Postdoc Position Social Scientist at University of Cambridge

University of Cambridge is delighted to offer a postdoc position in social sciences. The deadline for applying is March 03, 2019.

We seek a social scientist with an interest in primary care research to join our multi-disciplinary team working on a large-scale research programme on screening for Atrial Fibrillation. Based at The Healthcare Improvement Studies Institute (THIS Institute), University of Cambridge, and working closely with colleagues in the Cardiovascular Group in the Primary Care Unit, the successful candidate will, alongside an equivalent researcher already in post, undertake a varied programme of qualitative research to explore consent to Atrial Fibrillation (AF) screening; potential harms of screening; patient and staff experience of screening; the delivery of AF screening in primary care; and shared decision-making concerning treatment for screen-detected AF.

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a condition where the heart has an irregular beat. AF greatly increases risk of stroke, although available anticoagulant treatments reduce this risk. Screening for AF enables people who are unaware that they have AF to be identified and treated. However, following a review, the UK National Screening Committee concluded there was insufficient information to be sure whether screening would do more good than harm. They highlighted an absence of evidence that people with screen-detected AF would benefit, and called for more work in this field. The successful candidate will join a major research programme which aims to find out how screening for AF may best be carried out in primary care; what the impacts are on patients and practice staff; whether it prevents stroke and other problems like heart attacks; and whether it represents good value for money for the NHS. The qualitative research elements of this programme require the application of a wide variety of data collection strategies, including ethnographic observation, documentary analysis, face-to-face and telephone interviews; video-elicitation interviews; and focus groups.

The candidate is expected to have relevant post-graduate training, ideally in social science approaches or health services research (e.g. PhD in Sociology, Social Anthropology, Health Services Research, Health Sciences or Public Health or have relevant equivalent experience). The post is ideally suited to someone with prior experience of undertaking complex multi-method qualitative research studies, preferably in a primary care environment. The post holder should have a systematic and rigorous approach to work with excellent organisational, communication and interpersonal skills, and an in depth understanding of the conduct of rigorous qualitative research, including the use of theory in qualitative analysis.

The funds for this post are available until 30 September 2021.

THIS Institute (The Healthcare Improvement Studies Institute), University of Cambridge, Cambridge Biomedical Campus, Clifford Allbutt Building, Cambridge CB2 0AH (approx 2 miles south of city centre)

Informal enquiries can be made to Dr Jenni Burt at

Please ensure that you upload a covering letter and CV in the Upload section of the online application. The covering letter should outline how you match the criteria for the post and why you are applying for this role. If you upload any additional documents which have not been requested, we will not be able to consider these as part of your application.

Please include details of your referees, including e-mail address and phone number, one of which must be your most recent line manager.


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