The Welsh Government – Marine and Biodiversity Division Placement – 30th April 2024


Name The Welsh Government
Placement base location The role will be full-time and is normally based with the policy team in one of Welsh Government’s regional offices. In line with the flexible working policy, the post-holder will be able to work from home, and office working will also be an option.
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Contact for enquiries Stephany Aymerich
Contact details Email:
Placement job title Analysing evidence to support the creation of biodiversity targets in Wales in response to the Global Biodiversity Framework
Potential start date September 2024 (Flexibility for an earlier start)
Potential working pattern Full time
Details of application method

Please submit CV and covering letter to Stephany Aymerich. NOTE: All applicants must confirm that they have received authorisation to undertake a placement from their academic supervisor.

We welcome receiving correspondence in Welsh. Any correspondence received in Welsh will be answered in Welsh and corresponding in Welsh will not lead to a delay in responding

If you have an impairment or health condition, or use British Sign Language and need to discuss reasonable adjustments for any part of the placement programme, or wish to discuss how we will support you if you are to be successful, please contact Stephany Aymerich as soon as possible to discuss your requirements and any questions you may have.

Application closing date 30th April 2024
Overview of PIPS organisation
The Marine and Biodiversity Division of the Welsh Government is seeking a PhD student for a placement opportunity within its International Biodiversity policy team. The team is responsible for the development of aspects of the Welsh Government’s biodiversity policy including international biodiversity and implementation of the Nature Recovery Action Plan for Wales.
Placement offered

Purpose of the Post:

The overarching purpose of the placement is to provide support in researching, identifying evidence, and collating data to support the creation of the biodiversity targets. These national targets are being created alongside the development of the Sustainable Futures Bill and form our response to the Global Biodiversity Framework agreed at COP15 in 2022. The proposed targets will be introduced as secondary legislation following the publication of the Bill. A complex methodology is required to create these targets and there is a tight timeline for creation. This placement will support this tight timeline, and work will include analysis and the development of papers in an accessible format for internal and external stakeholders on a part of this methodology, depending on the time of placement. Tasks may include:

  • Futures thinking – scope (or evaluate) the suitability of different scenario modelling methodologies for proposed biodiversity targets, e.g., exploratory, target-seeking, policy screening, retrospective policy evaluation (informing policy review), and consideration of expert-based and participatory approaches. Scenario modelling will ensure the targets are desirable, feasible, and viable.
  • Futures thinking – develop a systems thinking approach around the integration of existing legislation and government commitments against the proposed targets and the socioeconomic impacts.
  • Cost-benefit analysis of the secondary legislation – supporting the Regulatory Impact Assessment.
  • Align the proposed targets with the current Nature Recovery Action Plan and develop options for the future functioning of the Wales nature recovery framework proposed in the White Paper.
  • Support the indicator development for secondary legislation by validating data sources.

This placement will give you first hand experience of the development of a Bill and the process of creating and introducing secondary legislation. It will expose you to both international and national biodiversity conservation policy and legislation.


Key Tasks:

  • Systems thinking, mapping and analysis, and scenario modelling – by using a range of data and scenario predictions.
  • Desk based research – by using appropriate methods to provide evidence reviews (literature or statistical data) on a specific target development task.
  • Participate in stakeholder engagement through various advisory groups.
  • Develop a communications and engagement strategy document for the target development process.

The exact tasks required of the student will be dependent on the particular focus of the team at the time of the placement and the student will likely have the opportunity to become involved in other work areas where they have a specific interest.


Further Information:

The placement provides an opportunity to gain insight into the functioning of Welsh Government and evidence-based policy development at the highest level.  The post-holder will work in an interesting and diverse team, contributing to the shaping of a future policy direction. The post-holder will be expected to work independently within parameters and guidelines provided by the Welsh Government. Working closely with a wide range of colleagues the successful candidate will build valuable working relationships, broaden their knowledge of public policy-making and enhance their existing transferable skills.

The student will join an analytical team managing a diverse evidence-base and delivering technical and advisory support to the Biodiversity programme. This is an interesting and diverse role, working on a high-profile programme across Welsh Government portfolios which will allow the student to gain a broad knowledge and understanding of Welsh Government policy work. With support from their WG supervisor, the student will be expected to take responsibility for managing and delivery of work commitments during the placement period.

The role will be full-time and is normally based with the policy team in one of Welsh Government’s regional offices.  In line with the flexible working policy, the post-holder will be able to work from home, and office working will also be an option.

Post-holders will be provided with a laptop to facilitate regular contact with the policy team members and line management, other policy teams and external partners.  Due to the remote nature of working, the policy team will ensure that the post-holder is fully supported during the placement and will endeavour to ensure that the placement is as close to the in-team office-based experience as possible.

The placement will be for a 3 month period and will focus on delivering the objectives set out in the job specification.  The option to extend for a further 3 months is possible if the project team feel there is merit in doing so and if it is compatible with the post-holder’s university research schedule and DTP/CDT arrangements.

The Welsh Government is a bilingual organisation and Welsh language skills are considered an asset to the organisation. We encourage and support staff to use their Welsh language skills during a placement.

Exact start date will be agreed following successful Welsh Government security clearance.

Person specification
  • Excellent research skills (futures modelling or systems thinking skills desirable)
  • Ability to analyse complex information and data
  • Ability to write clearly and concisely
  • Ability of presenting technical material in an accessible format
  • Presentation skills
  • Creative thinking
  • Ability to apply an innovative approach
Financial contribution/benefit(s)
Funding for this placement is expected to be covered by the research council as per the applicant’s programme. Welsh Government will pay the cost of hotel, subsistence, travelling and any other additional expenses incurred by the PhD candidate in connection with the Project Support Services, subject to the limits in Welsh Government’s travel and subsistence policy.