Cochrane Public Health seeks Research Associate/Information Scientist - Glasgow, UK

Cochrane Public Health seeks Research Associate/Information Scientist - Glasgow, UK

Job title: Research Associate – Information Scientist
Closing date: 26th November 2017
Position Type: Full Time
Salary Range: £34,520 - £38,833

Job Purpose
We are delighted to be advertising this full timepost for an information scientist to provide professional and technical support to meet the information science needs of the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit (SPHSU), University of Glasgow and Cochrane Public Health (CPH). 

Specifically, the postholder will provide specialist information science support for a wide range of research projects conducted across the MRC/CSO SPHSU and for CPH, as well as providing information science support for publication related activity within SPHSU. This will include leading on the development and conduct of complex search strategies for systematic reviews, negotiating with, training and advising unit staff on key elements of information science and institutional requirements for publications and copyright. The post requires a familiarity with systematic review methods, and an ability to appraise the quality of published reviews. In addition, the postholder will be expected to facilitate incorporation of innovative approaches to searching and screening procedures for systematic reviews, and publish research in the area of evidence synthesis and information science for healthy public policy.

Main Duties and Responsibilities

Perform the following activities in conjunction with the Principal Investigator (PI):

  1. Take a leading role in the planning and conduct of assigned research individually or jointly in accordance with the project deliverables and project/group/Institute of Health & Wellbeing research strategy.
  2. Document research output including analysis and interpretation of all data, maintaining records and databases, drafting technical/progress reports and papers as appropriate.
  3. Establish and maintain your research profile and reputation and that of the Institute of Health & Wellbeing including establishing and sustaining a track record of independent and joint publications of international quality in high profile/quality refereed journals and conferences, enhancing the research impact in terms of economic/societal benefit, and gathering indicators of esteem.
  4. Survey the research literature and environment, understand the research challenges associated with the project & subject area in relation to the information science requirements, & develop/implement a suitable research strategy.
  5. Presentation of work at international and national conferences, at internal and external seminars, colloquia and workshops to develop and enhance our research profile.
  6. Identify potential funding sources and to assist in the development of proposals to secure funding from internal and external bodies to support future research.
  7. Take a leading role in developing and maintaining collaborations with colleagues across the research Institute of Health & Wellbeing and wider community (e.g. academic and Cochrane Public Health).
  8. Take a leading role in team/group meetings/seminars/workshops and Institute research group activities to enhance the wider knowledge, outputs and culture of the Institute of Health & Wellbeing and MVLS College.
  9. Take the lead in the organisation, supervision, mentoring and training of undergraduate and/or postgraduate students and less experienced members of the project team to ensure their effective development.
  10. Perform administrative tasks related to the activities of the research group and Institute, including budgets/expenditure.
  11. Make a leading contribution to outreach and recruitment activities of the University of Glasgow.
  12. Make a leading contribution to teaching activities and associated administration as assigned by the Director of Institute of Health & Wellbeing and in consultation with the PI.
  13. Be responsible for safety management and research governance matters related to the work undertaken as part of this post in accordance with MRC|CSO SPHSU and GU policies.
  14. Keep up to date with current knowledge and recent advances in the field/discipline.
  15. Engage in personal, professional and career development, to enhance both specialist and transferable skills in accordance with desired career trajectory.
  16. Undertake any other duties of equivalent standing as assigned by the Director of Institute of Health & Wellbeing and/or PI.

These key tasks are not intended to be exhaustive but simply highlight a number of major tasks which the staff member may be reasonably expected to perform.

Knowledge, Qualifications, Skills and  Experience


A1. Postgraduate qualification (Scottish Credit and Qualification Framework level 11(Postgraduate Diploma) or equivalent with some research and/or teaching experience,and working towards membership of an appropriate professional body/Scottish Credit and Qualification Framework level 11 (Masters Degree) or equivalent professional experience, and be working towards membership of an appropriate professional teaching body (e.g. HEA). 
A2. Extensive and up-to-date theoretical and practical knowledge in areas related to information science.
A3. Understanding of Open Access requirements.and Intellectual Property protection, including issues of copyright.
A4. Knowledge of Open Access publication requirements
A5. Understanding of relevant health and safety policies and procedures relative to the role.
B1. Knowledge of systematic review methods, including familiarity with criteria recommended to assessing the quality of systematic reviews.
B2. Familiar with Cochrane approaches to searching and documentation required to support publication of a Cochrane systematic review.
B3. Familiar with recent applications of text mining to systematic reviews.


C1. High level of competency in designing and conducting searches of bibliographic databases to support complex systematic reviews.
C2. High level of competency in managing bibliographic software, including facilitating imports and tailored outputs.
C3. Competent in delivering training, at group or one-to-one level, on information science skills for public health.
C4. Research creativity and strong cross-discipline collaborative ability as appropriate.
C5. Highly motivated, ability to use initiative and quick to learn new techniques.
C6. Excellent communication skills (oral and written), including public presentations and ability to communicate complex concepts clearly and concisely.
C7. Excellent interpersonal skills including team working and a collegiate approach.
C8. Willingness and aptitude to work in a multidisciplinary environment.
C9. Appropriate workload and time management skills.
C10. Extensive IT and data analysis/interpretation skills as appropriate.
C11. Problem solving skills including a flexible and pragmatic approach.
C12. Excellent negotiation skills
C13. Good team leadership skills including demonstrable supervisory skills
D1. Familiar with criteria recommended to assessing the quality of systematic reviews.
D2. Able to apply text mining techniques to expedite screening of literature searches.
D3. Able to assess Risk of Bias across different study types.


E1. Sufficient breadth and/or depth of knowledge in specialist subject/discipline and of research/teaching methods and techniques relevant to project subject area.
E2. Substantial experience of developing and conducting searches for systematic reviews.
E3. Extensive experience searching for research and policy documents.
E4. Experience of scientific writing.
Experience of providing training on searching skills to researchers
E5. Proven ability to deliver quality outputs in a timely and efficient manner
E6. A track record of presentation and publication of research results in quality journals/conferences. 
E7. Experience of making a leading contribution in academic activities.
E8. Ability to demonstrate a degree of independence as illustrated by identification of project objectives from assessment of the literature, design & analysis of data & drafting of papers.
E9. Experience of working independently.
F1. An emerging national or international reputation.
F2. Assessment of Risk of Bias/critical appraisal of studies- both randomised and non-randomised studies

Job Features


  • To carry out a range of functions to support the research projects being conducted within academic environments of the highest national or international quality.
  • Contribute to research publications as appropriate to specific contribution related to technical support.
  • Publish and seek funding as appropriate to subject specialism within agreed timescales.
  • Informal supervision and support of less experienced members of the project team e.g. postgraduate and project students.
  • Undertake teaching or other duties in accordance to meet needs of MRC|CSO SPHSU.
  • Engage in personal, professional and career development to enhance both specialist and transferable skills in accordance with desired career trajectory.
  • Leadership in the design and implementation in your specific research project(s) as appropriate.
  • Planning and Organising.
  • Management of time and prioritisation of research, teaching and administrative duties.
  • Planning, organisation and implementation of research project on a weekly and monthly basis.
  • Plan research directions that are within the available budget.
  • React to varying project needs and deadlines.
Decision Making
  • Undertake decision making on all aspects of research project/activities. 
  • Prioritise own, and where appropriate delegate to junior team members workload.
  • Decide on research directions and goals within remit of original project proposal.
  • Adjust research approaches to meet project outcomes.
  • Identify best journals for publication and meetings/conferences to attend.
  • Purchase of equipment and materials.
Internal/External Relationships
  • University colleagues: to exchange information to ensure efficient working and to facilitate cross disciplinary working.
  • External bodies/collaborators: proactively maintain co-operation and links at all levels to enhance profile and reputation.
  • Dissemination: preparation and presentation of reports/results and participation in meetings and conference calls.
Problem Solving
  • Research including technical and theoretical aspects, problem solving and development of novel ideas.
  • Awareness of project and budgetary issues and equipment lead times.
  • Assistance of undergraduate/postgraduate students and junior team members with problems relating to research project.
  • Representation of the University/College/ through presentation at national and international events.
  • Attendance at training events to learn and implement new research technologies.
  • Prepared to travel to work in the UK/Europe and elsewhere as required by the University.
About the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit

The aim of the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit is to improve human health and wellbeing via the study of social, behavioural, economic, cultural and environmental influences on health. Our more specific objectives include:
  • studying the multiple interacting processes through which biological, social, behavioural, economic, cultural and environmental factors influence physical and mental health and health behaviours over the lifecourse;
  • discovering mechanisms which can modify these processes and have the potential to improve public health in a complex and changing world;
  • developing and evaluating interventions which harness these mechanisms to improve public health and reduce social inequalities in health; and
  • influencing policy and practice by communicating the results and implications of research to a range of audiences.
Dr Hilary Thomson, welcomes informal enquiries from potential applicants to discuss this post. Please e-mail: For more information and to apply see and search the job title. 

Monday, October 30, 2017