Job Type

Full Time




Scientist (GI Surveillance)

Public Health England

The closing date is 27 January 2021

Job overview

A vacancy has arisen for a Scientist to work in the Gastrointestinal Pathogens Unit at PHE Colindale.

The workload is extremely varied and the postholder will be part of a team of scientists working on the surveillance, epidemiology and investigation of Gastrointestinal Infections. He/she will be responsible for producing accurate and timely surveillance outputs for routine and ad-hoc requests, and critically, to support outbreak investigations.

Candidates selected for interview will be expected to undertake a 10 minute presentation as part of the interview process entitled The importance of national surveillance of Gastrointestinal Infections.

Main duties of the job

The postholder is part of a team of individuals working in GPU within National Infections Service. The main responsibilities of the post will be to maintain and develop enhanced surveillance systems for gastrointestinal infections (GI), working closely with a wide variety of professionals from both within and outside of PHE to ensure high quality data. He/she will produce regular and ad hoc outputs from these systems for inclusion in routine national and international reports, information requests and peer review articles. The postholder will manage the disease specific web pages on the PHE website, ensuring that the old content is reviewed and updated in a timely manner. He/she will be supporting outbreak investigations including the provision of timely and accurate summaries of epidemiological and microbiological data.

About us

Public Health England (PHE) is an executive agency of the Department of Health and Social Care providing; strategic leadership, research, advice and support for Government, local authorities and the NHS in protecting and improving the nations health. We offer a benefits package designed to provide an excellent work/life balance, including generous annual leave entitlement, flexible working hours, possibility of working from home and membership of the excellent civil service pension scheme. We are absolutely committed to the development of our staff and offer wide-ranging opportunities for training and professional development

Option 3 External

Open to all external applicants (anyone) from outside the Civil Service (including by definition internal applicants).

Job description

Job responsibilities

  • Maintain, develop and document surveillance systems, including databases for each area of responsibility in collaboration with lead epidemiologists, clinical scientists and reference laboratory staff. Current applications include Gastro Data Warehouse (GDW), MOLIS, SGSS, Access and Excel.
  • Create and update queries and data validation checks for the removal of duplicate records, data formatting and ensuring completeness of data. Data analysis will include using GDW, MOLIS, SGSS, Access and Excel applications.
  • Liaise with stakeholder staff providing surveillance data for gastrointestinal infections (PHTs, routine and reference laboratories, the Food, Water and Environment Network).
  • Liaise with clinicians, laboratories and PHTs regarding individual cases and outbreaks of gastrointestinal infections.
  • Support investigations into outbreaks of GI disease through the provision of timely and accurate written reports on the epidemiological and microbiological data.
  • Coordinate Incident Management Team meetings as required.
  • Develop, update and maintain appropriate pages on PHE website in a timely manner. Work closely with scientists/managers on validation of content of the web pages to ensure uploaded data meets PHE website guidelines.
  • Prepare ad hoc GI Infections reports and information requests as required.
  • Preparation of cleaned and validated annual data sets as requested by senior colleagues.
  • Contribute to reports and papers for scientific journals as requested by scientific and medical colleagues.
  • Present surveillance data and results at PHE and national meetings/conferences and attend national meetings/conferences as appropriate.

Person Specification



  • Science degree (or equivalent) or three years' experience of working in communicable disease surveillance (or similar).


  • MSc in Epidemiology or allied discipline, or 2 years post-graduate experience.

Knowledge and experience


  • Knowledge of infectious disease surveillance. Significant experience of data management, analysis and producing reports.
  • Significant experience of data management, analysis and producing reports.
  • Significant experience of database analysis.
  • Experience in preparation of written reports and published work.
  • Experience of graphics and web-editing software packages, including web-site design and development.


  • Working in an NHS environment and/or in communicable disease epidemiology.

Skills and capabilities


  • Data processing skills (e.g. Microsoft Access, Microsoft Excel and other software applications).
  • Ability to identify and solve practical problems.
  • Good interpersonal and communication skills with an ability to communicate with a range of people from different backgrounds.
  • Ability to work to tight deadlines.
  • Ability to work individually and as part of a team.
  • Good organisation, prioritisation and time management skills.
  • Good attention to detail.
  • Prepared to work flexibly and to multi-task.
  • Awareness of data protection and confidentiality requirements.
  • An understanding of and commitment to equality of opportunity and good working relationships.

Employer details

Employer name

Public Health England


PHE Colindale



Employer's website