Artificial Intelligence

Scientists wanted to help DfE ‘shape future of education’

The Department for Education is creating a new science advisory council and is looking for members

The Department for Education is creating a new science advisory council and is looking for members


Scientists with expertise in artificial intelligence, sustainable school buildings and ed tech are being recruited to advise ministers and “shape the future of education”. 

The Department for Education is creating a new 12-strong science advisory council to help the department access “cutting-edge” scientific evidence, analytical approaches and expertise for “robust” decision making. 

They want members to be from academia, industry and non-profit organisations with a research, science or analytical background, an advert stated.

The council will support Professor Russell Viner, DfE’s chief scientific adviser, to provide ministers and senior officials with expert advice.

While the DfE has “long-established analytical expertise”, it wants to widen its scope to “draw additionally on natural and social science disciplines”.

DfE said the membership will reflect the need to respond to its challenges such as “developments in AI and education technology, sustainable and secure school buildings and adapting to climate change, and continued physical and mental health challenges”. 

“This is an exciting opportunity for highly experienced members of the academic and non-governmental analytical community (mid-career and senior) to influence evidence-based policy and shape the future of education,” it added. 

Other expertise required includes behavioural science, computer science, maths and psychology.

Members must interact with government “transparently and openly”, while acting in an “unbiased and independent manner”. 

In addition, they must have “excellent” communication skills to “command the confidence” of the scientific community, but also have “personal and political sensitivity”. 

DfE is looking for between 8 to 12 members, including a chairperson. 

The two-year posts will be voluntary, but with reasonable expenses covered.  Applications close on May 27.

Your thoughts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Naomi Styles

    I would like to add that there is a real skill shortage and understanding in rural productivity too, eg agriculture, forestry, fisheries, soil science, pest control etc as well as general poor understanding in the general population about growing things either for productivity or environment, amenity and health benefits and I would like to see these included, as a practical science, in this shake up.