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Senior Research Methodologist

Requisition ID:  3862

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
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: £41,526.00 - £44,045.00 Pro Rata

Closing Date: 20 April 2020


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 you at each level and secondly the general qualifications and experiences needed for entry at a particular level.


This post will be in the RDS NENC, hosted within the Population Health Sciences Institute, at Newcastle University. You will work across North East and North Cumbria. You will work in support of the strategic aims and activities of the NIHR Research Design Service North East and North Cumbria (NIHR RDS NENC). They will be the first point of contact with the NIHR RDS NENC team for investigators from NHS, public health, social care, and Higher Education Institutions across the North East and North Cumbria who are preparing applications for national peer-reviewed funding for health and social care research. They will continue to advance their research portfolio outside their RDS role. 


Working with the Directors, and others members of the team, you will support the strategic aims and activities of the NIHR Research Design Service North East and North Cumbria (NIHR RDS NENC), which supports NIHR strategic aims. You will be the first point of contact with the NIHR RDS NENC team for investigators from NHS, public health, social care, and Higher Education Institutions across the North East and North Cumbria who are preparing applications for national peer-reviewed funding for health and social care research.

You will hold a PhD in social care research, health research or a related discipline, and training and experience in quantitative and/or qualitative research methods.  You will continue to advance your research portfolio outside of your RDS role. 

You will work across North East and North Cumbria.


Further information regarding the RDS NENC can be found via the following link:



The is a Part Time (up to 0.6FTE) position.

Fixed Term until 30.09.2023. Secondments will be considered for existing University employees.


Further information can be obtained by contacting Professor Helen Hancock via niesha.doyle@ncl.ac.uk


The Population Health Sciences Institute is committed to supporting equality and diversity for all staff and students.  Applications for part time/flexible working will be considered; please state your desired working arrangements in your application.


Key Accountabilities

  • As part of the RDS team, provide a central point of contact for clinicians, academic staff and researchers developing research proposals for submission to nationally peer reviewed funding bodies;
  • Alongside specialists (including statisticians, health economists, social care, clinical trials units, and other stakeholder organisations), provide high level advice to investigators including on research questions, methods and impact;
  • Embed Patient and Public Involvement and engagement advice across the research spectrum;
  • Co-ordinate and Chair meetings with investigators and specialists to ensure these are constructive and efficient and that actions are clear;
  • Remain up to date with RDS NENC and national (including NIHR) developments, including leading on the requirements of funding programmes, ensuring details are shared with investigators and RDS colleagues, including specialists;
  • Work with others in the RDS NENC team to develop and operationalise common processes across the region and enable equity in service provision and access; implementing activities in support of RDS NENC strategic aims, ensuring ongoing development, and identifying and mitigating risk to ensure successful delivery of the NIHR contract;
  • Work as part of the RDS NENC team to promote access to the RDS service in NHS, higher education, public health and social care settings and other relevant settings by regularly holding surgeries and ad-hoc advice sessions throughout the North East and North Cumbria;
  • Play an active part in local, regional and national research networks, developing contacts with external bodies including funders and research leads locally, regionally and nationally;
  • Promote the RDS NENC at national events, including leading discussions or chairing sessions at conferences, playing a role in driving forward the national work of the RDS;
  • Ensure that RDS activities are achieved to agreed quality standards and deadlines, ensuring these data are recorded in an accurate, timely manner in the regional database;
  • Regularly review individual and collective data on RDS NENC and national activities, analysing and monitoring own and RDS performance against projected milestones to inform focused action in support of RDS NENC strategic aims;
  • Undertake appropriate continuing professional development in order to remain up to date with research methods and to continue to develop professional skills relevant to the RDS;
  • Contribute to activities associated with the running and administration of the Institute, or perform other duties as required by the Institute Director and wider Faculty.


The Person (Essential)


Knowledge, Skills and Experience


  • Significant knowledge and experience in area of expertise
  • Familiarity with the range of methods used in applied health and social care research (including clinical trials, systematic reviews and qualitative research)
  • Experience of acting as a peer reviewer for grant awarding bodies and/or academic journals
  • Strong interpersonal, communication, negotiation and problem-solving skills
  • Ability to understand and interpret complex ideas and communicate these simply to broad audiences
  • Strong planning and team working skills
  • Evidence of ability to lead research teams
  • Enthusiastic, innovative approach to challenges
  • Meticulous attention to detail
  • Ability to work efficiently and independently under pressure and to multiple deadlines
  • Ability to monitor research budgets
  • Ability to contribute to broader organisational processes
  • Significant experience of undertaking successful health services research, individually or collaboratively, as evidenced by international quality publications, presentations etc
  • Experience of health research in an academic environment, including an understanding of issues in higher education, plus the research, social and political environments to inform own research and advise RDS clients regarding theirs
  • Methodological experience and hands on experience of designing and delivering applied health and social care research
  • Proven knowledge of funding environment in social care research and/or applied health research, including experience of preparing research funding proposals
  • Track record of winning relevant research grants as a lead or co-applicant
  • Sound knowledge of the processes and requirements of conducting health and social care related research
  • Excellent communication and negotiation skills (written and oral)


Attributes and Behaviour

  • Willingness to travel frequently within the North East and North Cumbria region and occasionally within the UK.
  • Self-motivated and proactive
  • Ability to provide leadership in multi-disciplinary settings
  • Ability to work with colleagues from a wide range of professional and research backgrounds and roles
  • Ability to manage own work load and prioritise a complex set of responsibilities
  • Flexibility with respect to working hours (in exceptional circumstances)



  • PhD in social care research, health research or related discipline e.g. health services research, health economics, health psychology, human nutrition, public health, medical sociology, health technology assessment, statistics, or commensurate professional experience
  • Training and experience in quantitative and/or qualitative research methods


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.

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.


Requisition ID: 3862