Research Associate

University of Glassgow
June 20, 2024
Offerd Salary:£39,347 - £44,263
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
Working type:N/A
Ref info:N/A
Research Associate

Research Associate

COLLEGE OF Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences

SCHOOL/INSTITUTE School of Health and Wellbeing


Job Purpose

To make a leading contribution to the NIHR-funded OPTIMA project, “Orienting Policy Towards Inequality Minimising Actions (OPTIMA): A systems science approach to 20-minute neighbourhood policy and evaluation”.

Place-based interventions are increasingly of interest to policymakers attempting to tackle health inequalities (or, ‘Level Up'). Yet, the evidence base for these interventions to achieve this is insufficient. As is frequently the case, policy is having to move beyond the evidence-base to attempt solutions to large societal challenges, and more dynamic and forward-looking methods are required. This project will:

• Examine a large place-based intervention, the 20-minute neighbourhood in Scotland, set to impact on populations at scale, before costs have been fully sunk;

• Use cutting-edge data and dynamic, future-oriented system simulation methods to build on the current evidence, and draw on consistent and close stakeholder and public engagement to align evidence generation to evolving policy needs;

• Produce and communicate to stakeholders new health inequality-specific evidence for place-based interventions, and modelling and data assets that can be further built-upon as our understanding of the mechanisms and impacts continues to grow.

The successful candidate will lead on delivery of the modelling and data side of the project. You will:

1) Compile and link relevant geographical and population data and analyse clusters of ‘left-behind' neighbourhoods (working with Prof Rich Mitchell, Dr Jon Olsen, and Dr Andreas Höhn);

2) Lead the creation of a UK wide ‘left-behind' neighbourhoods report using outputs from point (1).

3) Incorporate this data, complemented by stakeholder input on system rules, into an agent-based model (working with Prof Alison Heppenstall and Dr Heeseo Rain Kwon) to simulate the impacts of alternative policy delivery scenarios on health inequalities.

You will also be expected to contribute to the formulation and submission of research publications and research proposals as well as help shape and direct this complex and challenging project as opportunities allow. You will be line managed by the project's co-lead, Dr Jonathan Stokes.

Main Duties and Responsibilities

1. Deal with a range of data, including undertaking data analytics, manipulation and linkage.

2. Take a leading role in the analysis and interpretation of secondary spatial data that will underpin an assessment of ‘left-behind' neighbourhoods in the UK.

3. Develop individual-level models (agent-based modelling) to simulate impacts of place-based policies on individuals and on health inequalities.

4. Produce model outputs which include population level and spatial distributions of attributes to be used in policy appraisal.

5. Take a leading role in the planning and conduct of assigned research individually or jointly in accordance with the project deliverables and project/group/School/College research strategy.

6. Document research output including analysis and interpretation of all data, maintaining records and databases, drafting technical/progress reports and papers as appropriate.

7. Establish and maintain your research profile and reputation and that of The University of Glasgow/ School/ Research Group, including establishing and sustaining a track record of independent and joint publications of international quality in high profile/quality refereed journals, enhancing the research impact in terms of economic/societal benefit, and gathering indicators of esteem.

8. Survey the research literature and environment, understand the research challenges associated with the project & subject area, & develop/implement a suitable research strategy.

9. Presentation of work at international and national conferences, at internal and external seminars, colloquia and workshops to develop and enhance our research profile.

10. Take a leading role in the identification of potential funding sources and to assist in the development of proposals to secure funding from internal and external bodies to support future research.

11. Take a leading role in developing and maintaining collaborations with colleagues across the research group/School/College/University and wider community (e.g. Academic and Industrial Partners).

12. Take a leading role in team/group meetings/seminars/workshops and School research group activities to enhance the wider knowledge, outputs and culture of the School/College.

13. Engage non-academic audiences in or with your research – as partners, participants, collaborators and research users.

14. Keep up to date with current knowledge and recent advances in the field/discipline.

15. Engage in personal, professional and career development, to enhance both specialist and transferable skills in accordance with desired career trajectory.

16. Undertake any other reasonable duties as required by the Head of School/Director of Research Institute.

17. Contribute to the enhancement of the University's international profile in line with the University's Strategic Plan, World Changers Together.

Knowledge, Qualifications, Skills, and Experience



A1: Scottish Credit and Qualification Framework level 12 (PhD) or alternatively possess the equivalent in professional qualifications and experience, with experience of personal development in a similar or related role(s).



C1: A comprehensive and up-to-date knowledge of current issues and future directions within the intersection of place (geography) and health inequalities.

C2: High-level skill in the use of GIS (e.g. ArcGIS Pro, QGIS) for mapping and understanding the built and natural environment, knowledge and understanding of UK spatial data.

C3: Detailed, specialist theoretical and practical knowledge of (complex) systems science methods and individual-level computational modelling (e.g., agent-based modelling) and expertise in using relevant software applications (e.g., NetLogo, Python).

C4: Ability to link, analyse, and interpret large datasets using relevant software applications (e.g., R, STATA).

C5: A comprehensive and up-to-date knowledge in applications of such methods to health inequalities or closely related areas.

C6: Research creativity and cross-discipline collaborative ability.

C7: Excellent communication skills (oral and written), including report writing, presentations and ability to communicate complex concepts clearly and concisely to diverse audiences.

C8: Excellent interpersonal skills including working with stakeholders.

C9: Well-developed workload/time/project/people management skills.

C10: Ability to quickly grasp complex concepts and situations.

C11: Problem solving skills including a flexible and pragmatic approach.


D1: Knowledge of and interest in linking quantitative and qualitative systems science methods as well as linking the analysis of human (decision-making) behaviour and behavioural change.

D2: Skills in presenting data and models to wider stakeholders and the public through web-based interfaces.



E1: Proven ability to deliver quality outputs in a timely and efficient manner.

E2: A track record of presentation and publication of research results in quality journals/conferences.

E3: Experience of making a leading contribution in academic activities.

E4: Ability to demonstrate a degree of independence as illustrated by identification of project objectives from assessment of the literature, design & analysis of experiments & drafting of papers.

E5: Experience in undertaking independent research.

E6: Sufficient depth of relevant research experience, normally including sufficient postdoctoral experience in a related field, appropriate to an early career researcher.


F1: Significant experience of accessing, assembling and analysing complex datasets.

F2: Prior experience of working in interdisciplinary teams, especially those spanning health, social, and/or economic sciences.

F3: Prior experience of working with policy stakeholders in relevant policy areas.

Please note that as part of your application you must address and demonstrate how you meet EACH of the essential and desirable criteria.

Informal enquiries may be directed to [email protected] .

Terms and Conditions

Salary will be Grade 7, £39,347 - £44,263 per annum.

This post is full time, and has funding for up to 36 months

As part of Team UofG you will be a member of a world changing, inclusive community, which values ambition, excellence, integrity and curiosity.

The University of Glasgow has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK. If you require a Skilled Worker visa to work in the UK, you will be required to meet the eligibility requirements of the visa route to be assigned a Certificate of Sponsorship.

Please note that this post may be eligible to be sponsored under the Skilled Worker visa route if tradeable points can be used under the Skilled Worker visa rules. For more information please visit: https: // www. worker-visa.

As a valued member of our team, you can expect:

1 A warm welcoming and engaging organisational culture, where your talents are developed and nurtured, and success is celebrated and shared.

2 An excellent employment package with generous terms and conditions including 41 days of leave for full time staff, pension - pensions handbook https: // www., benefits and discount packages.

3 A flexible approach to working.

4 A commitment to support your health and wellbeing, including a free 6-month UofG Sport membership for all new staff joining the University https: // www.

We believe that we can only reach our full potential through the talents of all. Equality, diversity and inclusion are at the heart of our values. Applications are particularly welcome from across our communities and in particular people from the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) community, and other protected characteristics who are under-represented within the University. Read more on how the University promotes and embeds all aspects of equality and diversity within our community https: // www.

We endorse the principles of Athena Swan https: // www. and hold bronze, silver and gold awards across the University.

We are investing in our organisation, and we will invest in you too. Please visit our website https: // www. for more information.

Vacancy Ref : 146969 Close Date : 20-Jun-2024 23:45

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