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Research Assistant/Associate

Requisition ID:  24718

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Working Pattern:  Full Time
Posted Date:  23-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 £42,155 per annum


Closing Date: 04 January 2023


The Role 


We are seeking an experienced qualitative researcher for a 24 month position to work across two NIHR programmes of work: the NIHR Blood and Transplant Research Unit in Organ Donation and Transplantation and The NIHR Innovation Observatory. 


The NIHR Blood and Transplant Research Unit in Organ Donation and Transplantation (BTRU) is a collaboration between University of Cambridge and Newcastle University. The NIHR Innovation Observatory is a £26M initiative, that brings together information specialists, data scientists, text mining, horizon scanning and evidence synthesis researchers to provide essential intelligence in health and social care innnovation to several national agencies. 


This position would suit a researcher with an interest in transplantation and/or in health and social care innovations, with well developed skills in conducting qualitative research and the ability to balance competing priorities. 


Research relevant to the BTRU will acount for 60% of the role as the post-holder will primarily lead the data collection and analysis of the qualitative sub-study embedded within the NIHR Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation funded E-CLAD UK clinical trial. E-CLAD UK seeks to ascertain whether Extracorporeal Photopheresis (ECP) therapy for chronic lung allograft dysfunction (CLAD) after lung transplantation can halt the progression of the disease.


This qualitative sub-study will explore participants’ experiences of living with CLAD and of receiving ECP therapy. This will increase understanding of the lived experience of CLAD and whether ECP therapy is an acceptable treatement for people with CLAD, informing any future NHS implementation plans. 


The development of the trial and the qualitative sub-study has been informed by patient and public involvement (PPI) and PPI input will be central to the qualitative sub-study throughout. The post holder will work closely with the trial’s PPI lead developing and implementing a plan to maximise impact from the project.


For the remaining 40% of the role, the post holder will work within the Innovation Observatory. The post holder will be part of a large multi-disciplinary team, contributing to the delivery of the Insights Programme. The Insights progamme also aims to promote an active partnership between the Innovation Observatory and the public, providing an opportunity to participate in research decision making upon early-stage identification of high-quality health and social care innovation. This is done through the use of techniques grounded in theory developed through participatory and qualitative research as well as emerging ‘soft’ intelligence and horizon scanning methods. Within this role you will look to gather intelligence on the experiences, behaviours and attitudes of relevance to health and social care innovation how they are evolving over time and the potential impact that this will have on the health system.


This post is being offered on a full time or part time basis. If taken up on a part time basis (0.6 FTE) the focus of the role will be to cover responsibilities linked to the E-CLAD UK clinical trial.


This post is fixed term for a period of 24 Months. 


For informal enquiries contact: Professor Catherine Exley

Find out more about the Faculty of Medical Sciences here: 


Find out more about our Research Institutes here:


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
•    Although working under the general guidance of an academic or Principal Investigator, the postholder will contribute ideas, including enhancements to the technical or methodological aspects of their studies, thus providing substantial 'added value' 
•    Develop and carry out the specified project using appropriate techniques as outlined in the personal requirements 
•    Determine appropriate methodologies for research, with advice and support where required
•    Contribute to grant applications and in time develop own research objectives and proposals for funding 
•    Assess research findings for the need/scope for further investigations
•    Contribute to the writing up of thei research for publication and dissemination, either through seminar and conference presentations or through publications
•    Present research findings, at conferences and/or publications appropriate to the discipline
•    Contribute, if needed and with guidance, to the supervision of final year undergraduate and/or Masters research projects and provide support to postgraduate research students 
•    Work with professional support colleagues and, on occasions, with undergraduate and postgraduate students, and interact intellectually with other academic members of the Institute and/or School
•    Contribute as needed to events celebrating the public engagement of science/social sciences/humanities
•    Develop an awareness of University structures, policies and procedures and relevant issues in the higher education, research, social and political environment
•    Arrange, undertake, and lead analysis of remote semi-structured interviews with people lung transplant recipients living with CLAD who have received treatment, including ECP therapy, as part of the E-CLAD UK clinical trial
•    Work closely with the project’s PPIE lead and PPIE panel to ensure that the work is supported by PPIE input
•    Report the progress of the sub-study to the wider trial team at regular meeting and other relevant project meetings
•    Work closely with the Insights Programme lead to develop and deliver PPIE events that capture citizen insight and unmet need to drive appropriate development and uptake of innovation
•    To gather, synthesise and share intelligence on emerging health and social care innovations with the public to gain new and meaningful insights


The Person (Essential)


Knowledge, Skills and Experience 

•    Proven organisational skills, including in working with patients and healthcare professionals 
•    Strong administrative and organisational skills
•    Excellent written and spoken communication skills, which are required for working sensitively and effectively with patients, families, and health professionals
•    Applying qualitative research methods to data collection (e.g., undertaking one-to-one interviews or focus groups) and undertaking qualitative analysis
•    Working with healthcare professionals to support recruitment of patients (or health professionals) to research studies

•    Knowledge of Transplantation research 
•    Involvement in PPIE activities


Attributes and Behaviour
•    Ability to take initiative and be pro-active as well as working as a supportive team member
•    Ability and willingness to work flexible hours to fit around patients’ needs and preferences
•    Availability to start work in March 2023



•    MSc/MA/MPH for Assistant - or for appointment at Associate level, a PhD - in health sciences, public health, psychology, social sciences or a related field



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: 24718