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Research Associate (Fixed Term)


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 research on use of spatial data-visualisation tools for the development of effective public health policy in local and national government. We are seeking to appoint a Research Associate with proven expertise in the collection and analysis of qualitative data, to work on "Evaluating use and acceptability of, funding mechanisms and demand for online spatial data visualisation tools for local public health decision-support: learning from Feat 2.0 and PCT", funded by the National Institute for Health Research School for Public Health Research.

Researchers across CEDAR and the MRC Epidemiology Unit have recently launched two tools, which aim to provide decision-support to policymakers and practitioners in local authorities in service of the public's health. These are the Food environment assessment tool (Feat, www.feat-tool.org.uk) and the Propensity to cycle tool (PCT, www.pct.bike). Little is known about the experiences of local authority stakeholders in us-ing these and similar data-visualisation tools, in particular, their potential for affecting local authority deci-sion making and their acceptability in this non-academic context, and how these can be maximised. Long-term, academics and policymakers also need to find suitable and sustainable funding mechanisms and models for these tools, which will include exploring willingness to pay among users and the implications of payment for resource allocation within local authorities. The research method will be qualitative interviews, and also hosting of intelligence gathering workshops to inform consensus building workshops, attended by local and national government and public health colleagues.

The post has an ideal start date of late October/early November 2018. The role is under the supervision and management of the Principal Investigators Dr Thomas Burgoine and Professor Martin White, within the Food Systems and Public Health research programme, led by Professor Martin White. Other collaborators on the project include Dr James Woodcock (Public Health Modelling programme lead, University of Cambridge) and Oliver Francis (Head of Communications and Knowledge Exchange, University of Cambridge), Professor Steve Cummins (Professor of Public Health, London School of Hy-giene & Tropical Medicine), and Professor Petra Meier (Professor of Public Health, University of Sheffield). The post holder will be expected to develop a detailed study protocol and an application for University eth-ics approval before beginning fieldwork. The post holder will then be responsible for: the identification and recruitment of participants for, and conduct of interviews, intelligence gathering and consensus building workshops; conducting and analysing data using appropriate qualitative research methods; preparation (as first author) of two 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 academ-ic conferences. The post-holder will be educated to PhD level and have training and experience in all as-pects of the work proposed, alongside excellent time management, oral and written communication skills, experience of problem solving, managing and setting workloads, and meeting deadlines.

The MRC Epidemiology Unit is a department within the University of Cambridge's School of Clinical Medi-cine, 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, di-abetes 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 environ-ment, 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 interven-tions that impact on these behaviours. Alongside a competitive salary, University staff are eligible for a comprehensive package of benefits and services include discounts on shopping, health care, financial ser-vices and public transport; defined benefits pension schemes; and tax-efficient bicycle, car lease and charity-giving scheme.

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 15 months in the first instance.

Once an offer of employment has been accepted, the successful candidate will be required to undergo a standard Disclosure and Barring Service check.

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. The covering letter should outline how you match the criteria for the post and why you are applying for this role. 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.

Closing Date: 10th September 2018

Interview Date: 20th September 2018

Please quote reference SJ16410 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