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Senior Research Associate in Statistics and Experimental Design


Faculty / School or Division: School of Physiology and Pharmacology
Faculty/School or Division Address: Biomedical Sciences Building, University Walk

Job Family: Senior Research Associate
Grade/Pathway: Grade J, pathway 2 Salary range: £36,613 - £41,212 per
annum pro rata
Hours of work: 60% FTE Contract type: Fixed term for 2 years
Work pattern: Part-time Vacancy Reference Number: ACAD103204

1.1 Main Job Purpose
This post will support colleagues with experimental design and statistics associated with
fundamental biology research and pre-clinical studies, particularly in relation to preparing grant
applications. The post holder will provide expert advice on appropriate statistical methods for a
diverse range of experimental approaches. These may include studies involving isolated cells, whole
animal experiments or studies involving computational methods. They will need to have previous
experience of developing research protocols to address specific hypotheses. In their role as Senior
Research Associate in Experimental Design, the post holder will work with other academic staff in
the preparation of experiment design statements or similar for grant applications. This will include
contributing expert input on statistical methods, including sample size estimates, methods to avoid
bias and appropriate statistical analyses. They will join the Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Board
(AWERB) and will review and provide feedback on the experimental design associated with Home
Office project licences and other, non-regulated animal work, taking place at the University of

Examples of role
Preparation of an experimental design annex for a RCUK project grant
Grants being submitted to the major UK research councils and charities require applicants to provide
details of how the experimental design has considered methods to avoid bias and improve
reproducibility. All applications must include details relating to the sample size and power
calculations where appropriate. The statistician will work with the principal investigator to prepare
the outline of the project or programme. The statistician will provide expert input into the methods
and provide guidance on the study design, including detailed guidance on sample size, methods to
avoid bias and also appropriate statistical analysis. They will prepare a draft experimental design
annex and, with the principal applicant, will be involved in responding to reviewers’ feedback and
queries from the funding panel. Depending on the grant provider they may be named as a go-

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welfare and local implications for all research involving living animals and also provides recommendations to the establishment licence holder about Home Office project licences. Reviewing and providing feedback on sample size calculations for AWERB committee The Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Board meet once a month to review all research involving protected animals undertaken at the University of Bristol. The post holder may also be asked to provide specific feedback to applicants and follow-up advice to help researchers improve their experimental design in line with the 3Rs. The committee includes members of the animal services unit and named individuals associated with the animals in scientific procedures act (named veterinary surgeon. Researchers working on non-clinical research projects have varied backgrounds in terms of statistical training and may want to seek advice on the most appropriate methods to use for analysis of their data. Engage with academic and research staff to develop best practice in experimental design and data analysis. To attend the Langford Campus on a regular basis to provide a statistics clinic for researchers working from this site including those involved in veterinary research at Langford Veterinary Services. named animal care and welfare officer. To actively seek out opportunities to improve scientific practice and support research staff in delivering high quality research. 1. Provide a regular statistics clinic for all research staff involved in non-clinical research projects. The post holder will read all documentation submitted by researchers for ethical review and provide expert advice for the panel on whether the sample size estimates are appropriate and whether the numbers of animals being used for the proposed experiments are likely to produce reliable data. The committee reviews the ethical. scientific members and lay members. The researchers will have a diverse range of backgrounds in terms of statistical training therefore the post holder will need to be flexible in how they approach their feedback.2 Main Statement of Responsibilities Research Responsibilities To provide expertise in statistical methodology for researchers working in the fundamental biosciences. Page 2 of 7 . For example: They may need to provide advice on the most suitable statistical approach to use and explain why.applicant on the application and their time for any ongoing input will be budgeted for at an appropriate level in the grant application. The statistician will provide a statistical advice clinic where individuals come arrange appointments to meet and discuss their specific data sets or experimental design queries. Advising a post-doctoral research assistant on a current project and appropriate analysis methods to use for a selected data set. They may need to suggest additional experimental work where power or experimental design issues are a potential limitation. named training and competency officer). They may need to provide a written summary of their advice to help the researcher respond appropriately to reviewer or editor comments. Some staff may also have feedback from journals relating to statistical approaches for which they would like additional expert advice. named information officer.

Teaching Responsibilities Contribute to the training of post-graduate and post-doctoral researchers through the provision of advice clinics or similar.3 Relationships Line manager: Faculty of Biomedical Sciences Research Director Line manager to (where appropriate): n/a 1. NIH. Provide advice on the best method to estimate sample size for fundamental biology projects and pre-clinical research including generating power and/or precision calculations for colleagues where appropriate. Wellcome Trust. charities and overseas funders e. Join the Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Board (AWERB) as a scientific member. MRC.g.Administration Responsibilities Take full responsibility for preparing experiment design annex or equivalent for grant applications being submitted to UK research councils. 1. EU.4 Organisation Charts EBI Director Faculty Research Professor Kate Director Tilling Senior Research Associate Page 3 of 7 . The post holder will provide expert input to the committee on all matters relating to experiment design and statistical approaches. They will also contribute to the ethical review process for all research involving regulated animals carried out at the University of Bristol.

ac.g.1. • Understanding of the theoretical bases of fundamental biology and pre-clinical research projects and their design and analysis. • Ability to take responsibility for own work. statistics) at 2. including selection of design and analysis approaches. • Experience of managing research resources appropriately. SAS). • Contribution to departmental or University committees and activities. • Evidence of previous contribution to the development and writing of grant applications. R.g. mathematics. • Track record of co-authoring publications in biomedical research 2.1 or equivalent (for instance a MSc would provide appropriate equivalence) 2.2 Relevant Qualifications Essential • PhD or equivalent experience with a strong element of statistics.5 Job Hazards/Safety Critical Duties (Pre-employment health screening) (Please refer to the guidance notes at: http://www.html) Not applicable 2 PERSON SPECIFICATION 2. • Proven experience of use of statistical software packages (e. • Presentations at biomedical seminars and conferences. SPSS. • Experience working in a multidisciplinary team.3 Communication and Interpersonal Skills Essential • Ability to communicate statistical concepts to non-statisticians. • Interest in biomedical research. Page 4 of 7 . • Experience of providing peer-review of manuscripts and/or grant applications. • Evidence of engagement with continued professional development activities • Evidence of high quality publication in peer-reviewed journals Desirable • Expertise in use of Access. Skills and Knowledge Essential • Knowledge and experience in the design of biomedical science studies.1 Relevant Experience. • Undergraduate degree in relevant discipline (e. Excel and Graphpad Prism.bristol. • Evidence that statistical skills are kept current and that selected methodologies are appropriate to the topic area and research questions.

priorities and funds). A non-progressable role is one either at Level a (which are not subject to formal progression arrangements.1. each with its unique requirements. Each profile sets out what is expected of an academic at the particular level. a more senior researcher.bristol. although there may be opportunities to develop into a Level b role. They will generally be involved in data generation and/or collection using standard and well-defined methods developed by others. Individuals in progressable roles at Level b or Level c are expected to develop their skills. The role profiles also set out a collection of competencies expected for each level. knowledge and experience in order to ultimately progress to Level c or Level d. based on departmental needs. who will be Page 5 of 7 . Movement to Level e will be by promotion only. or at Level b or c for which the Head of Department has identified an ongoing need at that particular level. Role Summaries setting out what is expected of an academic at each particular profile level on pathway two can be found below. The academic pathways are as follows: Career Pathway One . as applicable. Progression or promotion to the next level will occur after these competencies have been attained and where a role at the higher level is available. A schematic diagram of the career pathways can be found at http://www. Career Pathway Three – academic roles focusing on teaching and associated administrative pathways This post is located on Pathway Two. Career Pathway Two based on departmental needs.academic roles that combine teaching.1 Role Summaries Research Associate (Level a) Role holders at this level are concerned with assisting an individual research leader or team to conduct a particular study (or group of studies). research and administrative duties. and direction from. 3 CAREER PATHWAY AND OTHER RELEVANT INFORMATION 3. For Pathway Two roles progression to the next level will only occur where a role has been identified as being eligible for progression. 3. A progressable role is a role at Level b or Level c that has been determined as being eligible for progression by the Head of Department.1 Career Pathways All members of academic staff have a clear career pathway involving a series of levels with distinct role profiles. having reached the relevant point on the salary scale and after the relevant competencies have been attained. They will be working under close supervision by. priorities and funds. Please note that an appointment may be made at any level of the pathway.academic roles focusing on research and associated administrative duties.

overseeing practical classes. They may. associations with appropriate Research Councils etc. Research Fellow (Level c) Role holders at this level will have substantial experience of research (normally not less than six years). They will enjoy a wide recognition for their expertise within the academic community internationally (as evidenced by conference invitations. through supervision of projects. They will be expected to be establishing a growing reputation within their particular research field and academic discipline and to be developing and demonstrating intellectual independence.ultimately responsible for the project. Senior Research Associate (Level b) Role holders at this level will be experienced and professional researchers (or have considerable professional experience) and will be specialists in a particular area or methodology.g. They will still be working under supervision. They will be expected to do some writing for dissemination outside the Department. They Page 6 of 7 . They will be involved in scholastic projects (e. to be participating in national/international academic networks and conferences. Senior Research Fellow (Level d) Role holders at this level will have extensive experience in research and research management. They are likely to provide some teaching support for the department (consonant with the terms of their funding). act as though they were Principal Investigators. Role holders at this level will be independent researchers and will have an established national and growing international reputation within their academic discipline generally and research field in particular. They may be transferring their knowledge through some teaching and/or supervision to undergraduate or graduate students (consonant with the terms of their funding). managing other researchers and monitoring research budgets. where a Research Council does not permit this. Professorial Research Fellow (Level e) Role holders at this level will have very extensive experience of research leadership and related management/administration. Role holders will be provided with academic and pastoral support within the department (including counselling on realistic career opportunities) and training will be available designed to develop their competences and to prepare them to take on more responsibilities associated with a higher grade. They will normally be Principal Investigators. and be making a significant leadership and/or management contribution within their department or the wider university. or driving forward innovative research themselves. journal editorships. leading collaborative research bids and research teams. This may be the entry level for some staff who are expected to train and/or develop to take on more senior researcher roles. but will be expected to take significant initiatives in their work and consult with the Principal Investigator over the details of the project. and/or enhancement of techniques or methodologies.). drawing upon knowledge gained from postgraduate research and/or working within a Level a role. They will be involved in administration relevant to their projects (e. They will be associated with a particular project (or projects) and will contribute ideas. helping to prepare bids for research funding). They will be provided with academic and pastoral support within the department and training will be available designed to develop their competences (including counselling on realistic career opportunities) and prepare them to take on more responsibilities associated with a higher grade. They will be expected to be undertaking research individually and/or collectively and to be advancing the state of knowledge and understanding within their particular area of expertise. They will be publishing regularly in high quality outlets. They will initiate and take responsibility for some research projects and may be Principal Investigators or. where practical. or taking small group classes. office holding in specialist groupings. contribute to the department’s teaching.g. editing journals and academic books).

will have made recognised and significant contributions to the developing knowledge and understanding of their research area. development and overall management of significant research programmes. as appropriate and consonant with the terms of their funding. They will already have responsibilities for the creation. Page 7 of 7 . They may also carry significant leadership roles within the Faculty or University. initiation. They will ‘profess’ their discipline within the Department.