Research Associate or Senior Research Associate in Epidemiology

University of Bristol
Bristol, United Kingdom
Grade - £33,797
May 12, 2021
May 22, 2021
Organization Type
University and College
Full Time
The role

This is an exciting opportunity to join the Respiratory Research team in the world-leading Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents And Children (ALSPAC), which recruited over 14,000 women during pregnancy and has followed them and their children intensively since birth to age 25 years. ALSPAC and four more population-based birth cohorts (>15,000 participants) were brought together in a MRC funded Study Team for Early Life Asthma Research (STELAR) consortium. A new MRC funded (UNIfied Cohorts Research Network) UNICORN consortium (MR/S025340/1) will form an alliance between the STELAR consortium and patient cohorts with large numbers of carefully phenotyped patients with asthma with the aim to combine high-dimensional clinical, genetic, environmental and biological data to identify risk factors for asthma using pooled analysis across population-based and clinical cohort studies.

You will work with an expanding team including Dr Raquel Granell, Prof Kate Tilling and Prof Jonathan Sterne in Bristol, and Prof Adnan Custovic at Imperial College London. As the post-holder you will be based in the Department of Population Health Sciences, an interdisciplinary research environment with expertise in clinical epidemiology, biostatistics, genetics, social sciences, ethics, bioinformatics, qualitative methods and health services research. Bristol Medical School houses the MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit (EIU), which leads the development of causal analysis methods for application in population-based and clinical studies.

What will you be doing?

As the successful candidate you will explore and compare modelling of longitudinal observations from parent-completed questionnaires at clinical follow-ups and information extracted from medical records which is readily available in ALSPAC with the idea of applying these methods to the combined data in the UNICORN platform. You will address some of the challenges arising from bringing together data from different studies, such as heterogeneity between cohorts in timing of measurements, missingness (including measures missing completely from some studies), rates of dropout and direction and magnitude of measurement bias (recall, measurement error, etc) using novel statistical methods such as the MICE algorithm for multilevel data with arbitrary patterns of systematically and sporadically missing variables.

You will address the challenge of triangulation (integration of evidence from several different epidemiological approaches with differing and unrelated sources of bias to improve causal inference) of associations with latent classes identified through research data (e.g. latent classes derived from patterns of wheezing from early childhood to adolescence and their associations with late asthma outcomes and lung function- see section 1.5.1 for the job description) compared with the information ascertained from the healthcare record data.

You should apply if

You have:
  • MSc in, epidemiology, statistics, public health or related quantitative discipline, or equivalent research experience
  • Good understanding of medical statistics and epidemiology (evidenced by qualifications, courses attended and/or papers and presentations)
  • Experience using statistical software (Stata and/or R) to clean and manipulate data and carry out statistical analyses
  • Self-motivation and ability to organize own time effectively
  • Experience of using word processing and data management software to produce publication-level documents
  • PhD (or equivalent independent research experience) in the above listed disciplines, if applying for Grade J - Senior Research Associate
  • Experience of analysing large datasets
  • Experience of collating, harmonising and integrating data from different sources into analysable databases
  • Track record of co-authoring publications in peer-reviewed journals
  • Experience of presentation of research results (evidenced by a track record of oral or poster presentations at conferences)
  • Experience of collaboration with applied health researchers, nationally and internationally
  • Track record of contributions to successful research grant applications

We welcome applications from all members of our community and are particularly encouraging those from diverse groups, such as members of the LGBT+ and BAME communities, to join us.

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