Share this Job

Research Assistant in Railway Traffic Management

Requisition ID:  3223

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Posted Date: 


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: £28,331.00 - £30,046.00 

Closing Date: 15 March 2020




The role


This is an exciting opportunity for a motivated individual with a keen interest in railway engineering to join ‘NewRail’, Newcastle Centre for Railway Research. You will join a team of experts in the field of railway technologies in a centre developed to achieve the highest standard of excellence in railway research. You will be primarily involved in assisting the research group with the analysis, design and testing of novel technologies and systems that are being developed for different applications in railway traffic management. Our industry partners and collaborators have facilities which allow for full-scale rail vehicle and track investigations. We are looking for someone who is enthusiastic about railway technologies, who is creative as well as having a demonstrated ability in the communication of science. You will be required to work closely with our external stakeholders, including international industry and academic partners, excellent interpersonal skills are essential. Please note you will also be required to travel outside the UK.


The appointment is for one year in the first instance or until project end date, whichever is soonest. Part time appointments may be considered. This is an excellent opportunity for a graduate or early career researcher to develop their research profile.


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.


For any informal enquiries please contact Dr. Cristian Ulianov, Railway Technology Group Manager via email cristian.ulianov@ncl.ac.uk.


For more information about the School of Engineering, please click here.


For more information about NewRail please click here.


The University holds a silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of our good employment practices for the advancement of gender equality.  The University also holds the HR Excellence in Research award for our work to support the career development of our researchers, and is a member of the Euraxess initiative supporting researchers in Europe.


Please be advised that due to the minimum salary thresholds imposed by the UKVI, this post may not qualify for University sponsorship under Tier 2 of the points based system.


Key Accountabilities

This profile assumes that all the responsibilities of a Research Assistant will have been fulfilled satisfactorily for that post. The specific additional responsibilities are detailed below:


  • Assist the line manager, working on research projects related to railway technologies, with specific focus on railway systems for traffic management systems (including requirements and operating procedures);
  • Write supporting documents to contribute to and support the work of our Railway Technology team (e.g. reports, interim reports and grant applications);
  • Analyse and record data to support the design of future research;
  • Carry out research experiments;
  • Design, develop and refine experimental apparatus, field research or experiments in order to obtain reliable data;
  • Take responsibility, either individually or in collaboration with others, for preparing proposals for research funding;
  • Take responsibility for the writing up of research for publication;
  • Be active within specialist networks outside the University and contribute generally to the development of thought and practice in the wider academic community.


The Person (Essential)

Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • Knowledge and understanding of complex engineering systems; comprising mechanical and electrical hardware along with software tools.
  • Experience of quality analytical skills
  • Knowledge and/or experience of determining system requirements and analysing system compliance with requirements and relevant standards
  • Experience of the analysis of data in different sizes and formats, through state-of-the-art computing tools (e.g., MATLAB, SPSS, Python, etc.)
  • Basic knowledge and understanding of railway traffic management
  • Excellent skills in communication of science both orally and in writing
  • Research methodologies and techniques appropriate to the type of research
  • Industrial experience and/or established record of publishing research in top quartile impact factor academic journals (Desirable)
  • Knowledge of railway engineering and/or traffic management systems is desirable (Desirable)
  • Experience of participation in research projects, especially those involving rail technologies (Desirable)
  • Ability to direct commercial activities including the preparation of bids and proposals to support new business opportunities (Desirable)
  • Previous involvement with rail technology development projects would be also desirable (Desirable)


Attributes and Behaviour

  • Enthusiastic and creative
  • Developed interpersonal and time management skills
  • Ability to work independently and as part of an inter-disciplinary
  • Willingness to travel locally and internastioanlly and visit project partners, and work under pressure to achieve deadlines.
  • Experience in puplic engagement and disseminating research via professional and social media (Desirable)
  • Good presentation skills (Desirable)
  • Willingness to publish research in quality peer reviewed journals (Desirable)



  • Good first degree or postgraduate degree (BSc, BEng, MSc or Meng) in relevant field of science or engineering (e.g., Civil/ Electrical/ Mechanical Engineering, Transportation, ICT, etc.)
  •  PhD awarded (or nearing completion) in relevant field of science or engineering (e.g., Civil/ Electrical/ Mechanical Engineering, Transportation, ICT, etc.) (Desirable)




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: 3223