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Research Assistant/Associate in Health Informatics

Requisition ID:  13903

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Working Pattern:  Full Time
Posted Date:  08-Dec-2021


We are a world class research-intensive university. We deliver teaching and learning of the highest quality. We play a leading role in economic, social and cultural development of the North East of England. Attracting and retaining high-calibre people is fundamental to our continued success.



Research Assistant - £28,756 - £30,497 
Research Associate - £31,406 - £40,927


Closing Date: Monday 20h December 2021


The Role


This position is suitable for an enthusiastic and highly motivated Research Associate (above the bar) or Research Assistant (below the bar) in Health Informatics. It is based at the Translational and Clinical Research Institute reporting to Professor Miles Witham, Professor of Trials for Older People. The post will also work with Professor Avan Aihie Sayer, Director of the NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre and William Leech Professor of Geriatric Medicine, Professor Paolo Missier, Professor of Big Data Analytics in Newcastle University School of Computing, and colleagues at our collaborating centres in Birmingham University, Newcastle Hospitals, University College London, Dundee and Manchester Metropolitan Universities. 


You will become a key member of the new UKRI/NIHR funded ADMISSION Research Collaborative. ADMISSION brings together scientists, clinicians and patients from five UK universities and hospitals (Newcastle, Birmingham, Manchester Metropolitan, University College London and Dundee). This role will focus primarily on Work Package 1 of ADMISSION - building interoperable data platforms across UK data sources. You will work with the investigators and with data providers from Newcastle, Birmingham (via the HDRUK PIONEER platform) and the NIHR Critical Care Health Informatics Collaborative to develop data systems that enable the use of routinely collected health and social care data in analyses across the other ADMISSION work packages. Your work will ensure the highest level of data integrity and will develop novel methods for extracting and curating data from electronic records, possibly including using established NLP tools (Natural Language Processing). You will interact with colleagues across all five work packages within ADMISSION (Data, Clustering of conditions, Inequalities, Pathways of Care, and Mechanisms), and with colleagues in related MRC-funded programmes to share best practice and new methods. ADMISSION includes a cross-cutting work package on Research Capacity Development to support the development of all the Postdoctoral Research Associates working on the research programme. 


The project: ADMISSION aims to transform understanding of multiple long-term conditions in hospital patientsIt will harness the power of ‘big data’ from routinely collected hospital, primary and social care records, and other research studies, using cutting-edge data science to identify clusters of long-term conditions in hospital patients, and to understand their causes and consequences. Through this work, ADMISSION will lay the foundations for new approaches to the recognition and treatment of multimorbidity in hospital and inform the design of future care, with potential to improve health outcomes for the millions of patients with multimorbidity admitted to hospital each year.


This full-time post is fixed term for a period of 3 years.


For informal enquiries contact: via email : Prof Miles Witham miles.witham@ncl.ac.uk or Professor Paolo Missier  paolo.missier@ncl.ac.uk. 


Further information about the AGE Research Group can be found here and fro ADMISSION please click here.


Find out more about the Faculty of Medical Sciences here.


Find out more about our Research Institutes 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


  • Although working under the general guidance of an academic or Principal Investigator, the postholder will contribute ideas, including enhancements to the technical or methodological aspects of their studies, thus providing substantial 'added value'
  • Develop and carry out the specified project using appropriate techniques and equipment as outlined in the personal requirements
  • Determine appropriate methodologies for research, with advice and support where required
  • Contribute to grant applications submitted by others and in time develop own research objectives and proposals for funding
  • Begin to write, with appropriate support, proposals for individual research funding or, where funders do not permit this, contribute to the writing of collective bids
  • Assess research findings for the need/scope for further investigations
  • Contribute to the writing up of their research for publication and dissemination, either through seminar and conference presentations or through publications
  • Present research findings, either at conferences or through publications in reputable outlets appropriate to the discipline
  • May be involved in the supervision, with guidance, of final year undergraduate research projects and in providing support to postgraduate research students or Research Assistants
  • Will need to work with the support staff and, on occasions, with undergraduate and postgraduate students, and interact intellectually with other academic members of the Institute.
  • May contribute to events celebrating the public engagement of science/social sciences/humanities
  • Develop an awareness of University structures, policies and procedures and relevant issues in the higher education, research, social and political environment
  • Work with data providers (Newcastle, Birmingham and UCL) to extract, clean, verify and curate data from routinely collected health and social care data sources to enable the work of the ADMISSION collaborative.
  • Help to develop new ways to derive and verify novel health and social care variables (e.g. using natural language processing) from routinely collected health and social care data, both structured and unstructured
  • Support the development of interoperable data platforms and variable sets across the ADMISSION collaborative partners.
  • Support analyses and other work of collaborators in work packages 2, 3, 4 and 5 of ADMISSION as required. There is a strong expectation of flexible, cross work-package working within the ADMISSION collaborative.
  • Support the continued development of the governance and management structures of the ADMISSION collaborative and its data provider partners.
  • Contribute to (and in some cases lead on) the writing of scientific papers, presentations, reports and other forms of dissemination and communications from the ADMISSION collaborative.
  • Undertake other duties to support the work of the ADMISSION collaborative as required.


The Person (Essential)


Knowledge, Skills and Experience



  • Ability to work well as part of a team and rapidly acquire new skills
  • Likelihood of advanced skills directly related to the research projects
  • High level of analytical and problem-solving capability
  • Ability to communicate complex information with clarity and to encourage the commitment of others
  • Experience of research with clear transferable skills and some experience or awareness of the research environment
  • Presentations at conferences and/or high-quality publications
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, evidenced by lead writing of peer-reviewed scientific articles, delivery of oral presentations, and evidence of communicating with lay audiences.
  • Strong, relevant IT skills, demonstrated by a track record in delivery of health informatics projects, or a PhD in health informatics or data science, or a track record in delivering relevant data science projects
  • Ability to prioritise and manage workload using your initiative as required alongside excellent team working skills.
  • Working knowledge of regulatory and governance requirements for research using routinely collected health and social care data within the UK.
  • Experience of using routinely collected health and/or social care data for research, preferably with tangible research outputs in this field.


Attributes and Behaviour



  • Ability to work independently and to work flexibly including from home.
  • Well organised, with excellent time management.
  • Motivated and enthusiastic with a strong team-working ethos and ability to work independently and as part of an interdisciplinary team.
  • Innovative and flexible in approach.
  • Ability and willingness to travel locally, within UK and internationally for meetings and conferences.




  • Degree in a relevant subject (e.g. informatics, computing, health sciences) (Research Assistant).
  • A PhD in the field of health informatics or data science (Research Associate).


Newcastle University is committed to being a fully inclusive Global 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 our employees and the communities they represent.  We are proud to be an equal opportunities employer and encourage applications from everybody, regardless of race, sex, ethnicity, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, age, disability, gender identity, marital status/civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, as well as being open to flexible working practices.


The University holds a silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of our good employment practices for the advancement of gender equality. The University also holds the HR Excellence in Research award for our work to support the career development of our researchers, and is a member of the Euraxess initiative supporting researchers in Europe.


We understand how important the full employment package is to our colleagues at Newcastle University and we are committed to providing a great range of benefits and discounts for all.  You can learn more about what is available here on our Benefits Website page.

Requisition ID: 13903