We are seeking a talented and enthusiastic research associate to work on projects focused on opioid utilisation and safety, an area of international interest. The successful candidate will take a leading role in the analysis of research studies utilising primary and secondary care electronic health records (EHRs) and join a growing team of analysts and methodologists based in the Centre for Epidemiology Versus Arthritis (CfE). The CfE is an internationally recognised Centre of Excellence for musculoskeletal epidemiology in the UK and a part of the Centre for Musculoskeletal Research (CfMR), a EULAR Centre of Excellence. They will collaborate on projects in a multidisciplinary research environment, be supported in their professional development, whilst working with colleagues internationally, from the Centre of Health Informatics and from Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust.
The sharp increase in prescription opioid use for non-malignant pain in the U.S and Canada, has been associated with an alarming rise in opioid-related morbidity, dependence and mortality. Whilst the ‘opioid epidemic’ and its associated effects have been well reported in North America, fewer data are available in the UK 1–3. Recent work has identified that patients with musculoskeletal conditions and after surgery may be at higher risk of becoming long-term opioid users 4. The post-surgical use of opioids is thought to be an important source of opioid-related harm in the US 5. Whilst over 4 million surgical procedures are performed annually in the UK, currently clear postsurgical opioid prescribing guidelines are lacking partially due to limited evidence about current prescribing patterns both in hospital, following discharge and the subsequent effect of longer schedules of post-discharge opioids.
Based at the CfE, you will work with established primary care EHRs from the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) as well as emerging linked secondary and primary care EHRs from Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, a Global Digital Exemplar site. Focussed on patients with musculoskeletal conditions and post-surgery, the projects will address a range of research questions to identify patients at high-risk of opioid-related harms. You will gain experience in using a range of platforms using state-of the art statistical methods to address clinically important research questions, with potential to drive improvements in future prescribing of opioids and impact policy. You will have the opportunity to work on a range of projects funded through Versus Arthritis, European Alliance of Associations for Rheumatology (EULAR) and NIHR. Remote starts will be possible.
Centre for Epidemiology (CfE) Versus Arthritis:
The CfE is an internationally recognised Centre of Excellence for musculoskeletal epidemiology. The centre currently has five integrated themes: two clinical pillars (occurrence/progression of rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases; effectiveness and safety of treatments) and three methodological cross-cutting themes: harnessing digital data, statistical design/analytics, and research into practice. The outlined projects fall within the pillar of ‘Effectiveness and Safety of Treatments’ (co-lead M Jani), with strong links to ‘Harnessing digital data’ (lead W Dixon) as well as the other methodological expertise in the cross- cutting themes. The CfE 5-year programme grant from Versus Arthritis provides infrastructure for external grants from sources including the MRC, Wellcome Trust, EU, NIHR, Versus Arthritis and BSR. The CfE has extensive academic and clinical links both within the UK and internationally. The CfE fosters a strong programme of staff development and support.
As an equal opportunities employer we welcome applicants from all sections of the community regardless of age, sex, gender (or gender identity), ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation and transgender status. All appointments are made on merit.
Our University is positive about flexible working – you can find out more here
Blended working arrangements may be considered.
Please note that we are unable to respond to enquiries, accept CVs or applications from Recruitment Agencies.
Enquiries about the vacancy, shortlisting and interviews:
Name: Dr Meghna Jani
Name: Professor William Dixon
This vacancy will close for applications at midnight on the closing date.
Please see the link below for the Further Particulars document which contains the person specification criteria.