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GSS > News > Secondment opportunities with BBC News

Secondment opportunities with BBC News

We are pleased to offer four exciting opportunities for experienced analysts to work within the BBC for three-month placements in 2019, starting in January.

The secondments will be based at the headquarters of BBC News in London, and as such the successful applicants will be expected to be based in London for the duration of the placement.

The roles would suit a Grade 7 or experienced SEO or fast streamer from one of the analytical professions.

Your salary for this professional development opportunity will continue to be paid by your parent department, so applicants should have the approval of their line manager and divisional director before applying.

Role and responsibilities

The successful applicants will work closely with the BBC’s head of statistics to fact check, provide figures and briefings and ensure the robust and accurate use of statistics in any BBC outputs across a range of topics, specifically through:

  • advising on the interpretation and presentation of statistical claims in surveys, press releases and news stories
  • helping journalists find the right data source and come to conclusions supported by the evidence when working with official statistics
  • conducting ad hoc statistical analyses of data for new stories with the statistics and data journalism teams
  • promoting good statistics and statistical thinking to journalists

Person specification

Ability to work in a fast-paced, changing environment and to adapt to the media culture.

An interest in news, current affairs and communication of official data, with familiarity with the official statistics in the news agenda.

Ability to analyse and interpret data, and to evaluate statistical claims. Familiarity with some combination of R, Python and Excel would be useful.

Ability to communicate findings, methods and caveats clearly and concisely to those without a statistical background.


All loans and secondment opportunities are offered on the basis of current satisfactory performance. Applicants must obtain their line-manager’s permission to apply and an endorsement of their application.

The successful candidates will be representing ONS and the Government Statistical Service (GSS) and as such will be expected to adhere to their professional standards and the Civil Service code of objectivity and impartiality at all times during their placement.

Please send a brief expression of interest (no more than 1 side of A4) to stating how you meet the requirements. Please also indicate which of the following periods you would like to be placed in:

  • January to March 2019
  • April to June 2019
  • July to September 2019
  • October to December 2019

We’ll carry out a selection exercise based on the roles, responsibilities and person specification criteria. The deadline for applications is Monday 26 November 2018.