Senior Data Scientist- UK Health Security Agency Hybrid remote £38,724 – £48,068 a year – Full-time

Full time @Data Science Career in Data Science , in Data Scientist
  • Apply Before : March 22, 2024
  • Salary: £38.00 - £48.00 / Annual
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Job Detail

  • Job ID 21912
  • Sector Data Science

Job Description

Job Title –Senior Data Scientist

Profession- Data Analytics & Surveillance

Directorate– Data Analytics & Surveillance

Full Time equivalent- 37.5 hours

No of Roles– 6

Contract Type– Permanent

Location– Home Working

Working Pattern– Full Time /Job Share / Flexible Working/ Hybrid Working/ Home Working

Grade & Salary –Grade SEO. National banding- £38,724 – £44,393 Inner London –£42,716- £48,068 Outer London – £40,721- £46,231

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.

This role is to be appointed under Civil Service Terms & Conditions.Full details on the T&C’s are found

Closing Date –04/02/2024. 23:55pm. Unfortunately, late applications will not be considered

Interview Dates –

Technical Test – W/C 19/02/2024 – 23/02/2024 Please note, these dates are subject to change.

Panel Interview – W/C 04/03/2024 Please note, these dates are subject to change.

We have many interesting and varied data science roles (more details in detailed description):

A data scientist will work independently and have a good understanding of a range of topics, including data science techniques, delivery methods, iterative working, tools, and technologies.

At this role level, you will:

  • Develop complex solutions using a range of data science techniques, whilst understanding ethical considerations.
  • Understand the role and benefits of data science within the organisation.
  • Support capability building.
  • Collaborate with others to develop data science solutions and outputs.
  • Prepare and manipulate data and perform complex analytics.
  • Present and communicate effectively.

The Data Analytics and Surveillance (DAS) Group, consists of a large community of data scientists, government analysts (GSG, GORS, GES, GSR), mathematical modellers, epidemiologists, information specialists, and data engineers. This is a unique opportunity to help provide crucial information and insight to support the management of high-profile health incidents alongside ongoing surveillance activities. UKHSA has a strong data science community with learning opportunities, community groups and hackathon events. We predominantly code in Python and R and utilise AWS and Azure based cloud environments. The teams use Agile ways of working including software such as Confluence and Jira to manage delivery. Our Enterprise Data and Analytics Platform (EDAP) is enriched with curated, consistent, and high-quality data from existing platforms as well as providing access to a range of analytical tooling.

We have many interesting and varied data science roles in the following areas:

Advanced Analytics- Harness interdisciplinary analytical methods, tools and products which can rapidly be deployed to deliver policy relevant insight to support health security, partnering effectively and flexibly with a diverse range of stakeholders. Example methods include regression techniques, visualisation, network modelling, natural language processing and artificial intelligence approaches.

Modelling– Develop and utilise statistical and mathematical models such as generalised additive models, Bayesian models and Agent-Based Models to produce projections of hospital admissions and/or growth rate estimates for infectious diseases, e.g., COVID-19 and Influenza.

Health Analytics and Automation- Leading on the delivery of key products to support incident response and the routine surveillance of health conditions and infectious diseases. Work across directorates and with external stakeholders to identify and develop opportunities for product automation and reproducible analyses (includes the automation of epidemiological and statistical models). A background of working with clinical or epidemiological data would be advantageous.

Data Science Pool -Flexible resourcing service that helps tackle a range of high-priority data science challenges across UKHSA, including those related to emergency response. Deployments typically last a few months and enable rapid development of a broad set of skills.

We pride ourselves as being an employer of choice, where Everyone Matters promoting equality 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.

Mandatory Qualifications:
Candidates will need at least one of the following:

  • A first- or second-class honours degree in a numerate discipline, computer science or IT equivalent which demonstrates core statistical skills;
  • A higher degree, e.g., an MSc or PhD, in Data Science, Mathematics, Statistics, Physics (this is not a definitive list);
  • Have worked in a statistical/data science field and are able to demonstrate continuous professional development in statistics/data science at the same level as a foundation degree/HND (Level 5)

Essential Criteria:

  • Strong written and verbal communication skills, with the ability to tailor communications for different audiences. This includes scoping projects and presenting analysis results to senior stakeholders and decision makers.
  • Proficient in Python and/or R and SQL databases.
  • Strong understanding of mathematical and statistical approaches that can be applied to use cases to derive tangible insights and benefits for the organization.
  • Knowledge of software best practices such as writing functions, modular code, and using git-based version control systems.
  • Experience working in a multi-disciplinary team to deliver analytical/data science projects.

Desirable criteria:

  • Experience of producing analytical products (e.g., software packages, automated reports, dynamic visualizations/dashboards) for decision making.
  • Experience of testing code and code refactoring to reduce computational timing/required resources.
  • Experience in utilising a range of data sources (clinical, epidemiological environmental and socio-economic data) to support efficient management of public health incident response and for research purposes including engaging with data owners, automating bespoke pipelines, and querying and linking data.
  • Sound experience of a range of mathematical and statistical approaches including Generative Additive Models, Bayesian models and Agent-Based Models.
  • Experience in use of AI, either through commercial APIs or locally-hosted solutions.
  • Experience in line-managing data scientists and supporting their skills development.
  • Experience working using Agile project management approaches.

Selection Process

Stage 1: Application & Sift

This vacancy is using Success Profiles, and will assess your Behaviours and Experience

We will be assessing 3 Civil Service behaviours at siftin additionto the essential criteria. The behaviours to be assessed at sift are: Working Together, Communicating and Influencing, and Changing and Improving. If there are a large number of applications, we may run a pre-sift on the essential criteria only.

Within the application form, you will be asked to write:
1. 250 words on how you meet each of the 3 Civil Service behaviours for the roles (250 words per behaviour).
2. 250 words on how you meet the essential criteria.

We suggest using the STAR (situation, task, action, result) method to draw on real-life examples for how you meet both the Civil Service behaviours and the specified essential criteria (beyond what is written in your CV).

Please do not exceed the 250-word limit, any text after 250 words WILL NOT be considered

The following documents may be useful:

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.

If you are successful at this stage, you will progress to a technical assessment

Stage 2: Technical Assessment

You will be provided with a representative data science task and data set and have 90 minutes to construct a code-based solution. You will then have an interactive discussion with a panel. Here you will present your outputs and respond to questions interactively. This session is expected to last around 20 minutes.

The assessment is predominately designed to test your coding and mathematical skills and the marking will align to the DDAT data science framework. If you pass this stage, you will proceed to the final interview stage.

Stage 3 – Panel Interview

All applicants that pass the sift and technical assessment will progress to interview and will be assessed on behaviours and technical ability through Success Profiles.

The Behaviours tested during the interview stage will be:

  • Working together
  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Changing and Improving

It will also assess the following technical elements from the DDAT data science profile:

  • Delivering business impact
  • Developing data science capability

These documents may again be useful in interview preparation:

Reserve List:
Candidates who pass the interview criteria but are not offered a post will be kept on a reserve list for 12 months and may be contacted if similar roles become available.

If you are interviewed for the post and do not meet the required threshold for the specified grade, your application may be assessed against a similar, lower grade role and you may be offered the post should one be available.

DBS -People working with government systems must complete Basic Personnel Security Standard (BPSS) checks which includes a disclosure and barring security check. Successful candidates must meet the security requirements before they can be appointed. The level of security needed for this role is BPSS however there may be a requirement for this role to be SC cleared and you should familiarise yourself with the criteria of security clearance.

This role is Open to all external applicants (anyone) from outside the Civil Service (including by definition internal applicants. Appointments to roles within UKHSA will be made in accordance with the Civil Service nationality rules. These can be found at This job is broadly open to the following groups:

  • UK nationals
  • Nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK
  • Nationals of the Republic of Ireland
  • Nationals from the EU, EEA or Switzerland with settled or pre-settled status or who apply for either status by the deadline of the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
  • Relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals working in the Civil Service
  • Relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals who have built up the right to work in the Civil Service
  • Certain family members of the relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission’s Recruitment Principles.

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As such, we run aDisability Confident Scheme (DCS)for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

The Civil Service welcomes applications from people who have recently left prison or have an unspent conviction.Read more about prison leaver recruitment.

Once this job has closed, the job advert will no longer be available. You may want to save a copy for your records.

Government baseline personnel security standard

It’s important to note that there are currently exceptions to applications being considered if your conviction relates to any of the following:

  • life sentences
  • arson
  • sexual offences
  • hate and terror offences

Some departments will also consider the specific offence against the nature of the business, i.e., a conviction for fraud may rule you out for a finance role

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