University of Cambridge

Job Opportunities


Research Associate in Simulation Modelling (Fixed Term)

Applications are invited for a Research Associate in Simulation Modelling to work in the Centre for Cancer Genetic Epidemiology (CCGE) of the Department of Public Health and Primary Care (DPHPC) on research projects related to early detection of cancer. The postholder will work closely with Professor Nora Pashayan.

The main purpose of this post is to develop and apply simulation modelling of cancer progression across lifetime of individuals to estimate the impact of alternative cancer screening strategies and of delay in cancer diagnosis on cancer incidence and mortality.

The research undertaken by the postholder is part of two projects. The first project aims to estimate the potential number of cancers detectable through the application of new cancer biomarker test in an asymptomatic population at high risk for developing cancer. This is part of Cancer Research UK International Alliance for Cancer Early Detection (ACED) funded project, 'Addressing the base error impeding the development of biomarkers for early detection' (ABIDE). The second project aims to estimate the impact of delayed diagnosis on cancer stage progression and cancer mortality. This is funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Policy Research Unit (PRU) on Cancer Awareness, Screening and Early Diagnosis.

Main duties and responsibilities of the job:

  • Access national cancer registration and mortality data

  • Develop multistate survival model (MSM) of cancer progression to estimate transition parameters between states

  • Simulate life trajectories of a cohort of individuals using the MSM framework calibrated against national cancer incidence and mortality data

  • Superimpose early detection interventions at varying age and frequencies for different cancer types and estimate outcomes ¿ cancer incidence, interval cancer, cancer death, overdiagnosis

  • Coordinate and work collaboratively with fellow researchers working on these projects in the UK (UCL, University of Oxford, University of Leicester) and in the US (Oregon Health and Science University, Stanford University)

  • Communicate effectively, written, verbal, in both formal and informal situations

  • Present findings in academic conferences and policy meetings

  • Plan and organise own workload in accordance with project goals and timeline

  • Be committed to their own personal career development

  • Contribute to strategic development of projects

  • Contribute to education and training activities within DPHPC

The postholder will also be required to participate in CCGE and DPHPC activities, meetings and seminars as appropriate.

The postholder will have a PhD in one of the following subjects: Statistics, Biostatistics, Applied Mathematics, Operational Research or equivalent qualifications or equivalent experience.

This is a full-time position and the funding for this post is available until 31st July 2026, in the first instance.

Location - Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Strangeways Research Laboratory, Worts Causeway, Cambridge CB1 8RN

Informal enquiries can be made to Professor Nora Pashayan via email

For information about how your personal data is used as an applicant, please see the section on Applicant Data on our HR web pages.

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.

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 a 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.

The closing date for applications is: 28th July 2024

The interview date for the role is: Week Commencing 5th August 2024

Please quote reference RS42379 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