Assistant Professor, Research in Biostatistics

Durham, United Kingdom
£41,526 - £49,553 per annum
Thursday, 29 April 2021
End of advertisement period
Thursday, 27 May 2021
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Department of Mathematical Sciences

Grade 8: - £41,526 - £49,553 per annum
Fixed Term - Full Time
Contract Duration: Research contract ends August 2023
Contracted Hours per Week: 35
Closing Date:
 27-May-2021, 6:59:00 AM 

Durham University

Durham University is one of the world's top universities with strengths across the Arts and Humanities, Sciences and Social Sciences. We are home to some of the most talented scholars and researchers from around the world who are tackling global issues and making a difference to people's lives.

The University sits in a beautiful historic city where it shares ownership of a UNESCO World Heritage Site with Durham Cathedral, the greatest Romanesque building in Western Europe. A collegiate University, Durham recruits outstanding students from across the world and offers an unmatched wider student experience.

Less than 3 hours north of London, and an hour and a half south of Edinburgh, County Durham is a region steeped in history and natural beauty. The Durham Dales, including the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, are home to breathtaking scenery and attractions. Durham offers an excellent choice of city, suburban and rural residential locations. The University provides a range of benefits including pension and childcare benefits and the University’s Relocation Manager can assist with potential schooling requirements.

Durham University seeks to promote and maintain an inclusive and supportive environment for work and study that assists all members of our University community to reach their full potential. Diversity brings strength and we welcome applications  from across the international, national and regional communities that we work with and serve.

The Department

The Department of Mathematical Sciences is one of the UK’s best Mathematics departments with an outstanding reputation in teaching, research and employability of our students. Ranked 7th in terms of grade point average intensity in the Research Excellence Framework 2014, it has an active programme of internationally recognized research in Pure Mathematics, Applied Mathematics (including Applied Analysis and PDE, Theoretical Particle Physics and Mathematical Biology) and Statistics and Probability. The research culture is vibrant, with many visitors, seminars, international conferences and workshops. We aim to provide a supportive and friendly environment with a strong sense of community. The Department, which currently has 88 permanent members of staff, is set to grow significantly over the next ten years, in particular in Applied Mathematics. 

The Department holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award. Athena SWAN is a national initiative that recognises the advancement of gender equality, representation, progression and success for all in academia. The Department also supports the London Mathematical Society Good Practice Scheme, whose aim is to support mathematics departments to embed equal opportunities for women within their working practices. Durham University is committed to the Concordat to support the career development of researchers.  For further information please visit the Research Staff web pages on http://www.dur.ac.uk/hr/researchstaff/ 

Within the Department, the PDRA will be associated to the Statistics group. The Statistics Group currently has 16 academic staff, 5 postdoctoral researchers, and 23 PhD students and there are also 12 academic staff in Probability. Areas of particular research interest include Bayesian statistics, Nonparametric Statistics, Statistical Modelling, Foundations of Statistics, Applied Statistics (with specific attention to large-scale applications), as well as Statistical machine learning (with a focus on applications in health care, including methodology for privacy). 

The Durham Research Methods Centre 

The Durham Research Methods Centre (DRMC) was established as a University-wide platform for training and research in research methods, particularly in advanced quantitative methods and mixed methods. Our vision is to promote the understanding and application of research methods, from traditional to state-of-the-art techniques, using innovative approaches, exploiting a range of data sources, to enable academics and post-graduate students at Durham to lead the way in producing world-changing research.  

Durham Biostatistics Unit (DBU) 

The Durham Biostatistics Unit is a new joint unit between the Durham Research Methods Centre and the Department of Mathematical Sciences.  Beside the PDRA recruited for this post, the unit will be supported by several members of the DRMC as well as the Statistics group of the Department for Mathematical Sciences. The unit will collaborate with neighbouring NHS Trusts and our regional Research Design Service-North East, working with clinicians and academic colleagues to develop grant applications in health research. The scope of the unit is beyond purely applied and consultative aspects, with a focus on developing new statistical methodology to support applied health research both in the UK and globally, especially with view to clinical trials and the evaluation of health interventions.  

The Role

An Assistant Professor (Research) in Biostatistics (full time 1.0 FTE, fixed term appointment from 01 April 2021 until August 2023) is required to develop methods for applied health research with specific focus on clinical trials and public health under the supervision of Professor Adetayo Kasim and Professor Jochen Einbeck at Durham University.  

The successful candidate will work with academic colleagues at Durham University and the neighbouring universities, local NHS Trusts and Research Design Service-North East and North Cumbria (RDS-NENC) to advance application and development of statistical methods in applied health research. The successful candidates will also be expected to play a significant role in the Durham Biostatistics Unit by providing statistical leadership in grant applications and scientific publications. This is a demanding role and requires working on multiple projects within agreed timelines. You will develop your status as an active researcher by taking responsibility for research projects, developing and disseminating new methodologies to solve real life problems in applied health research. 

The post is based in the Department of Mathematical Sciences, but will support methodological research across the University.

Successful applicants will, ideally, be in post by 1st August. 

How to Apply

For informal enquiries please contact Professor Adetayo Kasim and Professor Jochen Einbeck.  All enquiries will be treated in the strictest confidence. 

We prefer to receive applications online via the Durham University Vacancies Site. https://www.dur.ac.uk/jobs/

Applications are particularly welcome from women and black and minority ethnic candidates, who are under-represented in academic posts in the University.

What to Submit

 All applicants are asked to submit:

  • A CV and covering letter which details your experience, strengths and potential in the requirements set out above;
  • PDFs of two significant pieces of work which you have been involved with and an explanation of your input. Please note that your work may be read by colleagues from across the department.


You should provide details of 3 academic/research referees and the details of your current line manager so that we may seek an employment reference (if they are not listed as an academic referee).  

Please note:

We shall seek the academic/research references during the application process.  Academic/research referees should not (if possible) include your PhD supervisor(s) and a majority should be from a University other than your own.  We would ask that you alert your academic/research referees to this application as soon as possible so that we can quickly obtain references should you be progressed to the long list stage.  Please note that it is our usual practice to provide a copy of your CV to your referee. If you do not consent to us sending your CV to your referees or if you do not wish (some or all) of your referee to be approached during the recruitment process; you must clearly indicate this to us at the time of your application. Academic/research references sought for long-listed candidates may be made available to the panel during the shortlisting process.

We will seek a reference from your current line-manager if we make you an offer of employment (albeit you may have also nominated your line manager as an academic referee).  Please clearly indicate which referee is your current line-manager and please let us know if we should only approach them once an offer has been made

Next Steps

All applications will be considered.

Short-listed candidates will be provided opportunity to meet virtually with key members of Durham Biostatistics Unit. The assessment for the post will include oral presentation and panel interview and we anticipate that the assessments will take place in or around June 15th, 2021 with interviews currently planned for June 30th, 2021.

The Requirements

 Applicants must demonstrate research excellence in applied health research, including design and analysis of clinical trials, with the ability to fully engage in the services, citizenship and values of the University.

The University provides a working, research and teaching environment which is inclusive and welcoming and where everyone is treated fairly with dignity and respect. Candidates will be expected to demonstrate these key principles as part of the assessment process.


 Candidates must have capacity for and be progressing towards the independent development of internationally excellent research that produces high-quality outcomes, including some work that is recognised as world class.    

The essential research criteria for this post are:

  1. Qualifications
    • Applicants must have a good first degree and a PhD in Biostatistics or a related subject. 
  2. Experience
    • Strong record of co-authoring publications in peer-reviewed journals, showing evidence of work of at least national quality. 
    • A track record of presenting research at conferences or symposia, commensurate with stage of career. 
    • Demonstrable ability to develop research proposals and designs in collaboration with other academics. 
    • Experience of contributing to the leadership of research groups and the mentoring of early career researchers.   
    • Experience in collaborating with clinicians or other health professionals.  
    • Strong record of developing statistical methodology in applied health. 
    • Strong experience in using R or Python. 
  3. Skills
    • Demonstrable ability to work cooperatively as part of a team, including participating in research meetings. 
    • Ability to work independently on own initiative and to strict deadlines. 
    • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.  
    • Demonstrable ability to plan and manage significant research projects.  

The desirable research criteria for this post (for which candidates should provide evidence of some if not all criteria) are:

  1. Experience
    • Experience of public engagement and/or knowledge exchange with professional and public bodies and stakeholder groups outside academia. 
    • Experience of overseeing students with respect to the development of their practical/research skills e.g. acting as a demonstrator; supervising student projects/practicals. 
  2. Skills
    • Ability to initiate and develop links with external contacts such as other educational institutions, employers and professional bodies to foster research collaboration. 
    • Demonstrable ability to participate in and develop internal and external networks to identify sources of funding or generate income

Services, Citizenship and Values

This post is focused on research but candidates may be required to actively engage in the administrative requirements of the Department, notably related to their research, and/or the research and research environment of the department.

Candidates must positively contribute to fostering a collegial environment; as well as demonstrating their commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.

The essential services, citizenship and values criteria for this role are:

  1. Collegial Contribution
    • Evidence of participation in the collegial/administrative activities of an academic department notably related to their research and/or the research and research environment of the department.
    • Candidates may choose to evidence departmental or university committee roles, mentoring activity, engagement with widening participation, involvement in equality and diversity initiatives and membership or engagement with external bodies.
  2. Communication
    • Candidates must have excellent oral and written communication skills with the ability to engage with a range of students and colleagues across a variety of forums

DBS Requirement: Not Applicable.