We are hiring! Seeking a research associate

December 2022: PWHS is seeking a research associate to support a program of research on the evaluation of workers’ compensation policies and programs, with a particular focus on conducting a systematic review and meta-analyses of the scientific evidence of the relationship between occupational exposure to asbestos and the risk of lung cancers, to inform compensation policy.

Housed within the Faculty of Medicine, the School of Population and Public Health (SPPH) is an innovative unit structured around four divisions (Occupational and Environmental Health; Health Services and Policy; Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Public Health Practice; and Health in Populations) that provides multidisciplinary opportunities for researchers, learners and decision makers to develop creative evidence-based strategies to solve public health issues. Operating within SPPH, PWHS, co-led by Drs Mieke Koehoorn and Chris McLeod, brings together researchers, policymakers, and data resources from SPPH, WorkSafeBC (the Workers’ Compensation Board of BC), and external partners to address current and emerging issues of work-related health and workers’ compensation in innovative ways, using both quantitative and qualitative methods.

The primary activities of the research associate include:

  • Contribute to the program of research with a focus on the evaluation of the effects of workers’ compensation polices, programs and practices on key work and health indicators.
  • Lead evidence synthesis methodologies, including:
    • Organize and structure evidence synthesis protocols according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses (PRISMA) guidelines, in consultation with the project advisors, lead and collaborators;
    • Develop evidence search strategies and inclusion/exclusion criteria for evidence synthesis projects;
    • Conduct evidence search strategies and screen abstracts and full-text articles relative to the inclusion/exclusion criteria to assess their suitability for an evidence synthesis to respond to the research question(s);
    • Use data extraction software such as Covidence, and validate data abstraction and assess the quality of studies;
    • Work with investigative teams and collaborators to develop occupational exposure metrics across studies for meta-analyses, including for asbestos exposures;
    • Conduct meta-analyses to respond to the research questions on relationships between occupational exposures and cancers, specifically occupational asbestos exposure and lung cancer;
    • Lead and organize internal research team meetings including meeting with funder and other stakeholders (agendas with decisions/action items);
    • Develop and maintain comprehensive study/methodological documentation;
    • Draft, edit and review articles, briefing notes, presentations and technical reports.
  • Lead and support colleagues in preparing grant submissions of new evidence synthesis research grant application(s).
  • Co-author and author publications for peer-review journals.
  • Conduct analyses using a variety of statistical methods and statistical programs.
  • Present research findings at academic conferences and workshops.
  • Support the implementation of a strategy for dissemination of results and knowledge transfer activities.
  • Supervise analysts, research assistants, and/or graduate trainees.
  • Participate in team meetings.
  • Contribute to PWHS academic activities and to the SPPH academic community.



  • PhD or equivalent degree in epidemiology/biostatistics, occupational health/hygiene, or related health sciences.


  • Minimum of five years of experience using evidence synthesis methodologies and research software/tools (e.g., Covindence and STATA software) is required (and as demonstrated by authorship on systematic review publications, conference presentations, or letter of support from previous supervisors).
  • Advanced understanding of, and proven experience using, advanced statistical and empirical analysis methods, as well as proficiency with related software (SAS, Stata, R).
  • Research experience related to occupational health/hygiene or work and health, and in particular occupational exposure assessment.
  • Experience leading evidence syntheses (systematic reviews, meta-analyses, scoping reviews, meta-analyses).
  • Experience collaborating as part of a multi-disciplinary and international research team, and attention to detail for methodological documentation.
  • Experience writing for publication in academic journals.


  • Ability to write in explanatory and procedural styles for multiple audiences.
  • Ability to effectively manage multiple tasks and priorities.
  • Ability to exercise initiative, judgment, and discretion.
  • Ability to analyze and effectively resolve issues.
  • Interpersonal skills including the ability to work effectively independently and in a team.
  • Communication skills, including strong technical writing and research skills.

The position will be principally supervised by Dr. Mieke Koehoorn with additional supervision by Dr. Chris McLeod.

This position requires a considerable degree of research experience, creativity, industriousness, and independence to complete the research deliverables within the 12 month time period with an international team of investigators and collaborators. The Research Associate will work independently, with regular updates on progress and challenges. The Research Associate must exercise judgment on the day-to-day progress of research projects. A high level of confidentiality is essential. Structured decision making and an ability to work independently are critical.

Errors made could influence the ability of the research team to meet critical deadlines, as well as compromise the results of research projects, and therefore impact the credibility of the Principal Investigator. Poor decisions may be damaging to the reputation of the Principal Investigator, the School, and the University and could lead to incorrect or inappropriate policy recommendations being made.

This position may be responsible for access, collection, use and disclosure of personal information in accordance with the BC Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (RSBC 1996) and other UBC privacy and security policies. This position requires employees to work under strict confidentiality requirements; internal procedures and policies to protect personal information must be followed and adherence to these requirements will be regularly reviewed by the employer.

To apply

UBC hires on the basis of merit and is strongly committed to equity and diversity within its community. We encourage applications from members of groups that have been marginalized on any grounds enumerated under the B.C. Human Rights Code, including sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, racialization, disability, political belief, religion, marital or family status, age, and/or status as a First Nation, Metis, Inuit, or Indigenous person. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents of Canada will be given priority.

Please apply by January 2, 2023 via the UBC Faculty Careers website. Applications should be directed to PWHS Operations Director Suhail Marino, and should include a resume, cover letter and the names and contact information of a minimum of two supervisory references. The anticipated start date for this position is February 15, 2023.

a place of mind, The University of British Columbia

School of Population and Public Health
2206 East Mall,
Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z3, Canada
Tel: 604-822-2772
Partnership for Work, Health and Safety
2206 East Mall,
Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z3, Canada
Tel: 604-822-8544

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