The MRC Biostatistics Unit at the University of Cambridge seeks to a recruit an academically ambitious and talented biostatistician to contribute to a programme of research in statistical science which aims to answer scientific, clinical and operational questions related to blood transfusion and transplantation, in collaboration with NHSBT, the NHS service responsible for the collection and distribution of donated blood, organs and tissue in England.

NHSBT affiliated researchers at the University of Cambridge, in collaboration with blood transfusion services worldwide, have recently developed methods to measure hundreds of blood types (beyond the commonly known ABO) very cheaply. The ability to measure these blood types in very large numbers of donors will have major implications for the practice of blood transfusion. Blood services need to understand how blood can best be matched to patients in the context of extended blood typing, in order to optimise the expected health outcomes in the pool of recipients. This will require statistical modelling of the demand from hospitals for blood of various types, of the distribution of blood types in the donor pool and of the health consequences of mismatching blood types in different patients. Many patients requiring frequent transfusion develop antibodies against multiple blood types and it can become difficult to identify suitable blood. One aim of this project is to minimise the risk that patients become untransfusable.

The post-holder will report to Dr. William Astle, an NHSBT supported programme leader in the MRC Biostatistics Unit. He or she will collaborate with postdoctoral scientists, research support staff and students across the Unit and with NHSBT affiliated researchers and clinical scientists at universities in the UK. Applicants should hold, or expect soon to be awarded, a PhD in statistics or a closely related field, good knowledge of a range of modern statistical techniques and experience developing novel statistical models and methods. Experience applying statistical methods to answer questions in genetics, biology or medicine, a good working knowledge of statistical software and strong computer programming skills will be advantages.

The Unit is situated on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, one of the world’s most vibrant centres of biomedical research, which includes the University of Cambridge’s Clinical School, two major hospitals, the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, and the world headquarters of Astra Zeneca.

The Unit is actively seeking to increase diversity among its staff, including promoting an equitable representation of men and women. The Unit therefore especially encourages applications from women, from minority ethnic groups and from those with non-standard career paths. Appointment will be made on merit.

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 3 years in the first instance.

The post is full-time but applications are welcome from those who would like to work flexibly/part-time.

To Apply go to Click the ‘Apply’ button to register an account with our recruitment system (if you have not already) and apply online.

Closing date for applications is: 2nd August 2020 with Interviews likely to take place at the end of August 2020.

Informal enquires can be made by email to William Astle (

Please quote reference SL23373 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.