Ventilation Scientist (SD Band 4/HEO)

Health and Safety Executive

Apply before 11:55 pm on Wednesday 31st August 2022



Reference number



£31,663 - £35,906


Higher Executive Officer
Band 4

Contract type


Business area

HSE - Science Division (SD) - Health Group, Exposure Assessment & Control (EAC)

Type of role

Health and Safety
Operational Delivery
Operational Research
Project Delivery

Working pattern

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

Number of posts



HSE Science Division, Harpur Hill, Buxton, Derbyshire, SK17 9JN



Diverse perspectives and experiences are critical to our success and we welcome applications from all people from all backgrounds with the experience and skills needed to perform this role.

We look forward to receiving your application. 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.

At the Health and Safety Executive, we believe everyone has the right to come home safe and well from their job. That’s why our mission is to prevent work-related death, injury and ill health.

We don’t just inspect workplaces and investigate incidents, we campaign for better Health & Safety practice, we develop and review guidance and regulations, we provide specialist products and services both here and overseas, and we produce crucial research and statistics, all towards our goal of helping Great Britain work well.

You will be based at our Science & Research Centre in the spa town of Buxton, nestled in the centre of the beautiful Peak District, Derbyshire. The Centre is an internationally renowned scientific facility for health and safety, employing scientific, medical and technical specialists in a purpose-built laboratory at our 550-acre site.

We have an exciting and varied opportunity for a motivated individual with a degree in physics, physical chemistry or engineering, looking to develop a career in the field of ventilation science. You will join the Exposure Assessment & Control (EAC) capability, within the Health Capability Group (HCG). EAC is a multidisciplinary team comprising expertise in occupational hygiene and allied specialisms in the disciplines of noise, vibration, aerosols, respiratory protection and ventilation.

You will develop and lead research projects for HSE and commercial customers; engaging with Senior Scientists in the EAC portfolio, other stakeholders in HSE and commercial customers. The work will provide innovative support to both industry and HSE research projects, with the aim to prevent death, injury and ill-health of workers and those affected by work activities. Contribution to incident investigations may also be required.

There will be occasions when you will be expected to travel for field based activities, site visits and meetings, as well as the opportunity for attendance at conferences/seminars both within and occasionally outside the UK. You will be encouraged to share the outcomes of your work both internally and with the wider scientific community through peer-reviewed publications and presentations.

The HCG has a wide range of technical and diverse disciplines requiring flexible and collaborative working; you will be expected to assist colleagues not only across the EAC & wider HCG but also across HSE in their programmes of work.

More details about the services available at the Science & Research Centre and HSE can be found on our website here:

Job description

The Health Group is multidisciplinary and its aim is to reduce workplace ill health as part of HSE’s strategy.

As a ventilation scientist in this Group, you will be responsible for leading, managing and delivering HSE research and commercial activities looking at the effectiveness of ventilation controls in preventing or reducing human exposure to harmful airborne contaminants. The findings from your work will, amongst other things, be used to inform HSE policy and enforcement. You will also be involved in work for commercial clients.

Examples of current projects include looking at the effectiveness of recirculating local exhaust ventilation systems and the use of indoor ventilation to reduce exposure to Covid 19.

You will also use your expertise to work on projects led by other technical disciplines such as Occupational Hygiene, aerosol science and respiratory protective equipment both in the laboratory and visits to workplaces. Examples of current projects include investigating exposure to and control of respirable crystalline silica in a range of industries and exposure to aerosols and nanoparticles during use of additive manufacturing technology.

You will be required to develop projects from initial ideas to final deliverables in a diverse range of applied science research and other work, designed to meet the challenges of health risk management in workplaces, collaborating with others in HSE and external stakeholders as appropriate.

You will act as Project Technical lead for some projects, leading other team members to strive for quality and timely outcomes. At other times you will work under the leadership of a Senior Technical Lead.

You will be self-motivated and strive for quality outcomes and be able to communicate with a wide range of stakeholders and colleagues.

You will need to, under challenge, think strategically and engage at different levels with scientific peers, regulatory and policy colleagues and at senior levels within the organisation. You will have good organisational skills to schedule and organise cross-discipline scientific resources to ensure the timely delivery of HSE’s practical laboratory research and commercial work.
You will have the opportunity, and be expected, to present the findings of your work to colleagues in HSE and with external stakeholders. In addition, there will be the opportunity to present at national and international scientific conferences.


As part of your role you will:

• Work as part of a team to undertake laboratory and workplace based research & commercial activities primarily in ventilation science but also in the other disciplines e.g. respiratory protection and aerosol science.
• Lead and contribute to development of project proposals, plans of work
• Report and present findings from scientific work
• Work collaboratively with colleagues in and across portfolios, including both the Health Capability Group (HCG) and the wider HSE.
• Work closely with appropriate colleagues, including the HSE Science & Research Centre Health & safety and quality managers to ensure procedures and quality standards are in place, appropriate and current.
• Keep up to date with developments in relation to ventilation science and allied technical areas
• Identify suitable continuous professional development (CPD) and training opportunities for yourself and team members, including input to key international and UK meetings and conferences.

Person Specification:

You will have:


• Demonstrable, relevant and recent practical experience of delivering research and other laboratory or workplace based scientific work in ventilation or allied technical area.
• The ability to undertake or contribute to scientific work or research in technical areas outside your area of expertise.
• Good communication skills, enabling you to manage and collaborate effectively, maintain positive professional working relationships, engage with others and influence at all levels both within HSE and with external collaborators and stakeholders
• Good organisational and preparedness skills for planning, scheduling and undertaking a varied workload, to maximise time and productivity and ensuring delivery to time, cost and quality.
• An ability to convey scientific data and research findings effectively in both written and verbal form.
• The ability to work both as part of a team and autonomously.
• The ability to adapt to situations and variations in workload; being flexible and, versatile whilst maintaining efficiency.
• The ability to follow and work to procedures, with attention to detail.
• Experience of using software packages, including Office 365, Microsoft Word and Excel.
• Commitment to learning and development, through a variety of mediums.


• Experience of developing projects from initial idea to final delivery including for example writing research proposals, obtaining ethics approvals, business cases and/or applications for funding.
• Data analysis capability including familiarity with programming codes such as Python, R script, Matlab.


A full driving licence that enables you to drive in the UK is essential. However, HSE is willing to consider any proposals put forward by applicants that would allow them to do the job by another means.



• First Degree (BSc) or equivalent in Physics or allied relevant scientific area.



• Membership of a relevant professional body


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

  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Delivering at Pace

Technical skills

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

  • Apply scientific / technical knowledge
• Learning and development tailored to your role
• A culture encouraging inclusion and diversity.
• Free on-site parking at HSE Buxton.
• Subsidised on site refreshment facilities.

We invest in our people with;

• Competitive rates of pay.
• Access to the highly competitive Civil Service Pension Scheme to which HSE contribute 27.1%, far more than in the private sector.
• Family friendly policies and working hours to help balance your home life and career.
• 25 days annual holiday increasing to 30 days after 5 years' service, plus bank holidays and 1-day Civil Service privilege leave.
• Parental leave benefits: Maternity, adoption or shared parental leave of up to 26 weeks full pay followed by 13 weeks statutory pay and a further 13 weeks unpaid, and paternity leave of 2 weeks full pay.

This post is eligible for Excess Fares Allowance. A successful internal candidate currently based at another office may be entitled to Excess Fares Allowance in line with HSE policy (http://intranet/finance/expenses/excess-fares-allowance-policy.htm)


Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.
Successful candidates must meet the security requirements before they can be appointed. The level of security needed is security check.

See our vetting charter.
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, Experience and Technical skills.

Within your application form please complete a CV that concisely outlines your career history, skills experience and qualifications. Please note that your CV will not be assessed and will be used for information purposes only.

You will also be asked to complete a Statement of Suitability of up to 1000 words, which demonstrates how your technical skills, experience and qualifications meet the job description and requirements of the responsibilities, person specification and essential qualifications for the post.


The sift will take place during the week commencing 5th September where you will be assessed on your Statement of Suitability.


If you are successful at sift you will be invited to attend an in person interview at HSE's Science &Research Centre in Buxton, Derbyshire. Interviews are scheduled to take place on Monday, 19th September where you will be assessed on the two behaviours together with your technical skills and experience.

Please be advised that these dates are subject to change.

Useful Guidance

Please access the following link for guidance on how to apply and how to complete a Statement of Suitability

Please Note: A reserve list will be held for the period of up to 12 months.

Further Information

It is the candidate’s responsibility to ensure they are aware of the terms and conditions they will adopt should they be successful in their application. For a summary of HSE terms and conditions as part of Civil Service Reform, please see the attached document.

Any move across the Civil Service on or after 4 October 2018 may have implications on an employee’s ability to carry on claiming childcare vouchers.

If you have a disability and you need an application form in an alternative format or you would like to know more about our recruitment process, please contact:

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.
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 initiative.
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 : John Saunders
  • Email :

Recruitment team :

  • Email :

Further information

If you believe that Civil Service Commission principles of selection for appointment on merit on the basis of Fair and Open competition have not been met you can raise a complaint by emailing: or by writing to HSE at the following address: HSE Resourcing Team 2.3 Redgrave Court Merton Road Bootle Merseyside L20 7HS If you are not satisfied with the response you receive from the Department, you can contact Civil Service commissioners:

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