Research Associate in Maps of Malignancy

Job Description

The Department of Global Health & Social Medicine is seeking a Research Associate to work as part of a research team on a research project entitled “Maps of Malignancy: Epidemiologists and Cancer in Sub-Saharan Africa”. Funded by a Wellcome Trust Investigator Award, the project aims to shed light on epidemiological efforts to map cancer in Africa over the last 70 years. Specifically, drawing on insights from postcolonial science studies, the project examines the socio-technical infrastructures and political rationales that underpin these mapping efforts as well as the understandings of cancer and Africa that they bring into being. To address these issues, the project uses a combination of ethnographic and archival research methods to examine two cartographic efforts: (1) the research on cancer aetiology carried out by British and French doctors in Africa in the late colonial and early postcolonial periods to improve treatment strategies at home; and (2) the contemporary global surveillance initiatives seeking to measure the cancer burden in Africa in order to rationalise health policy and planning on the continent. The research project builds on and expands an earlier British Academy-funded pilot project on Cartographies of Cancer in Sub-Saharan Africa (

The appointed person will have a PhD degree in the social sciences or humanities (e.g., anthropology, sociology, history, geography, STS, development studies). They will be fluent in both English and French. The appointed person will have a solid knowledge of qualitative research methods and have some experience in conducting ethnographic fieldwork. Ideally, they will also have some experience conducting research in Africa (or another low- and middle-income setting). A prior knowledge of and interest in critical global health studies, postcolonial science studies and/or African studies would be beneficial. Some experience writing and publishing high-quality, peer-reviewed articles would be welcome. The appointed person will also have strong organisational skills, excellent interpersonal and communication skills to maintain and develop good working relationships and the aptitude to think critically and use their own initiative.

Key responsibilities

The post holder will work as part of a research team (comprising of the principal investigator and two other research associates) to accomplish the ethnographic research for this project. In particular, they will help carry out a six-month ethnographic study of the National Cancer Registry in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, accompanying and observing local cancer registrars as they go about their work collecting cancer data from hospitals across the city and entering it in the national registry database. Furthermore, they will help conduct interviews with members of the African Cancer Registry Network and carry out ethnographic observation at the Network’s meetings. The post-holder will also partner with the principal investigator and other members of the research team to develop the analytical framework, carry out the data analysis as well as write up and publish some of the project’s results. Finally, they will help disseminate findings from the research projects at conferences and seminars.  The above list of responsibilities may not be exhaustive, and the post holder will be required to undertake such tasks and responsibilities as may reasonably be expected within the scope and grading of the post.

Further information

The preferred start date for the post is early 2022. This is a full-time post (100%) offered on a fixed-term contract for 2 years and with a start date in early 2022. The salary is up to £40,414 (including London Weighting Allowance) depending on qualifications and experience.

Closing date for applications is 25 October 2022. Interviews will be held in mid-November 2022.

To apply please visit this link

For enquiries, please contact: Dr David Reubi,