Research Fellow

Updated: 2 months ago
Location: Glasgow, SCOTLAND
Job Type: FullTime

Job Purpose
Please Note: The University would consider a secondment opportunity for this post. Applicants should seek clearance for release for secondment from their employer / line manager before making formal application.
To lead the day-to-day running of a major natural experiment grant evaluating the impacts of Alcohol Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) in Scotland. You will have lead responsibility for two quantitative components of the evaluation: 1) survey of people attending Emergency Departments in four hospitals (two in Scotland and two in north England), and 2) survey of people attending six sexual health clinics (three in Scotland, three in north England). In addition, you will have a role liaising with the lead researchers for a qualitative repeated focus group study, led from the University of Stirling.
The post holder will have a leading role in organising the quantitative data collection together with associated administrative tasks, collaborating with the hospitals and sexual health clinics, and helping with data cleaning. This secondment will last for six months as the project is set up, initial data collection is piloted and then successfully completed, and systems and processes are put in place to facilitate subsequent waves of data collection.
This research is part of the Measurement and Analysis of Socioeconomic Inequalities in Health and the Informing Healthy Public Policy programmes at the MRC/CSO Social & Public Health Sciences Unit (SPHSU).

Main Duties and Responsibilities
Perform the following activities under the supervision of the Programme Leader (PL), Principal Investigator (PI) and Co-Investigator (CI):
1. Oversee and take responsibility for the first wave of primary data collection at the Emergency Departments and Sexual Health Clinics (including coordination and communication between all ten sites in Scotland and England, data management and data security).
2. Lead and have day-to-day accountability for the implementation and monitoring of the study protocols. Log and store of documentation, manage the study database and health and safety protocols.
3. Work closely with the SPHSU Population Health Research Facility, including the Project Manager, leading the provision of fieldworker training and having lead responsibility for ongoing research governance procedures, including liaison with relevant NHS R&D offices across all ten sites.
4. Liaise with in-house Database Manager and the external programmer who will programme tablets (iPads) to be used in data collection.
5. Visit Emergency Department and Sexual Health Clinic sites on an occasional basis as required.
6. Provide support for fieldworkers as appropriate during data collection (most of this will be done remotely).
7. Take responsibility for succession planning for the subsequent research lead on the project, ensuring a smooth handover at the end of the secondment.
8. Oversee initial data cleaning.
9. Lead the writing of reports on progress with fieldwork and ongoing findings.
10. Lead and contribute to papers for publication in high quality peer reviewed leading journals. 
11. Undertake knowledge exchange and public engagement activities to ensure broad dissemination of research findings to policymakers, practitioners and the general public across the UK and internationally.
12. Take a role in team/project meetings/steering groups/seminars and Institute research group activities to enhance the wider knowledge, outputs and culture of the SPHSU.
13. Undertake any other duties of equivalent standing as assigned by the Director of the Unit and/or PL.
These key tasks are not intended to be exhaustive but simply highlight a number of major tasks which the staff member may be reasonably expected to perform.

Knowledge, Qualifications, Skills and Experience

A1. Scottish Credit and Qualification Framework (SCQF) level 12 (PhD, MD or DrPH) research qualification in an area of relevance to public health/health services research.
A2. Extensive and up-to-date theoretical and practical knowledge in areas related to the field of research.
A3. Excellent knowledge of NHS governance processes for research.
A4. Understanding of relevant health and safety policies and procedures relative to the role, and the quality outputs and standards required.
B1. A degree in a relevant clinical discipline e.g. Medicine, Nursing, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy.
B2. Registration with an appropriate professional body e.g. NMC
B3. Knowledge of data management of large datasets.


C1. Ability to obtain informed consent under high pressure (e.g. in Emergency Departments) and from people where capacity may be difficult to assess (e.g. due to consumption of alcohol and/or drugs).
C2. Experience of planning and progressing work activities within professional guidelines or organisational policy, applying initiative and independent judgement.
C3. Highly motivated, able to use initiative and quick to learn new techniques.
C4. Able to communicate complex or conceptual ideas to the public and to those with limited knowledge and understanding.
C5. Good team leadership skills including demonstrable supervisory skills.
C6. Willingness and aptitude to work in a multidisciplinary environment.
C7. Ability to contribute to broader leadership and management activities along with an awareness of current and future priorities of the University/College/School/Research Institute/Service.
C8. Extensive IT and data analysis/interpretation skills.
C9. Problem solving skills including a flexible and pragmatic approach.
C10. Ability to deliver training to research nurses, research assistants and other clinical/non-clinical staff.


D1. Ability to program in a suitable statistical software package (e.g. SAS, Stata, R).

E1. Significant relevant post-doctoral or equivalent experience.
E2. Track record of research publications in leading journals and presentation of research results in quality conferences.
E2. Proven ability to deliver quality outputs in a timely and efficient manner
E3. Experience of making a leading contribution in research conducted within NHS settings.
F1. Experience of working in alcohol and/or substance misuse research, policy or practice.
F2. Experience of working within sexual health clinics.
F3. Experience of the management of applications for access to linked administrative data.

Job Features
Planning and Organising
Planning, piloting and overseeing the baseline wave of quantitative data collection for the two quantitative studies (one carried out in Emergency Departments and the other in sexual health sites).
Liaising with the clinical research facilities who will be contracted to carry out data collection within Emergency Departments. Similarly, you will be responsible for working with the sexual health clinic leads to arrange for research assistants to be recruited.
Planning the timing of the data collection so that it occurs simultaneously and comparably across all sites.
Organisational responsibility for managing challenges that emerge during the data collection process within an appropriate timescale. During periods of data collection, there may be a requirement to be able to respond to queries out-of-hours.
Develop protocols specific to this study to ensure that subsequent waves of data collection will proceed as smoothly as possible and that data are collected in a similar manner to the first wave.
Work independently to plan data collection procedures so they do not interfere with the delivery of high-quality clinical services.
Decision Making
Decide when to seek help from the study investigators. You will be supported by regular meetings and telephone/e-mail contact with the study investigators.
Adjust research approaches to meet project outcomes as necessary.
Internal/External Relationships
Senior and junior clinical colleagues (e.g. Lead Consultants in Emergency Medicine or Sexual Health Medicine and receptions in Sexual Health Clinics).
Given the multi-site nature of the studies, you will visit sites on an occasional basis (for example, to provide training and check on adherence to study protocols) but you will also provide appropriate support remotely.
Liaise with patients who choose to contact the research team (e.g. to obtain further information about the study or to make a complaint).
Liaise with the Population Health Research Facility, particularly the Project Manager working on this study.
Liaise with external policy stakeholders (e.g. Scottish Government, NHS Health Scotland, English Department of Health) as necessary to provide verbal and written updates on study progress and help ensure impact of the research on policy.
Communicate with the public, including via the mass media, when appropriate opportunities arise.
Problem Solving
Solve modest challenges that emerge during data collection (in collaboration with the local clinical teams).
Data collection within Emergency Departments and Sexual Health clinics can be challenging and will require a mix of careful preparation but also the ability to overcome occasional logistic challenges when they arise. In particular, the studies seek to collect prevalence data for comparative purposes and consistency of data collection is required. It is therefore crucial that during periods of data collection, data are collected in a standardised way across sites. You will therefore have a good understanding of the data collection procedure within each site, so that appropriate adaptations can be made for the purposes of clinical care, while ensuring consistency in terms of data collection. You will be able to document good practice so that the same procedures can be followed for subsequent waves of data collection.
Responsibility to work within clinical areas for some of the time (for example, to quality assure the standards of data collection directly). You will therefore behave in an appropriate manner within clinical sites, treat patients and staff with courtesy and pay due attention to ensuring patient confidentiality. You will ensure that clinical care is not adversely impacted by any aspect of the study.
Minimum unit pricing is a politically sensitive area and you will therefore be expected to pay appropriate regard to the confidentiality of research findings.
The nature of the post may from time to time require working outside of normal 35 hour working week.
You will contribute to the Unit’s reputation of excellence by providing at all times a high standard of work. You will also contribute to the Unit’s reputation of excellence by contributing to innovative methodological solutions and widely recognised research developments.
You will be prepared to travel to work in the UK/Europe and elsewhere as required by the University.
Additional School/RI/College Information
About the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit
The aim of the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit ( is to improve human health and wellbeing via the study of social, behavioural, economic, cultural and environmental influences on health. Our more specific objectives include:
• studying the multiple interacting processes through which biological, social, behavioural, economic, cultural and environmental factors influence physical and mental health and health behaviours over the lifecourse;
• discovering mechanisms which can modify these processes and have the potential to improve public health in a complex and changing world;
• developing and evaluating interventions which harness these mechanisms to improve public health and reduce social inequalities in health; and
• influencing policy and practice by communicating the results and implications of research to a range of audiences.
The study team welcomes informal enquiries from potential applicants to discuss this post. Please e-mail:

Standard Terms & Conditions
Salary will be on the University’s Research and Teaching Grade, level 8, £42,418 - £49,149 per annum.
Please Note: The University would consider a secondment opportunity for this post. Applicants should seek clearance for release for secondment from their employer / line manager before making formal application.
This post is fixed term for 6 months.
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.
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.
Vacancy Ref : 018791, Closing Date : 20 September 2017
View or Apply