Research Associate- Horizon Scanning and Evidence Synthesis

Requisition ID:  26442

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Working Pattern:  Full Time
Posted Date:  15 May 2024

Salary: £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:  04 June 2024


The Role


We are looking for an enthusiastic and experienced researcher to join a large multi-disciplinary team, contributing to the delivery of the National Institute for Health Care Research (NIHR) Innovation Observatory (IO), and Evidence Synthesis Group, both hosted within the Population Health Sciences Institute at Newcastle University.


As part of a large multi-disciplinary team, you will contribute to the delivery of the National Institute for Health Care Research (NIHR) Innovation Observatory (IO), and Evidence Synthesis Group, both hosted within the Population Health Sciences Institute at Newcastle University.


Supporting searching, monitoring and reporting of health care innovations; the development of novel methodologies and AI tools; delivering a variety of outputs including technology reports; developing rapid evidence synthesis (narrative and meta-analytic); scoping review methods and outputs, and supporting the translation of intelligence/data through the use of dashboards and novel visualizations. We are particularly interested in candidates with an interest in med-tech and/or diagnostics.


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


This role is fixed term until 31 March 2026.


For informal queries please contact Prof Dawn Craig (


Key Accountabilities

  • Deliver Innovation Observatory research across its research programmes, determining appropriate methodologies and plans for research projects, with advice and support as required.
  • Complete research projects within agreed timelines, meeting project milestones and to an appropriate standard.
  • Undertake the interrogation and analysis of regulatory pathways and innovation intelligence to facilitate discussion, study and reporting.
  • Lead in the development of new methodological approaches for evidence identification, retrieval and synthesis.
  • Exploit and advance Artificial Intelligence tools and methods (machine learning, data mining) to support identification, extraction and visualisation of data.
  • Lead on the development and delivery of training and advice, liaising with other groups and organisations.
  • Undertake and lead technology reports, rapid evidence synthesis, pipeline analysis, and scoping reviews to our stakeholders and for academic publication.
  • Proactive in the development of new methodologies in the fields of data intelligence, evidence synthesis, horizon scanning, futures, and foresight.
  • Shape the ongoing development of a suite of internally facing AI tools and externally facing platforms that facilitate data identification, collation and sharing.
  • Attend meetings with National Stakeholders and other events appropriate to projects and the Innovation Observatory.
  • Lead on preparing and writing of research papers for publication and disseminate the findings at conferences and seminars.
  • Carry out administrative tasks and other duties to support the Innovation Observatory/Evidence Synthesis Group as required by the Director (IO) or Dean (NUPHSI).


The Person


Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • Knowledge and experience of the drug / device / diagnostic / digital regulatory and/or market access processes
  • Demonstrable understanding of clinical study design and/or evaluation methods
  • Experience of developing project proposals/plans and delivering/day-to-day management of a research project from commencement to completion
  • Excellent planning and organisational skills, including effective prioritisation
  • Experience of publishing peer reviewed journal articles and other outputs from research
  • IT skills across a range of relevant applications, including Advanced Excel skills
  • Ability to build effective relationships with a range of different stakeholders, across different levels
  • Ability to work to tight deadlines and competing priorities while maintaining a high quality of outputs.
  • Demonstrable ability to present research findings both visually and orally to a range of audiences
  • Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills, with the ability to critically analyse and assess complex issues
  • Aptitude to work flexibly and cooperatively with others.
  • Understanding of the Stakeholders active across the innovation and evaluation landscape - particularly in the UK (Desirable)
  • Experience of supervising student projects
  • Experience of working on systematic reviews/rapid reviews/policy briefings and evidence synthesis projects



  • Experience of applying Artificial Intelligence tools to support research.
  • Experience of using statistical software such as R or Stata


Attributes and Behaviours

  • Ability to work independently and as a member of a team
  • Excellent organisational, communication and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality
  • High level of attention to detail and accuracy
  • Motivated, proactive researcher



  • A PhD or equivalent demonstrable professional expertise in a relevant topic area, such as biomedical, health or engineering sciences, pharmacy or regulatory science
  • A Master’s degree or equivalent professional qualification in a relevant topic area, such as biomedical, health, or engineering sciences, pharmacy or regulatory 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: 26442