Purpose of the post

We are looking for a leader (established or on a career path to a leadership position) who is well connected and highly respected across the kidney and cardiovascular clinical and research communities in the UK and internationally. They will have an excellent track record in the use of large scale, multimodal data types in kidney and cardiovascular research, and a strong commitment to developing linked health data-enabled approaches to enhance understanding of the causes and progression of kidney disease to improve strategies for treatment.

The Associate Director for the Kidney Data Science Catalyst will be a key member of the BHF Data Science Centre leadership team, working closely with the Director, Deputy Director and Associate Directors leading the Centre’s thematic and catalytic areas, and centre staff to identify and prioritise key areas of work in kidney data science research, demonstrating impact at national and international level in clinical practice, the health system and for people affected by kidney disease.

Supported by the BHF Data Science Centre team, Kidney Research UK and the BHF, the postholder will work with stakeholders, including people affected by and at risk of kidney disease, across the UK to:

  • Identify research priorities for large-scale, data-enabled kidney research;
  • Forge relevant collaborations to progress kidney and cardio-renal research priorities;
  • In alignment with BHF Data Science Centre and HDR UK-led activities, identify and address the infrastructure and analytics challenges that need to be overcome to enable linkage across health data and their analyses at UK-wide scale, to improve people’s kidney and cardiovascular health and care.

This part-time secondment role will provide leadership and strategic planning for kidney disease research, to meet the wider objectives of the BHF Data Science Centre in improving cardiovascular health through the use of large-scale data and innovative analytical methods, working strategically with the BHF and Kidney Research UK.

Main responsibilities

  • Provide leadership to bring together communities and networks (e.g. patients, research, clinical professional societies, industry) with an interest in and expertise across the spectrum of health relevant data types, such as, electronic health records, imaging, wearables, and non-NHS administrative data, to shape, influence and build consensus on the use of multi-modal health data and their integration with other health data for kidney research. An ability to see the bigger picture and focus on key priorities is crucial in order to ensure benefit to the wider kidney and data science communities
  • Create and maintain new partnerships, building on existing networks across the data science, kidney and cardiovascular communities, NHS organisations, industry, patients and public, regulatory and information governance partners to identify and prioritise the key challenges of using, linking and analysing multi-modal health data at national scale. The postholder will also build on existing partnerships and collaboration opportunities established by the Centre’s other Associate Directors and with relevant HDR UK initiatives and national priorities
  • Work with the kidney, cardiovascular and health data science communities, patients and public, NHS organisations, industry, Kidney Research UK, BHF, and the BHF Data Science Centre Director and team to identify suitable and build on existing identified exemplar driver projects that will highlight and address key requirements via the Kidney Data Science Catalyst. In collaboration with the wider health data science and kidney communities, provide strategic leadership in the development of novel and/or
    reproducible methodological and analytical approaches
  • Provide strategic direction and champion a team science approach to deliver projects, providing negotiation and brokering skills where necessary to drive improvement in the use, linkage and analysis of multi-modal health data for kidney research
  • Work with the BHF Data Science Centre Director and team, Kidney Research UK and BHF to lead the development of:
    • strategic plans for the Kidney Data Science Catalyst;
    • project and delivery plans and subsequent reporting for this catalyst
  • Contribute to and lead on relevant funding applications and other initiatives to leverage additional resources to enhance the research-enabling activities of the Kidney Data Science Catalyst
  • Working with the BHF Data Science Centre team, wider HDR UK colleagues, Kidney Research UK, BHF and patient/public groups to identify opportunities and provide content to communicate to diverse audiences on the impact of the activities of the Kidney Data Science Catalyst

Day-to-day project management and administrative support will be provided by the Centre team.

Candidates must:

  • hold a substantive post at a UK organisation
  • have a contract of employment at their organisation that extends up to 2027 or beyond,
  • have the written support of their organisation (an institutional supporting letter will be required at the application stage)

Knowledge, skills and experience


  • Extensive experience in kidney research as well as an interest and understanding of relevant aspects in health data science, in particular, the linkage and analysis of population-wide health data in research, and the use of health data linkages to enhance large cohorts and/or clinical trials
  • Proven leadership skills to provide direction and deliver change across the UK
  • Ability to lead and inspire trust in a wide range of stakeholders and to build consensus across multiple stakeholders
  • Advanced understanding of the complexities, challenges and limitations of using routinely collected structured data from different health settings (e.g., secondary care, primary care, dispensed medications, specialist registry data) as well as from different devolved nations of the UK in health research
  • Experience of linking routinely collected health data with other health relevant data (e.g. omics, wearables, imaging) with appreciation and knowledge of the uses, challenges and potential limitations of such linkages in large-scale research studies
  • Knowledge of innovative methodological and analytic approaches (e.g., AI and/or machine learning) and their application to analysis across routinely collected and other health data sources in health research
  • Well connected with kidney and health data science research networks, NHS organisations, professional societies, industry and wider stakeholders of relevance to the ambitions of the Kidney Data Science Catalyst
  • Experience of working with patients, the public, and patient and public involvement
    networks/organisations in planning, delivering and communicating research
  • Commitment and ability to bring together people and infrastructure to drive forward
    improvements and change systems through collaborative team working and exemplar projects


  • Personal drive and ambition to provide leadership in the area of health data science in kidney research
  • Excellent influencing and negotiating skills
  • Creative and innovative thinker
  • A commitment and enthusiasm to engaging with patients, the public, and patient and public involvement networks/organisations in the kidney data science catalyst is essential.
  • Excellent communication skills with the ability to listen to and bring on board a wide range of stakeholders with competing priorities and views
  • Excellent networking skills with a desire to work collaboratively to achieve goals
  • Excellent organisational and time management skills, with the ability to manage competing priorities and issues under time pressures
  • Ability to work flexibly and collaboratively as part of a team of highly skilled individuals

Application Process

Interested applicants are encouraged to contact the BHF Data Science Centre Director or Deputy Director to discuss further: bhfdsc@hdruk.ac.uk

Prior to application, candidates should discuss with their line manager / other relevant senior colleagues how this this part-time secondment position would fit with their existing post.

How to apply:
Please apply via recruitment@hdruk.ac.uk with the following:

  • Your CV (listing no more than 20 of your most relevant publications or other research outputs and no more than 10 of your most relevant funding awards)
  • A covering letter of no more than 500 words explaining what you can bring to this role.
  • A letter from your organisation supporting your secondment to perform this role if appointed.

Please contact recruitment@hdruk.ac.uk if you have any queries regarding your application.

The closing date for this vacancy is Thursday 29th Feb 2024 at 5pm.
Interviews will take place on Wed 13th March 2024. Interviews will take place online via Teams.

Click here to download the complete job description.
pdf - 349 KB