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Job summary

Main area
Covid - NIS
Civil Service: Higher Executive Officer (HEO)
Fixed term: 12 months
Full time: 37.5 hours per week (37.5 hours per week)
Job ref
Public Health England
Employer type
Public (Non NHS)
£32,331 - £39,691 per annum
Salary period
06/12/2020 23:59

Employer heading

Public Health England logo

COVID-19 Vacancy Scientist

Civil Service: Higher Executive Officer (HEO)

Public Health England (PHE) is an executive agency of the Department of Health and Social Care providing; strategic leadership, research, advice and support for Government, local authorities and the NHS in protecting and improving the nation’s health

This is a Non Reserved post under the Civil Service Nationality Rules and is therefore open to UK, Commonwealth and European Economic Area (EEA) Nationals and certain non EEA members. For more information please refer to the supporting documents detailing the Civil Service Nationality Rules.

  • For posts on PHE Civil Service terms and conditions, on appointment the salary is normally the minimum point (see salary range above). This will be dependent on the successful candidate’s current salary and terms and/or equivalent experience. The Civil Service pay structure and progression is different from NHS Agenda for Change, most local authority pay grades and other systems that have annual pay increments. Please see attached an information sheet explaining starting salaries and benefits when joining PHE.
  • For clinically ringfenced AfC or Medical/Dental posts, you must obtain the correct professional registration to be appointed. The pay will follow the AfC or Medical & Dental terms & conditions. You may be asked to provide evidence on previous service whilst we are conducting pre-employment checks to determine starting salaries.

Any moves across the Civil Service may have implications on your ability to carry on claiming childcare vouchers.

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 PHE’s 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.

Given the nature of the work of PHE, as a Category 1 department, you may be required in an emergency, if deemed a necessity, to redeploy to another role at short notice. You may also be required to work at any other location, within reasonable travelling distance of your permanent home address, in line with the provisions set out in your contract of employment.

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    

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

The High Containment Microbiology (HCM) department comprises highly specialised facilities and staff across two PHE sites, Colindale and Porton, that together support the UK and international requirements for work at the highest levels of biocontainment. Department activities are driven by clinical and public health priorities, ensuring efficient and effective co-ordination of the UK response to disease outbreaks caused by high consequence pathogens in addition to carrying out defined research programmes. Both facilities undertake work at the highest categorisation of human and animal pathogens, Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens (ACDP) and Specified Animal Pathogens Order (SAPO) Hazard Group 4.

Vacancies exists for two scientists within the HCM department based at PHE Colindale. The successful candidates will be familiar with virology and molecular biology methods, and will have prior experience working at ACDP Containment Level 3. The post-holders will join a small team of dedicated staff to assist in the delivery of SARS-CoV-2 projects in the department, with a particular focus on SARS-CoV-2 inactivation testing. These positions are primarily based at PHE Colindale, but the post-holders will be expected to support department SARS-CoV-2 project work at PHE Porton if required.

Applicants are strongly advised to use the criteria in the person specification (available online) as sub-headings in their application to make it clear how they meet each of the selection criteria.

Option 3 – External

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


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Documents to download

Apply online now

Further details / informal visits contact

Marian Killip
Job title
Scientific Lead
Email address
Apply online now