University of Cambridge

Job Opportunities


Research Assistant - Community Food and Health Project (Fixed Term)

The MRC Epidemiology Unit at the University of Cambridge is offering an opportunity to contribute to the analysis and dissemination of findings from a development project funded by the Global Challenges Research Fund. The project is developing theory and methods to evaluate the impacts of community based food production initiatives in small island developing states, particularly their contribution to the nutritional status of local populations. We are seeking to appoint a Research Assistant with proven knowledge and experience of nutritional data collection and analyses, and ideally with knowledge and experience relevant to the situations in small island developing states (the project is working in St Vincent and the Grenadines and Fiji).

The post is available until 31st January 2019 with an ideal start date of 1st October 2018, which fits in with a current member of the Community Food and Health project team going on maternity leave. The role is under the supervision and management of the Principal Investigator Prof Nigel Unwin and head of the Nutritional Epidemiology Group Prof Nita Forouhi. The wider project team includes multidisciplinary researchers from the University of Exeter, the University of the West Indies, the University of the South Pacific, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, and John Hopkins School of Public Health. Under the guidance of the Profs Unwin and Forouhi the post holder will contribute to: the identification and analysis of routinely available data relevant to food production in selected small island developing states; the preparation for analysis of newly collected quantitative data; the running of statistical analyses; the writing of manuscripts and reports for publication and the dissemination of results to the public and scientific peers. In addition, the post holder may be asked to contribute to the organisation of events for the dissemination of study results.

The successful applicant will be educated to Masters degree level (or equivalent), in an appropriate topic, and have training and experience in the design of nutritional data collection tools and their analysis. They will have a proven track-record of independent quantitative data analysis, including data cleaning, data quality checking, statistical analysis using software packages such as STATA or SPSS, and writing these up. They will have good time management, oral and written communication skills, and skills in problem solving, managing their own workload, and meeting deadlines.

Alongside a competitive salary, University staff are eligible for a comprehensive package of benefits and services including discounts on shopping, health care, financial services and public transport; defined benefits pension schemes; and tax-efficient bicycle, car lease and charity-giving schemes.

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, with its excel-lent public transport links to the historic city centre of Cambridge and its surrounding towns and villages. The Unit's mission is to study the genetic, developmental and environmental factors that cause obesity, diabetes and related metabolic disorders and develop and evaluate strategies for their prevention. In addition to the Nutritional Epidemiology Group, led by Prof Forouhi, the MRC Epidemiology unit also hosts the NIHR funded Global Diet and Activity Research Group (GDAR), led by Prof Unwin. The successful applicant will be joining a vibrant and friendly team of researchers, within a world-class research environment.

Please contact Nigel Unwin ( or Nita Forouhi ( with informal enquires.

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available until 31 January 2019 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 Monday 6th of August 2018 and interviews will likely take place before the end of August 2018.

Please quote reference SJ16055 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