Occupational Health Epidemiologist (SD BAND 3/SEO)

Health and Safety Executive
Buxton, Derbyshire
£39,334 - £45,865
Closing date
27 Mar 2023

View more

Occupational health
Contract Type
Full Time, Part Time

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 protect People and Places. Helping everyone lead safer and healthier lives.

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.

We have an exciting opportunity for an enthusiastic and motivated Occupational Health Scientist, with specialist experience in the field of health epidemiology to join the Health Capability Group (HCG), at the Health & Safety Executive (HSE).The HCG purpose is to prevent worker ill health caused by exposure to chemical, physical and biological hazards.

This is an excellent opportunity for a professional to make their mark on an organisation dedicated to protecting people and places. The post will be based at our Science & Research Centre in Buxton, 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.

At HSE, we are proud to be able to offer our people the opportunity to work in a hybrid way which combines working from home and the office. This is a voluntary, non-contractual arrangement and your allocated office will be your contractual place of work. There will be a requirement to regularly attend the Buxton site for routine work activities and collaborative working. In addition, you may be required to travel across the UK for site visits, including overnight stays. 

Whatever your role, we take your career and development seriously, and want to enable you to build a successful career with HSE and the wider Civil Service. It is crucial that our employees have the right skills to develop their careers and meet the challenges ahead, and you’ll benefit from regular performance and development reviews to ensure this development is ongoing. As a Civil Service employee, you’ll be entitled to a large range of benefits, including free onsite parking at SD Buxton, payment of relevant professional memberships, access to learning & development and the opportunity to attend seminars and conferences both within and outside the UK.  

More details about the services available and HSE can be found on our website here: www.hse.gov.uk

Job description

We are looking for a scientist who has experience of designing and conducting health epidemiology studies. You will lead this area of work and contribute to research projects for HSE, external parties and with academic partners. 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.

Your  work will provide innovative support to both industry and HSE research projects and contribute to delivering HSE’s objective to prevent death, injury and ill-health of workers and those affected by work activities.  

You will be required to have a strong track record of independent epidemiology-based research, as well as communicating and presenting research to a range of audiences.

The Health Capability Group has a diverse range of technical disciplines requiring flexible and collaborative working; you will be expected to assist colleagues not only across the Health Group but also across HSE as part of their programmes of work.

Person specification


As part of your role you will:

  • Technically lead the health epidemiology field of scientific research with the HCG; to develop and build this areas of expertise in HCG you will foster collaborative links and share expertise with colleagues in HSE, and with academic partners.
  • Deliver support to scientists across HCG and wider SD as required in cross-group/discipline projects; working with scientists and delivery teams, contributing knowledge, advice and practical delivery of medical/health/exposure-related research projects.
  • Work primarily with occupational exposure scientists, you will be responsible for the design, implementation and analysis of medical/health questionnaires of workers, including recruiting study participants, and delivering ethics approval submissions and participant informed consent. 
  • Be a confident and adaptable communicator and networker to engage with research stakeholders and study participants, and disseminate scientific data to a wide range of audiences, both internal and external, with the opportunity to present at National and International conferences.
  • Have wider awareness across HSE and in the external working environment; use your scientific, technical and epidemiological expertise to respond to the strategic drivers in the HCG areas of work; assess health data to identify emerging issues and, working collaboratively with stakeholders, develop workplans and strategies to address the issues.
  • Contribute to medium-long term planning; working with others to assess technical capabilities and training needs, consider future scientific areas of working and succession planning.
  • Drive continuous professional development of the team and HCG; supporting, mentoring and training others to undertake health-focussed research.

Person Specification

Essential Skills & Criteria

You will have:

  • Qualifications, dedicated training and/or recognised expertise and knowledge in the field of occupational health epidemiology, ideally specialising in human exposure to biological, chemical and/or physical hazards in workplaces.
  • Demonstrable experience of leading health epidemiology research projects or elements of larger research projects.
  • Practical experience of implementing health epidemiology projects, ideally in the field of occupational health and safety; including obtaining ethical approvals, recruiting study participants, designing, implementing and analysing medical/health questionnaires of workers.
  • In depth working knowledge of GDPR, ‘medical in confidence’ data retention and disposal, ethical consideration for health studies and principles of participant confidentiality.
  • Demonstrable experience of communicating your science using a range of methods, to a range of audiences and scientific peers, both internal and external. Experience of authoring or contributing towards the writing of scientific papers, research proposals and/or business cases.
  • Excellent communication, engagement and leadership skills for day-to-day team working at all levels; networking with research stakeholders and study participants, liaison with senior staff and scientific discussions with colleagues and academic partners. Ideally experience of training or mentoring junior scientists.
  • The ability to work both as part of a team and autonomously across boundaries of the Science Division and rest of HSE to identify solutions and ensure work can be delivered.  
  • Excellent organisational skills and preparedness for planning, scheduling and undertaking research, potentially working across multiple varied projects, to maximise time and productivity and ensuring delivery to time, cost and quality.
  • Ability to respond proactively to varying technical and work demands, which may at times have conflicting priorities, for yourself and the wider team. Work with team management and customer solutions colleagues to ensure the team and stakeholders have a clear understanding of activities and timeframes.
  • Effective IT skills in Microsoft Office and specialist software for data analysis.

You will need to:

  • Be accomplished in undertaking occupational health epidemiology research and have a working knowledge and evidence of specialising in occupational  ill-health and/or human exposure to biological, chemical and/or physical hazards.
  • Confidently and effectively lead from the front in encouraging an honest and inclusive culture and driving forwards shared goals.
  • Be self-motivated and inspire others to strive for quality outcomes.
  • Embrace and promote cross-functional team working and effective communication.
  • Be adaptable to situations and variations in workload, be flexible and versatile and maintain efficiency.
  • Be innovative and actively engage with change, encourage and follow-up ideas for change.


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 with disabilities that would allow them to fulfil the job by another means.


Higher Degree or equivalent in a relevant bioscience/medical area.


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

  • Seeing the Big Picture
  • Developing Self and Others
  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Working Together
  • Leadership

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

  • Seeing the Big Picture
  • Developing Self and Others

Technical skills

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

  • Practical implementation of health epidemiology projects; Recruiting study participants; Designing, implementing and analysing medical/health questionnaires of workers.
  • Knowledge of GDPR; Medical in confidence data retention and disposal; Ethical consideration for health studies and principles of participant confidentiality.


  • Civil Service pension with an average employer contribution of 27.1%
  • An environment with hybrid and flexible working options
  • Learning and development tailored to your role
  • A culture encouraging inclusion and diversity
  • Free onsite parking

We invest in our people with:

  • Competitive rates of pay.
  • Access to the highly competitive Civil Service Pension Scheme to which HSE contribute 27.9% 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, plus bank holidays and Civil Service privilege leave
  • Competitive parental leave benefits

Allowances – permanent role only:

 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)

Things you need to know

Selection process details

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


In your application you will be required to provide a CV, a personal statement of suitability and a response to two behaviour statements;

CV: Within your application form please complete a CV that concisely outlines your career history, skills, experience and qualifications. This will be used at SIFT and interview to assess your experience, alongside your statement of suitability and response to the behaviour statements.

Personal statement of suitability:

Please provide a statement of suitability of no more than 1000 words, which demonstrates how your qualifications and experience meet the essential skills and criteria of the post. You should provide details and examples of your experience of leading health epidemiology studies including;

  • your experience of designing and implementing health epidemiology studies, ideally in the field of occupational health and safety
  • how you have effectively led, motivated and worked as a team
  • how you used your negotiating and influencing skills to recruit study participants
  • how you use your own initiative and make effective decisions
  • how you have addressed any challenges you faced.


You will be asked to provide up to 250 words on each of the behaviours below:

  • Seeing the Bigger Picture
  • Developing Self and Others


The sift will take place during the week commencing 27/03/2023 where you will be assessed on your CV, Statement of Suitability and response to the two Behaviours:

  • Seeing the Bigger Picture
  • Developing Self and Others


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 week commencing 24/03/2023, where you will be assessed on the following Success Profile element: Strengths, Experience, Technical and the three Behaviours:

  • Communicating & Influencing
  • Working together
  • Leadership

Please note that as part of the interview, you will be required to have prepared in advance, and deliver a 10 minute presentation. Details of which will be provided if you are invited to interview.

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


Successful candidates must undergo a criminal record check.

Successful candidates must meet the security requirements before they can be appointed. The level of security needed is security check (opens in a new window).

See our vetting charter (opens in a new window).

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.

Get job alerts

Create a job alert and receive personalised job recommendations straight to your inbox.

Create alert