University of Cambridge

Job Opportunities


MRC Postdoctoral Fellow in Behavioural Epidemiology and Interventions in Young People

The MRC Epidemiology Unit is seeking to appoint a Postdoctoral Fellow who has an interest in understanding and changing dietary and physical activity behaviours in educational and family settings. The successful applicant will be a core member of the MRC-funded programme on the Behavioural Epidemiology and Interventions in Young People, a multidisciplinary research group led by Dr Esther van Sluijs.

The post holder will work collaboratively with other programme members to develop their own body of research within the scope of the programme. We are particularly interested in hearing from those with an interest in the reciprocal relationship between dietary and physical activity behaviour; physical activity and dietary behaviour in families; school-based physical activity promotion; and innovative methods applied to studying/changing health behaviours. The successful candidate will be expected to introduce new ideas and/or methods, lead on analysis and synthesis of existing data and disseminate research results. They will also contribute to internal, national and international collaborations.

The post holder will work under the guidance of the Programme Leader and will work collaboratively with The post holder will work under the guidance of the Programme Leader and the Senior Scientist and will work collaboratively with other Investigators, research staff, scientific and technical teams within and external to the unit, as well as national and international collaborators. They will be required to work flexibly, responding to research needs and opportunities as they arise. They will be supported in their own development as a researcher, with a tailored personal development plan that will focus on the skills and experience they need to make the most of the opportunities afforded to them and to progress their career.

The successful candidate will be educated to PhD level in a relevant subject or due to complete doctoral studies within 3 months of applying. They will have proven experience of working in a research environment, managing and analysing large scale data, and be trained in quantitative epidemiological methods. The successful candidate will also have excellent oral and written communication skills and the ability to work effectively as part of a multidisciplinary team.

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 consists of eight scientific programmes and benefits from a number of large-scale, cross programme epidemiological studies and randomised controlled trials, with detailed datasets allowing a wide range of research from genetics to public health. Highly experienced information teams and other specialist teams support the scientists in the delivery of their research aims.

This is a three year training programme with a requirement for you to hold a PhD. Whilst we welcome applications from those who have submitted but have not yet been awarded a PhD, or are due to submit in the near future, please note that commencement of your appointment will be subject to the confirmation of the award within 6 months of the initial offer. For those candidates who have not submitted at the point of application, a formal offer letter will be sent upon submission.

Please contact the Dr Esther van Sluijs ( for informal enquiries.

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

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 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 July 2022

Interview date: provisionally 25th July 2022

Please quote reference SJ31731 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