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Post Doctoral Research Associate

London (Greater) (GB)
£41,386 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance
Closing date
16 Apr 2023

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Job Type
Research Related
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Job Details

Job description

 We are seeking an enthusiastic postdoctoral researcher with a PhD in Statistics, Epidemiology, Data Science, Informatics or related quantitative field, to work on an MRC funded project to understand the links between depression and type 2 diabetes.   


This role is a unique opportunity to apply cutting edge statistical tools to longitudinal data from electronic health records to generate insights into these two major public health challenges. You will have the chance to develop your research skills and academic achievements in a stimulating academic environment. 


In the role, you will use electronic health records from primary and secondary care (from CPRD and UK Biobank) to define and extract clinical fields relevant to depression and diabetes. These rich longitudinal data will include diagnoses, biomarkers and prescribing records. You will then apply statistical modelling methods to characterise the links between these two health conditions.


Projects include:

-        Applying clustering methods to identify type 2 diabetes subgroups, based on blood sugar levels (glycemic control), and assessing the role of depression on these trajectories,  

-        Performing longitudinal modelling to evaluate how timings of diagnosis for depression and for type 2 diabetes impact glycemic control, and,

-        Undertaking time-to-event analyses for depression-related outcomes, based on anti-depressant medication and episode occurrence.

There is scope to use genetic information (from the UK Biobank) in analyses, as well as apply cutting-edge causal inference methods for observational datasets. 


For this role, high-level statistical and computational skills are important - for example you will probably have experience in linux platforms, and statistical programming in R. Previous experience in the analysis of clinical or epidemiological datasets and/or work in electronic health records will be helpful. Full training will be given to enable you to apply your skills to this specific research project. Previous experience of working in mental health and metabolic traits is not necessary.


This research project is a collaboration between King’s College London (Cathryn Lewis) and the University of Exeter (Jess Tyrrell).  The research will focus on longitudinal trends (at King’s) and genetic causal inference (at Exeter), with regular cross-team meetings and the opportunity to visit Exeter.  At King’s, you will join our  dynamic and friendly multi-disciplinary team, which researches the epidemiology and genetics of mental health disorders. We have expertise in statistical modelling using large datasets, and strong clinical links. The SGDP Centre is highly supportive of career development for postdoctoral researchers: you will have the opportunity to develop independence, undertake professional and technical training, with support your next career steps, including applications for fellowship funding.  


This post will be offered on an a fixed-term contract of up to three years, from 1st May 2023 – 31st April 2026 

This is a full-time post, but applications for a part-time role are welcomed. Hybrid working and flexible hours are possible.


Key responsibilities

•        Conduct longitudinal data analyses using electronic health record data to establish the relationships between depression and type 2 diabetes.  

•        Engage in data management and data preparation for research projects. 

•        Lead statistical analyses and write scientific publications arising from the research, as first author.  

•        Work collaboratively with team members at King’s College London and the University of Exeter.  

•        Present results of analyses to team members, and at scientific conferences.  

•        Undertake reproducible analysis in an open science framework, developing analysis pipelines and using github repositories. 

The above list of responsibilities may not be exhaustive, and the post holder will be required to undertake such tasks and responsibilities as may reasonably be expected within the scope and grading of the post.  

Skills, knowledge, and experience

Essential criteria  

  1. PhD in statistics, epidemiology, data science, informatics or an allied academic area with strong data analysis component.
  2. Experience in the analysis of large clinical or epidemiological datasets.
  3. Strong statistical skills, including knowledge of regression methods.
  4. Experience with data management and preparing data for analysis.
  5. Excellent coding skills and knowledge of statistical programmes (ideally R).
  6. Excellent attention to detail (e.g. in data management and reporting results). 
  7. Strong interpersonal and written communication skills, with ability to discuss research findings and methods to audiences of different backgrounds. 
  8. Experience of writing and publishing papers.
  9. Previous involvement in collaborative team science. 


Desirable criteria

1.      Experience with longitudinal data analysis. 

2.      Previous experience analysing electronic health records. 

3.      Active interest in supporting a diverse research environment.  

4.      Commitment to open science through reproducible analysis pipelines and github repository. 

5.      Previous research experience in mental health or metabolic diseases. 


Candidates are strongly encouraged to specifically address the essential criteria outlined in the Person Specification in their covering letter. 


Please note that this is a PhD level role but candidates who have submitted their thesis and are awaiting award of their PhDs will be considered. In these circumstances the appointment will be made at Grade 5, spine point 30 with the title of Research Assistant. Upon confirmation of the award of the PhD, the job title will become Research Associate and the salary will increase to Grade 6.


King's College London is one of the top 20 universities in the world and among the oldest in England. King's has more than 27,600 students (of whom nearly 10,500 are graduate students) from some 150 countries worldwide, and some 6,800 staff.

King's has an outstanding reputation for world-class teaching and cutting-edge research. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) King’s was ranked 6th nationally in the ‘power’ ranking, which takes into account both the quality and quantity of research activity, and 7th for quality according to Times Higher Education rankings. Eighty-four per cent of research at King’s was deemed ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ (3* and 4*). The university is in the top seven UK universities for research earnings and has an overall annual income of more than £684 million.

King's has a particularly distinguished reputation in the humanities, law, the sciences (including a wide range of health areas such as psychiatry, medicine, nursing and dentistry) and social sciences including international affairs. It has played a major role in many of the advances that have shaped modern life, such as the discovery of the structure of DNA and research that led to the development of radio, television, mobile phones and radar.

King's College London and Guy's and St Thomas', King's College Hospital and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trusts are part of King's Health Partners. King's Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre (AHSC) is a pioneering global collaboration between one of the world's leading research-led universities and three of London's most successful NHS Foundation Trusts, including leading teaching hospitals and comprehensive mental health services. For more information, visit:

King’s £600 million campaign, World questions|KING’s answers, has delivered huge global impact in areas where King’s has particular expertise. Philanthropic support has funded new research to save young lives at Evelina London Children’s Hospital; established the King’s Dickson Poon School of Law as a worldwide leader in transnational law; built a new Cancer Centre at Guy’s Hospital; allowed unique collaboration between leading neuroscientists to fast-track new treatments for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, motor neurone disease, depression and schizophrenia at the new Maurice Wohl Clinical Neuroscience Institute; created the Cicely Saunders Institute: the first academic institution in the world dedicated to palliative care, and supported the King’s Sierra Leone Partnership in the Ebola crisis. Donations provide over 300 of the most promising students with scholarships and bursaries each year. More information about the campaign is available at

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