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Job Opportunities


Research Associate (Fixed Term)

An opportunity has arisen for a statistician with an interest in methods development to join Dr Stephen Burgess's research group based at the MRC Biostatistics Unit in Cambridge. The mission statement of the group is "developing statistical methods to use genetic variation to answer clinically important questions about disease aetiology and prevention". The three broad aims of the group are to develop statistical methods, run applied analyses that address important clinical questions, and disseminate methods in the area of Mendelian randomization, defined as the use of genetic variants to investigate causal risk factors for disease outcomes.

This role exists as a result of a Sir Henry Dale fellowship grant made to Stephen Burgess commencing in January 2017. The fellowship grant was made to establish a research group in the MRC Biostatistics Unit to develop and apply methods for Mendelian randomization. The post holder will be vital to the early success of the group, and will have an important role in influencing the direction of the group's research.

Depending on the interests and skills of the post holder, the role could focus on any combination of the following: i) embarking on a major methodological project in a major substantive area of relevance to Mendelian randomisation; ii) addressing several smaller methodological questions of applied relevance to the practice of Mendelian randomisation; iii) leading complex applied analyses. The post holder will be expected to play a major role in the work of the research group, through the conduct of research, introduction of new ideas, dissemination of research results, and the support and training of others.

The MRC Biostatistics Unit (, located in Cambridge, undertakes research on statistical methods and their application to the design, analysis and interpretation of biomedical studies, to advance understanding of the cause, natural history and treatment of disease, and to evaluate public health strategies.

By the time they take up the appointment, the successful applicant will have a PhD (or equivalent) in a strongly quantitative subject, ideally statistics. Experience of leading methodological or complex applied projects would be desirable. An understanding of genomics and/or causal inference would be advantageous but not essential; full training will be given. In particular, no prior knowledge of genetics is required. Most important are an inquisitive mind and the desire to develop and apply statistical methodology to questions of substantive biological importance and disease relevance. The successful applicant will be supported in their career development with a range of formal courses and on-the-job training.

For an informal discussion about this post, please contact

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 3 years 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 August 2018 and interviews are likely to be held on Monday 13th August 2018.

Please quote reference SL16106 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

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Further information

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