Research Assistant / Associate in Image Informatics

Requisition ID:  26819

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Working Pattern:  Full Time
Posted Date:  18 Mar 2024



Research Assistant £31,396 to £32,982 per annum

Research Associate £33,966 to £44,263 per annum


Newcastle University is a great place to work, with excellent benefits. We have a generous holiday package; plus the opportunity to buy more, great pension schemes and a number of health and wellbeing initiatives to support you.


Closing Date: 15 April 2024




The role


One of the leading causes of blindness around the world is diabetic retinopathy and its complication called diabetic macular oedema (DMO).
While there have been advances in the treatment for DMO, not all patients abide by the same course, and the rate of progression varies between patients, as well as the final visual outcomes. Disease progression and response to treatment is often monitored by using a non-invasive imaging technique called optical coherence tomography (OCT) that acquires high-resolution three-dimensional images of the retina. Currently, there are limited predictive models to identify progressors and estimate future final visual results for patients from baseline or at early screening stages.
In this partnership with Roche Products Ltd, The University of Newcastle Upon Tyne and South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, we aim to develop artificial intelligence (AI) models applied to DMO that allow:

    1) The identification of imaging biomarkers that reflect the disease pathophysiology
    2) Help identify disease change and progression 
    3) Accurately measure and predict response to treatment(s)
Specifically, this project will assess whether AI models (deep neural networks) using completed randomised controlled clinical trial and real-world data (RWD) that extract structural biomarkers from OCT data, can be beneficial in the prediction of functional visual outcomes, enabling deeper insight into the development of optimal patient care pathways in the future.


The role of the Research Assistant / Associate will be to research, design, implement and validate novel image processing and machine learning approaches for the integration, analysis and holistic understanding of medical imaging datasets.


We are seeking a passionate, highly motivated individual who has demonstrable communication skills, who is a consummate team-player and has the ability to produce high quality experimental outputs under the direction of the Principal Investigator (PI). You should have excellent interpersonal skills, with an aptitude for building meaningful working relationships with our internal and external stakeholders. 


This position is available from 1st October 2024, is full time (37 hours per week) on a fixed term basis for 1 year with possibility of a short extension.


For all informal enquiries, please contact Prof. Boguslaw Obara (


For more information about the School of Computing, please click here

For more information about our research, please click here


As part of our commitment to career development for research colleagues, the University has developed 3 levels of research role profiles.  These profiles set out firstly the generic competences and responsibilities expected of role holders at each level and secondly the general qualifications and experiences needed for entry at a particular level.


Key Accountabilities

•    To understand and convey material of a specialist or highly technical nature to the team or group of people through presentations and discussions that leads to the presentation of research papers in conferences and publications
•    To prepare and deliver presentations on research outputs/activities to audiences which may include: research sponsors, academic and non-academic audiences
•    To publish high quality outputs, including papers for submission to peer reviewed journals and papers for presentation at conferences and workshops under the direction of the Principal Investigator or Grant-holder
•    To assist with the development of research objectives and proposals
•    To conduct individual and collaborative research projects under the direction of the Principal Investigator or Grant-holder
•    To work with the Principal Investigator or Grant-holder and other colleagues in the research group, as appropriate, to identify areas for research, develop new research methods and extend the research portfolio
•    To deal with problems that may affect the achievement of research objectives and deadlines by discussing with the Principal Investigator or Grant-holder and offering creative or innovative solutions
•    To liaise with research colleagues and make internal and external contacts to develop knowledge and understanding to form relationships for future research collaboration
•    To plan and manage own research activity, research resources in collaboration with others and contribute to the planning of research projects
•    To deliver training in research techniques/approaches to peers, visitors and students as appropriate
•    To be involved in student supervision, as appropriate, and assist with the assessment of the knowledge of students
•    To contribute to fostering a collegial and respectful working environment which is inclusive and welcoming and where everyone is treated fairly with dignity and respect
•    To engage in wider citizenship to support the department and wider discipline
•    To engage in continuing professional development by participation in the undergraduate or postgraduate teaching programmes or by membership of departmental committees, etc. and by attending relevant training and development courses


The post-holder is employed to work on research/a research project which will be led by another colleague. Whilst this means that the post-holder will not be carrying out independent research in his/her own right, the expectation is that they will contribute to the advancement of the project, through the development of their own research ideas/adaptation and development of research protocols.


The Person

Knowledge, Skills and Experience 

•    Experience in conducting high-quality academic research
•    Evidence of being able to conduct research in the areas of Artificial Intelligence, Image Processing, Pattern Recognition, and Machine Learning (e.g. Deep Learning, Unsupervised Learning, Reinforcement Learning)
•    Demonstrable ability to write material of a quality commensurate with publication in highly-ranked journals
•    Demonstrable ability to present research papers at national/international conferences and communicate complex information to specialists and within the wider academic community
•    Strong skill base in object-oriented programming (e.g., Python) 
•    Working knowledge of machine learning frameworks applied to computer vision (e.g., PyTorch, TensorFlow)


•    Strong publication record in peer-reviewed journals, commensurate with the stage of career
•    A track record of presenting research at conferences, symposia, or meetings, commensurate with stage of career
•    Demonstrable ability to develop research proposals and designs in collaboration with other academics
•    Experience with UNIX and Git version control
•    Experience with cloud computing platforms (e.g., Azure, AWS) 
•    Evidence of experience in contributing to collaborative research projects
•    Evidence of collaboration with academia, industries, policymakers, or institutions
•    Experience with software delivery to a research sponsor


Attributes and Behaviour

•    Demonstrable ability to work cooperatively as part of a team, including participating in research meetings
•    Ability to work independently on own initiative and to strict deadlines
•    Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
•    Demonstrate strong mathematical ability, in particular in areas such as differential calculus, mathematical optimisation, differential geometry
•    Demonstrate programming ability in languages such as Python


•    Demonstrable commitment to the values of equality and diversity in all aspects of your work
•    Demonstrable ability to plan and manage independent research
•    Ability to set research goals, be self-motivated and be proactive
•    A keen eye for visual presentation, software design, and in writing clear, concise, elegant code
•    Strong interest in interdisciplinary research



•    A PhD awarded (or nearing completion) in Computer Science, Bioinformatics, Physics, Mathematics/Statistics, Computational Neuroscience or a closely related subject

Newcastle University is a global University where everyone is treated with dignity and respect.  As a University of Sanctuary, we aim to provide a welcoming place of safety for all, offering opportunities to people fleeing violence and persecution.


We are committed to being a fully inclusive university which actively recruits, supports and retains colleagues from all sectors of society.  We value diversity as well as celebrate, support and thrive on the contributions of all of our employees and the communities they represent.  We are proud to be an equal opportunities employer and encourage applications from individuals who can complement our existing teams, we believe that success is built on having teams whose backgrounds and experiences reflect the diversity of our university and student population.


At Newcastle University we hold a silver Athena Swan award in recognition of our good employment practices for the advancement of gender equality.  We also hold a Race Equality Charter Bronze award in recognition of our work towards tackling race inequality in higher education REC.  We are a Disability Confident employer and will offer an interview to disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria for the role as part of the offer and interview scheme.


In addition, we are a member of the Euraxess initiative supporting researchers in Europe. 

Requisition ID: 26819