BioSS 01-19 - Statistician - Animal and Plant Health Application

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Posted: 24/05/2019 11:37
Start Date: Not Available
Salary: Circa £31,365
Location: Edinburgh
Level: Hutton D
Deadline: 13/06/2019 23:59
Hours: 37
Benefits: Generous
Job Type: Permanent

BioSS has an international reputation for methodological development in statistics, mathematical modelling and bioinformatics.  We offer a stimulating working environment, with over 40 staff and students at four locations, collaborating on applications in plant science, animal health & welfare, ecology & environmental science, and nutrition & human health.

We are seeking candidates to join a substantial team of BioSS statisticians and mathematical modellers to further develop our existing strengths in the areas of animal and plant health.  The post-holder will work with the Scottish Government’s Centre of Expertise on the epidemiology of animal diseases in Scotland, EPIC ( and build on opportunities for collaborative projects within the recently created Scottish Plant Health Centre of Expertise (

The post, based in Edinburgh, represents an excellent opportunity for an applied statistician interested in both contributing to projects across a stimulating mix of biological applications and further developing their methodological expertise.  In addition to working closely with colleagues in BioSS, the post-holder will work with and grow our extensive collaborative network of statisticians, mathematicians and other quantitative experts working in plant and animal health.

Our ideal candidate for this position will have:

  • a PhD in statistics or another discipline with a large statistical component, or a relevant MSc with additional experience;
  • experience of collaborative working at the interface between statistics and biological sciences, corroborated by co-authored papers in scientific journals; and
  • the ability to interact positively, effectively and confidently with non-statisticians in formal and informal situations.

More information on the detail of the post and the post holder can be found below in the job description.

Main Purpose of Job       

  • Provision of statistical expertise to collaborative research projects in Animal Health and Plant Health.
  • Quantitative inputs to the EPIC Centre of Expertise.
  • Statistical support to BioSS tendering for Plant Health Centre opportunities.
  • Development of a portfolio of personal research in applied statistics or at the interface between statistics, mathematical modelling and bioinformatics, motivated by quantitative problems encountered in collaborative projects.
  • Contribute to revenue generation through completion of existing projects and development of new projects.

Main duties of post holder

  • Collaborate with scientists working in the EPIC Centre of Expertise.
  • Work in support of senior BioSS staff in tendering for funding from the Plant Health Centre of Expertise, and on delivering the project(s) if successful.
  • Develop and implement an area of personal research relevant to Animal Health and/or Plant Health in one of BioSS’s three research themes.
  • Contribute to the development and delivery of BioSS training courses for scientists.
  • Seek external funding for research and consultancy projects, especially where these create new opportunities for collaboration with other organisations.



  • MSc in statistics plus sufficient relevant work experience
  • Experience of collaborative working at the interface between statistics and biological sciences, experience in the analysis of varied data types
  • Experience in development and implementation of modern statistical methods evidenced through co-authored scientific papers
  • Evidence of ability to interact positively, effectively and confidently with collaborators in formal and informal situations
  • Ability to work independently
  • Evidence of willingness to seek funding
  • Enthusiastic about development and application of statistical methods
  • Strong general skills, covering most of the following areas: experimental design, repeated measures, mixed models, sampling theory, generalised linear models and computationally intensive methods
  • Good programming ability in statistical packages such as GenStat or R
  • Good written communicator
  • Willingness and ability to give spoken presentations presenting technical methods and results to non-quantitative audiences


  • PhD in statistics or another discipline with a large statistical component plus some relevant work experience
  • Track record of research and/or collaboration evidenced by scientific papers, preferably in a field relevant to Animal or Plant Health
  • Evidence of ability to manage and motivate staff
  • Evidence of experience and ability in seeking funding

All individuals wishing to work within the UK must be entitled to do so before they can be employed. Further information on the above post, including how to apply, is available on the BioSS website at  The interview date is currently scheduled for 24th June 2019.  Potential applicants may contact Dr Iain McKendrick (, tel +44 (0) 131 650 4894) in confidence to discuss the post.

We will not consider the use of 3rd party recruitment agencies for the sourcing of candidates for this position.   

The James Hutton Institute is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees.

As they are under-represented in this area of our work we would particularly welcome applications from women.

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