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Research Assistant (Data Scientist in Agriculture, Nutrition and Geography) (Fixed term)

Reference SCI213921 Closing Date Thursday, 29th July 2021 Job Type Research Department Agricultural & Environmental Sciences, Biosciences Salary £27511 to £30046 per annum (pro-rata if applicable) depending on skills and experience. Salary progression beyond this scale is subject to performance.
We are looking for a data scientist to join a close-working, multidisciplinary and international team on the MAPS (Micronutrient Action Policy Support) project. This role provides an exciting opportunity to interact with a wide-range of specialists looking to use our data outputs. This post is suitable for someone with demonstrable skills in efficient R scripting, code repositories and working in diverse teams who wishes to gain experience of a research environment. We envisage a recruit with a relevant MSc or BSc(Hons).

The MAPS project is a major investment by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF). It is developing an online tool to enable a range of stakeholders to engage with data on dietary micronutrient supply and status in food systems. The tool will allow exploration of spatial factors affecting micronutrient supply, and the linking of data with other modelling tools to allow the assessment of policies and interventions. The tool will be developed using open-source software. Geographic focus of these activities is initially in sub-Saharan African nations.

The role holder will clean, process and analyse datasets from nutrition/public health, agricultural and geographic/economic sources. This work will be conducted in R and the post holder will support our continuous iteration and testing of R scripts which contribute to efficient workflows pre-loading and within the tool. We are seeking a candidate with interests in the use of any data related to the project, or the overall ambitions of the project. This role requires experience of R scripts (including appropriate use of packages) to write efficient scripts, with an understanding of the value of good data management practices and a careful approach to the checking of data. Supervision and support will be provided by senior project staff.

The role will require close working with project colleagues across the disciplines of agriculture, human nutrition, economics, as well as (geo)statistical, data architecture and web-development specialists. A capacity to communicate with collaborators and to contribute proactively to the project goals is critical, along with a willingness to engage with external stakeholders. The project will offer the opportunity to contribute ideas and will ensure that the post-holder develops their understanding of working in a research environment.

This role is available on a fixed term contract until 31/10/2023. Hours of work are full time (36.25 hours). Job share arrangements may be considered.

Informal enquiries may be addressed to Dr Louise Ander, email Please note that applications sent directly to this email address will not be accepted.

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