Research Assistant / Associate

Requisition ID:  25332

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Working Pattern:  Part Time
Posted Date:  22 May 2023



Research Assistant: £30,619 to £32,411 per annum, pro rata

Research Associate: £33,348 to £35,308 per annum, pro rata


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.


Closing Date: 20 June 2023



The Role


We are seeking a dynamic researcher with knowledge and experience of machine learning and an interest in environmental applications to work with Dr Ruth Machen on a 12-month project entitled “Governing Climate Change through machine learning technologies: Valuing patterns, patterning values”.


The project, which runs for two-years is examining the application of machine learning technologies to precision forest management in the development of short-term carbon markets. The aim of the project is to understand how machine learning technologies are shaping the processes and outputs of climate decision-making in the specific case study of NCX - a USA based start-up that has created a carbon marketplace to connect forest landowners, managers and communities to carbon investors. ML technologies have been used to create the information platforms upon which the service has been built.


The post advertised is part time (0.2 FTE) and can be worked flexibly and remotely.


We are looking for someone with both critical analytical skills and technical abilities in computer programming and machine learning. Experience of/capability in machine learning is an essential criterion for appointment. Interest in environmental applications is welcome but not essential. The postholder will be responsible for interpreting and analysing source code (mostly via Git-hub), participating in qualitative interviews that explore the design and role of ML approaches and

assisting with conducting targeted literature reviews, participating in site visits etc and may be required to travel to the USA for empirical fieldwork. The successful applicant also would also be involved in contributing to analysis and the production of written research outputs.


Please submit the following:

  • Curriculum vitae 
  • Cover letter outlining your capabilities for the position and outlining your relevant experience – including a short research statement and career goals.


Informal queries to: Dr Ruth Machen (


As part of our commitment to career development for research staff, the University has developed 3 levels of research role profiles.  These profiles set out firstly the generic competences and responsibilities expected of role holders at each level and secondly the general qualifications and experiences needed for entry at a particular level.

Key Accountabilities

  • Lead the interpretation and analysis of source code and quasi source code (mostly via Git-hub)
  • Contribute to the design, conduct and analysis of qualitative interviews with software designers, technicians, scientific staff etc.
  • Conduct targeted literature reviews and desk top research in relation to the case study.
  • Participating in site visits etc which may involve travel to the USA.
  • Contribute to the production of written research outputs and presentations for a range of audiences.
  • Take responsibility for any administration related to the research and engagement processes, including procurement, budget management and ethics.


The Person (Essential)


Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Relevant research or work-experience involving machine learning (ML) approaches 


  • Experience or knowledge in writing and/or analysing machine learning code preferably, but not necessarily, within an environmental context
  • Relevant research or work-experience in undertaking interdisciplinary research in multidisciplinary teams


Attributes and Behaviour

  • Willingness and enthusiasm for working in interdisciplinary research team


  • Enjoy working in a small team but be able to perform field work and manage project tasks independently



  • A Masters or PhD degree – preferably in computer science, GIScience, geography, forest ecology, or related field


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.


We are 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.


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: 25332