University of Cambridge

Job Opportunities


Data Scientist / Statistician (Fixed Term)

Applications are invited for a new post of Data Scientist/Statistician in the MRC Epidemiology Unit, whose main role would be to enhance and extend the functionality of a distributed analysis platform built on R.

The MRC Epidemiology Unit is a department within the University of Cambridge's School of Clinical Medicine and is situated within the Institute of Metabolic Science on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus. Its 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 Unit benefits from a number of large-scale, cross programme epidemiological studies with detailed datasets allowing a wide range of research from genetics to public health. Highly experienced operations teams and other specialist teams support the scientists in the delivery of their research aims. This position is based in the Unit's Statistics and Data Science team.

The post-holder will play a key role in EUCAN-Connect (, an EU Horizon 2020 funded project that brings together science from Europe and Canada to improve the quality of health research through more efficient use of data. At the core of the network is a technology based on the R platform (DataSHIELD for the analysis of data across cohorts in a manner that reduces the complex ethical and legal issues associated with the physical sharing of data. The purpose of this post is to extend the analytical functionality and usability of the platform to broaden the research questions that can be addressed and the types of data that can be handled. This will be done in close collaboration with scientific, research and technical teams who are partners in the EUCAN-Connect project.

The successful applicant will have a postgraduate qualification (e.g. MSc, PhD) in a relevant subject area (e.g. data science, statistics, engineering). Applicants should have demonstrable understanding of, and experience in, the application and programing of statistical functionality in R as part of a rigorous software development process. While knowledge of epidemiology is not required, candidates should have the capability to understand the scientific, ethical and legal factors that shape the technical platform. They will also be able to work with international multi-disciplinary teams and explain technical concepts in terms accessible to scientific collaborators.

This is an exciting opportunity to contribute to the data science underpinning a novel approach to international epidemiological research that will help address important public health challenges.

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available until 31 December 2022 in the first instance.

For informal enquiries, please contact Tom Bishop ( in the first instance. The closing date is Sunday 23rd February 2020 and interviews will likely be held on 12th March 2020.

The post is full-time but applications are welcome from those who would like to work flexibly.

Click the 'Apply' button below to register an account with our recruitment system (if you have not already) and apply online.

Please ensure that you upload your Curriculum Vitae (CV) and a covering letter 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 e-mail address and phone number, one of which must be your most recent line manager

Please quote reference SJ21685 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

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

Further information

Apply online