Data Analyst and Researcher

Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science

Apply before 11:55 pm on Monday 18th October 2021


Reference number



£29,267 - £32,766


Higher Executive Officer
Cefas Payband 5

Contract type


Type of role


Working pattern

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

Number of posts



This post is based in Weymouth. At Cefas we adopt a flexible hybrid approach, combining both home and office-based working. Working arrangements to be agreed by individuals and their managers to contribute towards positive work/life balance and wellbeing.

About the job


To work in the Epidemiology, Risk Assessment & Modelling Team within Statutory Aquatic Services Group, providing technical support to current and future research programmes. You will undertake research and provide advice in support of Defra’s aquatic animal health and invasive species policy teams, shellfish hygiene & aquaculture science and to participate in global and EU funded research and other collaborations.

The research centres on the use of risk assessment, economic, statistical and computational modelling approaches to provide advice to help prevent, manage and control invasive species and animal and human health issues associated with aquatic systems. Additionally, you may be called upon to support work around shellfish hygiene and other aquaculture science. This work is largely desk-based and comprises modelling studies that require extraction, compilation and analysis of data from national and in-house databases, scientific and grey literature, and may also require field and laboratory-based studies to inform computational and economic models.

Job description

You will provide technical support to the non-native species and epidemiological research programmes, delivering crucial evidence to support key policy areas. The core role will be to conduct and inform studies to understand and model the risk and impact of invasive species and aquatic animal disease introduction, establishment and spread. In addition, you may be called on to support work around modelling of aquaculture locations. The Epidemiology, Risk & Modelling team use a variety of computational techniques (statistical, GIS, mathematical modelling) to help provide advice to its customers in support of their policy decision making. A variety of software packages are commonly used by the team including R, QGIS and ARCGIS. We also use many existing datasets in a variety of formats which you will be expected to interrogate and extract information from. The role will also include the use of abstract and literature database searches to support research, undertaking systematic literature reviews and compiling reference libraries. There are opportunities to perform statistical analyses and economic, mathematical and spatial modelling. The job is principally desk based, but there may be opportunities to conduct field and laboratory-based work to help inform these studies in the future, and for attendance at meetings and conferences. There may be opportunity to develop your own areas of interest in future, subject to business needs and relevance.

Duties will include:

• Desk-based research involving the collation, analysis, presentation and assessment of data to support epidemiological and non-native species studies;
• Contributing to the development and application of epidemiological and risk assessment tools;
• Working across Cefas with other teams, and externally, to obtain the data required for these studies;
• Literature searches and critical reviews thereof;
• Responsibility for data management in accordance with government standards; and
• Input into grant applications and publications.


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

• Must be flexible and committed, with the ability to work as part of a team, but also independently to organise own work to meet deadlines;
• Must demonstrate having strong scientific writing and communication skills;
• Excellent time management skills and must demonstrate excellent attention to detail and the ability to work on multiple projects at the same time; and
• Have a broad understanding of marine and aquatic biological systems.

Academic qualifications and experience required for this vacancy are a degree or equivalent qualification and relevant work experience.


Academic qualifications and experience required for this vacancy are a degree or equivalent qualification and relevant work experience.


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

  • Working Together
  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Seeing the Big Picture
  • Delivering at Pace

Technical skills

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

  • It is essential that the successful candidate demonstrates technical skills by showing experience of being computer literate and competent in setting up and using spreadsheets and databases.
  • It is essential that the successful candidate demonstrates technical skills by showing experience of handling and providing statistical analysis, and manipulating large datasets, using R.
  • It is essential that the successful candidate demonstrates technical skills by showing experience of using Geographic Information Systems (GIS), using QGIS or ARCGIS.
  • It is essential that the successful candidate demonstrates technical skills by showing experience of environmental and epidemiological modelling.


• Access to learning and development tailored to your role.
• A working environment that supports a range of flexible working options (including flexi time scheme).
• A working culture which encourages inclusion and diversity.
• A civil service pension -
• Annual leave 25 days (rising, over 5 years to 30 days) for full time new entrants to the Civil Service on pre-modernised terms and conditions. Existing Civil Servants on pre-modernised terms will retain these.
• Bank Holiday Employees receive 8 public holidays a year, plus an additional day in May to mark the Queen’s Birthday.

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 ProcessAs part of the application process, you will be asked to complete 4 X 250-word statements on the Behaviours listed , 4 X 250-word statement on the Technical Skills listed and a CV . The CV will ask for your Job History, Qualifications and Past Skills and Experience.

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

Sift and interview dates as well as details on the video interviewing to be confirmed.

If successful at application stage, you will be invited to interview where you will be assessed on the Behaviours and Technical Skills listed, your experience and strengths. You may also be required to give a presentation, complete a short test or provide a case study. You will receive further information to prepare for this if you are invited to interview.

Should interview scores be the same, then a decision will be made based on the lead behaviour, Working Together.

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

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.

As government restrictions continue to lift, Defra group is exploring future ways of working with flexibility in mind. This means, that subject to business need, successful candidates will be offered the option to combine working at home with working at their contractual Defra group workplace, with occasional travel to other work locations. Further information relevant to this post will be available for candidates invited to interview.

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

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 :  Mandy Roberts or Alec Wilson
Email :
Recruitment team :
Email :

Further information

Complaints: 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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