Veterinary Epidemiologist

Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science

Apply before 11:55 pm on Thursday 10th February 2022


Reference number



£47,549 - £56,900


Grade 7
Pay Band 7

Contract type


Type of role

Veterinary Services

Working pattern

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

Number of posts



Weymouth, South West (region), DT4 8UB

About the job


An opportunity is available for a Veterinary Epidemiologist to join the Epidemiology and Risk assessment team within the Cefas Weymouth laboratory. This role has resulted from changes to UK / EU regulations and the global aspirations of Cefas as an agency of the UK government.

The core role involves provision of advice to Defra on disease risks associated with trade in aquatic animals and their products, designing disease surveillance programmes and reviewing and contributing to any proposed changes to international aquatic animal health standards. In addition, you will support Cefas researchers undertaking field work in farmed and wild aquatic animal populations and contribute to overseas programmes to develop aquatic animal health management and biosecurity in partner countries.

Working within the Cefas Centre of Excellence for Aquatic Animal Health, a core purpose of the job is to provide scientific leadership. In addition, you will provide expert scientific advice and management support for the OIE Collaborating Centre (CC) for Information on Aquatic Animal Disease.

The role could potentially include inspecting premises which produce live aquatic animals, completing export health certifications and establishing and maintaining productive working relationships with exporters and producers.

Opportunities exist to grow the role by, for example, by taking responsibility for the health and welfare of experimental animals on the site, and involvement in projects to support Government aquatic animal health services in low and middle-income countries.

Cefas is committed to providing ongoing personal development and training for staff to enable them to be at the forefront of their work area.

Both national and international travel will be expected to engage in conferences, meetings, and field trips. In addition, Cefas is increasingly engaging in projects overseas in a wide range of countries across several continents.

Job description

The main duties and responsibilities of the role are:

• Provision of advice to Defra on disease risks associated with trade in aquatic animals and their products
• Design of disease surveillance programmes
• Review of changes to international aquatic animal health standards
• Contribute to overseas programmes to develop aquatic animal health management and biosecurity in partner countries
• Support researchers undertaking field work in farmed and wild aquatic animal populations.

You will be expected to seek and develop research opportunities and work closely with Cefas colleagues and others to secure national and international collaboration for these as required. Attendance at national and international conferences and participation in expert groups (e.g., ICES, OIE) will be expected as you develop into the role.

Additionally, you will potentially work closely with the Fish Health Inspectorate and its inspectors to support companies who export live aquatic animals. Specifically, you will be responsible for:

• Inspecting premises which produce live aquatic animals.
• Completing export health certification.
• Establish and maintain productive working relationships with exporters.


The following are essential criteria required for this role and you must be able to demonstrate your skills and experience in the following areas:

• Experience in epidemiology or knowledge of aquatic animal health.
• Experience in presenting scientific data to stakeholders and scientific audiences.
• Experience in writing scientific papers and reports
• Candidates selected for interview will be required to provide a track record of peer reviewed publications in high impact journals.
• English: advanced level of written and spoken English (UK).

Prior experience of aquatic animal production (ornamental or for food) is not required. It is expected that the successful applicant is willing to learn about the aquaculture industry in the UK, become familiar with relevant legislation and undertake training to become an official veterinarian (OV).


Valid driving licence for driving in the UK


• Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) accredited veterinary degree.

• A higher degree in epidemiology or aquatic animal health.


RCVS membership, or ability to obtain it.


English: advanced level of written and spoken English (UK)


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

  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Seeing the Big Picture

Technical skills

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

  • Knowledge in OIE procedures, OIE Aquatic Animal Health Code and the OIE Manual for Diagnostic Tests for Aquatic Animals.
  • A high level of presentational skills. Please explain when or how you have used your presentational skills to a high level.


• Annual leave entitlement – 25 days on entry (rising to 30 days over first 5yrs)
• Access to learning and development tailored to your role
• A working environment that supports a range of flexible working options
• A working culture which encourages inclusion and diversity
• Eligible to join the Civil Service Pension scheme - more information can be found on the CSP website
• Performance Related Pay scheme – yearly award linked to individual performance
• Staff Recognition vouchers
• In-year award scheme (monetary amount up to max £2000 possible)

See Cefas Benefits Package for full details.

Things you need to know


Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.
People working with government assets must complete basic personnel security standard checks.

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles, and will assess your Behaviours, Strengths, Experience and Technical skills.
Application Process
As part of the application process, you will be asked to complete statements on the Behaviours and Technical Skills listed.

You will also be required to provide a CV which will ask for your Job History, Qualifications and Past Skills and Experience and a 1000-word statement of suitability.

Please ensure that you demonstrate the essential criteria as shown in the job description.

Should a large number of applications be received, an initial sift may be conducted using the lead behaviour, Communicating and Influencing. Candidates who pass the initial sift may be progressed to a full sift, or progressed straight to assessment/interview.

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview.

The interview schedule will be confirmed following sift results. The interviews will be held via a video link.

If successful at application stage, you will be invited to interview where you will be assessed on your experience, behaviours and strengths.

If scores are equal following interview, an assessment of the lead behaviour, Communicating and Influencing may be used by the panel.

If you are selected for interview, you will be required to provide a track record of peer reviewed publications in high impact journals.

You may also be required to give a presentation, complete a short test or provide a case study. Further information to prepare for this will be provided before the interview.

The interviews will be undertaken via Microsoft Teams.

Reserve List
A reserve list may be held for a period of 12 months from which further appointments can be made.

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

Reasonable Adjustment
If a person with disabilities is put at a substantial disadvantage compared to a non-disabled person, we have a duty to make reasonable changes to our processes.

If you need a change to be made so that you can make your application, you should:

- Contact Government Recruitment Service via as soon as possible before the closing date to discuss your needs.
- Complete the “Assistance required” section in the “Additional requirements” page of your application form to tell us what changes or help you might need further on in the recruitment process. For instance, you may need wheelchair access at interview, or if you’re deaf, a Language Service Professional.

If you are experiencing accessibility problems with any attachments on this advert, please contact the email address in the 'Contact point for applicants' section.

Criminal Record Check
If successful and transferring from another Government Department, a criminal record check maybe carried out.

In order to process applications without delay, we will be sending a Criminal Record Check to Disclosure and Barring Service on your behalf. However, we recognize in exceptional circumstance some candidates will want to send their completed forms direct. If you will be doing this, please advise Government Recruitment Service of your intention by emailing stating the job reference number in the subject heading.

Internal Fraud Database Check
Applicants who are successful at interview will be, as part of pre-employment screening subject to a check on the Internal Fraud Database (IFD). This check will provide information about employees who have been dismissed for fraud or dishonesty offences. This check also applies to employees who resign or otherwise leave before being dismissed for fraud or dishonesty had their employment continued. Any applicant’s details held on the IFD will be refused employment.

A candidate is not eligible to apply for a role within the Civil Service if the application is made within a 5 year period following a dismissal for carrying out internal fraud against government.

Childcare Vouchers
Any move to Defra from another employer will mean you can no longer access childcare vouchers. You may however be eligible for other government schemes, including Tax Free Childcare. Determine your eligibility at here

We are closely monitoring the situation with regard to Coronavirus, and will be following central Government advice as it is issued. There is therefore a risk that recruitment to this post may be subject to change at short notice. Please continue to follow the application process as normal and ensure that you check your emails regularly for any updates from us as this is how we will communicate with you.

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.

Nationality requirements

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
Further information on nationality requirements

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

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 a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

Apply and further information

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

Contact point for applicants

Job contact :
Name :  Cefas Resourcing
Email :
Recruitment team :
Email :

Further information

If you feel your application has not been treated in accordance with the Recruitment Principles and you wish to make a complaint, in the first instance, you should contact Government Recruitment Services via email: If you are not satisfied with the response you receive from the Department, you can contact the Civil Service Commission: Click here to visit Civil Service Commission

Share this page