Research Associate (Fixed Term)
CEDAR and the MRC Epidemiology Unit at the University of Cambridge are
offering an exciting opportunity to join a vibrant research group at a leading
university, to contribute to important public health research on takeaway food
outlet 'exclusion zones' around schools. We are seeking to appoint a Research
Associate, with a track record of conducting high quality qualitative
research, including analysis of documentary evidence, to work on the research
project "Evaluation of planning policy to regulate takeaway food outlets for
improved health in England", funded by the National Institute for Health
Local authorities in England are increasingly worried about the impact of
takeaway food outlets on health. Through a national survey of local planning
policies, we have identified 40 local authorities who have already applied
rules to deny planning permission to new takeaways in 'exclusion zones' around
schools. These policies have been adopted over the last decade, but have not
been evaluated. In this work package, we seek to understand how food
businesses reacted to the intervention, including whether these reactions
varied by business type and socioeconomic context, how local authorities
responded in turn, and how these stakeholder narratives have changed and
shaped one another over time.
This is an exciting and unique opportunity to contribute to an applied
research project of direct relevance to government policy and the public's
health. Documenting how industry arguments have been successfully overcome by
local authorities is important learning for others, and will help to shape and
facilitate more widespread intervention uptake.
You will be expected to: contribute to development of a detailed study
protocol; collate responses to pre-policy adoption public consultations; lead
on conducting a longitudinal thematic analysis of written reactions from chain
and independent businesses and the responses of local authorities, which are
documented and publicly available; write up results in the form of a peer-
reviewed publication as first author; and disseminate results to academic and
non-academic stakeholders, including at least one conference presentation.
You will be educated to PhD level and have a proven track-record of
independent qualitative research, including thematic analysis of documentary
evidence. You will have experience of writing up research outputs for a
variety of audiences, including as peer-reviewed publications. Excellent time
management, oral and written communication skills, with a track record of
problem solving, managing your own workload and meeting deadlines, will be
The role is under the supervision of the work package co-leads Professor
Martin White (University of Cambridge, who will also line-manage) and
Michael Chang (Public Health England). Other collaborators on the project
include Dr Jean Adams (University of Cambridge), Prof Steven Cummins
(London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine), Prof Richard Smith
(University of Exeter) and the Principal Investigator Dr Thomas Burgoine
(University of Cambridge).
Alongside a competitive salary, University staff are eligible for a
comprehensive package of benefits and services including discounts on
shopping, health care, financial services and public transport; defined
benefits pension schemes; and tax-efficient bicycle, car lease and charity-
Please contact Professor Martin White (Martin.White@mrc-epid.cam.ac.uk) with
Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 14 months in the first
Click the 'Apply' button below to register an account with our recruitment
system (if you have not already) and apply online.
The closing date for applications is Sunday 3rd October 2021. Interviews are
to be held online, week commencing 11th October 2021.
Please ensure that you upload a covering letter and CV in the Upload section
of the online application. The covering letter should outline how you match
the criteria for the post and why you are applying for this role. If you
upload any additional documents which have not been requested, we will not be
able to consider these as part of your application.
Please include details of your referees, including email address and phone
number, one of which must be your most recent line manager.
Please quote reference SJ28079 on your application and in any correspondence
about this vacancy.
The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and
encourages applications from all sections of society.
The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible
to live and work in the UK.
MRC Epidemiology Unit
8 September 2021
3 October 2021