Research Assistant or Research Associate in Public Health Surveillance

Imperial College London - Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Salary range:
Research Assistant, Level A: £31,740 - £33,370 per annum
Research Associate, Level B: £36,070 - £43,350 per annum

We have an exciting opportunity for an ambitious and creative researcher to join the UK Small Area Health Statistics Unit (SAHSU, as a Research Assistant or Research Associate in Public Health Surveillance.

SAHSU, which is part of the MRC-PHE Centre for Environment and Health (, is a multi-disciplinary research cluster specialising in advanced geographical information systems and statistical modelling techniques working in close collaboration with public health institutions, including Public Health England (PHE), the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and WHO. SAHSU develops and maintains large databases of health, environmental and socio-economic data at the small-area level.

Health surveillance is better established for infectious than chronic diseases. The recent recognition of clusters of congenital anomalies (microcephaly) associated with Zika virus highlights the need and importance of a knowledge and understanding of disease occurrence to identify data signals in space and time. This project, funded by the Wellcome Trust (, aims to test existing enhanced surveillance tools using data on known past signals; to assess their capacity to detect unidentified clusters; and to define the optimal approach for prospective surveillance of chronic diseases.

The successful applicant will i) conduct an in-depth analysis of the spatio-temporal characteristics and health impact of known data signals (e.g. clusters, unusual peaks or trends) for chronic diseases in England to inform the development of an optimum surveillance framework; ii) compare a range of statistical space-time surveillance methods currently available (e.g. Bayesian hierarchical models, Poisson Scan Statistics); iii) test different scenarios using simulated and real-world data aiming to differentiate real signals from artefacts.

The successful applicant will have a MSc (Research Assistant level) or a PhD (Research Associate level) in Epidemiology, Biostatistics or a related quantitative discipline or equivalent. Strong quantitative skills, including experience in analysing large-scale and high dimensional data using relevant statistical software together with a sound understanding of epidemiological concepts particularly in relation to chronic diseases are essential.

This post is full time, starting in September 2017, for a fixed term of 24 months, and will be based at the St Mary’s campus, Paddington.

For informal discussions please contact Dr Fred Piel, Lecturer in Epidemiology (

Our preferred method of application is online via our website at (please select “Job Search” then enter the job title or vacancy reference number into “Keywords”). Please complete and upload an application form as directed quoting reference number SM098-17AL.

Alternatively, if you are unable to apply online, please email to request an application form.

Closing Date: 21 August 2017 (Midnight BST)

Imperial Managers lead by example.

Committed to equality and valuing diversity, we are also an Athena SWAN Silver Award winner, a Stonewall Diversity Champion, a Disability Confident Employer and are working in partnership with GIRES to promote respect for trans people.

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

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