Job description

Reference number



National: £49,529 London: £53,355


Grade 7

Contract type


Business area


Type of role


Working pattern

Flexible working, Full-time, Job share, Part-time

Number of posts



Leeds, Yorkshire and the Humber, LS2 7UE : City of Westminster, London, SW1H 0EU

About the job


NHSX are a joint unit made up of colleagues in the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and NHS England and Improvement (NHSE/I) and will harness the best expertise from industry, the NHS, Government and the health and care sectors. This role is being recruited into DHSC.

You will be part of the recently formed Analytics Unit, in the Policy & Strategy Directorate within NHSX. The NHSX Analytics Unit is expected to support the world's largest digital health and social care transformation by delivering business intelligence and innovative and impactful data science. The Unit will set the standard for digital analytics across the system and will mobilise the wider analytical community both within the NHS and beyond to deliver analysis, insight and research for better health and care.

As a Data Scientist, the post holder will work in the innovation branch of the analytics unit which investigates applying novel techniques and cutting-edge algorithms in an open and transparent way of working with the aim of sharing products and learnings with the health system. The branches focus in on enabling others through:

increasing the use of all types of data collected across the NHS;

showcasing a culture of sharing interoperable code in the open for reuse;

demonstrating use of frameworks and techniques in areas of active research;

developing guidance for appropriate technology choices and ways of working across the NHS.

See for benefits associated with joining the civil service

Job description

The successful candidate will have three main components to their work: supporting the analytical unit to deliver an effective service; driving forwards specific areas of innovation in the NHS; and supervising short-term data science Interns.

The NHSX analytics unit supports the business in driving digital transformation as well as value for money in planning, commissioning and service. The successful candidate would lead on projects that support NHSX programmes by providing them with evidence based analysis, timely data flows and guidance on suitable analytical approaches. Additionally, the unit actively seeks to support NHSEI and other NHS arms length bodies for digital transformation work.

As a data scientist in the innovation branch the successful candidate would be expected to lead on one or two areas of innovation (such as natural language processing, privacy, explainability, distributed learning etc…). This would involve:

Engaging with communities to understand the need and gaps in the field;

Establishing a research strategy to build the knowledge in the field across the NHS; and

Enabling others to increase in capability in the area through example and guidance.

The specific area(s) depends on the candidates previous knowledge, experience and interests alongside an identified need in the system. As part of the selection process we ask that the candidate describes the value of developing one area of interest which they feel is needed for healthcare in both the statement of suitability and interview.

In 2021, we launched a data science internship programme which aims to take six PhD students a year for 3-6 month placements in order to connect NHS and academia through fast research projects. The successful candidate would support and supervise a number of these interns using their technical and health care knowledge to ensure the projects deliver useable outputs which support a bigger research agenda.


In this role you will be expected to:

Building credible statistical models from data and using the best coding practices to generate reproducible work.

Sourcing, accessing, manipulating and engineering data processes with data that typically have characteristics of volume, velocity and variety, or all of them.

Exploring and visualising data to present the ‘story’ of data in a meaningful way to a range of technical and non-technical audiences.
Using an evolving range of data analysis tools and techniques, including open source, some of which must be learnt quickly, as and when required.

Working with policy and operations to understand where data science can add value.

Supporting strategic and operational decision making in order to create impact.

Drawing on other technical and analytical standards from across government and industry.

Adhering to the data science ethics framework.

Taking an interdisciplinary focus, using techniques and knowledge from across the scientific spectrum.

Continuously seeking to expand a range of technical skills in addition to their leadership and communications development.

Helping to grow data science skills in other teams, understanding the variety of functional roles relating to data science and how they can be most effectively applied to solve business problems.

Bring technical expertise in coding.

Work in a cloud environment (in particular Azure and AWS).

Demonstrate a good working knowledge and experience of NHS data sets.

Understand best practice and appropriate ways of working when coding in the open.

As part of your role you will;

Use statistical and data science techniques to deliver insight on data, applying your skills in coding, mathematics and statistics to inform debate and influence decisions.

Help government understand and address some of the key health challenges facing society.

Access data sources from government systems as well as new material from surveys, social media, and data scraped from the web.

Be innovative and curious when supporting the creation of data products and services, that tell a compelling evidence-based narrative on the UK.

Work proactively with customers to identify their requirements, share knowledge and information.

You may also manage junior grades including non-analysts.

Person Specification

Experience of applied computing. This may include, efficient programming practices, numerical stability of algorithms, containerisation and setting up a process pipeline for reproducibility or developing a web application to accurately present information.

Experienced in data processing. This might include, imputation to preserve representativeness; efficient storage/access through NoSQL database structure; structuring data from APIs, web scraping; or, judicious assessment of data – its suitability, canonicity etc.

Ability to communicate various innovative analysis examples, as stories intuitive to their audience. Additional examples might include supervised / unsupervised machine learning for complex data sets, or Natural Language Processing to structure data for analysis.

A proven ability of managing a team and prioritising tasks in line with organisational objectives.

Strong leadership skills with capability and experience to overcome challenges, meet tight deadlines and use forward planning to mitigate risks in order to deliver high quality business outcomes.

Good communication and interpersonal skills, with the ability to communicate complex analysis to non-specialists and contribute effectively to discussions with ministers, senior officials and external stakeholders.


Data Analysis

Acquiring Data/Understanding Customer Needs


You should have, or hope to obtain by September 2021 ONE of the following:

A first or second class honours degree in a numerate subject (2:2 minimum for Statistical Officer) containing at least 25% taught statistical content (e.g. Statistics, Mathematics, Economics, Sciences, Business Studies, Psychology, Geography, Data Science or similar);

A higher degree, e.g. an MSc or PhD, in a subject containing formal statistical training (e.g. Statistics, Mathematics, Economics, Sciences, Business Studies, Data Science, Psychology, Geography or similar).

Have worked in a statistical/data science field and are able to demonstrate continuous professional development (via a CPD Log Book) in statistics/data science at the same level as a foundation degree/HND (Level 5)

Have achieved or on track to achieve a level 4 apprenticeship including at least 2 years in a statistical/data analysis field in government and are able to demonstrate continuous professional development in statistics/data analysis (via a CPD log book signed off by a manager or mentor who are members of the statistical profession).

Please note - candidates may apply in their final year of study whilst they are still awaiting their qualification result, however, formal contracts can only be offered upon confirmation of the achievement of the relevant qualification. In the case of an apprenticeship, this includes completing 2 years work experience in a statistical/data analysis field in government as part of attaining the qualification.

Failure to provide this information will result in your application being sifted out of the process.


We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

  • Delivering at Pace
  • Seeing the Big Picture
  • Leadership

Technical skills

We'll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process:

  • Data Analysis.
  • Acquiring Data/Understanding Customer Needs.
  • Programming/Computing.
  • Are you a current badged member of an analytical profession (Please reply Yes or No and specify which profession if applicable).


Learning and development tailored to your role

An environment with flexible working options

A culture encouraging inclusion and diversity

A Civil Service pension

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