Statistical Modeller

Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science

Apply before 11:55 pm on Monday 5th June 2023



Reference number



£30,317 - £32,803

Job grade

Higher Executive Officer
Pay Band 5

Contract type


Type of role


Working pattern

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

Number of jobs available




Job summary

The UK leaving the EU offers new opportunities to manage a sustainable UK fishing industry. The 25-year Environment plan and the Fisheries Bill both declare a sustainable development for this sector based on state-of-the art scientific insights. This role will provide an exciting opportunity for a motivated person to join the multi-species modelling team. You will be working to help us develop innovative scientific approaches to support Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management advice and to provide analytical support for the assessment of marine fish and shellfish stocks, their associated fisheries, the marine environment, and management options. You will be expected to work with scientific and management organisations as well as the fishing industry, making a real impact influencing marine fisheries management and policy. Travel, both domestic and overseas is to be expected. 

Cefas is proud of a diverse and inclusive work environment, committed to fairness and the promotion of equality of opportunity for all. We know that having a range of experiences, backgrounds, ways of working and thinking, makes us a stronger organisation, better at reflecting the communities we serve. We embrace different views and experiences and value the fresh perspective that people from a variety of circumstances bring to the work we do. We welcome applications from candidates who have not previously worked for the Civil Service, mid- and late-career changers with transferrable skills, people from all backgrounds and circumstances regardless of disability, gender, age, ethnicity, LGBT+ identity and socio-economic status. 

Job description

Your main duties and responsibilities will include, but are not limited to:  

  • Developing innovative approaches to support the implementation of EBFM (using a range of approaches including ensemble approach, multi-species models and ecosystem models); 
  • Communicating and engaging with the scientific community to ensure that the approaches are state-of-the-art; and 
  • Engaging with policy makers to ensure the practical feasibility of the modelling approaches. 

Person specification

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

  • Excellent R skills and experience of writing code; 
  • Excellent statistical skills including understanding of graphical modelling (e.g., random effects models, hierarchical modelling);
  • Being innovative, attentive, well-motivated, organised and flexible with good written and verbal communication skills; 
  • Experience in identifying and solving problems as part of an interdisciplinary team; and  
  • Ability to explain complex solutions to both specialists and non-specialists. 

A degree or equivalent qualification in quantitative ecology, statistics or comparable subject with good focus on system modelling, however substantial relevant work experience will be considered. 


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

  • Working Together
  • Changing and Improving
  • Delivering at Pace

Technical skills

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

  • Excellent statistical skills
  • Good programming skills in R

We only ask for evidence of these technical skills on your application form:

  • Excellent statistical skills
  • Generous annual leave entitlement – Cefas offers 25 days' annual leave on entry (rising to 30 days over first 5yrs) for full-time new entrants to the Civil Service. Employees receive 8 public holidays a year, plus an additional day to mark the late Queen's birthday
  • 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
  • Staff recognition vouchers
  • In-year award scheme 

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles (opens in a new window), and will assess your Behaviours, Strengths, Experience and Technical skills.

Application Process

As part of the application process you are asked to provide a CV (job history, qualifications, past skills and experience), a 750-word personal statement on how you meet the essential criteria as stated in the person specification section, a 250-word statement on how you meet the advertised Technical Skill - Excellent statistical skills.

Further details around what this will entail are listed on the application form.


Should a large number of applications be received, an initial sift may be conducted on your demonstration of the essential criteria, as evidenced in the personal statement. Candidates who pass the initial sift may be progressed to a full sift or progressed straight to assessment/interview.

Interview schedule and details will be confirmed on release of the sift results.


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

You may also be required to give a presentation. If this is the case, you will receive further information with your invitation.

If scores are equal following interview, an assessment of the lead behaviour, Working Together, will be used by the panel.

The interview will be undertaken in person.


Please be aware that this role is based at the Lowestoft Laboratory.

Blended Working

Using a blended working framework, we can have some choice over when, where and how we work to deliver our outcomes to meet customer and business needs. For many people, this will mean working some of the time in a Cefas workplace, fieldwork, and some from home where this is possible to do so.

In summary, we encourage colleagues to work face-to-face (office, laboratory, vessel, field, etc.) at least 40% of Cefas work time, and the expectation is for everyone to spend a minimum average of one day per usual working week at one of our sites.

The remainder of the working week may be located by personal choice to best meet Cefas business need: at home, another Cefas base, field work, vessel, visiting a Defra site or other customer base.

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.

Visa Sponsorship Statement

Please take note that Defra does not hold a UK Visa & Immigration (UKVI) Skilled Worker License sponsor and are unable to sponsor any individuals for Skilled Worker Sponsorship.

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 may be 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 recognise in exceptional circumstances 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 offenses. 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

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


Successful candidates must undergo a criminal record check.
People working with government assets must complete baseline personnel security standard (opens in new window) checks.

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) (opens in a new window)
  • 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 (opens in a new window)

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code (opens in a new window) 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 (opens in a new window).
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.
The Civil Service also offers a Redeployment Interview Scheme to civil servants who are at risk of redundancy, and who meet the minimum requirements for the advertised vacancy.
This vacancy is part of the Great Place to Work for Veterans (opens in a new window) initiative.
The Civil Service welcomes applications from people who have recently left prison or have an unspent conviction. Read more about prison leaver recruitment (opens in new window).
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 : Cally Wiles or Alec Wilson
  • 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

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