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Head of Virology

Animal and Plant Health Agency
Addlestone, Surrey
Closing date
18 Jun 2023

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Life Science
Job Type
Head of Department
Employment - Hours
Full time

About APHA

The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) is an executive agency of the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, and works on behalf of the Scottish Government and Welsh Government. Our diverse teams of over 2,500 skilled and committed professionals come together to provide research, advice and support to UK Government for safeguarding animal, public and plant health for benefit of the environment and economy

The Science Directorate (SD) delivers nationally and internationally strategically impactful multidisciplinary science to the highest quality.. Our People are diverse, talented, engaged and inspired to deliver innovative outcomes. The Virology Department within the Science Directorate and has a mission to carry out strategic science underpinning threat mitigation and improved disease control for viral diseases of animals in the UK and at global scale.As Head of Virology you will lead a multidisciplinary team of over 100 scientific staff.

The Role

This is a rare and unique opportunity. As the Head of the Virology Department you will be providing strong leadership, helping shape our future programmes and developing strategic partnerships both nationally and internationally to assure the provision of cutting edge science at pace to respond to increased threats to animal health and welfare

Using strong managerial skills and specialist knowledge the postholder will motivate, challenge, develop and support our cadre of highly skilled scientific staff. Ensuring operational delivery of our strategic science to budget and on time will be expected. You will be responsible for the planning and delivery of the work on Virology related science maintaining high integrity across our research, surveillance, diagnostics and development to high standards of quality and health and safety. Response and preparedness for national disease emergencies will be required whilst working flexibly to deliver business change including through the Science Capability in Animal Health Programme.

Who we’re looking for Experience in developing and delivering complex science programmes at organisational, national and international scale as well as leading a large science team. A proven track record will be required in grant writing, high impact science communications evidenced through standard metrics and ability to influence upwards and across peers. You will need to demonstrate planning, organisation, delegation and prioritisation skills. Experience required inleading a team of multi-skilled staff across disciplines and growth of staff CPD. Demonstrable ability in development and maintenance of consistently high performing teams and individuals underpinned by fostering a climate of continuous improvement and learning for all will be expected.

You should have sound knowledge of Veterinary Virology and research applications/approaches including use of cutting edge technologies to strengthen and future proof science. Critically a good understanding of biocontainment levels 2 and 3 working with a range of animal and zoonotic pathogens (including exotic to UK) is required, plus demonstrate a track record in safety management and performance. An ability to establish and work within an auditable framework of systems and procedures, including staff competence/training, research integrity, quality assurance/quality control standards and third party accreditation.

You must have good written and oral communication skills and be comfortable with communicating with people and groups at all levels with a range of scientific knowledge. The postholder needs the ability to maintain calm under pressure, with strong inner resilience, be open to ideas and work collaboratively. Essential attributes are leadership/role model for EDI, the health, safety and well-being of staff and the ability to work flexibly out of hours. A PhD in virology or closely related discipline and other relevant post-graduate or management qualifications with a strong track record of delivering high impact science is required.

What’s in it for me?

In return for your dedication and hard work, we will support your ongoing personal development through appropriate training. Inclusion, support and the development of our people matter to us. We aim to support the career and personal wellbeing of everyone in APHA.

Our benefits include generous annual leave, flexible working, a contributory pension (A Civil Service pension with an average employer contribution of 27%), staff financial rewards and other modes of recognition, salary sacrifice benefit options, and an employee discount scheme.

Closing date: Sunday 18 June 2023.

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