Share this Job

Research Associate

Requisition ID:  9737

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Working Pattern:  Part Time
Posted Date:  20-Jul-2021


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 to £32,817 per annum, rising to £40,322

Closing Date: 17 August 2021


The Role


We are seeking an enthusiastic Research Associate to undertake qualitative research as part of an NIHR-funded study that is evaluating the impacts on mental health of the implementation of Universal Credit.  You will work closely with Professor Suzanne Moffatt and Professor Clare Bambra at Newcastle University, and Dr Mandy Cheetham, Northumbria University and Dr Marcia Gibson, Glasgow University on a multi-institution qualitative work package. The qualitative work package is part of a large, mixed-method multi-site collaborative study so you will also work alongside other leading researchers from the Universities of Essex, Liverpool and Manchester. Your main role will be to conduct fieldwork and analysis using longitudinal qualitative research methods in Tyne and Wear and collaborate closely with researchers conducting a parallel qualitative study in the Glasgow City Region. This qualitative workstream is one of five workstreams.  It will examine the ways in which the implementation of Universal Credit (UC) and associated changes to the welfare system affect the mental wellbeing of claimants, their households and staff working with UC claimants. The role involves undertaking all aspects of fieldwork in Tyne and Wear; development of topic guides, recruitment, sampling, longitudinal interviewing, photo-elicitation, data analysis and writing up.  In addition, this workstream will study the impact of COVID-19 on existing claimants and their family members, those who moved onto UC during the UK’s lockdown period and those who have subsequently become claimants due to the economic impact of the pandemic. The focus will be on health, wellbeing, debt, food security, fuel poverty, housing, employment, family life, social relationships, health and social care service use and other related outcomes that emerge as a result of longitudinal qualitative enquiry.  Finally, the successful candidate will work closely with other multi-disciplinary team members to inform the quantitative work streams, particularly in relation to mechanisms of effect, subgroup effects, and local variation in implementation.

You will be expected to liaise and work closely with researchers in the partner institutions and associated partners in policy and practice, contributing to the formulation and implementation of detailed research plans, and the preparation and submission of research publications, as well as helping to deliver this complex, challenging and high-profile project.


This is a part time post (18.5 hours per week), fixed term until 31 August 2025.


IInformal enquiries can be made by contacting Professor Suzanne Moffatt Suzanne.Moffatt@newcastle.ac.uk or Professor Clare Bambra Clare.Bambra@newcastle.ac.uk

Key Accountabilities


  • To undertake all aspects of qualitative fieldwork and address the research questions about the impact of UC on mental health and wellbeing. 
  • To undertake literature reviewing and synthesise relevant literature throughout the project
  • Work to deadlines and manage, with support, competing priorities
  • To contribute to a multi-disciplinary project and team
  • To lead writing for academic publications and reports
  • To engage with relevant stakeholders, including staff employed in the community and voluntary sectors and those supporting people applying for and receiving UC. 
  • To attend meetings and other events as appropriate and provide updates on progress
  • To work closely with the project’s public involvement and engagement groups
  • To present results as required at local, national or international scientific meetings as well as with stakeholders and Public Involvement/Engagement partners.
  • Play a lead role in networking, dissemination and cross-university collaboration


The Person


Knowledge, Skills and Experience (Essential)

  • Background and knowledge in applied health-related research
  • Experience of qualitative research with participants from a wide range of backgrounds and on sensitive topics
  • Knowledge of the complexities of the changing policy context of Universal Credit
  • Experience of recruiting and interviewing people from marginalised backgrounds
  • Experience of face-face and remote methods of data collection
  • Experience of working in partnership with a range of stakeholders for recruitment and interviewing, including voluntary and community sectors and local government 
  • Experience of recruiting via social media
  • Experience of public involvement and engagement in research
  • Proven track record of writing up qualitative research for high quality peer reviewed publications
  • Experience of writing for academic and non-academic audiences
  • Experience of qualitative analysis, including working collaboratively to develop coding frameworks and using NVIVO software
  • Proven track record of carrying out research within agreed timescales, meeting project milestones and producing work to a high standard
  • IT Literate (MS Office, Nvivo etc)
  • High level of analytical and problem solving skills
  • Ability to present complex information with clarity to academic and non-academic audiences


Knowledge, Skills and Experience (Desirable)

  • Experience of photo-elicitation research techniques


Attributes and Behaviours (Essential)

  • Excellent interpersonal and written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality
  • Commitment to ethical principles in research
  • Knowledge and understanding of data protection procedures
  • Ability to work flexibly and co-operatively with others as part of team, but also to work independently and remotely
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Ability to prioritise key tasks
  • Ability to meet deadlines and to manage conflicting priorities
  • Innovative and flexible in approach
  • Must be prepared to work remotely (via the internet) 
  • Must be prepared to work flexibly from home and in an open plan office environment (COVID-rules permitting)
  • Must be prepared to travel to sites for interviews and project meetings using either private car or public transport (COVID-rules permitting)
  • Must be prepared to have a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check


Qualifications (Essential)

  • PhD in a relevant qualitative social science or health discipline
  • Undergraduate degree in a relevant subject


Qualifications (Desirable)

  • Masters degree in a relevant subject


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.


The University holds a silver Athena SWAN 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.


Requisition ID: 9737