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Research Fellow

School of Health Sciences

Location:  Highfield Campus
Salary:   £30,942 to £38,017 Pro rata per annum
Part Time Fixed Term (0.57FTE, until 31/05/2024)
Closing Date:  Sunday 03 November 2019
Interview Date:   Wednesday 04 December 2019
Reference:  1184519CF

Research Fellow for CRUK Catalyst Award CanGene-CanVar based within the Macmillan Survivorship Research Group

The Macmillan Survivorship Research Group (MSRG), School of Health Sciences, is seeking an outstanding individual to join the team. Working with Professor Claire Foster (Director of MSRG) and the team, the postholder will lead the day to day running of Work Package 4 within the recently awarded £4.3 million CRUK Catalyst Award: “CanGene-CanVar: Data Resources, Clinical and Educational Tools to leverage Cancer Susceptibility Genetics for Early Detection and Prevention of Cancer”. The postholder will lead a variety of research-related activities, including literature reviewing, data collection, data analysis and dissemination.


CanGene-CanVar is running 2019-2024 (Programme leads: Profs Clare Turnbull and Diana Eccles and Dr Marc Tischkowitz) and is designed to deliver research and resources that will improve how we deliver national NHS testing for cancer susceptibility genes such as BRCA1, BRCA2 and genes for Lynch Syndrome.  It will involve working with a large team of scientists, clinicians and patients highly passionate about achieving this goal. Further information can be found at

CanGene-CanVar involves 16 PIs from seven Higher Education Institutes (ICR, Cambridge, Southampton, Manchester, Leeds, Oxford and St George’s University London) as well as Public Health England (Health Data Insight).  Components span from (i) complex linkage of routinely collected national datasets to inform research insights to (ii) de novo research including development of novel machine learning methodologies through to (iii) delivery and practical implementation within clinical and laboratory services in the NHS of tools, resources and guidelines.   

CanGene-CanVar consists of six inter-related Work-Packages:

1: Collection, linkage and analyses of nationally collected genomic and cancer data

2: Data Clinical Laboratory Resources for Genomic Cancer Variant Interpretation

3: Dynamic Evidence-based Guidance for Clinical Geneticists, Oncologists and GPs

4: Patient-facing tools for decision-making and understanding risk

5: Medical Education

6: Ethics, Governance and Policy

Work package 4 will collate and evaluate current information resources, working with patients and health care professionals. We will build on this to create patient facing tools that provide accessible information to support informed decision-making about whether or not to have a genetic test and how to interpret and act on genetic test results. Existing resources will be assessed, elements deemed valuable by patients identified, adapted and further developed. The patient facing tools developed will support people to understand what the genetic test involves; what the possible outcomes of the test are; what the result means for risk management, concerns about cancer risk, and implications for other family members.

The post-holder will be responsible for maintaining high quality research procedures and will work with a Senior Research Assistant also within the MSRG in Southampton, CRUK Catalyst award leads and Work package teams to set up and monitor recruitment, data collection and data processing. Proficiency in literature reviewing, qualitative data collection, analysis (qualitative) and interpretation are essential skills for this role. The postholder will have strong report and paper writing skills and be able to present findings at local, national and international conferences. They will be required to support the development of new protocols and supporting ethics and research governance applications.

The successful candidate will have:

PhD*or equivalent professional qualifications and experience in Cancer Genetics/Health Services Research/related Health or Social Science subjects. 

Excellent research skills with specific experience of working with people affected by cancer and health professionals 

Excellent communication and paper writing skills

Experience of literature reviewing

Experience of using qualitative research methods

Knowledge and understanding of cancer genetics 

Experience of using priority setting techniques (desirable)

Experience of developing patient facing resources (desirable)

An understanding of GCP and research governance requirements to ensure safety of patient data.

Ability to present to both specialist and non-specialist audiences including at local, national and international conferences

The successful candidate will need to work effectively with members of the CanGene-CanVar and MSRG team including researchers, trial coordinators, administrative, database management and web development staff. They will also need to work effectively with members of the public/service users to develop, deliver and disseminate the work of the research programme.

Situated within one of the UK’s leading research Universities, the School of Health Sciences offers superb facilities for research and education and is one of the largest and most successful Schools of its kind in the UK. With world-class academic staff committed to transforming health services and improving health outcomes, we are committed to building on our national and international education and research reputation.

The Faculty of Medicine has taken a leading role in delivering the University’s multi-disciplinary research strategy. Our guiding principle is to develop interdisciplinary links across our comprehensive university translating our research into new solutions in healthcare. Interfacing with other world leading researchers in life sciences, physical sciences, computing, engineering and mathematics is creating new opportunities, new knowledge and greater impact.

The post is offered part-time for 4 years in the first instance. 

Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact Prof Claire Foster to discuss the position. 

*Applications will be considered from candidates who are working towards or nearing completion of a relevant PhD qualification. The title of Research Fellow will be applied upon completion of PhD. Prior to the qualification being awarded the title of Senior Research Assistant will be given. 

Application Procedure:

You should submit your completed online application form at The application deadline will be midnight on the closing date stated above. If you need any assistance, please call Sam Stubbs (Recruitment Team) on +44 (0)23 8059 4046. Please quote reference 1184519CF on all correspondence.

The closing date for this job opportunity has now passed, and applications are no longer being accepted for this position

Further details:

We aim to be an equal opportunities employer and welcome applications from all sections of the community. Please note that applications from agencies will not be accepted unless indicated in the job advert.

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