Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas)
The Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) is a leader in marine science and technology, providing innovation, scientific evidence and impartial professional advice on the aquatic environment. Our work for the UK Government, national and international partners addresses the global problems of climate change, biodiversity loss and food security. The Data Science and Statistics Team collaborate with scientific experts across Cefas’ Science Directorate, providing technical expertise to deliver study design and analysis, novel data capture, input to national and international working groups, and peer-reviewed publications.
Working in the Data Science and Statistics Team, you will have a prominent role in developing and leading Cefas data science and automated image analysis capability. The work involves identifying and addressing complex research questions, developing end-to-end applications of artificial intelligence and statistical algorithms to address priority questions in marine and freshwater science. Current projects include developing data, systems, and algorithms to automatically monitor plankton, seabed fauna, and fish catches, and remotely detect beach litter. This work will involve large, unstructured data sets, with the post-holder collaborating closely with IT colleagues to specify and deploy high performance computing and data storage infrastructure.
The team’s remit spans Cefas’ broad science themes, so you will have opportunities to lead the analysis and modelling of fisheries and environmental datasets, and peer-reviewed publications, establishing your areas of research interest. You will also promote reproducible research, contribute to funding applications, and build external relationships, including with our strategic partners such as The Alan Turing Institute and leading UK universities.
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 transferable skills, people from all backgrounds and circumstances regardless of disability, gender, age, ethnicity, LGBT+ identity and socio-economic status.
Your main duties and responsibilities will include, but are not limited to:
You will also contribute to grant applications, develop external research collaborations, and communicate research findings to technical and non-technical audiences, including leading technical reports and peer-reviewed papers.
The following are essential criteria required for this role and you must be able to demonstrate your skills and experience in the following areas:
We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:
We only ask for evidence of these behaviours on your application form:
We'll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process:
As part of the application process you are asked to provide a CV (job history, qualifications, past skills and experience), and a 500-word personal statement on how you meet the essential criteria as stated in the person specification section. In addition you will need to provide a 250-word statement on how you meet the advertised lead behaviour - Changing and Improving.
You will also need to provide two, 250-word statements on how you meet each of the advertised technical 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 using the lead behaviour, Changing and Improving and the lead technical skill, In-depth knowledge and experience of data science\statistical tools and techniques, including image classification methods, applied to solve problems creatively. Candidates who pass the initial sift may be progressed to a full sift or progressed straight to assessment/interview.
If more applicants pass the sift than can be interviewed, we will rank the applications on total score, then the lead technical skill (stated above) and then the lead behaviour (stated above).
Sift and interview dates are to be confirmed.
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.
If shortlisted for interview, candidates will be sent a short programming exercise to complete and return in advance of your interview. You will need access to a computer with a programming environment such as Python. We expect the exercise to take no more than a few hours of your time.
If scores are equal following interview, an assessment of the lead behaviour, Changing and Improving and the lead technical skill, In-depth knowledge and experience of data science\statistical tools and techniques, including image classification methods, applied to solve problems creatively, will be used by the panel.
The interview will be undertaken in person or remotely.
Please be aware that this role(s) will be contractually based in a Defra group workplace/office. The successful candidate is required to carry out all their duties from a UK location, and cannot do so from an overseas location at any time.
This role is based at the Lowestoft Laboratory.
Cefas operates a blended working policy subject to business need, giving people the flexibility to choose when and where they work and collaborate with others.
Our staff are expected to work the office/lab location in Lowestoft, as required by their role and business team needs. There is flexibility to split the working week, spending a minimum of one day in the workplace.
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.
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:
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 Pre-EmploymentChecks.email@example.com 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.
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 https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk
This job is broadly open to the following groups: