Research Associate/Postdoctoral Fellow in National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre

Sydney, Australia
07 Nov 2018
End of advertisement period
25 Nov 2018
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time
  • One of Asia-Pacific’s leading research-intensive Universities
  • Strong regional and global engagement
  • Cutting edge facilities and equipment
  • Location Sydney NSW Australia

UNSW Medicine is a national leader in learning, teaching and research, with close affiliations to a number of Australia’s finest hospitals, research institutes and health care organisations. With a strong presence at UNSW Kensington campus, the faculty have staff and students in teaching hospitals in Sydney as well as regional and rural areas of NSW including Albury/Wodonga, Wagga Wagga, Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie.

The National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) was established at the University of New South Wales by the Commonwealth Government in 1986 to extend the knowledge base required for effective treatment of individuals with alcohol and other drug related problems and to enhance the overall research capacity in the drug and alcohol field. The Centre is highly regarded, both nationally and internationally, for its contribution to drug and alcohol research.

POPPY II is an NHMRC-funded research study that will have significant policy and clinical practice implications for the treatment of pain. This is a retrospective population-based cohort study of approximately 2 million people prescribed opioids in NSW between 2002 and 2017. This world-first study involves a cross-jurisdictional linkage of ten datasets, including data on pharmaceutical claims, health service utilisation (including primary care access, hospitalisations and emergency department presentations) and mortality. Findings will help inform our response to Australia’s rising opioid problem and be of direct relevance to regulatory authorities and agencies responsible for medicines worldwide. The Research Associate/Postdoctoral Fellow will be part of a leading team of academics in this field from UNSW Sydney, The University of Sydney and University of Technology, Sydney.

The role of Research Associate/Post-doctoral Fellow reports to the POPPY II Chief Investigators and has no direct reports. 

About the role

  • Level A or B $75K-$123K p.a. plus 17% superannuation and leave loading
  • 24 months Fixed Term position with possibility of renewal
  • Full-time (35 hours per week)


Specific responsibilities for this role include:

Level A:

  • Undertake data management and data analysis, including application of advanced statistical techniques to large, complex linked data sets.
  • Preparation of scientific papers, protocols and conference abstracts and present research findings at meetings, workshops and conferences.
  • Conduct and coordinate tasks relating to the research project to the highest scientific and ethical standards.
  • Independently plan workload and manage timelines to meet project outcomes within specified timeframes and budget schedules.
  • Attend regular project meetings and provide updates on progress against study aims, including written updates for investigators.
  • Contribute to ethics applications and data governance for the study.
  • Assist in the preparation of research grant proposals and tenders for commissioned research.
  • Perform other duties as requested by supervisor.
  • Cooperate with all health and safety policies and procedures of the university and take all reasonable care to ensure that your actions or omissions do not impact on the health and safety of yourself or others.

Level B (in addition to the above):

  • Independently design, plan and execute analyses in accordance with study aims.
  • Lead the preparation of conference abstracts and publications for submission to peer-reviewed journals.
  • Lead or contribute to grant applications for new projects or extensions to the current project.


Level A:

  • Postgraduate degree in statistics, biostatistics, epidemiology, public health, health sciences, computer science, psychology or a related discipline, or undergraduate degree with relevant research experience.
  • Demonstrated experience in the management and analysis of large complex health datasets and the analysis of linked, longitudinal data.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, with proven ability to build successful working relationships with a variety of people, both internal and external.
  • Demonstrated ability to maintain the strictest confidentiality when dealing with sensitive data and an understanding of ethical principles relating to privacy and confidentiality.
  • Excellent written communication skills, including communication of findings of statistical analyses to a non-statistics audience and in peer-reviewed publications.
  • Highly developed data analysis skills and experience in use of one or more statistical packages including SAS, Stata or R.
  • Knowledge of health and safety responsibilities and commitment to attending relevant health and safety training.

Level B (in addition to the above):

  • PhD in statistics, biostatistics, epidemiology, public health, health sciences, computer science, psychology or a related discipline.
  • Demonstrated ability to conceptualise novel research questions in areas relevant to public health or health services research, and to develop these into research outputs.
  • Demonstrated capacity to carry out independent research as indicated by a proven track record of writing manuscripts for publication in peer-reviewed journals and/or success in obtaining grant funding.

You should systematically address the selection criteria in your application.

You may be required to undergo pre-employment checks prior to appointment to this role.

All candidates who wish to apply for the role must apply online

Contact: Dr Natasa Gisev


P: 02 8936 1177 

Applications close: 11:59 pm 25th November 2018

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UNSW is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity

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