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Research Associate in Statistics and Data Linkage

London (Greater) (GB)
£42,405 – £49,785 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance.
Closing date
11 Dec 2023

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Academic Discipline
Clinical, Pre-clinical & Health
Job Type
Research Related, Research Associate
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Job Details

Job Description

About Us: The Department of Women’s & Children’s Health in King’s College London is a leading research institution dedicated to advancing the understanding of maternal and child health. The GEN2020 project utilises the analysis of National Health Service (NHS) electronic health records (EHR) to explore the life course of health and disease in pregnancy, particularly in the multi-ethnic inner-city populations of South London. We are currently seeking a dedicated Research Assistant/Associate in Statistics to join our dynamic and expanding research team.

Position Overview: You will play a crucial role in our research project GEN2020, led by Professor Grainne McAlonan. This study investigates the early outcomes of children who were in utero during the COVID-19 pandemic including those who were exposed to maternal SARS-CoV-2 virus infection during prenatal life. This will include the linkage of routinely collected and enriched early years health and development data held within Elixir to government held education and social care data from pre-pandemic (reference) and pandemic periods. You will support the creation, curating and analysis of these unique datasets and create an imporant data resource for scientists to use both now and for the future.

The post will involve managing health and social data linkage. You will be leading on the data linkage process by which health data from different sources are linked to GEN2020 research in a way that protects confidentiality, maintains security and improves the quality of data whilst maximising potential secondary uses of pseudonymised clinical data for improved research benefits. 

The successful candidate will also have the opportunity to be an author on all relevant academic publications resulting from the research. You will be an integral part of the multidisciplinary efforts of the Gen2020 programme which brings together preclinical and clinical neurosciences and child health investigators to understand the earliest determinants of childhood outcomes. 

This post will be offered initially on an a fixed-term contract until February 2025.

Key responsibilities 

  • To undertake Gen2020 study analyses of cognitive development and function in children (up to 3years of age) early outcomes of children who were in utero during the COVID-19 (with reference to a non-pandemic cohort) 
  • Conduct statistical analysis of existing EHR from our multi-ethnic inner-city population, with particular use of longitudinal modelling. 
  • Working with the PI to obtain essential approvals from relevant bodies including Research Ethics and Health Research Authority (HRA) Confidentiality Advisory Group (CAG) Section 251 approval.
  • To maintain an up-to-date technical knowledge of data linkage methodology, including deterministic and probabilistic matching, to carry out linkages and data extraction in a relational database and to understand the impact of linkage error associated with different linkage methodologies; to lead on work to establish the effect of linkage error on the specific linkages conducted within the project.
  • To be responsible for managing administrative tasks, including receiving and handling large volume datasets via Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) with complex and sensitive information from Kings Health Partners, the BRC, and other national and international organisations.
  • To manage the resolution of technical system and dataset integration issues; to lead on the development of standards and methods for data mining, coding and analysis and to manage data extraction services.
  • To be aware of key legislation in relation to data linkage (e.g., GDPR); and to be responsible for and implement quality and efficiency improvement initiatives for the GEN2020 team 
  • Collaborate with other team members to produce high-quality academic research outputs.
  • Attend and present findings at research meetings and conferences.

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. A Ph.D. or Master’s degree and equivalent experience in Statistics, Biostatistics, Epidemiology, or a related field
  2. Hands on experience of constructing linked clinical datasets using relational databases, with proficiency in relational database software (e.g SQL).
  3. Strong quantitative and analytical skills of large-scale health related data, using statical software packages (e.g., R, Python, or STATA).
  4. First-hand experience of relevant approval processes e.g. section 251, research ethics 
  5. Knowledge of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), Digital Economy Act, and working within NHS Information governance standards.
  6. Excellent communication and teamwork abilities.
  7. Highly organized and detail-oriented project management skills 
  8. Ability to act on own initiative.
  9. Proactive team player able to respond to tight deadlines.
  10. Committed to equality, diversity, and inclusion, actively addressing areas of potential bias.

Desirable criteria

  1. Knowledge of publicly available health, social and mapping data from e.g., NHS Digital, NHSE/I, PHE, ONS, etc.
  2. Experience of working within the ONS Secure Research Service environment
  3. Knowledge of clinical phenotyping codes such as Read Codes and SNOMED.
  4. Able to adapt and incorporate new data science approaches into complex database analysis.
  5. A passion for contributing to meaningful research in maternal and child health

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


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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