Fera’s over-arching purpose is to support and develop a sustainable food chain, a healthy natural environment, and to protect the global community from biological and chemical risks. Our role within that is to provide robust evidence, rigorous analysis and professional advice to Government, international organisations and the private sector.
These vacancies are within the Risk and Numerical Sciences team, in the Plant Protection Programme
The Risk and Numerical Sciences team conducts innovative research and provides expertise in risk, uncertainty analysis and statistics to customers in government (Defra and other departments), national and international research funders (e.g. EU Framework Programmes) and the private sector. An important part of the team’s work is providing statistical advice and support to customers on a consultancy basis.
The team’s work is highly varied and frequently requires the development of new approaches, often influencing national or international policy. The work is usually delivered in partnership with specialists from other disciplines who may be either internal or external collaborators.
Purpose of the jobs
We are looking to appoint up to 3 statisticians with a range of skills and experience. These posts will build on existing team work areas and contribute to growing our capabilities to apply new methods and work with new customers. It will mainly focus on statistical consultancy including: advising on statistical components of scientific proposals; experimental design; data analysis and communication of results to scientists and their customers.
The post holder will:
Contribute to a variety of consultancy work.
- Provide expert statistical advice and analysis to Fera staff and other customers (proposals, study design, analysis, computing, reporting, training).
- Develop novel statistical applications and methods when these are required.
- Develop customer relationships and generate research ideas and proposals.
- Participate in discussions with customers and collaborators to understand their needs and communicate results.
- Contribute to the production of scientific papers and reports and to the preparation and delivery of presentations.
- Manage own time and priorities to ensure delivery of tasks within time and budget.
Education and qualifications
Candidates should have a degree in statistics or a related subject, those without this level of qualifications would need to demonstrate relevant experience.
As we are looking to appoint up to 3 statisticians with a range of skills and experience, we will be happy to receive applications from newly qualified graduates as well as those with post graduate qualifications or experience of applying their statistical expertise in a scientific context. We would look to support new graduates to undertake a formal post graduate qualification.
Candidates will need to be able to demonstrate evidence of an ability to apply a wide range of statistical methods to practical or scientific questions. They will need to have excellent computer programming and general computing skills and be proficient users of statistical computing packages. They must also be able to understand quickly the statistical needs of a scientific problem and suggest possible approaches, and to communicate statistical approaches and results to non-statisticians. Experience of providing statistical advice in a science, policy or business environment and a track record in statistical scientific publication would also be advantageous.
In addition, a working knowledge of more specialised statistical methods (e.g. some of: spatial analysis, time series analysis, mixed modelling, multivariate analysis) and proficiency with R and/or GenStat would be desirable.
Candidates need to have highly effective interpersonal, written and oral communication skills and be able to work collaboratively across the business. The ideal candidate will be able to work independently and have good time management skills with the ability to handle competing demands and short deadlines.