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PD Research Associate Social Science

Requisition ID:  24966

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Working Pattern:  Part Time
Posted Date:  23-Jan-2023


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.


What’s in it for you? Newcastle University is a great place to work, with excellent benefits. We have a generous holiday package; plus the opportunity to buy more, great pension schemes and a number of health and wellbeing initiatives to support you.


Newcastle is an inclusive global University community where everyone is treated with dignity and respect.  As a University of Sanctuary, we aim to provide a welcoming place of safety for all, offering opportunities to people fleeing violence and persecution.


Newcastle University is committed to being a fully inclusive Global University which actively recruits, supports and retains colleagues 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.



Research Assistant: £29,619 to £31,411 per annum

Research Associate: £32,348 to £42,155 per annum


Closing Date: 21 February 2023


The Role


Are you a qualitative/quantitative social scientist with interests in food safety, and the health of humans, animals, and the environment? 

This is an exciting opportunity with responsibility for Social Science  Research on the Horizon Europe /UKRI innovate funded Holifood project  (funded through the Food, bioeconomy, natural resources, agriculture and environment cluster of the European programme). Holifood is coordinated by Wageningen Food Safety Research in the Netherlands.  

The research aims to understand stakeholder, citizen and consumer perceptions of, and attitudes towards, food safety and food safety risks in the food system. 

You will work closely with a multidisciplinary team at Newcastle University (NU) including both social and natural scientists working on this project. You will be based within the Applied Social Science Group  which is part of the School  of Natural and Environmental Sciences (SNES). You will be encouraged to work closely with NU colleagues across campus and with the 16 other institutions across Europe collaborating on Holifoods . 


The role also has a requirement to work with  external industrial, policy and academic project partners, including SMES and NGOs. You will be using quantitative and qualitative social science methodologies to understand stakeholder, including consumer, responses to new methods of developing and communicating food safety risk and sustainability information. 


We are committed to building and maintaining a fair and inclusive working environment and we would be happy to discuss arrangements for flexible and/or blended working. 


The role is offered on a part time basis (50%), and is initially available for 24  months from the start date. 


For more information about the School of Natural and Environmental Sciences, please click here 


For more information about the Applied Social Sciences Group click here 


SNES holds an Athena SWAN bronze award, in recognition of our commitment to advancing gender equality.


To apply, please complete an online application and upload a CV and a cover letter. Your cover letter is a supporting statement, and you should outline how you meet the essential criteria of the role and evidence this with examples. 


For informal enquiries please contact Professor Lynn Frewer, email - 


Key Accountabilities

  • Carry out field work collecting quantitative and qualitative data from stakeholders, including consumers, in different European countries in order understand attitudes, preferences and, in the case of consumers, behaviours in relation to food safety and sustainability 
  • Contribute to developing, analysing, and writing up experimental research with project partners
  • Contribute to social media analysis in relation to perceptions of food safety issues 
  • Contribute to developing, running, and analysing a series of quantitative on -line experiments to be run across different European countries, including the UK
  • To disseminate your work via leading international journal publications and conferences
  • Contribute, as appropriate, to other research, teaching and engagement activities within the School

The Person 

  • Willing and able to participate in teaching, research and fieldwork activities, occasionally including planned work out of normal office hours
  • Willingness to undertake frequent travel within the UK, in particular to European destinations, for project meetings and fieldwork


Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • Experience in development or application of research in the area of food safety risk communication 
  • Experience in development or application of research in the area of on-line economic and /or social science experiments 
  • Familiarity with the UK and European policy context in relation to food security, nutrition and greener production in the agri-food sector 
  • Experience in field data collection
  • Experience of research project supervision
  • Proven ability to interact with industry, civil society and academic groups 
  • Advanced knowledge of consumer research methodologies (quantitative and mixed methods) 
  • Advanced knowledge of knowledge of Living Laboratory approaches 
  • Data processing and analysis skills including experience with (e.g)  NVivo, R, Stata, SPSS 
  • High-quality written and oral communication skills in the English language


Attributes and Behaviour 

  • Enthusiastic, self-motivated researcher able to develop ideas for new projects and funding streams
  • A demonstrated ability to work well in a team environment
  • A proven or emerging track record of self-motivated progress in academic research, including publication in peer-reviewed journals



  • A PhD in in quantitative and qualitative   behavioural science, or a closely related social science field, completed by the time of appointment, or equivalent independent research experience 



The University holds a silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of our good employment practices for the advancement of gender equality. The University is also a member of the Euraxess initiative supporting researchers in Europe.


Requisition ID: 24966