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Senior Research Assoc/Research Assoc

Requisition ID:  1260

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Posted Date:  25-Nov-2019

Senior Research Associate/Research Associate

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: £41,526 - £44,045 for Senior Research Associate, £30,942 - £40,322 for Research Associate 

Closing Date: 7 January 2020


Interviews will be held on 20 January, 30 January or 3 February 2020 - to be confirmed.


The Role

As part of our commitment to career development for research staff, 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.


We are seeking to recruit motivated and enthusiastic researchers to work in a team on a research project funded by the NIHR Policy Research Programme (through the UK Department of Health & Social Care). The research aims to identify interventions with potential to improve the oral health and health behaviours of people with severe and multiple disadvantage (SMD) comprising homelessness, substance misuse and repeat offending. The project comprises an evidence synthesis (systematic review) of quantitative and qualitative studies, and a primary qualitative study. Engaging with peer researchers (with lived experience of SMD) is central to the whole project. The project also involves working closely with partners from voluntary sector (Fulfilling Lives), policy (Public Health England), and Local Authority Public Health. The posts offer an exciting opportunity to work on a project of high translational value producing evidence that will be fed back to policy makers and practitioners.


The posts will suit candidates experienced in undertaking mixed-methods systematic reviews and evidence synthesis, and/or qualitative research. You will work closely with other researchers on the project.


This is an excellent opportunity to work in a stimulating environment known internationally for its research in public health and health inequalities. The post will be part of Fuse (Centre for Translational Public Health Research in North East England) and liaise with NIHR Applied Research Collaboration in North East & North Cumbria, and Policy Research Unit in Behavioural Science. Our Institute has a strong commitment to supporting researchers and you will be supported with mentoring and professional career development plans.


The post offers an exciting opportunity to work in a stimulating research environment and contribute to a research programme on health inequalities and marginalised groups. The post will benefit from regional networks (Fuse, NIHR Applied Research Collaboration, Policy Research Unit in Behavioural Science), and contribute to setting up new networks with this project. The post-holder will work with a range of agencies in policy, practice and third sector to co-produce research outputs.


Applications are invited from candidates with a PhD in public health or a related field. Strong research skills and experience are required in mixed-methods evidence synthesis/ systematic reviews, and/or qualitative research. The posts involve either undertaking a systematic review (mixed methods) or a qualitative study whilst contributing to the both aspects of the project. Other duties include writing for high-quality peer-reviewed journals, engaging with collaborators, and presenting at meetings and conferences. Ability to undertake research within agreed timelines, meeting project milestones is required. Ability to contribute to supervision of junior staff and PhD students is desirable.


The posts are funded for 30 months.

Two posts are available: one full-time and the other likely to be less than full-time or job share.

Further information can be obtained by contacting Dr Sheena Ramsay (sheena.ramsay@newcastle.ac.uk)


Successful candidates will be appointed to a suitable point on the common pay scale according to qualifications and experience.


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.

Please be advised that due to the minimum salary thresholds imposed by the UKVI, this post may not qualify for University sponsorship under Tier 2 of the points based system.


 Key Accountabilites

  • Depending on area of expertise: Undertake mixed-methods systematic review (narrative and meta-analytic) and scoping reviews focusing on populations with severe multiple disadvantage (SMD); with some contribution to the qualitative study. Or, undertake a qualitative study with SMD groups and other stakeholders (local authority, policy makers, NHS England).
  • You will be required to undertake all aspects of the work, from the development of protocols, data collection, narrative/ data analysis, and production of the final report/paper.
  • Engage with stakeholders and partners to co-produce the research and outputs collectively (e.g. logic model).
  • Lead and contribute to public/patient involvement/engagement (PPI/E) with people with lived experience of SMD, other partners and agencies.
  • Plan, lead and manage activities related to the project.
  • Supervise less experienced staff and/or students.
  • Support the evidence synthesis or primary qualitative research study in the project.
  • Prepare papers for publication in peer reviewed journals.
  • Present findings at meetings and conferences.
  • Attend meetings and other events appropriate to the projects.
  • Carry out research within agreed timelines, meeting project milestones and to an appropriate standard.
  • Identify and undertake a programme of professional development, including further training in research methods and other transferable skills.
  • Contribute to the activities of the public health and inequalities research theme at Newcastle University.
  • Carry out administrative tasks and other duties to support the Institute as required by the Director.


The Person

Knowledge, Skills and Experience


  • Significant experience of conducting mixed methods systematic reviews / evidence synthesis (narrative synthesis or meta-analysis), and skills in systematic review methodologies.


  • Significant experience of conducting qualitative research (planning the protocol, data collection, data analysis)
  • For evidence synthesis post: Significant experience of critical appraisal skills for quantitative and qualitative studies
  • Experience of appropriate data analysis packages
  • Experience of public/patient involvement
  • Interest and enthusiasm for research with vulnerable/ marginalised/ disadvantaged groups
  • Ability to work with a high level of accuracy and attention to detail
  • Experience of carrying out research within agreed timelines, meeting project milestones and producing research to an appropriate standard
  • Ability to work independently and as a member of a research project team
  • Excellent organisational, communication and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to adhere to strict observation of data governance issues, confidentiality, data protection legislation, and good research practice
  • Ability to meet deadlines and to manage conflicting priorities
  • Evidence of ability to write high quality peer-reviewed publications
  • Ability to present at national and international conferences and meetings
  • Ability to work flexibly and cooperatively with others
  • Ability to work in teams, across disciplines


  • Experience of working on Cochrane reviews
  • Experience of research or working with vulnerable/ marginalised/ disadvantaged groups
  • Experience of preparing research proposals
  • Experience of supervising less experienced staff
  • Experience of supervising student projects



  •  A PhD in  relevant subject (Essential)
  • A Master’s degree or equivalent qualification (Desirable)


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: 1260