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Defence in Scotland: military personnel and estate - Specialist Adviser advert

30 July 2021

The Committee

The Scottish Affairs Committee scrutinises the expenditure, administration and policies of the Scotland Office, and its associated bodies. The Committee also examines the wider UK Government, to assess policies and legislation that lead to direct impacts on Scotland. It is chaired by Pete Wishart MP.

The Committee launched an inquiry into Defence in Scotland: military personnel and estate on Friday 30 July 2021. The Committee is expected to begin public evidence hearings in November 2021. The role of specialist adviser is likely to run from October 2021 until April 2022.

The Role

The successful applicant may be asked to:

  • work with the Committee secretariat, in particular the inquiry manager, to analyse the issues raised in written and oral evidence;
  • comment on drafts of written materials produced by the Committee secretariat;
  • advise on sources of information and evidence;
  • contribute written briefing materials for the Committee; and
  • attend Committee meetings (approximately once every three weeks during sitting periods, usually on Monday afternoons) and provide oral briefings as required.

The role will involve attendance at Committee meetings either virtually or sometimes in Westminster. You may be asked to accompany the Committee on a visit to Scotland in connection with the inquiry. The Committee will meet connected, necessary expenses.

Knowledge and skills

The Committee wishes to hear from applicants who:

  • understand and can demonstrate detailed knowledge of the defence personnel and estate landscape in Scotland;
  • can explain the implications for Scotland of the UK’s changing defence priorities;can explain the benefits of military infrastructure investments, and the impacts of military personnel and estate reductions, on employment and communities in Scotland;
  • can suggest from experience which individuals and organisations the Committee should consult on these subjects and can demonstrate a strong network of contacts on these subjects;
  • are familiar with the advocacy positions or political affiliations that are held by individuals and organisations, and with the policy debates relevant to the inquiry terms of reference; and
  • the ability to provide clear, concise and impartial advice both orally and in writing to politicians and the Committee secretariat is essential.

Time commitment and honorarium

As a Specialist Adviser, you will be working with the Committee secretariat on an ad-hoc basis to provide authoritative advice and support.

The overall commitment over the seven-month period is likely to be no more than 14 days, and only in exceptional circumstances would you be asked to do more than one days’ worth of work in a particular week. You would be paid a daily honorarium on the basis of work done.

Specialist Adviser appointments are in the public domain.

Application Process

To apply, please send a CV, covering letter and a declaration of relevant interests to

In your covering letter you should provide the following information:

Section 1

  • how your expertise is relevant to this inquiry;
  • give an indication of the amount of time you could realistically devote to Committee work;
  • outline your ability to take on work at short notice if required; and
  • provide a declaration of interests.

Your declaration of interests should include anything that a reasonable person might consider could influence the advice you give the Committee. For example, this would include, but is not limited to: a relevant financial interest, active membership of a relevant campaign group or political party, or the involvement of a close family member in the area of specialism. Declared interests from the successful applicant will be published.

Section 2

  • provide a short summary, with footnote references, of the key implications for Scotland of the UK’s changing defence priorities (max: 600 words).

Deadline for applications

Expressions of interest should be sent to by midday on Friday 10 September 2021. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to interview (virtually) on the week commencing Monday 20 September. If you have any questions about the role, please contact the Committee’s Second Clerk, Zac Mead, by emailing

The Committee values diversity and encourages applications from people from a wide range of backgrounds.

Further information

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