University of Cambridge

Job Opportunities


Research Assistant/Research Associate (Fixed Term)

Centre for Diet and Activity Research (CEDAR) and the MRC Epidemiology Unit at the University of Cambridge are offering an opportunity to join a vibrant research group at a leading university and to contribute to important public health research on limiting proliferation of hot food takeaways. We are seeking to appoint a researcher with proven expertise in the collection and analysis of qualitative data, to work on the research project "Exploring the nature and acceptability of local authority actions to restrict proliferation of hot food takeaways in England: preparation for a large-scale evaluation", funded by the National Institute for Health Research School for Public Health Research. Following a national survey of local authorities, we are currently developing a typology of local authority planning-led approaches to limiting proliferation of hot-food takeaways. We will then select around three representative areas for further study. With this post, we seek to understand experiences and acceptability of planning approaches to limiting takeaway proliferation in our three case-study areas, amongst key stakeholders including local authority officers, elected councillors, representatives of relevant civil society groups, and takeaway owners.

The post is available for 9 months with an ideal start date of early June 2018. The role is under the supervision and management of the Principal Investigators Dr Jean Adams and Dr Thomas Burgoine and within the Evaluation of Population Dietary Interventions Programme, led by Dr Jean Adams. Other collaborators on the project include Prof Martin White (University of Cambridge), Prof Steve Cummins (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine), and Prof Carolyn Summerbell (University of Durham). The project builds on our internationally-recognised, ground-breaking work on the impact of exposure to hot-food takeaways on diet and obesity. The post holder will be responsible for: the identification and recruitment of participants across the three case-study areas; conducting qualitative interviews and analysis of the data using appropriate qualitative research methods; preparation (as first author) of one or more manuscripts for publication in peer-reviewed academic journals; and dissemination of results to academic and non-academic stakeholders, including the opportunity to present results at academic con-ferences.

You will be educated to PhD level (or equivalent) and/or have had training in qualitative methods with a proven track-record of independent qualitative data collection and analysis, including applying for ethics approval, recruiting participants, conducting sensitive and in-depth interviews, analysing the results from these, and writing these up for a variety of audiences.

The MRC Epidemiology Unit is a department within the University of Cambridge's School of Clinical Medicine, situated within the Institute of Metabolic Science on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus. The Unit's mission is to study the genetic, developmental and environmental factors that cause obesity, diabetes and related metabolic disorders and develop strategies for their prevention. The MRC Epidemiology unit also hosts the UKCRC Centre for Diet and Activity Research (CEDAR), where the post holder will be based. You will be joining a vibrant and friendly team of researchers, within a world-class research environment, and a UK Centre of Excellence in Public Health Research, focused on developing an understanding of the population-level determinants of dietary and physical activity behaviours and on evaluating interventions that impact on these behaviours.

Please contact Dr Jean Adams ( or Dr Thomas Burgoine ( with informal enquiries.

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 9 months in the first instance.

To apply online for this vacancy, please click on the 'Apply' button below. This will route you to the University's Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

Please ensure that you upload a covering letter and CV in the Upload section of the online application. If you upload any additional documents which have not been requested, we will not be able to consider these as part of your application.

Please include details of your referees, including email address and phone number, one of which must be your most recent line manager.

The closing date for applications is Wednesday 28th March 2018. Interviews are likely to be held on the morning of 10th April 2018.

Please quote reference SJ14968 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

Further information

Apply online