Principal Environmental Data Specialist

28 March 2024
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Deadline date:
£71000 - £111000 / year

Job Description

We are looking for an experienced environmental data specialist to provide technical leadership on environmental monitoring and evaluation design to assess impact, supporting the specification and delivery of major monitoring programmes on land, air and water for Natural England and Defra that will inform agri-environment programmes, species conservation strategies and wider nature recovery.

The role

ICF has recently been appointed as the Defra family’s Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning services provider for the natural environment, food and farming, marine and fisheries and climate/environment. We are recruiting to support delivery of these services.  These roles will provide an opportunity to make a positive contribution at a time of innovation, change and challenge in policies and programmes for nature recovery, agri-environment and environmental protection.  The work will build on our twenty year track record of supporting the development and evaluation of environment and related policies in the UK and European Union.

The role will sit within an ICF team that provides support to Defra, Natural England, the Environment Agency, Welsh Government and other public bodies on the environmental monitoring and evaluation.  The team works on issues at the top of today’s environmental policy agenda, including:

  • Restoring biodiversity and natural capital
  • Sustainable agriculture and food
  • Addressing climate change and net zero
  • Blue economy, marine and  fisheries
  • Pollution and circular economy

This is an exciting opportunity to work in a key public policy area, alongside a team of highly motivated and skilled researchers and evaluators. As a Senior Environmental Data Specialist you will

  • contribute to a diverse range of monitoring and evaluation assignments, ensuring that evaluation evidence needs inform environmental monitoring design and data collection.
  • support the specification and delivery of major monitoring programmes on land, air and water for Natural England and Defra that will inform agri-environment programmes, species conservation strategies and wider nature recovery.

Your main responsibilities will be to:

  • Lead and support monitoring, evaluation and learning design to inform policy
  • Analyse and model environmental data to provide robust evidence for policymakers
  • Work with clients to communicate and shape evidence needs and use
  • Manage project teams, working with partner research institutes and academics
  • Lead business development opportunities and build networks and partnerships
  • Profile and promote ICF environmental evaluation expertise and work

ICF will provide you with the opportunity to develop your knowledge and skills further through excellent training and development support, structured career guidance systems, our mentoring programme, communities of practice and line management arrangements.

Who we are looking for

We are looking for someone with technical expertise in environmental research design and data analysis, and excellent knowledge of related policy, metrics and datasets. You will have a track record in monitoring and evaluation work and an understanding of how evidence is used in policymaking. You should have demonstrable experience of how environmental data is gathered, analysed and used, e.g. through modelling and statistical analysis, to evidence environment status or impact. You will have:

  • Proven track record in environmental data capture, statistical analysis and use
  • Data analysis and modelling experience with a programming language such as Python, R or other
  • Experience using and interpreting graphical information system (GIS)
  • Experience in working with field survey data, including habitat and protected species surveys.
  • Ability to provide technical leadership on environmental monitoring design and data analysis
  • Ability to work with multidisciplinary research teams, evaluators and policymakers
  • Demonstrable knowledge of environmental policy, natural capital and ecosystem services, and related indicators/datasets and ENCA tools
  • Experience of managing projects, budgets, teams and client interactions
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Highly-developed interpersonal skills and self-motivation.

The appointment will be made a level commensurate with the experience of the preferred candidate but is expected to be at Managing Consulting level.


This role offers you the chance to develop your career within a global business, in a work environment that is collegiate and supportive. ICF are thought leaders across a wide range of disciplines, with an unrivalled network of experts. You’ll join a team that’s focused only on delivering high quality evidence and evaluation on environmental land management policy.



About us:

Working at ICF means applying a passion for meaningful work with intellectual rigor to help solve the leading issues of our day. Smart, compassionate, innovative, committed, ICF employees tackle unprecedented challenges to benefit people, businesses, and governments around the globe. We believe in collaboration, mutual respect, open communication, and opportunity for growth.

We can only solve the world’s toughest challenges by building an inclusive workplace that allows everyone to thrive. We are committed to creating a culture where we embrace our differences in ideas and identities. Together, our employees are empowered to share their expertise and collaborate with others to achieve personal and professional goals. 

Learn more about what we do and our commitment to inclusion.  

The benefits of joining ICF:

Our people at ICF are our most important asset, so we invest in them from the moment they arrive. When you join our team, you’ll have access to a vast array of benefits to help you live your life well.


We offer a hybrid working policy, which will provide you with the flexibility to collaborate in the office, as well as in the comfort of your own home, ensuring you are able to successfully deliver the requirements of your role.


To support you, our employee wellbeing hub is designed to provide highly personalised support across a comprehensive range of wellbeing issues, such as mind, body, finances, community, career programs and HR support.


We enjoy celebrating success, which is why we have a competitive recognition program called ‘You Matter’, which awards points as a ‘thank you’ for your work achievements. These can be spent on a large variety of high-quality items, as well as online or high-street vouchers, all with zero tax payable by the employee.


ICF also offers a range of competitive benefits, which include:

  • Single Private Medical Insurance cover with no restrictions on existing conditions.
  • Dental insurance and an online GP service.
  • 25 days annual leave, plus UK bank holidays (annual leave increases with years of service).
  • Pension scheme with 5% of salary employer contribution
  • Life assurance paying 4x annual salary and Group Income Protection paying 66% of salary for up to 5 years if you are off work on long-term sick.
  • Enhanced parental leave policies, enhanced maternity, paternity, adoption, and shared parental pay.

London (GB80)