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Research Assistant/Associate

Requisition ID:  23961

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Working Pattern:  Full Time
Posted Date:  03-Nov-2022


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 £34,308 per annum


Closing Date: 27 November 2022


The Role


Are you passionate about ensuring research has real world application and impact? Do you have experience supporting others to effectively engage with policy makers? Are you a great team player with ability to understand the needs of end users? We are looking for a dynamic and engaged Policy Engagement and Impact Research Associate to join Insights North East (INE) to work in an interdisciplinary team to ensure our work is relevant and communicated in the right way to ensure it leads to actionable outcomes for our partners and regional stakeholders. This is a great opportunity for someone who wants to join a brand new venture and bring their own perspective to how INE develops. This is fixed term until 30.09.2025 in the first instance, with potential for extension.


Established in 2021, Insights North East (INE) is an exciting new partnership funded by Research England Development Fund between Newcastle University, Northumbria University, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Trust, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, North of Tyne Combined Authority and Newcastle City Council. We are seeking to create better links between academics and policymakers to close the gap between publicly funded research and policy design and implementation in order to address the needs of communities in the region. 

The Policy Engagement and Impact Research Associate is a critical role working across all of INE activities to ensure we apply the latest thinking on knowledge exchange and academic engagement in policy making to achieve maximum impact for our policy making partners.  As well as an academic grounding in knowledge exchange principles and practices you will also have experience in supporting academics to maximise their impact by translating their research into appropriate formats for policy-making audiences (for example, you may have played a role in supporting the development of REF Impact Case Studies).  You will also have some knowledge or experience of the policy making process and how research can be shaped to inform it.


You will work closely with the Engagement and Impact Coordinator to design and run events and activities for academics, policy makers and events, and to design policy facing materials for the target audiences.  You will help to manage a knowledge exchange budget of £50,000 per year and help identify new funding opportunities for engagement activities.  You will provide guidance to our thematic Policy Challenge Research Associates (Net Zero, Health and Wellbeing, Inclusive Growth) to ensure they employ the latest thinking in designing knowledge exchange strategies for their work packages.


This appointment is fixed term in the first instance, but we have a robust plan for the long-term sustainability of INE beyond this initial funding period. 


INE will be based in an exciting new location in central Newcastle.  We welcome requests for flexible working and depending on the needs of the role, blended working opportunities to work remotely as well as being office based may be considered. The hiring manager will discuss the requirements of the role, should you be invited to interview.


If you would like to have an informal conversation about this role and INE please contact Louise Kempton (


In order to apply 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).


Key Accountabilities

  • Identify good practice in policy engagement locally and globally to support INE activities
  • Identify and review relevant literatures on engagement, impact and co-production to develop training activities and guides
  • Identify critical capacity building needs in the region through dialogue with INE stakeholders
  • Design and deliver training and capability raising activities for local partners and academic staff
  • Help develop networks with others engaged in policy engagement in the CAPE project and elsewhere
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of training delivered and its impact on policy engagement
  • Conduct and publish research on the policy engagement process within INE and more widely
  • Develop an evidence base of practice and engage with stakeholders to be able to provide advice to INE stakeholders on how to translate research to non-academic audiences


The Person


Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • Understanding of the latest literature and practice around one or more of the following; knowledge exchange, impact, academic engagement, policy making
  • Experience of supporting academics to engage with non-academic audiences
  • Ability to translate complex research and research findings into formats that are most useful for the target audience
  • Understanding of the needs of policy makers and the policy making process
  • Familiarity with a range of mechanisms for communicating with non-academics (e.g. blogs, podcasts, policy briefs, data visualisation, infographics etc.)
  • Experience of designing and delivering engaging training/capacity building events


Attributes and Behaviour

  • Excellent organisation skills, with the ability to plan and prioritise work to meet deadlines
  • Commitment to personal development and updating knowledge and skills
  • Creative and innovative communicator who can deploy a range of tools and tailored approaches
  • Willingness to work as part of an interdisciplinary team, which includes quantitative and non-quantitative researchers as well as policy makers



  • Phd or close to completion in a relevant subject area

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: 23961