Research Scientist (Food Policy)

Applications Close: 30 January 2023

Salary: £33,050 to £51,950 per annum depending on qualifications and experience

Contract Length: Full time, 3 years

We’re looking for a Research Scientist (Food Policy) to join the Food Databanks National Capability (FDNC) at Quadram Institute.


The Food Databanks National Capability (FDNC), soon to become a BBSRC National Bioscience Research Infrastructure, is the leading national provider of new and continuously updated data, knowledge and tools relating to food compos0ition, intake and food systems for use by different end-users including academia, industry, healthcare, government, consumers.

We compile and publish data on the composition of foods eaten in the UK, which is used to provide the nutritional information for food labelling across the UK and the National Diet and Nutrition Survey for the Department of Health and Social Care (previously Public Health England).

FDNC enables delivery of nutritional policy and high-quality science in support of current and emerging national needs in nutrition (food composition and intake), health (e.g. obesity, healthy ageing) and sustainability (environment, food security). We are working closely with QIB and external scientists to support higher-resolution nutrition data, new dietary tools, and integration of food & microbiome data to underpin high-quality research in plant-based diets, personalised nutrition & health, and in food safety of transforming UK food systems.

The role

We are looking for a postdoctoral (or masters with appropriate experience) scientist to coordinate and align our activities around Food Policy as well as increase our engagement with relevant research and user communities.

The post holder will be responsible for activities including:

  1. horizon scanning and keeping up-to-date knowledge of debates around national Food Policy from both academic and policy perspectives
  2. critically evaluate UK and international trends in food policy and the food system and be the spokesperson of the group on related issues
  3. establish strategic links with Food Policy groups and actively contribute
  4. be responsible for increasing engagement with our stakeholder and user communities via the establishment of a new multi-actor platform, and
  5. establish systems to routinely capture the needs and views of our stakeholder and user communities to inform our continued development as an NBRI.

The post is available at an SC6 level, however candidates with demonstrable ability to lead on grant submission/publications in the area of food policy research and an ability to initiate collaborations with external centres will be considered at an SC5 level.

The ideal candidate

This post will be well-suited to a graduate in nutrition, dietetics, food policy with a PhD (or masters with appropriate research experience) and a strong interest in food and nutrition policy.

You will have prior experience in undertaking qualitative and/or quantitative research and data analysis related to food policy, and you will be experienced in coordinating feedback from multi-actor platforms and translating into actionable recommendations, quantifiable targets, and milestones for FDNC.

You will craft policy position documents, talking points, and other materials for internal and external communication, and have strong written and verbal communication skills to communicate complex nutrition science issues both verbally and in written form.

Finally, you will have strong interpersonal skills to facilitate interactions on a day-to-day basis with the team and external collaborators, and be highly motivated and organised to work independently, using initiative and applying problem solving skills.  You should be able to interact and collaborate with policy makers and researchers from different disciplines.

Additional information

Salary on appointment will be within the range £33,050 to £40,750 per annum depending on qualifications and experience for the SC6 level post, and £42,050 to £51,950 per annum for candidates who meet the SC5 level criteria.  This is a full-time post for a contract of 3 years.

We are committed to equal opportunities and welcome applications from all sectors of society.  The Institute supports equality of opportunity within the workplace and expects all employees to share and display these values.  To support our commitment, we have a range of family, faith and diversity friendly working arrangements to help all staff achieve excellence in their area of work.

As a Disability Confident employer, we guarantee to offer an interview to all disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria for this vacancy.

About the Quadram Institute:

The Quadram Institute is a new interdisciplinary research institute dedicated to understanding how food and microbes interact to promote health and prevent disease. Its mission is to deliver healthier lives through innovation in gut health, microbiology and food. A partnership between Quadram Institute Bioscience, the University of East Anglia, the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and BBSRC, it brings together scientists and clinicians in a state-of-the-art building on the Norwich Research Park. This is one of Europe’s largest centres of life sciences and home of the John Innes Centre and The Earlham Institute.

The closing date for applications will be 30 January 2023

The Quadram Institute Bioscience is a registered charity (No. 1058499) and is an Equal Opportunities Employer.