Senior Scientist (Social Science)

NSW Government

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

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Job Posted: 12/09/2018

Job Category:

Science & Technology / Environmental

Job description:
Job Title: Senior Scientist (Social Science)
Job Grade / Classification: Environment Officer Class 9
Employment Type: Temporary, Full Time
Duration: Up to 30 June 2020
Location: Sydney CBD (this role may be moving to either Lidcombe or Paramatta at the end of 2019)

• Use your social science expertise to assess community values and uses of waterways in coastal NSW
• Unique opportunity to influence policies on the management of water quality in the marine estate
• Work on the front line, engaging with stakeholders to achieve better waterway health outcomes and shape places that people love

Agency overview
The Department of Planning & Environment is the lead NSW Government agency in planning for a growing NSW. The Department is going through an exciting period of organisational and operational change. 

The Department’s vision – “Planning for growing NSW: inspiring strong communities, protecting our environment” – provides the benchmark for our partnership and leadership approach to engaging and working collaboratively with key State and Local Government, community and industry stakeholders to deliver better outcomes in the areas of planning, local government and the environment. 

The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage is a part of the Planning and Environment Cluster. It aims to enrich life in NSW by helping the community to conserve and enjoy our environment and heritage. For more information go to

The role will work for Science Division, which sits within the Office of Environment and Heritage. Science Division provides scientific evidence and knowledge to underpin environmental decision making, regulation and service delivery. 

About the Role: 
This role is for a social scientist to deliver an assessment of community values and uses of waterways in coastal NSW. The outcomes of the project will form the basis of the state government’s water quality policy and update existing environmental values identified in the NSW Water Quality and River Flow Objectives.

This role is responsible for the following: 
• Identify users’ needs, experience with existing water quality policy and its implementation, and ideas for improvement. Adjust project scope based on these findings.
• Design and deliver questions for face to face interviews with state and local governments, communities, water professionals and other stakeholders
• Organise and participate in a range of engagement activities including community and stakeholder meetings, information sessions, focus groups and public exhibitions
• Deliver communication materials, including spatial web content on project outcomes
• Help in the procurement and project management of social research, aimed at identifying placed-based community values and uses of the state’s waterways 

Essential requirements:
• Scientific qualifications, well-developed knowledge and demonstrated experience in data storage and management.
• Experience in developing, planning and implementing monitoring projects, including accountability for the planning and management of finances and deliverables.

To be successful in the role, ideally you will have:
• Tertiary qualification in Social Sciences or demonstrated relevant experience
• Demonstrate quantitative and qualitative social research experience 
• Excellent project management, planning and organising skills, with demonstrated experience in meeting deadlines and in using initiative to achieve project objectives
• Demonstrated experience in working with multi-disciplinary teams, and distilling technical information into communication material that resonates across a wide spectrum of stakeholders
• Proficiency in online social media tools, data mining and/or participatory GIS

Please read the following documents prior to preparing your application:

Our commitment to diversity and flexibility:
At the Planning and Environment Cluster, we believe a diverse and inclusive workforce contributes to the success of our business and are committed to ensuring that our workforce reflects the communities of NSW.

We understand that flexibility means different things to different people and are committed to offering flexible work arrangements where and when possible.

Good to know: 
A Recruitment Pool may be established for future temporary and ongoing roles with similar focus capabilities. The Recruitment Pool may be available to hiring managers from DPE and other NSW Public Sector agencies over a 12-month period. 

To Apply: 
Complete all the questions in the online application. Two of the questions will require you to provide specific examples from your experience (4000-character limit per question). These questions are shown below. Do not address these in your cover letter.

Q1. Please provide an example of a project where you were responsible for identifying community priorities and needs in a quantitatively and qualitatively rigorous manner to support natural resource management. Describe how you scoped the project, your approach to engagement, sample design and recruitment, data collection and analysis, and dissemination of project outcomes.

Q2. Please provide an example of a project where you have worked collaboratively and in an integrated way to achieve project objectives. Describe how you prioritised tasks and used your initiative to meet deadlines. 

The information provided in your application needs to show how you meet the focus capabilities and other essential requirements of the role. (Refer to the role description for details about the capabilities and the associated behavioural indicators. The role description also lists the essential role requirements.) 

Applications Close: Wednesday 26 September at 11:59pm.

Should you require further information about the role please contact; Jocelyn Dela-Cruz (02) 9995 5508 or If you have any enquiries regarding the recruitment process please contact Ashlee Chuter (02) 9585 6105.