Share this Job

Research Associate

Requisition ID:  1144

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Posted Date: 

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.


Salary: £30,942.00 - £40,322.00 

Closing Date: 4 February 2020




The Role


We are seeking a post-doctoral Research Associate to join a major new multi-centre collaborative programme of research which will develop and test an intervention to support adherence to hormone treatment in women with breast cancer. You will co-ordinate the day-to-day running of the programme, taking responsibility for study set-up and delivery, and assist with intervention development and feasibility testing.


There is strong evidence that five years of hormone therapy substantially reduces risks of recurrence and mortality in early breast cancer. However, adherence to hormone therapy is sub-optimal: 20% of women show poor adherence at two years and 50% at five years. No effective interventions to support women with adherence currently exist. This research programme, funded by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR), will develop and test a patient-centred, evidence- and theory-based intervention to support adherence to hormone therapy in women with breast cancer. The programme is being jointly by Newcastle University and Oxford Brookes University.


The 6-year programme has five workstreams (WS). WS1 will develop the intervention. WS2 will assess the feasibility and acceptability of the intervention and the future randomised controlled trial (RCT).  WS1 & WS2 will take 30 months. WS3 will deliver the RCT, randomising 1000 women to usual care vs intervention+usual care. WS4 will assess the cost-effectiveness of the intervention. WS5 will develop a pathway to impact and inform scale-up across the NHS.  WS3-WS5 will take 42 months.


The day-to day role is to co-ordinate the set-up and delivery of the programme. This will include: developing procedures for recruiting patients and health professional participants; arranging co-design workshops; contributing to pre-testing the prototype intervention and developing the intervention manual; setting up hospital sites taking part in the feasibility study; preparing ethical and HRA applications; supporting PPI and stakeholder engagement; and monitoring progress and budgets.


Applicants should have PhD in health sciences, epidemiology, public health, psychology, social sciences or a related field and some post-doctoral health research experience. Experience of: running multi-disciplinary or multi-centre studies; setting up clinical sites; obtaining R&D/NHS ethical approvals; and recruiting research participants is essential. Excellent written and spoken communication, and team working, skills are required.


This full-time post is available to start mid May 2020, for a duration of 30 months in the first instance and possible extension for a further 42 months.


Interviews will be held on 21 February 2020.


Interested applicants are encouraged to contact Professor Linda Sharp (linda.sharp@ncl.ac.uk) for an informal discussion.  


The Population Health Sciences Institute is committed to supporting equality and diversity for all staff and students.  Applications for part time/flexible working will be considered; please state your desired working arrangements in your application.



Key Accountabilities


  • Co-ordinate the delivery of the programme on a day-to-day basis
  • Develop effective working relationships with other programme staff (including post-doctoral researchers in Oxford Brookes University and University College London and Warwick Clinical Trials Unit), the investigators, collaborators and the sponsor
  • Prepare ethical applications and associated documentation
  • Liaise with clinical sites over set-up and R&D approvals
  • Assist the co-principal investigators in (i) monitoring progress of the programme against objectives and targets; (ii) financial monitoring; and (iii) preparing funder and other reports
  • Working closely with other programme staff, contribute to fieldwork (e.g. co-design workshops, intervention pre-testing activities, patient recruitment to feasibility study, process evaluation) throughout the programme
  • Develop programme website and ensure it remains up to date
  • Organise programme management, and other relevant, meetings
  • Assist with co-ordination of stakeholder engagement across the programme
  • Enagage in, and support, PPI activities throughout the programme
  • Present scientific work at internal and external meetings and conferences
  • Contribute to drafting scientific papers
  • Assist with, or lead in, writing related funding applications
  • Participate in activities of the Population Health Research Institute, the applied cancer research theme and the Newcastle University Centre for Cancer
  • Contribute to the supervision of undergraduate and post-graduate projects/dissertations
  • Other reasonable duties as required



 The Person (Essential)


Knowledge, Skills and Experience


  • Post-doctoral health research expereince
  • Experience of co-ordinating multi-disiplinary or multi-centre teams
  • Proven organisational skills
  • Strong administrative skills
  • Excellent written and spoken communication skills
  • Experience of setting-up clinical sites and obtaining R&D and NHS ethical approvals
  • Experience of recruiting research participants
  • Trace record of presenting at conferences and published papers (appropriate for career stage)
  • Ability to take initiative and be pro-active as well as working as a supportive and collaborative team member
  • Ability and willingness to work flexible hours to fit around patients', and health professionals' needs and preferences
  • Ability and willingness to travel locally and within UK (e.g. for siet set-up, fieldwork, programme meetings)
  • Availability to start work in Mid-May 2020


  • Experience of working with healthcare professionals to support recruitment to research studies
  • Experience of setting up and delivering randomised controlled trials
  • Experience of qualitative data collection and analysis
  • Experience of quantitative data collection and/or statistical analysis
  • Knowledge of cancer survivorship research
  • Experience of involvement in PPI activities and/or stakeholder engagement
  • Experience of setting-up or maintaining a project website
  • Good working knowledge of GDP
  • Experience of writing grant applications
  • Current driving licence




  • PhD in health sciences, epidemiology, public health, psychology, social sciences or a related field





Newcastle University is committed to being a fully inclusive Global University which actively recruits, supports and retains staff 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 Institute holds a silver Athena SWAN award in addition to the University’s silver 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


Requisition ID: 1144