Research Fellow - Veterinary Epidemiology and Science-Policy Communication

The Global Academy for Agriculture and Food Security, University of Edinburgh

Closing date: 19th March 2018 at 5pm 

Line manager: Lisa Boden

Vacancy Ref: : 042890
Closing Date : 19-Mar-2018
Contact Person : Eilidh Morrison (0131 651 7447)
Contact Email : EBCampusHR@ed.ac.uk

We are seeking a post-doctoral research fellow to join EPIC, Scottish Government’s Centre of Expertise on Animal Disease Outbreaks. We are looking for a highly motivated, enthusiastic, creative and independent researcher to work in the area of exotic disease outbreak contingency planning, coordination and communication across the science-policy interface. This role involves collaboration with policy-makers and scientists, including epidemiologists, social scientists, economists and mathematical modellers in a multi-partner consortium to provide high quality advice for exotic animal disease preparedness and animal health policy.

For more information about EPIC please visit http://www.epicscotland.org

This full-time post (35 hours) is available on a fixed term basis from 1 March 2018 but will be renewed on an annual basis depending on future funding applications. The EPIC project has been running for over 10 years and has secured funding from Scottish Government until 2021.

Informal enquiries can be made to Lisa Boden, whilst formal applications must be completed via the website of The University of Edinburgh (Vacancy Ref: 042890).

Job Purpose 

The post-holder will work at the science-policy interface to provide effective high quality epidemiological evidence to support Scottish Government in short- and long-term exotic disease preparedness planning. This role will involve technical expertise in veterinary risk assessment and facilitation of communication and knowledge exchange activities between EPIC researchers (in its 6 partner institutes and universities), Scottish government policy-makers and other Scottish Government partners and stakeholders. The post-holder will have access to a hot-desk within the Scottish Government Animal Health and Welfare Division. 
Main Responsibilities (Approx. % of time) 
• Provision of epidemiological expertise to inform animal health policy decisions and improve animal disease preparedness and control (within and outwith emergency disease outbreaks). This will include provision of qualitative and quantitative veterinary risk assessments and systematic literature reviews (Approx 50% of time). 
• Coordination of EPIC’s response to disease emergencies (Approx 5% of time). 
• Contribution to EPIC’s foresighting work to improve disease preparedness (Approx 10% of time) 
• Brokering knowledge between Scottish Government policy makers, industry stakeholders and EPIC scientists through the provision of reports, case studies, policy and research briefs (Approx 5% of time) 
• Contribution to strategic planning, oversight and execution of EPIC knowledge exchange activities. This will include the dissemination and publication of own research in international peer-reviewed journals (Approx 10% of time) 
• Supervision of post-graduate students (Approx 10% of time). 
• Contribution to teaching and support students within own subject area and writing of bids for research grants, where appropriate (Approx 10% time).

Planning and Organising 

The post-holder is expected to work well in a collaborative, fast-paced environment, managing and prioritizing their own workload according to set milestones and deliverables. 
He/she will: 
• Take responsibility for organizing own activities and prioritising, planning and managing their weekly workflow, in collaboration with other members of the Global Academy and the EPIC team. 
• Plan through to programme end to ensure timely delivery of research for policy purposes and meet research deadline deliverables. 
• Attend relevant EPIC, industry and Scottish Government policy meetings when necessary. 
• Contribute to the organisation of the wider area of work.

Problem Solving / Decision Making 

The post-holder will have extensive support from a team of scientists within EPIC, the EPIC project manager and the EPIC Deputy Director. He/she is expected to resolve problems using their own expertise and experience, and by engaging collaboratively with senior EPIC team members and colleagues within the Global Academy. The post-holder is expected to be largely independent and to demonstrate creativity and initiative to solve standard issues. The post-holder is expected to ensure that the project milestones are delivered. Collaborative problem-solving as part of team deliberation is expected to deliver timely and useful policy and practice advice and recommendations.

Key Contacts/Relationships

The post-holder will be line-managed by Dr. Lisa Boden at the Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Security within the University of Edinburgh. He/she will be expected to develop close relationships, interact and collaborate well with other EPIC members in partner organisations (i.e. Roslin Institute, BioSS, Moredun Research institute, The James Hutton Institute, Scottish Rural College (SRUC) and the University of Glasgow). The post-holder is also expected to interact with members of the Scottish Government Animal Health and Welfare Division, the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) and representatives of Scottish livestock industries. 
Knowledge, Skills and Experience Needed for the Job

• Undergraduate veterinary degree 
• PhD (or PhD near completion) in veterinary epidemiology, social science or related animal health subject 
• Experience of planning and progressing work activities within general guidelines, using initiative and judgement without recourse to seniors 
• Proven analytical and problem-solving capability 
• Proven excellent interpersonal, oral and written communication, presentation and time management skills

• Evidence of effective contribution to post-graduate research and or teaching experience 
• Ability to work effectively both independently and as a member of a team 
• Experience or interest in academic / policy/ industry interface collaboration 
• Interest in contingency planning and preparedness for disease outbreaks 
• Knowledge of exotic and endemic animal diseases 
• Knowledge/experience of systematic literature reviews 
• Knowledge/experience of qualitative and/or quantitative risk assessment 
• Knowledge/experience in study design and quantitative and qualitative approaches to data collection (interview techniques, questionnaire design) 
• Knowledge/experience in programming in R, or relevant statistical software packages 
• Interest in knowledge exchange activities (including website and social media KE) 
• Experience in facilitation 
• Experience in project management 
• Willingness to take on a variety of jobs

Job Context and any other relevant information

EPIC, Scottish Government’s Centre of Expertise on Animal Disease Outbreaks is one of 3 Centres of Expertise in Scotland (the others include ClimateXChange and Crew). The project has evolved over the last 10 years to provide high quality scientific advice to support Scottish Government policymakers in “peacetime” as well as in the event of a disease outbreak emergency. It is important that the post-holder brings a strong commitment to work within an existing research programme with an already-developed agenda. The EPIC programme is funded by the Scottish Government until 2021. Posts are renewed on an annual basis. The successful applicant will have the opportunity to generate high impact policy-relevant outputs. 
The successful candidate will be based at the University of Edinburgh Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Security. He/she will have access to a hot-desk at Scottish Government Animal Health and Welfare Division.


The role is grade UE07 and attracts an annual salary of £32,548 to £38,833 for 35 hours each week. Salary is paid monthly by direct transfer to your Bank or Building Society account, normally on the 28th of the month. Salaries for part-time staff are calculated on the full-time scales, pro-rata to the Standard Working Week.

This full-time post (35 hours) is available on a fixed term basis from 1 March 2018 but will be renewed on an annual basis depending on future funding applications.

Pension Scheme

This role is grade UE07 and therefore the post holder is automatically included in membership of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), subject to the USS membership criteria, unless they indicate that they choose not to join the Scheme.

For further information please visit our pension’s website: http://www.ed.ac.uk/schools-departments/finance/pensions/scheme-details/uss

Eligibility to Work

In accordance with the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 the University of Edinburgh, as an employer, has a legal responsibility to prevent illegal working and therefore must check that all employees are entitled to work in the United Kingdom (UK).

To do so, the University of Edinburgh requires to see original documents evidencing right to work in the UK before commencement of employment and this is normally carried out at interview. Details will be provided in any letter of invitation to interview.

For further information on eligibility to work please visit our eligibility to work website http://www.ed.ac.uk/schools-departments/human-resources/recruitment/eligibility-immigration

If you are not currently eligible to work in the UK, it may be possible for the University of Edinburgh to sponsor you to obtain a Tier 2 (General) visa to enable you to take up the appointment should you be successful at interview.

For applicants interested in sponsorship information is available on our Working in the UK website: http://www.ed.ac.uk/schools-departments/human-resources/recruitment/eligibility-immigration/employees-guidance/working-in-uk

However, if you have previously been sponsored by an employer within the UK but your leave has expired or lapsed and you are no longer in the UK, according to Home Office Visa Immigration rules you cannot apply for sponsorship under any category of Tier 2 for a period of 12 months after the date your visa expired and/or you left the UK.

If you are an academic in the field of sciences; humanities; engineering; medicine; digital technology; or the arts and come from outside the EEA, it may be possible for you to apply for a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa.

The Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa route offers a greater flexibility in your employment compared to other UK immigration routes, meaning you can, for example, move organisation, location and/or job role. By contrast with, a Tier 2 visa where you are ‘tied to a UK sponsor’. Tier 1 provides greater flexibility in undertaking additional engagements, such as collaborations and is intended as a route to settlement. Allowed absences from the UK are up to 180 days per year without losing the eligibility to qualify for settlement, with no restriction on the reason for absence (unlike Tier 2, where any absences from the UK must be for a purpose consistent with the person’s employment or economic activity, including paid annual leave, or for serious or compelling personal reasons).

You would initially need to apply to be endorsed as an internationally recognised leader or emerging leader in your particular field by a designated competent body (Arts Council England, British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering, Royal Society, Tech City UK).

Tier1 (Exceptional and Exceptional Promise) Endorsement Criteriahttps://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/302695/20140410_Immigration_Rules_-_Appendix_L_MASTER.pdf

Once successfully endorsed, you are able to apply for a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa. More information on this entry route is available on the UKVI website: https://www.gov.uk/tier-1-exceptional-talent.

Application Procedure

All applicants should apply online by clicking the “apply” button at the foot of this page. The application process is quick and easy to follow, and you will receive email confirmation of safe receipt of your application. The online system allows you to submit a CV and other attachments.

Closing date: 19th March 2018 at 5pm.

Further Information searching vacancy ref: 042890

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