Outposted Behavioural Scientist

Public Health England


This job is now closed

Job overview

We are looking to appoint a full-time behavioural scientist for the PHE South West Region Health Protection Team. Working as part of an integrated multidisciplinary team and with external collaborators within and outside PHE, the successful candidate will provide behavioural and social science expertise embedded within the Health Protection team with strong links to the Behavioural Science Team at the Emergency Response Division (ERD).

Main duties of the job

Please review further details of job description and main responsibilities within the attached Job Description document.

There will be occasions when off-site working and training will be required. In the event of an incident situation the appointee will be required to work outside of usual office hours which may include weekends and evenings.

The post holder will be expected to travel occasionally within the area and nationally as required.

Locations will be 2 Rivergate, Bristol or Follaton House, Totnes.

About us

On 18 August 2020, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care announced plans to establish the National Institute for Health Protection and consult on the best future options for strengthening health improvement and other public health functions in the wider system. Public Health England and many of its employees will be in scope for transition to new organisations in Spring 2021. Any new or current employees working for Public Health England during this time, will receive appropriate communications and consultation prior to any formal transfer taking place. Employees who compulsorily transfer to successor bodies will remain on their existing contractual terms and conditions and this applies both to current employees and those recruited during the transition. The recruitment, growth & development of our workforce is vital for the continuing success of PHE and the future National Institute for Health Protection.

Job description

Job responsibilities

Applicants should review the job description for the post prior to completing their application. When completing their application form candidates should demonstrate how they meet the essential requirements of the role.

PHE employees who are at risk or in the redeployment pool are given prior consideration for any suitable alternative employment.

Public Health England promotes diversity in the workplace and is an equal opportunities employer.


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

Temporary Appointments

If you are external to the Civil Service, you will take up the post on a Fixed Term appointment, if you are an existing Civil Servant, based outside of PHE, you will take up the post as a loan and if you are an existing PHE member of staff, you will take up the post as either a level transfer or a temporary promotion as per PHEs Pay and Grading policy. If you are an existing Civil Servant, (in PHE or elsewhere) you must have prior agreement from your Line Manager before applying for this post.

We welcome and encourage applications from everyone, including groups currently underrepresented in our workforce and pride ourselves as being an employer of choice.

To find out more about how we champion diversity and inclusion in the workplace, visit:PHE website

Person Specification



  • PhD in the behavioural sciences (e.g. psychology, human factors, ergonomics) or MSc and postgraduate experience or Degree and substantial relevant experience.

Knowledge and experience Experience as defined by type/level (not length)


  • Quantitative research experience in behavioural/social science (e.g. multivariate statistical analysis)
  • Particular interest in the application of behavioural science to health protection, and emergency preparedness and response.


  • Experience in qualitative research methods in the behavioural/social sciences (e.g. thematic analysis of qualitative research data using Nvivo or other software)
  • Experience of internet-based search technology for health research, and of conducting bibliographic searching and systematic reviews.
  • Postgraduate research experience (or equivalent) in one or more of the following areas: operational and/or psychological research applied to public health and/or health protection; coordination of (qualitative and/or quantitative) data collection programmes for health research; participant recruitment and study management; specific knowledge of psychological theory and/or approaches in behavioural science; experience and understanding of evaluating and measuring the performance of health services.
  • Experience in the following areas: organizing meetings and workshops; presenting at national / international conferences.

Skills and capabilities


  • Good interpersonal skills, team player and collaborative experience.
  • Proficiency in the application of quantitative (and preferably qualitative) research methods in a health research context.
  • Experience in creating formal reports and scientific publications, Experience of creating and giving presentations to a varied group of internal and external stakeholders.


  • Experience of statistical analysis using SPSS/STATA/R or equivalent software, Microsoft Office Suite, qualitative analysis software (e.g. Nvivo).
  • Evidence of peer reviewed publication track record.

Equality and diversity


  • An understanding of and commitment to equality of opportunity and good working relationships, both in terms of day-to-day working practices, but also in relation to management systems

Disclosure and Barring Service Check

This post is subject to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (Exceptions Order) 1975 and as such it will be necessary for a submission for Disclosure to be made to the Disclosure and Barring Service (formerly known as CRB) to check for any previous criminal convictions.

Employer details

Employer name

Public Health England



Bristol or Totnes


Employer's website


For help with your application, contact:

Lianne Straus


Date posted

01 February 2021

Pay scheme



£36,329 to £42,481 a year


Fixed term


12 months

Working pattern


Reference number


Job locations


Bristol or Totnes


Supporting documents

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