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Scientific Director, GRID3 Project

Posted: 1/30/2018 (Employment)

The WorldPop programme, based at the University of Southampton, in close collaboration with the Flowminder Foundation, is embarking on a significant new program to support low income countries and their statistical offices in the production of geospatial demographic data. Funded by DFID and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the GRID3 (Geospatial Reference, Infrastructure and Demographic Data for Development) programme includes partnership between WorldPop/Flowminder, UNFPA and CIESIN in developing novel approaches to data integration from satellite imagery, GIS data, surveys and census data for supporting governments in the production of data on population distributions and characteristics at high spatial resolution.

We are seeking to recruit a world-leading researcher to become the Scientific Director for the GRID3 program within WorldPop/Flowminder. You will provide scientific direction and oversight of the technical work undertaken, leading a team of 15+ researchers, and working in close collaboration with WorldPop/Flowminder Director, Professor Andrew Tatem. You will also be expected to contribute to the design of methods, reproducible code, strategies for data inclusion, processing pipeline, internal training and data dissemination. The program will focus initially on supporting ongoing and new analyses in up to five African countries, building on work undertaken recently in integrating satellite, survey and GIS data through statistical modelling to estimate population distributions, numbers and characteristics in the absence of national census data. You will lead engagement on technical matters with project partners and national governments in low income countries. The position represents an exciting and varied challenge, translating cutting-edge research into valuable data and insights to support governments in their operations and meeting development goals. As well as joining the vibrant and well-connected WorldPop and Flowminder Foundation teams, you will have opportunities to lead high-impact publications and develop their own research and funding portfolio.

You will have a strong track record in leading research groups, managing research projects, engaging with governments/international agencies in low income settings and producing high impact publications. The focus of the research work also means that experience in quantitative demographic methods, spatial statistical analysis, computer programming, Bayesian statistics, and GIS are a significant advantage.

You will have a PhD (or equivalent professional qualifications and experience) in a relevant discipline, or have relevant industry experience. The work will be highly interdisciplinary and as such there is some flexibility to accommodate expertise from a range of cognate disciplinary backgrounds (e.g. geography, demography, statistics, computer science, ecology, epidemiology etc).  A willingness to travel overseas to low income countries is also required.

You will work under the management of Professor Andrew Tatem at the University of Southampton, in offices in the centre of Southampton. The position is for a period of 21 months, with a strong likelihood of extensions to this subject to further funding.

Upon appointment, your University title will be Principal Research Fellow.

Informal inquiries may be made to Professor Andrew Tatem.

Application procedure:

You should submit your completed online application form at The application deadline will be midnight on February 9, 2018. If you need any assistance, please call Charlene Tyson (Recruitment Team) on +44 (0) 23 8059 6803. Please quote reference 959218WR on all correspondence.

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Deadline: 02/09/2018

Location: WordPop Progamme, University of Southampton