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Assistant Research Officer

Requisition ID:  1066

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Posted Date:  24-Oct-2019

Assistant Research Officer


We are a world class research-intensive university. We deliver teaching and learning of the highest quality. We play a leading role in economic, social and cultural development of the North East of England. Attracting and retaining high-calibre people is fundamental to our continued success.


Salary: £25,941.00 per annum 

Closing Date: 19 November 2019


Farm Business Survey, the longest running independent survey of farm businesses, is seeking to appoint an Assistant Research Officer to collect and analyse physical and financial data from agricultural businesses in Northern England.


You will work within a small specialised team at Newcastle University and be responsible for liaising with farmer co-operators, including travelling to farms across Northern England. Full training will be provided with on-going mentoring as you progress to independent working. You will have a degree, preferably in Agriculture, or an HND with appropriate experience, and good knowledge of UK farming systems and business management, along with excellent communication, organisational and administrative skills. You must have a high level of numeracy together with a good knowledge of spreadsheets, e.g. Microsoft Excel. You must be willing to work flexibly, as demanded by the nature of the role, and must hold a full UK driving license.


The post is full-time and fixed-term, initially for 12 months.

This vacancy is for 2 posts

For further information contact Mr Charles Scott, e-mail: or tel: (0191) 208 6657.


Key Accountabilities

  • To recruit candidates to participate in the Farm Business Survey and other research projects.
  • To visit selected farms on a number of occasions in the financial year for the purpose of collecting and analysing physical and detailed financial data relating to the businesses and making considered judgements as to the conduct of the businesses.
  • Collate, analyse and prepare fully reconciled detailed management accounts including enterprise gross margins; to check physical and financial data and enter information into databases according to established conventions; to check whether observations agree with data to provide preliminary authentication of data.
  • To discuss with participating farmers the final survey results in a helpful but confidential manner, indicating the performance of their farms relative to others (unnamed) in the sample.
  • To collect and analyse data for other rural enterprise, commodity and resource use research projects.


The Person (Essential)

Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • An in-depth knowledge of the UK farming industry and a detailed knowledge of accounting conventions used on farms, either by formal training or by significant experience at a level that includes financial involvement in the business, or a combination of these elements
  • An up to date knowledge of National and EU farming and environmental policies
  • Self-motivation and excellent work/time management in planning and delivering annual workloads against contract deadlines
  • Confidentiality in relation to the information gathered and processed
  • Ability to plan and organise own annual work schedules to meet the rigid deadlines set by the contractors, under the guidance and supervision of the manager
  • Decision-making skills and prioritisation of work elements to meet deadlines
  • A high level of numeracy and a good knowledge of spreadsheets, e.g. Microsoft Excel
  • A good understanding of the agricultural industry and related policies
  • Hold a UK driving licence


Attributes and Behaviour

  • Good inter-personal skills to establish a positive relationship with stakeholders and customers
  • Good teamworking skills
  • Good communication skills to put participants at ease and to gain their confidence
  • Willing to spend time away from home on occasion in order to conduct the research in a time- and budget-efficient manner


  • Degree or equivalent experience, e.g. a Diploma in Agriculture combined with significant experience

Newcastle University is committed to being a fully inclusive Global University which actively recruits, supports and retains staff from all sectors of society.  We value diversity as well as celebrate, support and thrive on the contributions of all our employees and the communities they represent.  We are proud to be an equal opportunities employer and encourage applications from everybody, regardless of race, sex, ethnicity, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, age, disability, gender identity, marital status/civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, as well as being open to flexible working practices.

Requisition ID: 1066