Research Associate in Statistics and Data Science for Environmental Epidemiology

School of Public Health

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Imperial College London, Exhibition Road, London, UK


  • Posted on: 17th Feb 2021
  • Salary: £40,858 - £48,340
  • REF: MED02271
  • Closes: 18th March 2021
  • Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
  • Hours: Full Time

Job description

Job summary

We have a vacancy for a Research Associate in Statistics and Data Science for Environmental Epidemiology. The position is funded by Health Data Research UK ( ) which is the new national institute for data science for health, which was established in 2018 with long term funding support from research councils, UKRI, charitable and governmental research funders. HDR UK seeks to drive improvements in the health of patients and populations through research at regional and national scale. The triple mission of HDR UK spans discovery of disease mechanisms in science through:

  1. Precision medicine and trials to public health
  2. Establishing platforms and underlying infrastructure to enable research at national scale
  3. Developing training and capacity opportunities.

This is an exciting opportunity to join the Imperial College research team working on HDR UK and to become a member of the UK Small Area Health Statistics Unit (SAHSU; ). You will play a central role in advancing the field of environmental epidemiology and statistical methodology within HDR and SAHSU. You will focus on a statistical project applying different machine learning tools to understand the environmental and community-level factors driving obesity and diabetes in children, integrating administrative data available from various sources. You will be expected to also provide support across a range of projects within SAHSU.

Duties and responsibilities

You will run preliminary analyses on the environmental, community-level and outcome variables to understand their distributional characteristics and their spatial variation. You will review machine learning approaches useful to cluster the environmental and community level variables and extend those to account for spatial correlation. The approaches identified will be used to obtain well defined clusters of small area characteristics across different dimensions (e.g. pollution, food environment, mobility, social deprivation) as well as to link the clusters to the health outcomes (obesity in children available from a national survey in primary school and diabetes in children, available from the National Diabetes Audit). Within this role you will have the opportunity to construct maps of multi-domain vulnerability to the health conditions described above and provide a measure of their uncertainty.

Essential requirements

You should have a thorough working knowledge of spatial statistical modelling and a good understanding of epidemiological concepts. Familiarity with the R environment for visualising and modelling large datasets (R-INLA, Stan or NIMBLE in particular) is essential. You should be motivated and extremely organised with experience of working in multi-disciplinary teams.

Further information

The post is full time and fixed term until 31 March 2023, based at the St Mary’s Hospital Campus, Paddington.

Candidates who have not yet been officially awarded their PhD will be appointed as a Research Assistant within the salary range £36,045 – £39,183 per annum.

For further information and an informal discussion contact Ms Eno Umoh ( ) for a formal discussion please contact Prof Marta Blangiardo( ).

For technical issues when applying online please email

The College is a proud signatory to the San-Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), which means that in hiring and promotion decisions, we evaluate applicants on the quality of their work, not the journal impact factor where it is published.For more information, see

The College believes that the use of animals in research is vital to improve human and animal health and welfare. Animals may only be used in research programmes where their use is shown to be necessary for developing new treatments and making medical advances. Imperial is committed to ensuring that, in cases where this research is deemed essential, all animals in the College’s care are treated with full respect, and that all staff involved with this work show due consideration at every level. /

Additional information

Please note that job descriptions cannot be exhaustive and the post-holder may be required to undertake other duties, which are broadly in line with the above key responsibilities.

All Imperial employees are expected to follow the 7 principles of Imperial Expectations:

  • Champion a positive approach to change and opportunity
  • Communicate regularly and effectively within, and across, teams
  • Consider the thoughts and expectations of others
  • Deliver positive outcomes
  • Encourage inclusive participation and eliminate discrimination
  • Develop and grow skills and expertise
  • Work in a planned and managed way

In addition to the above, employees are required to observe and comply with all College policies and regulations.

We are committed to equality of opportunity, to eliminating discrimination and to creating an inclusive working environment for all. We therefore encourage candidates to apply irrespective of age, disability, marriage or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion and belief, gender identity, sex, or sexual orientation. We are an Athena SWAN Silver Award winner, a Disability Confident Leader and a Stonewall Diversity Champion.

For technical issues when applying online please email .

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