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Research Associate in Quantitative Data Analysis

Requisition ID:  4864

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Working Pattern:  Full Time
Posted Date: 


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.


Salary: £30,942 - £40,322 per annum 

Closing Date: 14 August 2020


The role


We are looking for an outstanding individual with high quality quantitative research skills and experience to contribute to a portfolio of team based rural enterprise and innovation research and knowledge exchange activities in the new National Innovation Centre for Rural Enterprise (NICRE), funded by Research England and led by Newcastle University. You will be part of the coordinating team of NICRE and undertake quantitative and longitudinal analysis of primary survey and secondary data sources relevant to the performance, innovation, resilience and potential of rural businesses and economies. The role will also entail supporting innovative demonstration projects and initiatives, and providing insights and recommendations to enhance policy and practice in rural enterprise. You should be a strong communicator, with the ability to interact with researchers from other disciplines in the Centre and collaborate with our wider stakeholders in business and policy sectors.


NICRE will undertake research and knowledge exchange to inform policy, foster the innovation and resilience of rural businesses, and unlock the potential of rural economies across the UK. It is funded by Research England and founding University Partners. NICRE builds on three leading centres of expertise: (Centre for Rural Economy and Newcastle University Business School, the Enterprise Research Centre at Warwick and the Countryside and Community Research Institute at Gloucestershire/Royal Agricultural University).It involves a partnership between Universities, Government departments, local authorities and enterprise partnerships, businesses organisations, rural stakeholders and enterprises. Baldwins Accountants and Strutt & Parker Property consultants are its founding national professional business service partners.


For any informal enquiries, please contact by email

Prof. Matthew Gorton, Professor of Marketing matthew.gorton@newcastle.ac.uk

Prof. Jeremy Phillipson, Professor of Rural Economy jeremy.phillipson@newcastle.ac.uk

Prof. Guy Garrod, Professor or Environmental and Rural Studies guy.garrod@newcastle.ac.uk


For further information about NICRE please click Here


The position is full time, fixed term and available from the 01st September 2020; tenable until the 31st August 2023.


Key Accountabilities

  • To assist, manage and conduct research, surveys and specified research projects using a range of quantitative methods on the characteristics, needs and contributions of rural businesses and their innovation practices. 
  • To support survey design and undertake quantitative analysis of primary survey data on SMEs, as well as secondary analysis of national longitudinal small business survey data. 
  • To contribute to the writing of research articles for peer-reviewed, international scientific journals and to the communication and dissemination of outputs, for example in briefing papers and evidence submissions to inform enterprise and rural decision making throughout the UK.  
  • To contribute to knowledge exchange events with businesses, their representatives and policy makers, and helping to host discussions and facilitate productive debate. 
  • To attend NICRE management and research meetings and assist with the day-to-day running of research. 
  • To support the preparation and management of proposals for research projects that support NICRE sustainability.
  • Willingness to travel locally, nationally and on occasion internationally to visit collaborators, present findings and attend conferences, involving short stays away from home and occasional weekend working.  
  • To deputise for the NICRE directors as appropriate to represent the Centre in internal or external meetings and events, including making presentations about NICRE to senior stakeholders.
  • To contribute occasionally to teaching and on training quantitative methods and research findings as appropriate to the skills of the RA. 


The Person


Knowledge, Skills and Experience 



  • Subject knowledge relating to themes such as development of small and medium sized enterprise (SMEs), rural enterprises/economies, resilience and innovation
  • Research experience relevant to rural enterprise and innovation – including project formulation, preparation of structured literature reviews, methodological knowledge, project implementation, analysis and writing up of empirical data
  • Excellent quantitative research and survey design, sampling and delivery skills
  • Excellent general numerical data analysis skills
  • Experience in using relevant statistical software e.g. STATA , R and / or SPSS
  • Excellent communication skills in English, both oral and written, with an ability to present material clearly to a variety of audiences
  • Proven ability to work effectively in a team, including building working relationships with colleagues and external contacts
  • Resilient, reliable and ethical team player with an ability to work well under pressure
  • Ability to make decisions independently, using own initiative, but also know when to seek wider input.



  • Specific subject knowledge relating to rural development challenges and opportunities and associated key issues in the UK / Europe
  • Experience in the analysis of large, longitudinal data sets
  • Academic publications in internationally recognised journals
  • Experience in effective research dissemination, communication and networking with professional groups, policy makers or small businesses
  • Experience of teaching in Higher Education, with the ability to communicate effectively in supervising and training students.


Attributes and Behaviour


  • Understands and makes sense of complex quantitative data and different perspectives
  • Clear, concise and accurate communication, tailoring the approach accordingly using appropriate media and encouraging an overall effective communication process
  • Works collaboratively with others, playing a positive role in teams and establishing and growing relationships internally and externally across organisations and functions where different skills, expertise and opinions are valued
  • Effective at organising and managing heavy, diverse and complex workloads within tight deadlines
  • Has the ability to think strategically and to manage complex problems and issues
  • Sets own priorities in conjunction with team and area objectives
  • Encourages creative and innovative thinking in self and others
  • A pro-active, positive, motivated individual with a ‘can do’ attitude and the ability to remain calm and focused
  • Confidence and professionalism in personal interactions, able to establish and maintain good working relationships with colleagues and others at all levels whilst having the ability to negotiate and influence where appropriate 
  • Willingness to travel to events and NICRE partner institutions throughout the UK and beyond (the post is based at Newcastle but the role will involve work across NICRE HEIs and partners)
  • Excellent written English to publishable standards – ability to prepare outputs to publication standards



  • PhD (or equivalent experience) in a relevant discipline (e.g. economics, statistics) or business management, human geography, rural development, sociology if with a strong quantitative element).



Newcastle University is committed to being a fully inclusive Global University which actively recruits, supports and retains staff 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.


Requisition ID: 4864


The School/Institute holds a bronze/silver Athena SWAN award in addition to the University’s silver award in recognition of our good employment practices for the advancement of gender equality.  The University also holds the HR Excellence in Research award for our work to support the career development of our researchers, and is a member of the Euraxess initiative supporting researchers in Europe.