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Policy Research Officer in Obesity

Posted date: 03 / 07 / 2024

Important information

  • Reference SAHMRI697
  • Employment type FTC - Full-time Contract
  • Location SAHMRI North Terrace
  • Applications close Wednesday, 24 Jul 2024
  • Contact
Apply now


Full-Time, 12-Month Contract

At the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI), we are committed to achieving innovative, ground-breaking health and medical research that fundamentally improves the quality of life for all people.

The SAHMRI Health Policy Centre undertakes behavioural research to provide evidence to inform the development of policy and legislation to improve health outcomes at a population level. The Centre has programs of research in public health, specialising in dietary risk and obesity prevention, tobacco control and vaping, and other areas of chronic disease.

An exciting opportunity is now available for a Policy Research Officer in Obesity to join the Health Policy Centre in this newly created position. In this role, you will collaborate with with Project Officers across both government and non-government organisations as part of a team to enact change in the obesity prevention space, in conjunction with Preventative Health SA. Working together to source, collate, analyse and interpret research and evidence to underpin activity in obesity, ensuring it is reported in a way that is accessible for stakeholders and end users.

About the role

Key responsibilities include:

  • Keeping abreast of the latest research and evidence in the obesity policy area, and provide evidence syntheses to underpin policy and action.
  • Identify appropriate data sources and analyse existing SA data.
  • Identify gaps in evidence and priorities for data collection and opportunities for new research/evidence in obesity.
  • Advising on appropriate research and evaluation methodology to evaluate and monitor effectiveness of programs/policies arising from the action in obesity partnership.
  • Writing summaries of evidence and research findings suitable for different audiences to facilitate translation of evidence into policy.
  • Work closely and collaboratively with key partners in the Obesity Prevention Project (at Cancer Council SA, Heart Foundation and Preventive Health SA).
  • Build networks and collaborations with key groups working in obesity across Australia.
  • Ensure clear communication and understanding of priorities between Health Policy Centre, Preventive Health SA, and key partners.

About You

The successful candidate will possess the following key attributes:

  • This position requires a postgraduate qualification (Master’s or PhD) in a relevant discipline, e.g., public health, health psychology, behavioural science, or health sciences (or related discipline), or equivalent demonstrated experience (with Honours) in a similar health research setting.
  • Demonstrated experience in public health, behavioural science or health policy research, preferably in the area of obesity prevention.
  • Evidence synthesis skills, including: searching, critical evaluation of evidence, synthesis and communication of results to end users (policy makers in government, project officers, ministers)
  • Proficiency and knowledge in a range of research methods to assist in research and evaluation study design and development.
  • Demonstrated experience conducting quantitative data analyses on population data sets in SPSS (or an equivalent package).
  • Demonstrated experience writing for a range of audiences, including clear and effective communication of research and evidence for translation into policy.
  • Advanced report writing skills that show attention to detail, including accurate referencing, data entry and formatting, with proficiency in a referencing program (EndNote or similar).
  • Self-motivation and ability to work under limited supervision.
  • Exceptional communication and interpersonal skills for liaising with the research team, and internal and external partners.
  • Respect for confidential data and sensitivity to political considerations arising while working in areas of health policy research.

Special Requirements

  • Up to two days per week may be located within Preventive Health SA to facilitate data access and collaboration with key partners.
  • Some out of hours’ work may be required.
  • Any conflicts arising from the persons’ interests and associations with food, beverage, alcohol or tobacco industry, including commercial interests, will be taken into account in consideration of the persons’ suitability for this role.

Everything we do is underpinned by our core values and our institute is dedicated to grow a culture that pursues, enables and demands research excellence. We are proud of the work we do and work hard as a team to make a positive difference to the community.  Our values of excellence, innovation, courage, integrity and teamwork are what help us achieve our goals. If these are also your values and goals, apply today.

As a not-for-profit organisation, SAHMRI employees can access salary packaging options up to $15,900. Salary packaging lets you pay for things like the everyday costs of living with money from your salary before tax. This reduces your taxable income, meaning you could pay less tax and take home more of what you earn. For more information on salary packaging please see the Maxxia website.

For a copy of the position description, please click here.

To Apply, please include a cover letter addressing the key attributes outlined above to demonstrate your suitability to the role (maximum of 1500 words), and a copy of your CV. Failure to address the key attributes will prevent full consideration of your application.

For more information, please contact Kerry Ettridge at

Applications close: 11:29pm ACST Wednesday 24th July 2024

Applications may close earlier than advertised if a suitable candidate is found prior to the close date.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are strongly encouraged to apply


SAHMRI is a member of the Athena SWAN Science in Australia Gender Equity program. We have been awarded Bronze status for our commitment to advancing the careers of women, trans and gender diverse individuals in STEMM.

Applications close Wednesday, 24 Jul 2024


Apply now

Equity & Diversity at SAHMRI

At SAHMRI, we live our commitment to equity and diversity every day: respecting people as individuals and valuing differences to create a working environment that is fair and flexible, promotes personal and professional growth and benefits from the capabilities of a diverse workforce.

Learn more