Senior Research Associate (Health Data Science )

Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK


  • Posted on: 28th Jul 2021
  • Salary: £41,526 to £44,045 per annum
  • REF: 10121
  • Closes: 01st January 1970
  • Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
  • Hours: Full Time

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: £41,526 to £44,045per annum

Closing Date:Wednesday 04 August 2021

The Role

This is an exciting opportunity for a proactive Senior Researcher to join the Innovation Observatory a £16M initiative, funded by the National Institute for Health Research, based at Newcastle University with an academic home in the Population Health Sciences Institute. You willlead research shaping and developing novel AI tools.

The Observatory brings together information specialists, data scientists, text mining, horizon scanning and evidence synthesis researchers to provide essential intelligence to several national agencies, whilst developing new methodology and novel AI tools. Our outputs support our stakeholders (and others) to make informed decisions about the innovation pipeline and access to innovation. As part of a large multi-disciplinary team, you will contribute to the delivery of a range of Evidence Synthesis Group research projects and the National Institute for Health Research Innovation Observatory (NIHRIO), Population Health Sciences Institute at Newcastle University.

You will bea health data scientist/researcher with experience of combining and integrating evidence synthesis methods with AI methods to support novel tool development and translational insights.

This post is available fixed term initially for 2 years.

For informal queries contact:Dawn Craig by email at: or

Key Accountabilities

• Show academic leadership in health data science and evidence synthesis methods in the Evidence Synthesis Group and Population Health Sciences Institute
• Carry out research within agreed timelines, meeting project milestones and to an appropriate standard
• Lead on multi-disciplinary research at the intersection of computer and data science, health innovation horizon scanning, and evidence synthesis methods
• Show a commitment to high quality research and a high level of accuracy and attention to detail
• Monitor workload and supervise junior staff who may be working on several projects across the Innovation Observatory and the Evidence Synthesis Group
• Prepare bids for submission to prestigious funders
• Publish in peer reviewed journals and present findings at conferences nationally and internationally
• Lead on the design, development, and deployment of novel AI-based data science tools to support Innovation Observatory processes and external (i.e., public) facing outputs
• Contribute to the development of a series of relevant short courses in evidence synthesis, leading on relevant courses whilst supporting colleagues in the development of others.
• Undertake teaching of evidence synthesis on the PHSI and Faculty of Medical Science postgraduate and undergraduate courses as required
• Build internal and external contacts and participate in networks for the exchange of information and to form relationships for future collaboration
• Identify and undertake a programme of professional development, including further training in research methods and other transferable skills.
• To contribute to the wider activities of the Evidence Synthesis Group and Innovation Observatory at Newcastle University
• Carry out administrative tasks and other duties to support the Innovation Observatory/Evidence Synthesis Group as required by the Director (NIHRIO) or Dean (NUPHSI).

The Person

Knowledge, Skills and Experience
• Knowledge of and commitment to using best practices in software development including documentation and version control
• Knowledge of secondary research methods, such as systematic reviews, rapid reviews, and scoping reviews
• Interest, enthusiasm, and experience of developing intelligent AI-based research tools, with a particular emphasis on natural language processing and deep learning
• Strong computing and scripting skills in Python and R, with demonstrable experience using either Scikit-Learn, Keras, and TensorFlow libraries/frameworks
• Experience of data management, curation, linkage, and analysis methods for large, noisy, heterogenous unstructured datasets (e.g., social media data)
• Ability to contribute to broader organisational and management processes and to provide leadership, co-ordinating the work of other colleagues
• Ability to build effective relationships with a range of different stakeholders, across different levels
• A strong track record of peer reviewed publications and wider dissemination activities
• Experience of research project management and delivery
• Ability to communicate effectively and confidently to a range of audiences and stakeholders
• Evidence of the ability to deliver high-quality work within agreed timelines
• Ability to meet deadlines, prioritise and to manage conflicting priorities
• Aptitude to work flexibly and cooperatively with others
• Robust experience with the standard data science toolkit, e.g. Python, R, MATLAB
• Experience of handling and analysing data of various sizes and formats
• Experience of undertaking systematic reviews, rapid reviews, and scoping reviews (Desirable)

Attributes and Behaviour

• 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
• Experience of effectively managing and taking responsibility for own workload


• A PhD in a relevant topic area, such as computer sciences or data science (or a closely-related subject)

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 ourBenefitsWebsite page.

Requisition ID: 10121

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