Research Assistant/Associate- Applied Cancer Research

Requisition ID:  26892

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Working Pattern:  Full Time/Part Time
Posted Date:  27 Mar 2024



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

Research Associate : £33,966 to £36,024 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: 1 May 2024




The Role


We are seeking to recruit several researchers with well-developed quantitative data analysis skills to support a series of epidemiological projects focussed on better understanding inequalities in cancer outcomes in the UK. Activities will include: data preparation, statistical/epidemiological analysis, interpretation and dissemination. 

Applicants should have post-graduate training and/or significant work experience in epidemiology, statistics, data science, public health or another discipline with a strong quantitative component. Experience of using R or Stata is essential, as are excellent written and verbal communication skills. Experience of analysing “big data” would be advantageous.


You may work on one project or across projects. You will work alongside academics and researchers to generate research findings which will be reported at academic conferences and in high-quality peer-reviewed journals, as well as via other forms of dissemination (for example, in presentations to policy makers, patient interest groups and on social media using a variety of formats). All of the projects involve the analysis of large, complex, UK-based datasets, although the complexity/statistical sophistication of the analytic appoaches that will be used will vary. The specific project tasks will also vary but will include: cleaning and preparing of data for analysis; statistical/epidemiological analysis of the data; interpretation of the results; and taking an active role in writing up and disseminating findings. You will also have an opportunity to get involved in supporting public & patient involvement and engagement (PPIE) activities, and student supervision. 


The projects include:
•    Project 1: Using national NHS-linked datasets to investigate inequalities in incidence, treatment and survival in head and neck cancer and, specifically, the associations between deprivation and survival;
•    Project 2: Using national cancer screening programme datasets to develop a novel screening engagement index to identify areas of low engagement with cancer screening;
•    Project 3: Working with linked primary and secondary care data to investigate socio-economic and ethnic inequalities in adherence to endocrine therapy in women with breast cancer and whether these inequalities impact survival;
•    Project 4: Using  primary and secondary care data to investigate patterns of care and outcomes in breast cancer, alongside the SWEET programme (;
•    Project 5: Using dietary, lifestyle and biomarker data from the COLO-COHORT study (  to investigate a range of research questions relating to colorectal neoplasia risk and outcomes.


The posts are available on a full-time or part-time basis, starting between now and autumn 2024, and for periods of between 12 and 36 months. In your application, please indicate if you would be interested in working full or part-time and/or on specific projects. 

Please note that Newcastle University is a placed-based university; whilst blended working arrangements may be possible, we are unable to consider applicants who wish to work entirely remotely.

Interested applicants are encouraged to contact Professor Linda Sharp ( or Dr Laura Woods ( for an informal discussion.  


Key Accountabilities

  • Cleaning & preparing datasets for analysis
  • Undertaking epidemiological and statistical analyses as required for the relevant project(s)
  • Undertaking rapid reviews of relevant literature to support and inform the relevant project(s)
  • Supporting applications for data and securing ethical and governance approvals
  • Participating in project meetings
  • Presenting scientific work at internal and external meetings and conferences
  • Contributing to (or leading on) the drafting of scientific papers and actively participating in other dissemination activities
  • Developing effective working relationships with other project staff and collaborators, both clinical and academic
  • Assisting with writing related funding applications
  • Participating in activities of the Population Health Research Institute and the Newcastle University Centre for Cancer
  • If required, contributing to the supervision of undergraduate and post-graduate projects & dissertations
  • Undertaking other reasonable duties as required


The Person

Knowledge, Skills and Experience
•    Significant experience of statistical or epidemiological analysis of quantitative data
•    Experience of using Stata or R for data analysis
•    Proven organisational skills
•    Excellent written and spoken communication skills
•    Track record of disseminating research findings, including presenting at conferences and publishing papers (appropriate for career stage)

•    Experience of working within multi-disciplinary or multi-centre teams
•    Experience in health-related research
•    Experience of analysing “big data” (e.g. routine health service data, primary care databases such as CPRD, UK Biobank)
•    Knowledge or experience of survival analysis
•    Knowledge or experience of cancer epidemiology
•    Experience of PPIE
•    Experience of writing grant applications


Attributes and Behaviours
•    Ability to work independently as well as working as a supportive team member
•    Demonstrable ability to carry out research project work within agreed timelines, meeting project milestones and producing research to an appropriate standard


•    For appointment at associate level, a PhD in epidemiology, biostatistics, public health, data science or a related field with a strong quantitative component is required

•    For appointment at assistant level, a Masters degree in epidemiology, biostatistics, public health, data science or a related field with a strong quantitative component, or working towards a PhD in a relevant field, would be a significant advantage


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: 26892