Research Assistant

Updated: 11 months ago
Location: Glasgow, SCOTLAND
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: The position may have been removed or expired!

Job Purpose

The post-holder will contribute to a Wellcome Trust funded project focusing on the elimination of canine rabies with Dr Katie Hampson. The job requires expert knowledge in field data collection, team management and coordination of field activities in low- and middle-income country settings (specifically Tanzania, with potential to contribute to activities in other countries in East Africa, Southeast Asia and Latin America). The focus is on rabies and requires technical expertise in rabies surveillance, control and prevention activities as well as experience of data management, analysis and cleaning.
The post-holder will also be expected to contribute to the formulation and submission of research publications, to work closely with collaborators including international research teams to ensure the effective operation of data collection activities, knowledge exchange, capacity building, data processing pipelines and to help manage and direct this complex and challenging project, as opportunities allow. The postholder will make frequent visits and/or spend extended periods in Tanzania to assist with the implementation and delivery of this project. 

Main Duties and Responsibilities

Perform the following activities in conjunction with and under the guidance of the Principal Investigator (PI):

1. Coordination of field activities, personnel and budget in line with the predetermined, prescribed or individual/joint research objectives, under supervision of the PI and in accordance with the project deliverables and project research strategy.
2. Undertake analyses of epidemiological and operational data as part of data processing pipelines and in liaison with the PI advising, implementing and evaluating improvements to existing protocols relevant as required, ensuring that accurate research records are kept and databases are updated accordingly.
3. Design, set up and perform experiments, maintain experimental resources, analyse and interpret results and contribute to the development of experimental strategies.
4. Contribute to the organisation, supervision, mentoring and training of undergraduate and/or postgraduate students and less experienced members of the project team to ensure their effective development.
5. Develop and enhance your research profile and reputation and that of the University of Glasgow, Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health & Comparative Medicine, including contributing to 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.
6. Document research output including analysis and interpretation of all data, maintaining records and databases, drafting technical/progress reports and papers as appropriate.
7. Contribute to the presentation of work at international and national conferences, at internal and external seminars, colloquia and workshops to develop and enhance our research profile.
8. Contribute to the identification of potential funding sources and assist in the development of proposals to secure funding from internal and external bodies to support future research.
9. Collaborate with colleagues and participate in team/group meetings/seminars/workshops across the research Group/ and wider community (e.g. academic and industrial partners).
10. Perform administrative tasks related to the activities of the research group and Institute including budget and expenditure monitoring, and stock control.
11. Contribute to outreach and recruitment activities of the University of Glasgow.
12. Carry out modest teaching activities (e.g. demonstrating etc) and associated administration as assigned by the Director of Institute and in consultation with PI.
13. Be responsible for safety management related to the organisation and running of the project and/or experimental techniques, equipment and processes as appropriate. Duties include maintaining the groups field equipment, diagnosing faults and troubleshooting day-to-day problems relating to equipment, techniques, procedures and protocols as well as ensuring the budget is appropriately managed and accounted for.
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 duties of equivalent standing as assigned by the Director of Institute/Head of School and/or PI.
17. Contribute to the enhancement of the University’s International profile in line with the Strategic Plan, Glasgow 2020 – A Global Vision.
These key tasks are not intended to be exhaustive but simply highlight a number of major tasks which the staff member may reasonably be expected to perform.

Knowledge, Qualifications, Skills and Experience


A1. Scottish Credit and Qualification Framework level 10 (Honours Degree) May be working towards post-graduate qualification such as Masters (SCQF level 11) or PhD (SCQF level 12) in Ecology/ Epidemiology/ Public Health/ Disease Control, and experience of personal development in similar role
A2. Theoretical and practical knowledge in a research related field, including field data collection in low-income countries.
A3. A comprehensive and up-to-date knowledge of the wider subject area or subject specialism.
A4. Knowledge of specialist IT software (e.g. R, QGIS, ODK, MySQL) as appropriate.
A5. Practical approaches to data collection using tablets and/ or mobile phones
A6. Using R to manage and clean data and conduct replicable statistical analyses
B1 Working towards or completed PhD (SCQF level 12) in Epidemiology, Ecology, Public Health, Quantitative Methods or related field.
B2: Swahili (any knowledge of Spanish, Portuguese, Bahasa also desirable)

C1. Disease surveillance, prevention and control activities including mass dog vaccination and sampling (post mortem or for serology)
C2. Research creativity and cross-discipline collaborative ability as appropriate.
C3. Excellent interpersonal skills including team working and a collegiate approach.
C4. Excellent communication skills (oral and written), including public presentations and ability to communicate complex data/concepts clearly and concisely.
C5. Appropriate workload/time/project/budget/people management skills.
C6. Extensive IT and data analysis/interpretation skills as appropriate.
C7. Self motivation, initiative and independent thought/working.
C8. Initiative and judgement to resolve problems independently, including demonstrating a flexible and pragmatic approach.
D1. Database management

E1. Sufficient breadth and/or depth of knowledge in the specialist subject/discipline and of research/teaching methods and techniques, demonstrated through relevant work experience (including experience gained throughout PhD)
E2. Experience in the collection and analysis of data
E3. Experience of scientific writing
E4. Proven ability to deliver quality outputs in a timely and efficient manner
E5. Evidence of an emerging track record of publications in a relevant field


F1. Conducting field research and managing research teams in low- and middle-income countries
F2. Administration/ project coordination and management
F3: Experience of mass dog vaccination programmes and rabies surveillance

Job Features

To carry out a range of research activities and functions within academic environments of the highest national or international quality.
Publish as appropriate to subject specialism within agreed timescales.
Informal supervision and support of less experienced members of the project team e.g. postgraduate and project students.
Undertake teaching or other duties in accordance with Institute/School policy.
Engage in personal, professional and career development to enhance both specialist and transferable skills in accordance with desired career trajectory.

Planning and Organising
Management of time and prioritisation of research, teaching and administrative duties.
Planning, organisation and implementation of research project on a weekly/monthly basis.
Plan research directions that are within the available budget.
React to varying project needs and deadlines.
Decision Making
Undertake decision making on all aspects of research project/activities.
Prioritise own workload and where appropriate delegate to junior team members.
Decide on research directions and goals within remit of original project proposal.
Adjust research approaches to meet project outcomes.
Identify best journals for publication and meetings/conferences to attend.
Purchase of equipment and materials.
Internal/External Relationships
University colleagues: to exchange information to ensure efficient working and to facilitate cross disciplinary working.
External bodies/collaborators: proactively maintain co-operation and links at all levels to enhance profile and reputation.
Dissemination: Preparation and presentation of reports/results and participation in meetings and conference calls.
Problem Solving
Research including technical and theoretical aspects/problem solving and development of novel ideas.
Be aware of project and budgetary issues and equipment lead times.
Assistance of undergraduate/postgraduate students and junior team members with problems relating to research project.
The post will involve several field visits to Tanzania, and will require independent working, trouble shooting and problem solving as well as excellent interpersonal skills. The arrangements for such field work will require advance preparation and working collegiately with other University departments to ensure appropriate insurance, payment and tax arrangements are in place, as required.  
The postholder will be based in the Research Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine within the College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, but may be required to change location as required after appropriate consultation.
Representation of the University/College/Institute through presentation at national and international events.
Attendance at training events to learn and implement new research technologies.
Prepared to travel to meetings in the UK/Europe and elsewhere as required by the University.
Additional School/RI/College Information
In May 2014 the Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health & Comparative Medicine was awarded an Athena SWAN Bronze departmental award; and then in October 2016 we were awarded the Athena SWAN Silver departmental award . The award demonstrates our commitment to best practice in recruiting and supporting the career development and progression of female scientists, addressing gender inequalities in higher education.

Standard Terms & Conditions
Salary will be on the University’s Research and Teaching Grade, level 6, £28,098 - £31,604 per annum.
This post is full time and has funding until October 2019 in the first instance.
New entrants to the University will be required to serve a probationary period of 6 months.
The successful applicant will be eligible to join the Universities' Superannuation Scheme. Further information regarding the scheme is available from the Superannuation Officer, who is also prepared to advise on questions relating to the transfer of Superannuation benefits.
All research and related activities, including grants, donations, clinical trials, contract research, consultancy and commercialisation are required to be managed through the University’s relevant processes (e.g. contractual and financial), in accordance with the University Court’s policies.
Vacancy ref: 019328, Closing date: 19 November 2017
It is the University of Glasgow’s mission to foster an inclusive climate, which ensures equality in our working, learning, research and teaching environment.
We strongly endorse the principles of Athena SWAN, including a supportive and flexible working environment, with commitment from all levels of the organisation in promoting gender equity.
The University of Glasgow, charity number SC004401.
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