Principal Mathematical Modeller
Public Health England (PHE) is an executive agency of the Department of Health and Social Care providing; strategic leadership, research, advice and support for Government, local authorities and the NHS in protecting and improving the nation’s health
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This is a Non Reserved post under the Civil Service Nationality Rules and is therefore open to UK, Commonwealth and European Economic Area (EEA) Nationals and certain non EEA members. For more information please refer to the supporting documents detailing the Civil Service Nationality Rules.
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Given the nature of the work of PHE, as a Category 1 department, you may be required in an emergency, if deemed a necessity, to redeploy to another role at short notice. You may also be required to work at any other location, within reasonable travelling distance of your permanent home address, in line with the provisions set out in your contract of employment.
We welcome and encourage applications from everyone, including groups currently underrepresented in our workforce and pride ourselves as being an employer of choice. To find out more about how we champion diversity and inclusion in the workplace, visit: PHE website
On 18 August 2020, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care announced plans to establish a new agency (then referred to as the National Institute for Health Protection) to lead on health protection in England and to consult on the best future options for strengthening health improvement and other public health functions in the wider system. On 24 March 2021, the Secretary of State announced the new agency would be called the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), and on 29 March 2021 he announced the creation of the Office for Health Promotion (within the Department of Health & Social Care). Public Health England and many of its employees will be in scope for transition to new organisations in Autumn 2021. Any new or current employees working for Public Health England during this time, will receive appropriate communications and consultation prior to any formal transfer taking place. Employees who are required to transfer to successor bodies would usually remain on their existing contractual terms and conditions ( with any proposed changes being subject to consultation) and this applies both to current employees and those recruited during the transition. The recruitment, growth & development of our workforce is vital for the continuing success of PHE, and the future UK Health Security Agency and Office for Health Promotion.
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As from 1 January 2021 broadly the following groups may be eligible to work in non-reserved posts within the Civil Service:
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- Nationals of Commonwealth countries
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We are looking to recruit enthusiastic and competent mathematical modellers to join our modelling team within the highly multidisciplinary PHE COVID-19 Modelling Team. This group exists to co-ordinate the modelling and analytical tasks required for the PHE public health response to COVID-19, including the provision of timely, quantitative advice both within PHE and to wider UK government via the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling (SPI-M).
As a successful applicant for these roles you will be help strengthen and enhance the Modelling Team's work through academic collaboration, scientific publication and the construction and refinement of models and software. You are likely to be involved in a wide range of different mathematical, statistical and computational techniques, including epidemic modelling and data analysis.
We recruit people from a wide range of backgrounds and career histories and prize enthusiasm and adaptability.
Main duties of the job
- Provide a lead role in the assessment, development and application of appropriate mathematical and statistical modelling methods to address a range of public health challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic
- Review and investigate the epidemiological modelling and infectious disease research literature to help inform pandemic response
- Produce specialist technical reports and peer-reviewed publications
- Work closely with other members of the Modelling Team in the integration and dissemination of the above tools and data to provide a core government and emergency response capability
Working for our organisation
This multi-disciplinary, multi-stakeholder modelling team forms part of Public Health England’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Team consists of core PHE staff, academic colleagues and colleagues from across a wide range of other government departments
- Provides epidemiological infectious disease modelling analyses and advice across a range of modelling and statistical disciplines to inform policymakers and other stakeholders, including around the effectiveness of interventions, optimal testing and vaccination strategies for transmission mitigation in a variety of settings, e.g. schools, prisons and care homes.
Detailed job description and main responsibilities
- A first degree in a highly numerate subject (or significant equivalent experience)
- Post-graduate or equivalent substantial industrial experience in the use and application of mathematical and/or statistical modelling
- Significant experience and proven track record in one or more of the following techniques: Bayesian statistics, stochastic simulation techniques, mathematical model development, parameter estimation, predictive modelling, probability distribution theory, uncertainty propagation
- R, Python experience, or similar
- Ability to present and communicate complex information in a clear way to a variety of audiences
- Good interpersonal skills, team player and experience of collaborative working
We welcome and encourage applications from everyone, including groups currently underrepresented in our workforce and pride ourselves as being an employer of choice.
Knowledge and experience
- Significant postgraduate practical experience in applied mathematical modelling, preferably several year’s post doctoral experience
- Experience directly related to one or more of the following fields: microbiological risk analysis, epidemiology, mathematical modelling of infectious disease
- Proven track record in applied mathematical/statistical methodologies (e.g. publications/reports)
- Particular experience in several of the following highly desirable: Spatio-temporal models, Monte Carlo and stochastic simulation techniques, predictive modelling, spatial statistics, ecological or environmental modelling, state transition models, demographic modelling, numerical methods and simulation, sensitivity and scenario analysis, analysis of non-linear dynamical systems
Skills and capabilities
- Good computer literacy (WP, spreadsheets, WWW, email)
- Proficiency in the application of maths and software solutions to the interpretation of data
- Excellent formal report writing
- Good liaison with maths modelling and infectious disease specialists
- Setting up and maintaining collaborations with well-established maths modelling groups
- Specialist programming and software skills (Java, C, C++, Fortran, etc.)
- Knowledge of infectious disease processes
- Understanding of epidemiology
- Mathematical modelling of biological systems
- Excellent communication skills written, verbal, phone.
- Team Player inside and outside of own Team
- Highly desirable - Leading research/service delivery teams
- Risk Analysis and Assessment
- Risk Communication
- Organising Meetings/Workshops
- GIS (preferably ESRI)
- Drafting funding applications
Equality and diversity
- An understanding of and commitment to equality of opportunity and good working relationships, both in terms of day-to-day working practices, but also in relation to management systems
- First Degree in Mathematics/Statistics or related discipline involving high mathematical/statistical content
- Higher degree or substantially equivalent experience in the application of mathematical computational modelling or statistics (preferably PhD).
Documents to download
Further details / informal visits contact
- Emma Bennett
- Job title
- Technical Lead
- Email address
- Additional information