Research Fellow – Institute of Applied Health Research – 97529 – Grade 8
Institute of Applied Health Research
Location: University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham UK
Full time starting salary is normally in the range £41,526 to £49,553, with potential progression once in post to £55,750
Full Time FTC up to 21 February 2026
Closing date 29 June 2021
Supported by UKRI as part of its £47m Strategic Priorities Fund initiative ‘Transforming the UK food system for healthy people and a healthy environment’, this post is funded via a consortium grant led by Prof Martin White in the MRC Epidemiology Unit. The ‘Mandala’ consortium has academic collaborators across the University of Cambridge and at King’s College London, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, University College London, and the Universities of Birmingham, Exeter, and Warwick. Further details of the Mandala Consortium can be found here. The setting for the transformative programme is the City of Birmingham, where a range of stakeholder organisations across all sectors relevant to the programme’s vision are also engaged in the research.
The interdisciplinary research programme involves six work packages (WP):
- Stakeholder engagement and system mapping – to foster dialogue and co-production of the programme of research; and generate a map of the Birmingham food system, identify key challenges, desired outcomes and leverage points for potential interventions
- Creating an integrated data and analytics platform – to synthesise evidence to support system mapping, identification and prioritisation of interventions, and parameterisation of models to simulate the impacts of food system change; and curate data resources to inform and facilitate food system transformation, evaluations and modelling studies
- Envisioning and prioritising interventions – to support food system stakeholders and citizens in the generation of a vision for a future food system; and to Identify the most powerful levers for change in the food system, co-develop system innovations, and prioritise interventions for delivery and evaluation
- Evaluation – to evaluate the impact of flagship interventions, delivered to achieve rapid food system transformation; and to monitor and evaluate change at a whole system level, including system characteristics and citizens’ responses
- Modelling – to co-develop integrated food system, population health, economic and environmental models to characterise the food system, and its interactions with populations and environments; and to simulate the long-term, sustainable impacts of novel interventions to inform local and national policy making and business practice
- Synthesis and impact – to synthesise findings across work packages, draw conclusions and identify implications for research, policy and practice; and to use multi-channel communications to share theoretical and methodological innovations, and ensure the evidence generated is used and delivers impact.
The post holder will be based within The Health Economics Unit, located in the Institute of Applied Health Research, University of Birmingham and will be supervised by Prof Emma Frew, a Co-Investigator co-leading WP4 and WP5. The post-holder will contribute health economics expertise across all work packages, providing input to system mapping and prioritising in WP1 and WP3, economic data acquisition in WP2, economic evaluations in WP4, economic modelling in WP5 and synthesis of findings and impact generation in WP6.
- To contribute to evidence synthesis in WP1, WP2 and WP3 reviewing the economic evidence that will underpin the interventions.
- In WP4 to be responsible for the development, implementation, analysis and reporting of the economic evaluations of interventions prioritised for delivery in WP3.
- To lead on the health economic modelling and to contribute to the integrated modelling as part of the wider team assessing the long term impacts within WP5.
- To contribute to the synthesis of findings and impact generation in WP6.
- To work closely with the WP leads to undertake rapid evidence reviews of health economic data for the prioritisation of interventions in WP3, evaluation of the interventions in WP4 and to generate key inputs for the economic models in WP5.
- To lead on the economic evaluation of selected interventions in WP4 by making use of existing data generated in WP2 as well as identifying where there is significant uncertainty and requirement for the collection of new data.
- To lead on economic evaluation methods within WP4 appropriate to a quasi- or a natural-experimental design, if necessary.
- To work closely with the WP5 leads to build a model of the food system and be responsible for the health economics evidence that will be used as key model inputs.
- To synthesise evidence across all work packages to draw conclusions and report on overall impacts of the programme of work on food system change (WP6).
- To make a substantial methodological contribution to the health economics field and population health intervention research.
- Together with the wider scientific team take a leading role with writing study reports for the external collaborators and stakeholders.
- To disseminate the research findings using appropriate and effective media, including publication in leading journals, presentations at conferences, research seminars and meetings.
- Provide the enthusiasm and intellectual energy necessary to deliver their own research responsibilities to meet agreed aims within timescale, and to play an active role in learning new skills.
- Ensure the research is carried out in accordance with internationally accepted standards of research practice and in compliance with local policies and national legal requirements.
- Contribute to further grant applications as necessary to support evaluation studies.
- Work closely with the co-investigators, work package leads and other researchers in partner universities to deliver the programme of work collaboratively as an interdisciplinary, scientific team.
- Assist in the training of PhD and MPhil students as appropriate.
- Undertake personal development appropriate to their role and career stage, including undertaking training when required.
- To support the HEU teaching programme, particularly in relation to the Masters programme in Health Economics & Health Policy and Masters in Public Health.
- To support any other appropriate activities that will help achieve the objectives of the wider Health Economics Unit at The University of Birmingham.
- PhD, preferably in Health Economics (or near to completion).
- High level specialist knowledge of health economics and/or research methods and techniques to work within the ‘Mandala’ consortium.
- Extensive research experience and scholarship within health economics, preferably with knowledge and understanding of food systems.
- Exposure to system science methods
- High level skills in economic evaluation as well as decision-analytic modelling.
- Experience of project managing research to deliver high quality and impactful results.
- Experience of developing new research ideas.
- High level analytical capability.
- Ability to communicate complex information clearly.
- Ability to work to fixed deadlines.
- Ability to work as a member of an interdisciplinary team and to be able to liase with non-academic stakeholders.
- Experience and achievement reflected in a growing reputation.
- A willingness to travel to other areas of the UK to participate in research and other meetings.
Informal enquiries to Emma Frew – E.Frew@bham.ac.uk
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