Research Assistant/Associate in Interaction Design (for Participatory Digital Health)

Requisition ID:  26659

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Working Pattern:  Full Time
Posted Date:  7 Feb 2024


Salary: £33,966 - £44,263  per annum


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: 6 March 2024


The role


This is a full time, fixed term for 18 months post which provides an exciting opportunity for a Research Associate, with creative Interaction Design skills and an interest in developing participatory and collaborative research practice, to join our new EPSRC-funded Northern Health Futures (NortHFutures) Hub, which launched in November 2023.

You will be based in Open Lab, a leading interdisciplinary Human Computer Interaction (HCI) research group at Newcastle University, based in our Urban Sciences Building at Newcastle Helix. You will benefit from working with NortHFutures investigators based in Open Lab, Data Science colleagues in the School of Computing, colleagues in the Faculty of Medical Sciences, and with community and stakeholder representatives at partnering organisations.  This includes experts in Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement (PPIE) and collaborators in health and care and in healthcare technologies design and innovation.

For the NortHFutures hub, you will adopt a case-study approach to explore the design, development and evaluation of prototype user interfaces for such data environments, delivering design-led research evidence that addresses digital inclusion, and contributing to strategic ideation and development of digital inclusion relating to health and care technologies and services for the NENC region and beyond.

Alongside this work, you will help to conceptualise and explore novel user scenarios for data-rich health and care which draw on multiple data sources, including health-care records and sensor-based systems for wearable and mobile health monitoring.

Please reach out to Abigail Durrant, Professor of Interaction Design at, to discuss this opportunity.

To apply, please complete an online application and upload a copy of your CV and a letter of application that should evidence how you meet the essential requirements for the role.


As an EPSRC funded role, the successful applicant may be eligible for the Endorsed Funder Route of the Global Talent Visa. We can provide an interest free loan scheme to support applicants who need to apply for a visa.  

We would be happy to discuss arrangements for flexible and/or blended working.


We follow the Researcher Development Concordat. We enable all staff to fulfil their research potential regardless of career stage. This commitment secures our thriving research culture and vibrant research environment. Our offer to each individual and their researcher development involves: mentoring, annual research planning discussions, pooled research funding to support career development and research activities, peer review support for the development of research and innovation funding applications.

Key Accountabilities

  • Collaborating with NortHFutures Data Architect on the prototyping and evaluation of user interfaces for novel tools and services that enable inclusive and collaborative data interactions between differing stakeholders in health and care contexts
  • Supporting the planning, delivery and analysis of Collaborative (Co-)Design Workshops with relevant stakeholders, working with NortHFutures PPIE Coordinator and wider team, to understand and address concerns for digital inclusion in design practice
  • Preparing and managing University and Health Research Authority ethics applications for the review and approval of protocols for research engagements in health and care
  • Analysis of qualitative research data arising from design activity, with rigour and ethical responsibility, and in collaboration with team members
  • Documenting and reporting upon design-led research practice and outcomes for NortHFutures team and for wider stakeholder audiences including academic and non-academic groups
  • Organise and contribute to project team meetings, in routine communication with NortHFutures Hub Manager and with Principal Investigator Professor Abigail Durrant (also Line Manager)


The Person (Essential)

Knowledge, Skills and Experience 

  • Experience of user research and user-centred design processes and practice
  • Experience in design and prototyping tools such as Adobe Creative Suite
  • Demonstrable knowledge of co-design/ participatory design methods for digital technology development
  • Interest and/or experience in researching health and care technologies
  • Interpersonal skills and demonstrable experience of communicating complex information with clarity 
  • Ability to work well as part of a team in interdisciplinary environments
  • Excellent written, oral and potentially visual communication skills
  • Demonstrable knowledge of qualitative research methods
  • Track record of leading publication(s) for high quality conferences and/or journals in a related field


  • Experience of interface design for web or desktop environments using relevant technical frameworks (e.g. Javascript frameworks) 
  • Experience of designing applications for data visualisation
  • Experience of working in the health and care sector 


Attributes and Behaviour

  • Ability to work on own initiative and prioritise tasks (time management)
  • Ability to work independently, and flexibly as part of a multi-disciplinary team and contribute to the development of effective and mutually supportive working relationships and practices



  • Honours degree in a relevant subject
  • Masters Degree in Design plus equivalent professional Interaction Design and User Research experience

In addition for Research Associate

  • PhD in Design, Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), Data Visualisation, Computer Science, or related field (awarded or close to submission)


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: 26659