Deputy Director of Epidemiology - Health Protection Directorate


National - this post can be based anywhere in the country but does require some London presence of (as a minimum) one day per week.

About the job


The Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC) began its initial operating capability on 1 June, as a new Directorate within the Department for Health and Social Care and works in partnership with PHE building on existing public health infrastructure across the UK.

The JBC brings together the UK’s leading epidemiological expertise and analytical capability to merge data to support early identification of potential outbreaks of COVID-19. It will use a broad set of health and non-health data in its analysis and assessment for local, regional and national decision-makers to enable rapid response to outbreaks of COVID-19, at local, regional and national level and develop action cards to support the response itself across local and national organisations.

The JBC will also be responsible for setting the new COVID-19 Alert Level and will advise Chief Medical Officers across the UK of a change in the level. The CMOs will then advise their Ministers.

The JBC is part of the NHS Test and Trace service, ensuring that local areas get the support they need to manage outbreaks and share good practice. We learn what works and use it to inform future outbreak management and the deployment of Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions, to provide assurance and intelligence to further inform the escalation process.

Job description

The JBC is looking for a new Deputy Director of Epidemiology (SCS PB1 post).

This role offers an unparalleled opportunity to develop your career personally and in the Civil Service. This is a key role leading the newly formed Health Protection function in the JBC as part of NHS Test and Trace. We are also building complementary teams, notably the data science and analysis and insight teams with whom you will work closely.

You will be responsible for building and leading a team of epidemiologists and quantitative analysts, to work in multidisciplinary teams across JBC in order to:

• Provide near real time coronavirus risk and transmission information and data to local and regional decision makers to inform local non-pharmaceutical interventions.
• Provide analysis and assessment products across a range of sectors and communities at specific coronavirus risk.
• Ensure the UK remains abreast of developments internationally in relation to the response to COVID-19, learning and embedding lessons.

Your core responsibilities will include:

Public health surveillance
• Support the development, maintenance and evaluation of surveillance systems at national level.
• Provide leadership for the development of surveillance outputs to meet needs of local and national stakeholders within the health system and beyond.
• Support access to and make timely use of national and international surveillance information.
• Ensure the continuous analysis of surveillance data to monitor local patterns of disease and to identify clusters/outbreaks/rising trends.
• Design, develop and utilise information and intelligence systems, including data science methods, to underpin public health improvement and action.

Leadership and collaborative working
• Contribute (within the Agile framework) to the required work sprints.
• Lead or assist in the development of specific advice on COVID-19 for the wider community.
• Be a member of, and contribute to, relevant liaison groups in
COVID-19 control and health protection across the UK.
• Assist communicable disease control, health protection and public health colleagues across the UK during major health protection incidents.

Public Health Intelligence
• Analyse and evaluate quantitative and qualitative data and research evidence from a range of sources to make recommendations and inform decision making which has long term impacts.
• Lead on, plan and design agreed aspects of the assessment of health needs, health inequalities, and health impact assessment with respect to communicable disease control to identify areas for action within the local population based on the best available evidence, and to be responsible for short and long term planning and for providing advice on the treatment of groups of populations.

• The role will ensure that situational awareness products of the JBC are robust, accurate and encompass the full range of analysis and insight produced by the JBC and PHE. This is an essential role to ensure decision making is based on the best available evidence – typically in a timeframe of hours to days.

• The Deputy Director for Epidemiology will promote professional standards including training, research and audit, including leading and delivering training, and supervision of public health registrars and field epidemiology training programme fellows.

• You will provide broad based epidemiological leadership to support work across JBC, ensuring it is using the best evidence based and innovative public health approaches in its work.

• You will develop key relationships with epidemiology, health protection and response teams at local and regional level throughout the public health and health protection system including in local authorities, JBC, NHSTT, public health agencies and other key stakeholders in an open and transparent way to support the role of the JBC, together with developing relationships with the national health protection infrastructure including PHE, Cabinet Office and Number 10.

You will contribute to the wider JBC and TTCE leadership, establishing relationships that cross JBC, TTCE and other key organisations within the COVID-19 response (including DHSC, PHE, Devolved Administrations, GO-Science etc).

The Deputy Director will be a member of the DHSC analysis community and be required to work closely with DHSC colleagues to ensure maximum collaboration and learning can be shared across the department, and wider public health and emergency response communities.


Essential criteria:

• Inclusive leadership skills and the ability to motivate and manage a diverse team to deliver at pace on a demanding and complex agenda.
• Experience in working with complex public health data and information.
• Experience of designing data analysis methods, data collection systems and turning evaluation into policy.
• Experience communicating epidemiological analytical insights credibly to senior decision makers for maximum impact.
• The ability to lead robust analysis rapidly in the face of a range of different views and priorities.
• An understanding of the principles of provision of high-quality health protection services.
• Experience of communicable disease control in a wide variety of settings.
• Substantially numerate, with highly developed analytical skills using qualitative and quantitative data.
• Proven policy understanding and experience.
• SC clearance or willing to obtain.


• Communicating and Influencing - Communicate in a straightforward, honest and truthful way with consideration for the impact of the method used. Respect and consider the diversity of the audience when giving messages and deliver these appropriately. Influence external partners, stakeholders and customers successfully securing mutually beneficial outcomes.
• Making Effective Decisions - Act decisively and make bold, unbiased decisions at a strategic level. Accept and respond to challenge constructively. Clearly recommend the best option articulating risks and impacts on economic, environmental, political and social factors.
• Leadership - Display passion and enthusiasm for the work and embed a culture of inclusion and equal opportunity for all, where the diversity of individuals’ backgrounds and experiences are valued and respected. Work to influence the strategy, direction and culture to increase effectiveness.
• Seeing the Big Picture - Anticipate the long-term impact on the Department of economic, political, environmental, social and technological developments, at both national and international levels. Ensure work is in the national interest whilst meeting the diverse needs of all end users.
• Working Together - Encourage and establish mechanisms to share knowledge and resources across boundaries to support the business. Encourage teams to engage with a variety of delivery partners and stakeholders, listen to and act on their feedback.


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

  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Leadership
  • Seeing the Big Picture
  • Working Together

Apply today!