Head of Office for Quantum Technologies – Department for International Development – Birmingham

Department for International Development

Job summary

Thank you for your interest in joining BEIS and the senior management team of Business Growth Directorate for the next step in your career. We offer challenging, interesting and fulfilling career opportunities.

This is a particularly exciting new role that will put you at the heart of leading and developing an emerging technology which is a priority for the Government. It will give you a unique perspective on the role government can play in accelerating and supporting the growth of a technology, and allow you to drive a programme that could transform the UK economy.

We will look to you to be an inspiring leader, a collaborative colleague and an ardent advocate for quantum technologies – across HMG and with the academic and business community. We will expect you to deliver tangible results.

In return, we can offer you an empowering and supportive work environment with plenty of scope for development.

Thank you for your interest in the role, please do get in touch if you would like to discuss it in more detail.

Job description

Technology policy is at the centre of HMG’s agenda, and quantum technologies are a priority technology. The forthcoming Quantum Strategy will articulate this and set out the actions that HMG needs to take to ensure we are a leading quantum nation, including setting up a dedicated cross-HMG team to lead the work.

This is an exciting opportunity to set up and lead that team, the Office for Quantum Technologies, which will sit within BEIS but be made up from individuals from across HMG. The team will need to identify, build and realise the opportunities of the nascent quantum sector for the benefit of UK prosperity, security and global influence. You will lead on all aspects of quantum technologies for HMG, working closely with many partners in Government, academia and industry, and your personal drive, energy and credibility will be an essential element of the success of the strategy.

You will be responsible for delivering against the objectives of the strategy. You will also be responsible for monitoring performance against the strategy, and reappraising the approach as the technologies develop, reporting to Ministers and to the Cabinet Committee on science and technology (the NSTC).

The Office will sit in the dynamic and diverse Business Growth directorate, which leads for BEIS on making the UK a great place to start and scale a business. Business Growth is within the highly respected Science, Innovation and Growth DG Group. 

We are an inclusive, positive, encouraging and dynamic directorate. We actively seek a diversity of views and challenge, and work across the team and with a wide range of colleagues across BEIS, HMG and externally. We work hard but flexibly and support alternative ways of working. Learning and development are really important to us and we will support you in these roles to develop your expertise and skills. 


The job holder will be expected to define the future programme of work for the Office, but specific responsibilities are expected to include:

Building a successful team to formulate and deliver quantum policy and strategy across HMG. Creating a supportive and inclusive culture with a strong delivery ethos. Managing resources effectively, ensuring staff have clear direction on tasks and are coached and enabled to succeed.

Leading the implementation of the national quantum technologies strategy, with a significant amount of senior official, ministerial and cross-HMG working, engaging widely to influence and ensure buy-in. Ensure priority workstreams such as R&D, skills, investment, international collaboration and regulation deliver real impact.

Monitoring and assessing the implementation of the strategy, and reappraising the approach in line with technological and geopolitical developments, advising ministers and reporting to the NSTC.

Establishing new senior level cross-HMG and external governance mechanisms, with a focus on strategic decision-making.

Working collaboratively with technology leads across Government, both on overall technology policy and strategy and on specific technologies where there are opportunities from convergence, such as AI, semiconductors and advanced manufacturing. Building close relationships with the HMG national security and defence community, given the dual use nature of quantum technologies.

Building international partnerships on quantum technologies, working closely with other leading quantum nations and with the FCDO and MOD on wider international frameworks, such as international tech partnerships and AUKUS.

Engaging confidently with external experts, industry and investors to boost investment in the quantum sector. Developing relationships with quantum businesses and investors, working across Government to identify opportunities.

Playing a full role as part of the Senior Management Team of the Business Growth Directorate, supporting the Director and working collaboratively across divisions.

Person specification

What we are looking for skills, experience and qualifications

Essentials – the successful candidate will demonstrate:

The successful candidate will be a strong, credible leader, and will need to show evidence of their capability in the following areas: 

Experience of working on quantum technologies or related area. Highly credible with businesses, researchers, investors and technology leaders, with the ability to engage confidently in both deeply technical and strategic conversations.

Ability to understand and shape a large and complex agenda, to navigate the considerations of economic prosperity and security, and to communicate a vision with clarity and credibility.

Strong leadership skills with proven experience of building an inclusive team, motivating and developing them, inspiring others and modelling behaviours. An ability to think and lead creatively and in innovative ways.

Skilled collaborator adept at building relationships inside and outside HMG.

Strong commercial and financial awareness, able to work with analysts and other experts to build dynamic knowledge of the UK market, identifying trends, opportunities and threats, and using this insight to inform policy and investment decisions.

DV clearance is essential for this role. If you do not already have DV clearance, obtaining it rapidly will be essential.


Whatever your role, we take your career and development seriously, and want to enable you to build a really successful career with the Department and wider Civil Service. It is crucial that our employees have the right skills to develop their careers and meet the challenges ahead. You’ll benefit from a wide range of training and development opportunities, regular performance and development reviews to ensure this development is ongoing. As a Civil Service employee, you’ll be entitled to a large range of benefits.

This includes:

25 days annual leave on entry, increasing on a sliding scale to 30 days after 5 years’ service. This is in addition to 8 public

holidays and one days leave for the kings birthday.

A competitive contributory pension scheme that you can enter as soon as you join where we will make a significant contribution to the cost of your pension; where your contributions come out of your salary before any tax is taken; and where your pension will continue to provide valuable benefits for you and your family if you are too ill to continue to work or die before you retire;

Flexible working patterns including part- time or time-term working and access to Flexible Working Schemes allowing you to vary your working day as long as you work your total hours;

Generous paid maternity and paternity leave which is notably more than the statutory minimum offered by many other employers;

Interest-free loans allowing you to spread the cost of an annual travel season ticket or a new bicycle;

The opportunity to use onsite facilities including fitness centers and staff canteens (where applicable); and.

Occupational sick pay.

Things you need to know

Selection process details

To apply for this post please follow the instructions on the CS Jobs website by no later than 23:55 Sunday 19th February 2023. As part of the application process you are asked to complete the following:

A CV setting out your career history, highlighting specific responsibilities and achievements that are relevant for this role, relevant achievements in recent posts, together with reasons for any gaps within the last two years.

A Statement of Suitability (no more than 1000 words) explaining how you consider your personal skills, qualities and experience provide evidence of your suitability for the role, with particular reference to the essential criteria in the person specification.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to undertake a Staff Engagement Exercise and an Individual Leadership Assessment as part of the recruiting prior to the final interview. This assessment will not result in a ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ decision. Rather it is designed to support the panels decision making and highlight areas for the panel to explore further at interview.

Final Interview

Overview of the Process

Government Recruitment Service will acknowledge your application and advise you of the outcome of the sift meeting. Depending on the number of applications received there may be a second stage s

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To apply for this job please visit uk.whatjobs.com.

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