support the Ambassador’s engagement on science and innovation with key high-level stakeholders.
• Work collaboratively across teams to share expertise and contribute to the delivery of Embassy priorities.
• Manage certain elements of project delivery, including project finances.

Be an active part of the SIN DACH team and wider SIN Europe team!

Essential qualifications, skills and experience

Essential on arrival:
• English spoken and written fluency (C2) is essential;
• A minimum of a university bachelor’s degree and a demonstrated interest in scientific and technological issues across a range of sectors;
• Strong interpersonal and communication skills. Proven ability to form professional relationships and build trust with a wide range of contacts;
• Proactive approach with ability to multi-task, plan ahead, and prioritise;
• Ability to work independently, as well as part of a team;
• Ability to produce concise, timely and thorough reporting upon request;
• Proficiency in MS Office applications (Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint.

Desirable qualifications, skills and experience

• German or French language skills (written and spoken - C1 Level);
• Understanding of the UK’s and Switzerland’s research and innovation and higher education landscapes;
• Knowledge and contact networks around one or more of SIN Switzerland’s current thematic priority areas (Critical and Emerging Technologies, Global Health and Climate);
• Excellent project management skills;
• Experience of working in embassies or other international or multilateral organisations;
• Experience of working in roles in the science, innovation or technology fields.

Required behaviours

Communicating and Influencing, Delivering at Pace, Making Effective Decisions, Working Together

Application deadline

24 May 2024


Executive Officer (EO)

Type of Position


Working hours per week

40h per week


Europe, Eastern Europe & Central Asia



Location (City)


Type of Post

British Embassy

Number of vacancies


Salary Currency



Monthly salary for this position is 8,428.00 CHF gross

Start Date

1 August 2024

End Date

31 March 2026

Other benefits and conditions of employment

This is a full-time, 40 h/week, Fixed Term position, with possibility to be made permanent subject to financial review in March 2026, subject to a probation period of 3 months.

Monthly salary for this position is 8,428.00 CHF gross, payable 13 times a year.

The annual leave entitlement is 25 days per year pro rata and the Embassy also enjoys an average of 14 public holidays per year. Specific training and mentoring for the role will be provided for the successful candidate. This may include training in London and the European region.

The “Start Date” is only an estimated date may vary depending on the SC outcome and depending on the Candidate’s availability (open to negotiation with the Hiring Manager).

The British Embassy in Berne believes in a culture of continuous learning and development and works to give all staff the opportunity to build expertise and achieve personal goals through engaging on the job, learning from colleagues and from formal training courses. The successful candidate will have a tailored induction programme.

The FCDO’s International Academy offers a range of learning opportunities, including accredited qualifications, to help you learn about the work of the UK government internationally, how diplomacy works, and to develop your professional skills. Funding is also available to support your bids for further external training that will benefit you in the role, for example to deepen knowledge and expertise in climate and energy policy matters.

The final appointment and commencement will be dependent upon successful security clearance and subject to a professional background check. The successful candidate will be subject to professional background and security clearance. The applicant will be vetted to a achieve a security clearance (SC level) both from UK and Switzerland.

Visa/work permit requirements: All applicants should have permission to live and work in Switzerland. Applicants must hold a full passport valid for at least 18 months for any EU / Schengen country. All applicants should have the right to live and work in Switzerland.

Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure you meet the legal requirements to live and work in this country.

Please note that the successful candidate will need to arrange and pay for their own travel and accommodation, as well as any other living costs and are subject to Swiss taxes.

Staff recruited locally by the British Embassy are subject to terms and conditions service according to Swiss employment law.

Additional information

Please note that the deadline for applications is 23:55 on the day mentioned in the above field “Application deadline”.

We advise you to allow enough time to complete and submit your full application, since only applications completed and submitted before the deadline will be considered.

Please be aware that the deadline for submitting applications is the time zone for the country where the vacancy has arisen.
Please be advised that the British Embassy Berne, will not be able to meet any cost during the Recruitment and Selection process, Security Check nor the costs connected with relocation.
• Please note for more information on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment levels please click on the following link CEFR. Please bear in mind in case you are invited for an interview your language skill is going to be assessed.

Please be aware that you will only be able to apply to vacancies for Country Based Staff roles with the British Government through this official tal.net site (operated by Oleeo). Jobs may be advertised on third party websites, however our adverts will always link back to the official tal.net site. If you complete and send an application through any other site, we will not receive it
Bern Switzerland


Apply - Science & Innovation Officer Switzerland (CHEB24.205) Bern