16 May 2021
The Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC) is an integral part of NHS Test and Trace, acting as its central analysis and insight function. It brings together data, epidemiological, surveillance and policy capabilities to provide timely insights for decision-makers.
Since June 2020 the JBC has been critical in the UK government’s COVID-19 response. Its responsibilities include advising the UK’s four CMOs on the COVID-19 Alert Level, providing regular situational awareness to ministers, leading public health assessments to inform UK border policy, and coordinating and delivering response policy with local authorities and cross-government partners. It does this working closely with Public Health England, the Devolved Administrations and leading academics.
From April 2021 JBC became part of the newly formed UK Health Security Agency. The UKHSA will revolutionise UK health protection, providing intellectual, scientific and operational leadership at national and local level, as well as on the global stage. It will ensure the nation can respond quickly and at greater scale to deal with pandemics and future threats.
You will be working with a highly motivated and passionate group of people, who have come together from across the country, to work on the biggest health and economic challenge that our nation has ever faced. You will be working alongside them in an exciting and fast paced environment with an unparalleled opportunity to make your mark on government policy and the future of UK health protection.
We have all been affected by COVID-19. This is your opportunity to help and make a difference, working at the heart of the battle to defeat COVID-19.
This role will be based in Leeds and/or London and may require travel to other NHS Test & Trace sites/office. Your salary will also be linked to the base location from which you will be expected to fulfil the duties of the role. Due to current COVID 19 pandemic restrictions we anticipate you will be working remotely. This is a temporary arrangement and you will be expected in due course to attend your office location, as required.
NHS Test & Trace is moving to the new UK Health Security Agency later in 2021 which may result in some roles being performed from a regional office. This should be taken into account when applying for this role. Please note you must be a habitual resident in the UK to apply for this role.”
Data Scientists are recognised problem solvers and employ their technical and analytical expertise with cutting-edge techniques, defining analytical solutions that can be employed across the organisation and support effective decision making. Data Scientists adopt best practice wherever possible. They communicate with senior stakeholders and convince them of the strategic value of applying data science.
Data Scientists within the Joint Biosecurity Centre and NHS Test and Trace can be expected to support work across areas including:
Provide analysis and assessment to Covid-19 outbreaks;
Set the COVID-19 Alert level;
Provide Local Authorities, Directors of Public Health (DPH) and the Public Health England network with analysis and assessment to identify the likelihood of infection flare-ups in their areas;
Compile evidence, including area and population context, influencers, early signals, outbreak indicators, and direct Test and Trace result data;
Perform hypothesis testing and analysis to understand the effectiveness of the Test and Trace system and other types of intervention;
Create live dashboards to present data and analysis, including performance monitoring for Test and Trace or indicating changes in infection rates across the UK;
Document requirements turning these into usable data and visualisation products for publication and analysis;
Engage with partners in wider government, academia and the private sector to gain access to new data sources and information
Data engineering and manipulation. You can work with other technologists and analysts to integrate and separate data feeds in order to map, produce, transform and test new scalable data products that meet user needs. You have a demonstrable understanding of how to expose data from systems (for example, through APIs), link data from multiple systems and deliver streaming services. You know how to work with other technologists and analysts to understand and make use of different types of data models. You understand and can make use of different data engineering tools for repeatable data processing; you can compare between different data models
Data science innovation. You recognise and can exploit business opportunities to ensure more efficient and effective ways to use data science. You can explore ways of using new data science tools and techniques to address business and organisational challenges. You demonstrate strong intellectual curiosity with an interdisciplinary approach, drawing on innovation in academia and industry.
Developing data science capability. You continuously develop data science knowledge, using multiple sources. You know how to share data science practices across departments and in industry, promoting professional development and use of best practice across all capabilities identified for data scientists. You focus on the recruitment and induction of data scientists.
Domain expertise. You understand the context of the business, its processes, data and priorities. You can apply data science techniques to present, communicate and disseminate data science products effectively, appropriately and with high impact. You can use the most appropriate medium to visualise data to tell compelling and actionable stories relevant for business goals. You know how to maintain a user focus to design solutions that meet user needs, taking account of agreed cross-government ethics standards.
Programming and build (data science). You can use a range of coding practices to build scalable data products that can be used by strategic or operational users and can be further integrated into business systems. You can work with technologists to design, create, test and document these data products. You can work in accordance with agreed software development standards, including security, accessibility and version control.
Testing - You can plan, design, manage, execute and report tests, using appropriate tools and techniques, and work within regulations. You know how to ensure that risks associated with deployment are adequately understood and documented
Problem resolution - You know how to log, analyse and manage problems in order to identify and implement the appropriate solution. You can ensure that the problem is fixed
Understanding analysis across the product life cycle (data science). You understand the different phases of product delivery and can plan and run the analysis for these. You can contribute to decision-making throughout the product life cycle. You know how to work in collaboration with user researchers, developers and staff in other roles throughout the product life cycle. You understand the value of analysis, how to contribute with impact and what data sources, analytical techniques and tools can be used at each point throughout the product life cycle.
Essential skills / experience / knowledge:
Understanding and experience in applying statistics and data science techniques to real world problems
Ability to work at pace to deadlines across multiple projects
Ability to effectively communicate the results of analysis to senior stakeholders and decision makers
Strong understanding and experience in applying statistics and data science techniques to real world problems
Strong experience with Python, SQL, Spark, AWS and/or R for Data Science including the core scientific Python stack (pandas, numpy, matplotlib etc) and/or R stack (ggplot2, tidyverse etc)
Experience cleaning data for machine learning projects
Ability to write functions and understandable object orientated code
Understanding of software best practice, including confident use of version control using platforms such as Github
Ability to troubleshoot and solve numerical and technical problems
High attention to detail
Excellent communication and facilitation skills evidenced through verbal and written means to a wide range of stakeholders
Experience with publishing data sets for visualisation and analysis
Experience with supporting design of data models / data flows
Experienced working in Agile teams
A technical background in Microsoft SQL Databases, Microsoft Reporting Tools (SSRS, PowerBI) and Microsoft data extraction methods (SSIS).
A first or second class honours degree in a numerate discipline, computer science or IT equivalent which demonstrates core statistical skills; or
A higher degree, e.g. an MSc or PhD, in Data Science, Mathematics, Statistics, Physics (this is not a definitive list); or
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)
How you will be assessed -
You will be assessed on the below 3 technical and 2 civil service competencies at the interview and a test will be shared 1 hour before the interview this will assess technical skills outlined in the Job Advert.
Programming and build (understanding analysis across the product life cycle)
Applied maths, statistics, and scientific practices/data engineering and manipulation
Data science innovation/developing data science capability
Communicating and Influencing
Delivering at Pace
How to apply:
Simply, hit apply. We only ask for a CV and Cover Letter/Statement of Suitability ( 500 words) to be uploaded to our job portal. Important tip - please ensure that your Statement of Suitability includes how you meet the Skills and Experience listed above.
In the Civil Service, we use our Success Profiles. For each role we advertise we consider what you will need to demonstrate to be successful. This gives us the best possible chance of finding the right person for the job, drives up performance and improves diversity and inclusivity. We will be looking at your experience, career history and achievements that are relevant to the specific job role.
For this role we will be assessing your ability, strength, experience, technical/specialist skills and behaviours, the following behaviours are the most relevant:
You can find out about the application process and practical details like our office locations on the things you need to know page.