Research Fellow/Senior Research Fellow, Population, Health and Wellbeing

Southampton, United Kingdom
£30,942 to £44,045 per annum
Monday, 10 May 2021
End of advertisement period
Friday, 4 June 2021
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Population, Health & Wellbeing (PHeW)

Location:  Highfield Campus
Salary:   £30,942 to £44,045 per annum
Full Time Fixed Term until 31/05/2022
Closing Date:  Friday 04 June 2021
Interview Date:   To be confirmed
Reference:  1371121WR

The WorldPop programme (, based at the University of Southampton, is seeking to recruit a demographer to coordinate the WorldPop age and sex structures’ work and to develop new methods of interpolation and projections mostly in data sparse low- and middle-income countries. Statistical modelling/analysis skills, including population modelling experience, are also highly desirable. 

We require an enthusiastic individual to undertake high-quality research culminating in the production and harmonisation of up-to-date and automatised gridded age and sex structures, based on the assembly of several different data sources, and on the application and development of demographic methods for interpolation and projection in low- and middle-income countries. There is one position available and the successful applicant will be appointed as either a Research Fellow or Senior Research Fellow dependent on qualifications and experience.

For the Senior Research Fellow post, the successful candidate will coordinate the WorldPop age and sex structures’ work, including both the spatial and non-spatial components of the work; coordinate on adapting and developing new methods of interpolation and projection of age and sex structures; and coordinate the development and delivery of workshops aimed at training project stakeholders on best ways to leverage the project results. The outcome of the proposed research will be central to all WorldPop projects, including population modelling, guiding policies regarding population, maternal and reproductive health, vaccination coverage and development in the study countries. Depending on your skills, you will have the opportunity to contribute to the GRID3 project (Geo-Referenced Infrastructure and Demographic Data for Development, that works with partners at national statistics offices in low- and middle-income countries.  

As well as joining the vibrant and well-connected WorldPop team and the School of Geography and Environmental Science at the University of Southampton, you will have opportunities to lead high-impact publications and present at national and international conferences. 

The project work to be undertaken will include some or all of the following: 

  • Undertake the development of spatial statistical approaches, including uncertainty quantification, for the production of high-resolution gridded estimates of population counts and demographic characteristics across countries from spatial covariate layers and geolocated microcensus and household survey data;
  • Exploring new and up-to-date datasets to be integrated in the existing set of gridded datasets, assemble and integrate;
  • Collecting, harmonizing, and processing subnational multi-temporal datasets on populations’ demographics such as age and sex structures across space and time mainly in low- and middle-income countries;
  • Document/publish methods and produce code for automatising the update of the datasets;
  • Exploring new methodologies for interpolating and projecting to the future, and expand the existing work;
  • Lead networking and liaising with other groups at WorldPop and external who require the data;
  • Contribute to the WorldPop population modelling team with Bayesian cohort component projection models or other demographic projection approaches (optional).

You will have a PhD * or equivalent professional qualifications and relevant research experience in a demography / epidemiology / health geography / statistical / mathematical / quantitative discipline. Strong experience in GIS, population modelling and analysis, and computer programming skills would be advantageous. The project work will be highly interdisciplinary and as such there is some flexibility to accommodate expertise from a range of cognate disciplinary backgrounds (e.g. geography, demography, statistics, medicine, computer science, ecology, epidemiology etc).  A willingness to travel overseas occasionally is also required.  

*Applications for Research Fellow positions will be considered from candidates who are working towards or nearing completion of a relevant PhD qualification. The title of Research Fellow will be applied upon successful completion of the PhD.  Prior to the qualification being awarded the title of Senior Research Assistant will be given. 

You will work under the supervision of Professor Andrew Tatem and Dr Carla Pezzulo and also report to the relevant project lead(s) at the University of Southampton. The position is a full time fixed term role until 31 May 2022, with a strong likelihood of extension.

Informal enquiries may be made to Dr Carla Pezzulo ( and Professor Andrew Tatem (

Please include a covering letter, full CV and 2 letters of recommendation in your application.

Application Procedure 

You should submit your completed online application form at The application deadline will be midnight on the closing date stated above. If you need any assistance, please call Hannah Farrance (Recruitment Team) on +44 (0) 23 8059 2750 or email  Please quote reference 1371121WR on all correspondence.

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