Research Associate in IMAXT Applications Data Science (Fixed Term) University of Cambridge, Institute of Astronomy/CRUK Cambridge Institute United Kingdom

Research Associate in IMAXT Applications Data Science (Fixed Term)


Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 4 years in the first instance. Starting Date: From 1st July 2018 or as early as possible thereafter.


This is an exciting opportunity for an ambitious researcher (applications data scientist) to work within the Cambridge Astronomical Survey Unit (CASU) at the Institute of Astronomy (IoA) at West Cambridge site as part of the IMAXT Cancer Research UK Grand Challenge Project Team. The post is located at the Institute of Astronomy, but the successful candidate will be expected to spend considerable time at the IMAXT project team office at Cambridge Institute, Cancer Research UK, Cambridge, situated on the Addenbrooke's Biomedical Campus in Cambridge (West Cambridge).


The Imaging and Molecular Annotation of Xenografts (IMAXT: see project is taking an integrated approach in producing faithful three-dimensional maps of tumours and their host environment, wherein each cell is identified and molecularly annotated. These maps will be accessed in an interactive, virtual reality framework. This will provide an entirely new way for scientists and physicians to understand how cancer develops and predict its clinical behaviour.


CASU undertakes a range of activities in wide field astronomy including: developing and operating pipeline processing and analysis systems for optical and near-infrared mosaic imaging and spectroscopic surveys; together with various space mission projects including PLATO and Euclid and manages a data processing and archive centre.


Within IMAXT, CASU is responsible for developing high throughput pipelines to segment and align the various IMAXT imaging datasets. CASU is also managing the flow of reduced data, both images and catalogues into the central IMAXT database, and defines the structure of this database.


The successful candidate will work within the CASU-IMAXT team and be responsible for contributing to the development of novel scientific algorithms and applications in the areas of image analysis and data mining/ machine learning of the catalogues extracted as an output of the image analysis of IMAXT data. The role will also involve: contributions to the supporting computational infrastructure, including optimising deployment of data search/indexing technologies; liaising with the IMAXT project teams and external science users; contributing to the documentation and user manuals; and collaborating in the IMAXT research programs to optimise interpretation and use of such IMAXT data.


The successful candidate will have a good practical knowledge of scientific algorithm development and a PhD degree in a numerate discipline (preferably Astronomy, Physics or computing science). The candidate must be able to demonstrate knowledge and experience of programming languages such as Python, together with use of database (SQL, postgres, elasticsearch) and web-based systems.


The ability to work as part of a team and have good communication skills is also required.


Candidates with experience of working in a research environment involving scientific processing of medical or astronomical image data are particularly welcomed.


Salary will be £31,604 - £38,833 depending on experience and qualifications.


Please ensure that you upload your Curriculum Vitae (CV) and covering letter and the contact details of two referees.


If you have any queries about your application, please contact Ms Joy McSharry by email


Further information can be obtained from Dr Nicholas Walton (


To apply online for this vacancy, please click on the 'Apply' button below. This will route you to the University's Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.


Please submit your application by midnight of the closing date of 30th April 2018. It is anticipated that interviews will be held in May 2018.


Please include details of your referees, including email address and phone number, one of which must be your most recent line manager. Referees of short-listed candidates will be contacted and asked to provide a reference before the interview date.


Please quote reference SW15147 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.


The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.


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


Further information

  • Research Associate_Further Particulars

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