Post-doctoral Research Assistant in Animal Health Epidemiology Surveillance and Big Data, Inverness

Inverness, Highland (GB)
£32,067 – £37,636 per annum
20 Jan 2022
End of advertisement period
13 Feb 2022
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Type: Fixed term 3 years / full time

Salary: £32,067 – £37,636 per annum  

Location: SRUC Inverness

REF: ANF/AVS/053/21

Closing date: 13 February 2022

SRUC’s Epidemiology and Planetary Health Team (EPH), based in Inverness, focuses on applied animal health research, both in Scotland and internationally. The EPH has played a leading role in helping to progress the development of animal health and population medicine both in Scotland and beyond.

An excellent opportunity now exists for an enthusiastic post-doctoral student to lead and assist with the design and implementation of a Scottish animal health intelligence system.

The goal of the system is to produce 'fit for purpose' intelligence to help farmers, veterinarians, government disease control authorities, academic researchers, and others to better manage livestock diseases under current conditions and in response to the impending effects of climate change. The system will be stakeholder centric, in that the intelligence produced will be defined by stakeholders to meet their needs for decision making about livestock production and disease.

Information will be created by integrating existing data sets and supplementing them by designing novel data collection systems. The system will be a blend of two integrated components: 1) an intelligence system that produces information from data and 2) networks of stakeholders that will define the information to be produced, brainstorm to create innovative interventions to manage disease, and communicate the information across the livestock industry and to other stakeholders.

Your role will be both as a leader and as a team player in the following activities:

  1. working with stakeholder networks to identify information needs
  2. designing new data collection forms and tools
  3. evaluating, processing, and linking data
  4. data analysis and data visualizing to create information products and apps to meet stakeholder needs.

You will be expected to work in diverse teams, and independently. You will be mentored by the principal investigator and a support network including experts in epidemiology, statistics, computer science, data bases and social sciences. This project is an excellent opportunity for a motivated researcher to learn and gain extensive experience in applied epidemiology, animal health surveillance and big data methods.

Essential attributes:

  • PhD degree in epidemiology, or a master’s degree in computer science, or statistics.
  • undergraduate degree in veterinary medicine, animal science, or other field such as biology or ecology with demonstrated experience in livestock production systems
  • ability to work both independently and in teams
  • willingness to learn new skills as required for the project
  • excellent communication, interpersonal and English language skills
  • willingness to work with people from different backgrounds including farmers, practicing veterinarians, livestock industry representatives, government disease control veterinarians and others

Highly desirable attributes: 

  • experience working with large datasets, including data evaluation, data processing, and linking or integrating highly variable data from different sources
  • experience analysing and visualizing large datasets for different purposes including to meet the information needs of different stakeholders and stakeholder groups
  • experience with R or similar software (e.g. Python)
  • knowledge of database design and maintenance