Research Assistant - Early Years Health

Requisition ID:  26639

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Working Pattern:  Part Time
Posted Date:  31 Jan 2024


Salary: £31,396 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: 29 February 2024


The Role


Do you have a passion for helping disadvantaged young children develop their language and communication skills?


We are looking for healthcare and early years professionals to join a research study evaluating localised intervention for children at risk of speech, language and communication difficulties. We are working with North Tyneside, Redcar and Cleveland, and Wolverhampton to identify preschool children most at risk of speech, language and communication difficulties and tailor evidence-based interventions for local delivery. The post holders will each be based in one of these sites. They will be Speech and Language Therapists / Assistants, Early Years Professionals or Psychology Graduates with experience of working with pre-school children.


The posts will each be embedded in a local research and service delivery team in one of the three areas and part of a wider multidisciplinary research team evaluating the project. You will maintain strong relationships with services providing the intervention of the project. You will organise and make visits to collect information on children for the project. You will assess children’s language and help their parents in completing study questionnaires. You will enter data and assist the research team in maintaining accurate information for the study.


To apply for this vacancy please provide evidence of how you meet the essential criteria required for the role outlined in ‘The Person’ by uploading a letter of application along with your Curriculum Vitae (CV).  If you wish to be considered for a job share or reduced hours, please outline this in your letter of application. 


The posts are offered on a part time basis up to 19 hours per week (50% FTE), fixed term for a period of 22 months from June 2024 and could be available to existing University colleagues as a secondment.  You should discuss this with your current manager before submitting your application.


We welcome applications from those interested in fewer than the advertised hours and/or who have interest in specific components of the role.


Further information can be obtained by contacting the project leads Prof Lindsay Pennington or Prof Cristina McKean


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 community 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. 


As part of our commitment to career development for research colleagues, 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

You will be supported by the project leads, local team and the project manager. Your responsibilities will be to:

•    Participate in workshops with local service leads and parent representatives to identify children at risk of SLCN and select evidence-based interventions for local delivery
•    Assist in the tailoring of evidence-based interventions for local delivery, and development of materials
•    Assist in training local staff (e.g., in nurseries and pre-school settings) to deliver the adapted intervention
•    Organise and conduct assessments of young children’s language and cognitive development for a research study
•    Keep accurate records of children’s performance during assessment sessions
•    Enter data onto data management systems
•    Disseminate information to schools and families through a variety of media
•    Maintain relationships of trust and collaboration with local health, education and social care settings and teams
•    Contribute to the preparation of reports and papers for presentation at national and international conferences and meetings
•    Attend meetings and other events appropriate to the project and give progress reports as required

•    Undertake other tasks related to the projects as required by the project leads, commensurate with the grade of this post
•    Identify and undertake a programme of professional development, including further training in use of standardised tests and testing young children


The Person 


Knowledge, Skills and Experience

•    Experience of working with preschool children 
•    Workplace experience working in and with early years settings, including nurseries and pre-schools
•    Ability to develop and maintain relationships with diverse groups of staff and families 
•    Understanding of Health and Educational contexts in England
•    Knowledge of a range of assessment approaches relevant to preschool children with (SLCN)
•    Awareness of and sensitivity to needs of research participants from diverse cultural backgrounds 
•    Car driver

•    Workplace experience working in and with early years settings, including nurseries and pre-schools 
•    Experience of a range of assessment approaches relevant to preschool children with (SLCN) 
•    Experience of working with bilingual families 


Attributes and Behaviour

•    Ability to collaborate in teams
•    Ability to negotiate and influence others
•    Attention to detail and careful record keeping
•    Ability to analyse and reflect on own performance
•    Ability to seek advice as appropriate
•    Excellent time management 
•    Willingness to travel to research sites off Newcastle University campus
•    Understanding of relevant Health and Safety and ethical issues
•    Commitment to Equality and Diversity
•    Flexibility



•    Degree level qualification in speech and language therapy or psychology (2:1 or higher) 



Newcastle University is a global University 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 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 of our employees and the communities they represent.  We are proud to be an equal opportunities employer and encourage applications from individuals who can complement our existing teams, we believe that success is built on having teams whose backgrounds and experiences reflect the diversity of our university and student population.


At Newcastle University we hold a silver Athena Swan award in recognition of our good employment practices for the advancement of gender equality.  We also hold a Race Equality Charter Bronze award in recognition of our work towards tackling race inequality in higher education REC.  We are a Disability Confident employer and will offer an interview to disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria for the role as part of the offer and interview scheme.


In addition, we are a member of the Euraxess initiative supporting researchers in Europe. 

Requisition ID: 26639