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Research Associate (Social Science)

Requisition ID:  24902

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Working Pattern:  Full Time
Posted Date:  17-Jan-2023


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.


Salary: £32,348 to £40,931 per annum


Closing Date: 15 February 2023


The Role


Are you a quantitative social scientist with interests in promoting healthy and sustainable eating? If so, Newcastle University has a role for you. 

This is an exciting opportunity with responsibility for Social Science  Research on the UKRI (SPF) funded Sus-Health project (funded via the Transforming UK Food Systems programme) to understand stakeholder, citizen and consumer perceptions of, and attitudes towards, new food labelling approaches which combine information about the sustainability of production with health and nutrition information. 


You will work closely with a multidisciplinary team, within the Applied Social Science Group School of Natural and Environmental Sciences, with our collaborators at Queens University Belfast, and with external UK project partners from industry and civil society organisations. You will be using primarily quantitative social science methodologies to understand stakeholder, including consumer, responses to new methods of developing and communicating food sustainability and nutrition information.  


The School of Natural and Environmental Sciences holds an Athena SWAN bronze award, in recognition of our commitment to advancing gender equality.


We are committed to building and maintaining a fair and inclusive working environment and we would be happy to discuss arrangements for flexible and/or blended working. 


The role is offered on a fulltime basis and is initially available for 30 months from the start date. 


For more information about the School of Natural and Environmental Sciences, please click here


For more information about the Applied Social Science group, please click here

To apply, please complete an online application and upload a CV and a cover letter. Your cover letter is a supporting statement, and you should outline how you meet the essential criteria of the role and evidence this with examples. 


For informal enquiries please contact Professor Lynn Frewer, email - or Dr Francisco Areal -

Key Accountabilities

  • Carry out field work collecting quantitative and qualitative data from food supply chain stakeholders, including consumers, in Northern Ireland and Newcastle to understand attitudes, preferences and, in the case of consumers, behaviours in relation to sustainability and nutrition labelling of foods 
  • Contribute to developing, analysing and writing up experimental; research conducted in a “living lab” to be held in Belfast 
  • To contribute to developing, running and analysing a series of quantitative on -line experiments to be run at UK scale 
  • To disseminate your work via leading international journal publications and conferences
  • Contribute, as appropriate, to other research, teaching and engagement activities within the School

The Person 

  • Willing and able to participate in teaching, research and fieldwork activities, occasionally including planned work out of normal office hours
  • Willingness to undertake frequent travel within the UK, in particular to Belfast, for project meetings with collaborators and fieldwork

Knowledge, Skills and Experience 

  • Experience in development or application of research in the area of societal responses to food labelling 
  • Experience in development or application of research in the area of on-line economic and /or social science experiments 
  • Familiarity with the UK policy context in relation to food security, nutrition and greener production in the agri-food sector 
  • Experience in field data collection
  • Experience of research project supervision
  • Proven ability to interact with industry and academic groups
  • Advanced knowledge of consumer research methodologies (primarily quantitative)
  • Advanced knowledge of stakeholder research methodologies (quantitative and qualitative)
  • Advanced knowledge of Living laboratory approaches
  • Data processing and analysis skills including NVivo and SPSS
  • High-quality written and oral communication skills in the English language

Attributes and Behaviour

  • Enthusiastic, self-motivated researcher able to develop ideas for new projects and funding streams
  •  A proven or emerging track record of self-motivated progress in academic research, including publication in peer-reviewed journals
  • A demonstrated ability to work well in a team environment


  • A PhD in environmental, or consumer economics, or in quantitative consumer science, or a closely related social science field, completed by the time of appointment, or equivalent independent research experience



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: 24902