Research Assistant/Associate

Requisition ID:  25483

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Working Pattern:  Full Time
Posted Date:  18 May 2023


Starting Salary:

Research Assistant: £30,619 to £32,411 per annum

Research Associate: £33,348 to £35,308 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: 16 June 2023



The Role


This is an exciting opportunity to join a supportive, multidisciplinary research team and contribute to a 3-year research project funded by Breast Cancer Now. The research project, known as PURE-EX, aims to develop a programme that will improve women’s access to diet and physical activity support after their breast cancer treatment. To do this, the project will: (1) establish a referral pathway so that healthcare professionals can refer women to community support services, and (2) develop a training package to help community service providers repurpose their diet and physical activity services for women with breast cancer.


The project involves four main work packages: (1) scoping review; (2) focus groups with breast cancer survivors, healthcare professionals, and other stakeholders; (3) workshops with all key stakeholders; and (4) a feasibility study. The successful candidate will lead the day-to-day running of this project, with support from expert members of the research team. Key responsibilities will include: conducting the scoping review; organising and leading focus groups and workshops; developing and delivering the training package for community service providers; securing ethical and governance approvals and setting up hospital sites for the feasibility study; and supporting Patient & Public Involvement (PPI).  


This post is fixed term for a period of 3 years. It is available from autumn 2023 on a full-time basis.


For informal enquiries contact: Dr Sam Orange (


The post will be affiliated with the Population Health Science Institute within the Faculty of Medical Sciences. Find out more about our Research Institutes here.


Find out more about the Faculty of Medical Sciences 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

  • Develop and carry out the PURE-EX project using appropriate techniques and methodologies as outlined above, including managing the day-to-day running of the project
  • Contribute ideas, including enhancements to the methodological aspects of the project, thus providing 'added value'
  • Carry out a scoping review using established frameworks
  • Lead the recruitment, delivery, and qualitative analysis of focus groups and workshops with breast cancer survivors, healthcare professionals, and other stakeholders
  • Develop the protocol for the feasibility study and lead its implementation
  • Prepare ethical applications and liaise with R&D staff to set up hospital sites to take part in the feasibility study
  • Develop and maintain effective working relationships with research team members, collaborators, PPI group members, and Research & Development (R&D) staff at hospital sites
  • Take responsibility for the organisation and conduct of PPI activities for the project
  • Lead the write up of research for publication and dissemination through seminar and conference presentations and peer-reviewed publications
  • Present scientific work at internal and external meetings and conferences
  • Critically appraise research findings for the need for further investigations
  • Contribute to grant applications and, in time, as appropriate for career stage, develop own research objectives and proposals for funding
  • Assist, where appropriate, in the supervision of final year undergraduate research projects, Masters-level dissertations, and in providing support to postgraduate research students or Research Assistants
  • Participate in the activities of the Population Health Sciences Institute and other University research groupings when relevant/required
  • Develop an awareness of University structures, policies and procedures and relevant issues in the higher education, research, social and political environment


The Person


Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • Ability to work well as part of a multidisciplinary research team and rapidly acquire new skills
  • Knowledge of cancer survivorship research
  • High level of analytical and problem-solving capabilities
  • Ability to clearly communicate complex information to lay and specialist audiences 
  • Experience of health-related research with vulnerable groups, with clear transferable skills to undertaking research with cancer survivors
  • Experience of presenting at conferences and/or publishing high-quality research papers (as appropriate for career stage)
  • Experience of recruiting participants into health-based studies
  • Experience of applying qualitative research methods to data collection (e.g., undertaking one-to-one interviews or focus groups)
  • Significant experience in qualitative data analysis
  • Knowledge of intervention development frameworks


  • Experience of research with cancer survivors and/or healthcare professionals
  • Experience of performing literature searches using established methodologies
  • Experience of obtaining NHS ethical approval
  • Experience of clinical trials and setting up NHS sites
  • Experience of developing and/or testing health-based interventions
  • Experience of undertaking PPI activities


Attributes and Behaviour

  • Ability to work independently, taking initiative and being pro-active, as well as working flexibly and co-operatively with others
  • Excellent attention to detail
  • Excellent organisational, planning, and time management skills
  • Ability and willingness to travel locally and within the UK, if required (e.g., to deliver the training package to community services)
  • Excellent written and spoken communication skills, which are required for working sensitively and effectively with cancer survivors, healthcare professionals, and PPI group members



  • Research Assistant: Good honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant discipline (e.g., Health Psychology, Behavioral Sciences, Public Health, Sport & Exercise Science, Human Nutrition)
  • Research Associate: A PhD or Professional Doctorate in a relevant discipline


  • Research Assistant: Master’s degree in a relevant discipline
  • Research Assistant: Having recently submitted, or being close to completing (within the next 3 months), a PhD in a closely related research area
  • Research Associate: Previous postdoctoral research experience


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.


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

Requisition ID: 25483