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Job summary

Main area
Public Health & Clinical
Civil Service: Senior Executive Officer (SEO)
  • Full time
  • Part time
  • Job share
  • Flexible working
37.5 hours per week (This role will involve shift working including working at weekends)
Job ref
UK Health Security Agency
Employer type
Public (Non NHS)
Colindale/other London Locations
£40,074 - £45,998 Per Annum, Pro Rata
Salary period
06/10/2022 23:59

Employer heading

UK Health Security Agency logo

COVID-19 Vacancy Senior Epidemiology Scientist

Civil Service: Senior Executive Officer (SEO)

COVID-19 has reinforced the impact that threats to health can have on society and the economy and driven health security as a critical component of our national security architecture. The United Kingdom Health Security Agency (UKHSA) is a system leader for health security; taking action internationally to strengthen global health security, providing trusted advice to government and the public and reducing inequalities in the way different communities experience and are impacted by infectious disease, environmental hazards, and other threats to health.

UKHSA’s remit, as an agency with a global-to-local reach, is to protect the health of the nation from infectious diseases and other external threats to health. As the nation’s expert national health security agency UKHSA will:

  • Prevent: anticipate threats to health and help build the nation’s readiness, defences and health security
  • Detect: use cutting edge environmental and biological surveillance to proactively detect and monitor infectious diseases and threats to health
  • Analyse: use world-class science and data analytics to assess and continually monitor threats to health, identifying how best to control and mitigate the risks
  • Respond: take rapid, collaborative and effective actions nationally and locally to mitigate threats to health when they materialise
  • Lead: lead strong and sustainable global, national, regional and local partnerships designed to save lives, protect the nation from public health threats, and reduce inequalities

UKHSA’s immediate and most important priority is to continue the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the longer term, UKHSA will build on the legacy of the COVID-19 response to ensure resilient and scalable infrastructure to secure the UK in the strongest position to protect the public from future threats to health.

UKHSA mission is challenging, innovative and in the spotlight. To achieve our objectives effectively and fairly, we commit to representing modern Britain and all its diversity. UKHSA recognises that diversity of background and life experience brings different insights, creates challenge and encourages change and innovation. This in turn produces more accountable and trusted public services and better decisions; better because they are more attuned to the needs and interests of all our communities. Differences of thought and outlook are not only respected but expected. We want all our employees to feel that they can be themselves at work and that they are valued.

Job overview

The COVID-19 National Epidemiology team is located within United Kingdom Health Security Agency (UKHSA) Clinical and Public Health Group at Colindale.  The remit of the team includes providing specialist epidemiology and surveillance, coordinating the investigation of national outbreaks, advising government on the risks posed by COVID-19 and responding to international health concerns.

The postholder will be a member of this team, working on the surveillance, epidemiology and investigation of COVID-19.  The postholder will develop, manage and maintain surveillance databases. 

The postholder will also provide specialist scientific support for a range of national and international surveillance programmes, research projects and outbreak investigations. This will include the design and development of new surveillance and data management systems in response to developments in microbiological typing methods in collaboration with other epidemiologists and relevant specialists,  conducting complex statistical analyses to produce surveillance outputs. 


Main duties of the job

The main duties of the post are related to UKHSA’s national epidemiological function for COVID-19 incident and will work. This role is one of a team of Scientists working within the national COVID-19 epidemiology team and will have responsibility for supporting and developing the multiple epidemiological processes and outputs provided by the team. The post involves data collection, analysis and interpretation, and the writing of scientific reports and publications. The post holder may also have the opportunity to participate in COVID-19 related research projects. Work within this national team involves shift working and is fast paced; the postholder will need to be able to respond to sudden unexpected demands, demonstrate good interpersonal skills and to work as a team member. Detailed knowledge of STATA would be beneficial for this post.

This role  will also involve shift working including working at weekends

Working for our organisation

We pride ourselves as being an employer of choice, where Everyone Matters promoting equality of opportunity to actively encourage applications from everyone, including groups currently underrepresented in our workforce.

 UKHSA ethos is to be an inclusive organisation for all our staff and stakeholders. To create, nurture and sustain an inclusive culture, where differences drive innovative solutions to meet the needs of our workforce and wider communities. We do this through celebrating and protecting differences by removing barriers and promoting equity and equality of opportunity for all.

Security Clearance Level Requirement:

Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.

Successful candidates must meet the security requirements before they can be appointed. The level of security needed is Basic Personnel Security Standard.

People working with government assets must complete Basic Personnel Security Standard checks.


Detailed job description and main responsibilities

  • Develop, manage and maintain the surveillance databases.
  • Manage existing national surveillance systems and co-ordinate the development of new surveillance systems for COVID-19 and to supervise and advise junior scientific and administrative staff in the maintenance and development of integrated or enhanced surveillance datasets.
  • Conduct complex statistical analyses of data on COVID-19 drawn from a variety of surveillance sources.
  • Advise scientific and administrative staff conducting routine analyses of surveillance datasets for standardised outputs and ad hoc enquiries.
  • Supervise junior scientific colleagues and the administrative team in the production of surveillance reports and publications
  • Provide technical advice and assistance to public health practitioners on the design, maintenance, analysis and interpretation of surveillance databases.
  • Assist in the design and development of new surveillance and data management systems in response to developments in the application of microbiological typing methods including contributing to the drafting of Standard Operating Procedures.

Detailed knowledge of STATA would be beneficial for this post.

To apply you will be invited to complete an application, where you will be asked to provide a Personal Statement / Statement of Suitability in no more than  750 words .Please be aware the box provided for this statement may allow more than the word limit requested so please do check your word count.

This should outline how you consider your skills, experience and achievements, provide evidence of your suitability for the role, with particular reference to the essential and desirable  criteria outlined in the Person specification.

You will also be asked to provide information within the ‘Employer/ Activity history’ section of the application form. This is equivalent to the information you would provide on a CV, setting out your career history this will  be used in sifting process and will  be assessed.

Unfortunately, late applications will not be considered.


    You will be required to complete an application form. This will be assessed in line with the advertised criteria.

    If you are successful at this stage, you will progress to an interview.


    All candidates who are successful at the sift stage will undertake a single video interview.

    Candidates who are successful in being invited to interview will be required to take a test in addition to the interview process.

    Interview date


Open to all external applicants (anyone) from outside the Civil Service (including internal applicants).

New entrants to the Civil Service are expected to start on the minimum of the pay band.  

The internal roles rules apply to existing Civil Servants, i.e. level transfers move on current salary or the pay range minimum, transfers on promotion move to new pay range minimum or receive 10% increase.  

Either case is determined by whichever is the highest. 

For further details please refer to the Information Sheet- Starting Salaries & Benefits attachment. 

This is a permanent appointment.

Further information
The law requires that selection for appointment to the Civil Service is on merit based on fair and open competition as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's Recruitment Principles.


Person specification


Essential criteria
  • First degree in a science subject
  • Higher degree in Epidemiology, Public Health or an allied subject

Knowledge and experience

Essential criteria
  • Postgraduate work/study in public health, epidemiology or an allied subject.
  • Interpreting and evaluating epidemiological data, using Access/ SQL databases, spreadsheets, statistical and graphics packages to an advanced level
  • Statistical analysis of large and complex epidemiological datasets.
  • Managing epidemiological studies and outbreak investigation.
  • Writing scientific papers and/or project reports
Desirable criteria
  • Having a thorough understanding of recent advances in the epidemiology and microbiology of COVID-19 and presenting scientific papers at national and international conferences

Skills and capabilities

Essential criteria
  • Ability to work independently and take responsibility for own technical work and time and to work as an effective team member
  • Ability to analyse, summarise and interpret complex epidemiological data
  • Communicate ideas and methods clearly and succinctly to include excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Identify and solve day-to-day practical problems.
  • Ability to work on several separate tasks at the same time, whilst keeping to agreed deadlines.
  • Ability to analyse very complex issues where material is conflicting and drawn from multiple sources
  • Demonstrated capability to act upon incomplete information, using experience to make inferences and decision making
Desirable criteria
  • Experience of creating and giving presentations to a varied group of internal and external stakeholders and an ability to liaise with a range of health professionals and scientific specialists.

Equality and diversity

Essential criteria
  • An understanding of and commitment to equality of opportunity and good working relationships

Employer certification / accreditation badges

Happy to Talk Flexible WorkingPurple SpaceApprenticeships logoNo smoking policyMindful employer.  Being positive about mental health.Improving working livesAge positiveDisability confident employerThe Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion (enei) is the UK's leading employer network covering all aspects of equality and inclusion issues in the workplace.Carer Confident -Accomplished

Documents to download

Apply online now

Further details / informal visits contact

Sharon Cooper
Job title
Resourcing Manager
Email address
Additional information

For further details about the role or an informal chat ,please contact:

Meaghan Kall

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