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Lead Data Scientist (1 role available) – Better Outcomes through linked data (BOLD) Programme, Data & Analysis, Ministry of Justice – 64736
£51,767 – £64,135
National

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We encourage applications from people from all backgrounds and aim to have a workforce that represents the wider society that we serve. We pride ourselves on being an employer of choice. We champion diversity, inclusion and wellbeing and aim to create a workplace where everyone feels valued and a sense of belonging. To find out more about how we do this visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-justice/about/equality-and-diversity.

Lead Data Scientist – Grade 7Data & Analysis, Ministry of Justice

Overview

We have an exciting permanent opportunity in our data linking team, working with our award winning team behind the Splink software. This is based within the Data Science Hub within the MoJ Data & Analytical Services Directorate at Grade 7 and working on the cross government ‘Better Outcomes through Linked Data’ Programme (BOLD). 

The salary will be negotiable within the Grade 7 pay range depending on your skills and expertise as assessed in the selection process.

Roles are open to: 

  1. Existing analysts from all professions (GORS/GSS/GSR/GES) either on level transfer or on promotion.
  2. Other candidates that are not members of GSS, GORS, GSR, GES professions but possess and can demonstrate similar experience at the appropriate level. Badging opportunities will be available once in post for those who wish to apply.

The Ministry of Justice

The Ministry of Justice is a major government department, at the heart of the justice system. We work to protect and advance the principles of justice. Our vision is to deliver a world-class justice system that works for everyone in society. A key priority is to become strongly data and evidence driven by ensuring it is used to improve our business performance and the justice system for our citizens.

The Data Science Hub

The Data Science Hub sits at the heart of MoJ’s push to use data to bear on some of the Ministry’s thorniest problems. We are a multi-disciplinary team of 90+ people from a range of professional and backgrounds. We most commonly use Python, R and Spark in our AWS Analytical Platform through our Macbooks, with data from the business that’s extracted, transformed and loaded by our data engineering teams.

We have delivered high impact data products that have been productionised and widely used across the business and adhoc insight that directly influences corporate, operational and policy decisions. These span the data science spectrum including automation, advanced visualisation, machine learning, data linking, natural language processing and optimisation. We are now collaborating with MoJ Digital with the aim of getting live data pipelines as new services are being built, with the plan to deliver data science products through these services.

You can find more examples of our work and ways of working in the appendix section at the end of this document.

BOLD

BOLD is a large and complex programme that consists of sharing data across government, building a linked dataset, and delivering 4 ‘demonstrator pilot projects’ that will use the linked dataset to tackle specific policy challenges across substance misuse, homelessness, victims of crime and reoffending. BOLD is an exciting cross-departmental programme funded by the Treasury’s Shared Outcomes Fund. This gives us the opportunity to truly work collaboratively across departmental boundaries, working as a single team with a single vision: deliver better outcomes for vulnerable populations through the use of linked data. If you like challenging problems with real-world impact and have always hoped government could learn to use data better, apply for this role and help us transform the use of data to drive outcomes and decision-making across government.

Minimum requirements to apply:

Candidates must be able to show the relevant experience and skills and must meet the criteria for entry:

Grade 7 – must meet all of the following:

  • You have significant work experience (usually a minimum of four years) evidencing use of data and/or analytical skills. Time spent on an analytical PhD can count towards this.
  • You have significant experience of managing projects
  • You have experience of leading or managing a team

Additionally, if you are applying for a data engineering role then we would expect you to be able to program in Python.

We welcome applications from candidates based across the UK. Candidates will have the option of being based in the Leeds or London HQ offices (with flexible working arrangements available) or your nearest Justice Collaboration Centre or Justice Satellite Office. These are in Liverpool, Leeds, South Tyneside, Manchester, Bristol, Nottingham, Cardiff, Ipswich and Brighton, Stafford, Ipswich, Wolverhampton, Sheffield. Alternative locations may be available and will be discussed and agreed on the completion of background checks.

Interviews are likely to take place in late October/early November and will be held via MS Teams. We will keep a merit list for a year for those who successfully pass the interview board but who are not offered a post.   

About Data & Analysis

We are passionate about improving justice outcomes through innovative research, data and analysis.

In Data and Analysis, we provide high quality data and analysis helping to ensure strategic, policy, finance, corporate and operational decisions are based on robust evidence.

We create a culture in which people are empowered with the data and information to make excellent decisions; using cutting edge tools, techniques and collaboration; putting evidence at the heart of the justice system.

We are a multi-disciplinary team of around 500 staff that sits at the heart of the Ministry of Justice providing analytical support across a diverse and exciting agenda. We work in a dynamic and fast-paced context and our skills are in heavy demand across the Ministry of Justice. Our collaborations beyond government are seen as ground-breaking.

The Data and Analysis community is made up of analysts and specialists including: Social Researchers, Economists, Operational Researchers, Statisticians, Data Engineers, Data Scientists and other data specialists (such as data strategists, data dissemination, generalists and assurance experts).

Why work in Data and Analysis?

In Data and Analysis, we want all our people to feel valued for who they are and for the work they do. We provide a warm, inclusive place to work and offer a wide range of flexibilities and benefits as part of our people offer to reward our staff.

What we offer

  • Flexible working arrangements and a focus on equality of opportunity – including welcoming part-time and/or job-share arrangements, compressed hours, working from home or your nearest Justice Collaboration Centres or Justice Satellite Office.
  • Career development – regular development and promotion opportunities across a wide range of roles, career development support, with a generous individual learning and development budget.
  • Range of new areas of work and new tools and techniques – we pride ourselves on our excellent deployment of well-established analytical methods, but also our progress to date. Progress such as our ambitious and innovative transformation programme to leverage departmental data and drive evidence-based decision-making using cutting-edge tools and techniques (for example: experimentation, personalisation, artificial intelligence).
  • Analysis is at the centre of the Department’s decision making – our transformation programme is focused on maximising our impact on departmental outcomes. The Ministry of Justice’s Senior Team and our Ministerial Team want all decisions to be evidence driven – your analysis will be key in influencing decisions and real-world impact
  • Vibrant community – part of a multidisciplinary team that has a supportive culture and is looking to further develop the community with the help of everyone.
  • See the frontline and what your work is influencing – regular opportunities to visit our front-line service providers, including courts, prisons, and probation to better understand the areas your analysis is affecting.

What you’ll do  

You will work as part of multi-disciplinary teams consisting of data scientists and data engineers as well as interacting with other data roles.  The majority of projects will be conducted on the MoJ Analytical Platform using Github for version control and effective collaboration, and projects will include working to achieve data linking across the Ministry of Justice and partner government departments.

Specific responsibilities will be tailored to reflect your strengths and development needs, but you will be expected to:

  • Lead the vision for data linking, recommending and implementing ways to improve the quality of our in house software, data, quality assurance and outputs;
  • Implement best practices such as version control, unit testing, code review, and well documented applications within your project team;
  • Work across Spark, SQL and Python to undertake linking tasks, such as data set linking, developing ways to understand link quality and implementing improvement to the Splink library (https://github.com/moj-analytical-services/splink).
  • Build a strong collaborative working environment within the team, and interacting positively with a variety of stakeholders to build community, capability and credibility in both Ministry of Justice and across other government departments;

Maintain the team’s awareness of the wider data linking landscape and emerging technologies.

Who you are

We’re interested in people who have:

  • experience in leading and delivering large scale analytical projects;
  • experience of applying data linking or data science techniques to messy datasets;
  • experience in writing clear and concise code, and working with scripting/programming and database programming languages, specifically Python and SQL. Use of Spark is an advantage;
  • a track record of using quality assurance and automated testing in analytical work, including producing robust and reproducible analysis using modern version control software;
  • strategic thinking and problem solving aligned with organisational goals, with ability to identify preventative measures and opportunities for data innovation and promoting adoption and learning of new tools and techniques;
  • experience of working with diverse stakeholder groups to deliver data products and explaining data concepts and practices to technical and non-technical stakeholders.

How to apply

You’ll need to submit an anonymised CV and Statement of Suitability as part of your application. You will not be considered if you do not provide both.

Your CV should be no more than 2 pages long and should show us your work history and previous experience. It should be well structured, succinct and written in clear language.

Your Statement of Suitability should be no more than 750 words and should give us examples of how your skills and experience match those needed for this role. Consider giving examples that cover all the requirements in the ‘Who you are’ section and use work you have completed to demonstrate how you meet each one. 

All these requirements are important for the job, however we do not expect candidates to be expert in all of them. Just give as much evidence as you can for each and make sure you cover ‘how’ you demonstrated the requirements and the impact of your work, as well as ‘what’ you did. Again, if you are interested in applying but are not sure you have all the skills listed, please do apply and give us the opportunity to consider you as a candidate.

Selection Process

There will be an initial sift of applicants through comparing submitted evidence against the ‘Who you are’ bullets. This usually takes two weeks, depending on the number of applications.

Those who make it through the initial sift will be invited to a Civil Service Success Profile interview. In the Civil Service we use Success Profiles to help us find the right person for the job. We will be using a mixture of methods to assess your abilities, strengths, experience, technical skills and behaviours. We highly recommend learning about Success Profiles and using the Situation, Task, Action, Result and Reflection (STARR) framework when structuring your answers.

The highest scoring candidates that pass the interview will be offered the roles. The whole process can take up to a month. Other candidates that pass the interview will be kept on a merit list for 12 months.

Behaviours

You will be assessed against the Civil service success profiles framework at interview stage:

  • Managing a Quality Service
  • Seeing the Big Picture

Please also refer to the CS Behaviours framework for more details at this grade

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/717275/CS_Behaviours_2018.pdf 

Technical – Data science skills

We’ll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process:

  • data science expertise and technical leadership
  • working practices
  • programming and coding skills

For existing analysts from all professions, as well as the three civil service behaviours stated above, you will be assessed on two sets of professional competencies at interview

For external (non-Civil Service) candidates (and unbadged candidates within the Civil Service), as well as the three civil service behaviours stated above, you will be assessed on your analytical knowledge, experience and abilities, and the impact of your analytical work.  

Appendix

Examples of our work and ways of working:

Civil Service Success Profiles used for selection process:

Professional Competencies 

Professional Competency (1) Knowledge & Skills

  • GSS – Data Analysis. 
  • GORS – Knowledge and application of OR Skills and Techniques. 
  • GES – Analysis of Data. 
  • GSR – Knowledge and application of GSR technical skills 

Professional Competency (2) Influence & Impact

  • GSS – Presenting and disseminating data effectively. 
  • GORS – Achieving impact with analysis. 
  • GES – Effective communication. 
  • GSR – using and promoting social research 

For more information regarding Professional Competency (2) please refer to the analytical profession internet links below. Please note that some aspect of the professional competency may overlap with the MoJ competencies listed above. We therefore recommend that in providing evidence for the professional competency, candidates focus on the technical and methodology aspects of the competencies that are specific to the profession. We will use evidence presented for the MoJ competencies in assessing the wider skills candidates have. 

Government Statistician Group (GSG): Further information, including a user guide, can be found within the link below:  

GSS Competency Framework 2021

Government Social Research Service (GSR): Further information can be found within the link below: 

GSR Competency Framework 2022

Government Operational Research Service (GORS): Further information can be found within the link below:  

GORS Competencies 

Government Economic Service (GES): Further information can be found within the link below: 

GES Professional Standards 2022 

Applicants invited for Interview 

Presentation

At the interview we will be asked to give a five-minute presentation on a data science project you have delivered. Details of this will be sent to candidates before the interview.

Further Information

If you have any queries about the role or application process, or wish to discuss, please contact Ross Wyatt (ross.wyatt@justice.gov.uk) or Robin Linacre (robin.linacre@digital.justice.gov.uk)

Salary

The national salary range is £51,767 - £59,590, London salary range is £55,720 - £64,135. Your salary will be dependent on your base location

Additional Information

Working Arrangements & Further Information

The MoJ offers Hybrid Working arrangements where business need allows. This is an informal, non-contractual form of flexible working that blends working from your base location, different MoJ sites and / or from home (please be aware that this role can only be worked in the UK and not overseas). Some roles will not be suitable for Hybrid Working. Similarly, Hybrid Working will not suit everyone’s circumstances. Arrangements will be discussed and agreed with the successful candidate(s) and subject to regular review.

For nationally advertised roles, the successful candidate(s) will be appointed to a MoJ office location, which may include their nearest Justice Collaboration Centre or Justice Satellite Office. This will be discussed and agreed on the completion of pre-employment checks.

Some of MoJ’s terms and conditions of service are changing as part of Civil Service reform. The changes will apply to staff joining MoJ who are new to the Civil Service. Staff joining MoJ from other civil service employers will transfer onto the new MoJ terms if they are already on ‘modernised’ terms in their current post or onto ‘unmodernised’ MoJ terms if they are on ‘unmodernised’ terms at their current post. Details will be available if an offer is made.

Flexible working hours

The Ministry of Justice offers a flexible working system in many offices.

Benefits

The MoJ offers a range of benefits:

Annual Leave

Annual leave is 25 days on appointment and will increase to 30 days after five years’ service.

There is also a scheme to allow qualifying staff to buy or sell up to three days leave each year. Additional paid time off for public holidays and 1 privilege day. Leave for part-time and job share posts will be calculated on a pro-rata basis.

Pension

The Civil Service offers a choice of pension schemes, giving you the flexibility to choose the pension that suits you best.

Training

The Ministry of Justice is committed to staff development and offers an extensive range of training and development opportunities.

Networks

The opportunity to join employee-run networks that have been established to provide advice and support and to enable the views of employees from minority groups to be expressed direct to senior management. There are currently networks for employees of minority ethnic origin, employees with disabilities, employees with caring responsibilities, women employees, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees.

Support

  • A range of ‘Family Friendly’ policies such as opportunities to work reduced hours or job share.
  • Access to flexible benefits such as voluntary benefits, retail vouchers and discounts on a range of goods and services.
  • For moves to or from another employer or moves across the Civil Service this can have implications on your eligibility to carry on claiming childcare vouchers. You may however be eligible for alternative government childcare support schemes, including Tax Free Childcare. More information can be found on GOV.UK or Childcare Choices. You can determine your eligibility at https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk/.
  • Paid paternity, adoption and maternity leave.
  • Free annual sight tests for employees who use computer screens.

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission’s recruitment principles. Should you feel that the recruitment process has breached the recruitment principles you are able to raise a formal complaint in the following order

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As a Disability Confident employer, MoJ are committed to providing everyone with the opportunity to demonstrate their skills, talent and abilities, by making adjustments throughout all elements of the recruitment process and in the workplace. MoJ are able to offer an interview to disabled candidates who meet the minimum selection criteria, except in a limited number of campaigns.

You will be able to request reasonable adjustments to the recruitment process within the application form. If you need additional help completing the application form, please contact the SSCL Recruitment Enquiries Team.

We encourage applications from people from all backgrounds and aim to have a workforce that represents the wider society that we serve. We pride ourselves on being an employer of choice. We champion diversity, inclusion and wellbeing and aim to create a workplace where everyone feels valued and a sense of belonging. To find out more about how we do this visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-justice/about/equality-and-diversity.