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Specialist Adviser vacancy for welfare policy in Scotland inquiry

15 October 2020

The House of Commons Scottish Affairs Committee is inviting applications from individuals for the role of Specialist Adviser to the Scottish Affairs Committee for its inquiry into welfare policy in Scotland.

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 its inquiry on Welfare Policy in Scotland on Wednesday 14 October 2020 and the Committee is expected to begin public evidence hearings in December 2020. The role of specialist adviser is likely to run from November 2020 until April/ May 2021.

The Role

The successful applicant may be asked to:

  • work with the Committee secretariat, and in particular, the inquiry manager, to analyse the issues raised in the inquiry on welfare policy in Scotland;
  • comment on drafts of written material produced by the Committee secretariat;
  • advise on sources of information and evidence;
  • contribute to briefing material for the Committee;
  • attend Committee meetings and provide oral briefings when required.

The role will involve attendance at Committee meetings either virtually, or where possible, in Westminster, and you may be asked, where possible, to accompany the Committee on any visit in connection with the subject.

The Committee will meet connected, necessary expenses.

Knowledge and skills

The Committee wishes to hear from applicants who:

  • can demonstrate detailed knowledge of welfare policy in Scotland, including Universal Credit, and Scottish Choices;
  • knowledge of the devolution of welfare policy, including governance by the UK Government, and where relevant, governance of the Scottish Government;
  • can demonstrate insight into the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on welfare in Scotland;
  • 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;
  • can suggest from experience which individuals and organisations the Committee should consult on this subject;
  • can demonstrate a strong network of contacts on this subject;
  • the ability to provide clear, concise and impartial advice orally and in writing to politicians and/or senior decision-makers 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.

The overall commitment is likely to be no more than around 10 days, and only in exceptional circumstances would you be asked to do more than two days’ 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 on the main policy concerns around welfare policy in Scotland (max: 500 words).

Deadline for applications

Expressions of interest should be sent to no later than 12 midday on Monday 2 November 2020. Shortlisted candidates may be invited to interview on Thursday 5 November. If you have any questions about the role, please contact the Committee Clerk, Leoni Kurt on 020 7219 3864.

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

Further information

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