At HDR UK, we employ talented individuals who bring unique skills and experience to support our vision and benefit the whole team.

The Chief Scientist and Deputy Institute Director is a new and highly visible and senior scientific leadership role. We are seeking an individual with a compelling vision and strategic acumen to help guide an internationally renowned research institute that harnesses the distributed UK strengths of health and biomedical data science and informatics research.

The Chief Scientist and Deputy Institute Director will lead the Institute’s research programmes in a way that builds capability across the UK and creates a flourishing and dynamic health data research ecosystem.

The role has oversight of the Research Driver Programme budget and will provide strategic leadership and direction for at least three hundred researchers across the UK working on these programmes. The aim is to create an outward-looking and open Institution that pursues a wide range of UK and international partnerships to deliver on HDR UK’s mission.

The Chief Scientist and Deputy Institute Director will be an outstanding collaborator with the ability to inspire and influence across the research community, forging interdisciplinary expertise across the computer science, statistics, biomedical, clinical, public health and social sciences spectrum.

The role holder will have an exceptional understanding of diverse fields ranging from bioinformatics to clinical health informatics and be able to build effective partnerships with a range of stakeholders including data controllers; local, regional and national health and social care partners; academia; charities and industry.

Role profile

Scientific Leadership

  • Develop and deliver the Institute’s vision with the Institute Director, providing scientific and strategic leadership to shape and implement a world leading organisation
  • Provide leadership, motivation and direction for Research Driver Programmes to maximise high quality scientific delivery outcome and outputs, and ensure tight integration with the Institute’s Infrastructure and Services portfolio
  • Provide national leadership to shape and influence the research community and lead UK health and biomedical science research and align policies
  • Drive collaborative activities and develop partnerships to deliver the Institute’s mission and facilitate the rapid application of the Institute’s data science methodological research and expertise across diverse areas of biomedical, clinical and social and population research
  • Promote the Institute’s key role in UK and international informatics research to the general public, including as a media spokesperson, to inspire effective engagement and support for the use of health data and research
  • Lead a continual programme to develop and enhance the Institute’s strategic and scientific role in the UK and internationally, creating new opportunities to advance the discipline of health data science
  • Participate fully in strategic and quinquennial scientific review of the Institute and the implementation of outcomes, ensure the effective resourcing of the research programmes within delegated authority.

Organisational Leadership

  • Accountable to the Institute Director for the delivery of work areas, including budget and team management
  • Act as a thought leader, championing HDR UK’s mission, research and projects in appropriate technology and health data science related for a and conferences.
  • Support and deputise for the Institute Director as required.

Who we’re looking for

An exceptional leader with outstanding communication and collaboration skills evidenced by:


  • Proven track record of international stature, vision and inspiring leadership and delivery of international quality research in health and biomedical health data science
  • The ability to develop and advance an emerging research discipline
  • The ability to lead collaborative distributed enterprises and build effective stakeholder relations
  • Experience in partnership building including health, social care, policy, government, industry and third sector organisations at scale
  • Track record of successful management and delivery of complex multi budget environments
  • The ability to deliver a strategic plan and build on existing data infrastructure and technology assets
  • Proven track record of professional leadership and motivation pursuing staff development and building and shaping interdisciplinary capacity at all levels.


  • Knowledge of the complexity of health and research data environments and understanding of data security and governance.
  • Experience in knowledge transfer and research translations.
  • Experience of public communication of science and maintaining media relations especially relations of public involvement and engagement around complex issues such as use and sharing of health and social data for research.
  • Experience in implementing and operating institutional governance and administrative issues.

Working at Health Data Research UK

HDR UK offers an attractive package and working environment. Since the pandemic we offer flexibility on working location and the primary base could be anywhere in the UK, but the successful applicant must be willing and able to travel to London and elsewhere (mainly in the UK) in connection with the requirements of the role.

This is a senior appointment, to be a member of HDR UK’s Senior Leadership Team. Aspects of the package include:

Salary – circa £130,000

Standard Life Pension – 10% employer contributions, with no employee contribution requirement

Group life insurance – 4x salary for death in service

35 days annual leave including bank holidays – with annual leave purchase available

Flexibility on location – primary base could be anywhere in the UK but must be willing and able to travel to London and elsewhere (mainly UK) in connection with the role.

Employee Assistance Programme – confidential support available to all staff, online and by telephone, 24 hours a day 365 days per year

Training – as well as training provided under HDR UK’s formal staff development policy, a general programme is available to all staff with no restriction

Interest-free annual travel card loan – a loan repayable through payroll deductions from salary


Recruitment process

How to apply for this role

Candidates should apply by submitting a full CV plus supporting statement of suitability for the role (max of 2 pages) to . If you do have any general questions about the role please contact our Head of People Tammy Palmer –


  1. A 60-minute panel interview with a technical presentation followed by a series of structured questions.
  2. Interviews are scheduled for the 28th of September between 14:00-17:00. Interviews could either be conducted face to face or remotely.
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