Research Assistant/Associate - Health Data Architect/Engineer/Scientist

Requisition ID:  26660

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Working Pattern:  Full Time
Posted Date:  7 Feb 2024


Salary:  Research Assistant: £31,396 - £32,982  per annum

             Research Associate: £33,966 - £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: 6 March 2024



The Role


This 18-month position provides an exciting opportunity for a Research Assistant or Associate who has strong Data Architecture and Data Science skills and an interest to work in interdisciplinary teams to join our new EPSRC-funded Northern Health Futures (NortHFutures) Hub, which launched in November 2023. 


You will be based in Open Lab, a leading interdisciplinary Human Computer Interaction (HCI) research group at Newcastle University, based in our Urban Sciences Building at Newcastle Helix. You will benefit from working with NortHFutures researchers based in Open Lab, and with Data Science Co-Investigators and technical leads in the School of Computing at Newcastle, in collaboration with Co-Investigators at partnering universities and organisations.


You will support the hub’s researchers and learners to access and derive insights from patients’ integrated health datasets. These datasets include NHS-provided data, (such as Electronic Health Records), which are managed through a regional Integrated Care System (ICS) currently under development, but also more experimental data collected as part of emergent Hub projects. The ICS consists primarily of a Secure Development Environment (SDE), namely a secure Data Lake with ad hoc provisioning of virtualised analytics and Machine Learning (ML) / Artificial Intelligence (AI) environments.


You will support the development and provisioning of bespoke analytical and Data Science / ML services on demand using new research data, whilst remaining interoperable with core NHS datasets.


Please reach out to Abigail Durrant, Professor of Interaction Design at, to discuss this opportunity.


To apply, please complete an online application and upload a copy of your CV and a letter of application that should evidence how you meet the essential requirements for the role.


As an EPSRC funded role, the successful applicant may be eligible for the Endorsed Funder Route of the Global Talent Visa. We can provide an interest free loan scheme to support applicants who need to apply for a visa. 


We would be happy to discuss arrangements for flexible and/or blended working.  We follow the Researcher Development Concordat. We enable all staff to fulfil their research potential regardless of career stage. This commitment secures our thriving research culture and vibrant research environment. Our offer to each individual and their researcher development involves: mentoring, annual research planning discussions, pooled research funding to support career development and research activities, peer review support for the development of research and innovation funding applications.


Key Accountabilities

•    Collaborating with NortHFutures Interaction Designer on the prototyping and evaluation of user interfaces for novel tools and services that enable inclusive and collaborative data interactions between differing stakeholders in health and care contexts;
•    Supporting the technical team in enhancing the data management infrastructure capabilities of the ICS based on new user requirements and possibly leveraging commercial SaaS features, including ensuring the scalability of the architectural solutions;
•    Ensure that new research datasets are made available to researchers through a process of data curation and integration;
•    Contribute to the development of bespoke data analytics pipelines, including data engineering and modelling (Machine Learning), in collaboration with data scientists working on the project;
•    Collaborate with other members of an interdisciplinary project team and assist them to ensure appropriate data availability;
•    Schedule, prioritise and monitor work in line with demands and deadlines;
•    Organise and contribute to project team meetings, in routine communication with NortHFutures Hub Manager and Principal Investigator Abigail Durrant (also Line Manager).


The Person (Essential)

Knowledge, Skills and Experience 
•    Specific experience with data engineering, data quality assessment and improvement methods, and with their implementation using either python or R
•    Knowledge of scalable data architecture principles and designs
•    Knowledge of commercial cloud service (SaaS) operations
•    Experience working with secure data environments
•    Proven analytical and problem-solving skills and experience
•    Experience with UNIX/Linux operating systems
•    Excellent collaboration skills within an interdisciplinary team and have a goal-oriented, flexible approach to work 
•    Must have excellent communication and people skills with the ability to deal confidently and diplomatically with a range of personalities and team members
•    Excellent time management skills

•    Experience developing secure data environments 
•    Experience of flexible development and support of bespoke data engineering and complex data analytics pipelines
•    Experience with HPC-style computing


Attributes and Behaviour
•    Ability to work on own initiative and prioritise tasks (time management)
•    Ability to work independently, and flexibly as part of a multi-disciplinary team and contribute to the development of effective and mutually supportive working relationships and practices


•    Honours degree in a relevant subject 
•    Masters Degree in Data Science or equivalent

For Research Associate
•    Postgraduate research (PhD) qualification or equivalent qualification in a relevant subject in Computer Science or Data Science





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: 26660