Research Associate

London (Greater)
Spine Point 34 - £41,517 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance
Monday, 23 August 2021
End of advertisement period
Wednesday, 22 September 2021
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Job description

The purpose of the job is to contribute to the India-related research activities for a social science project funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC): Analysing the transnational provisioning of services in the social sector: the case of commercialisation of NHS services in China and India.


The multi-disciplinary research aims to improve critical understanding of how transnational engagements between wealthy countries and emerging economies are contributing to new market creation in global healthcare, and their domestic implications. We seek to address this issue through a detailed study of contemporary attempts by public and private actors to position the UK NHS, and particularly English healthcare providers, within healthcare markets in India and China; the responses to such overtures in these countries; and conversely Indian and Chinese interest in potential market opportunities within the UK. The project will throw new light on the dynamics of a growing global healthcare industry; on the intersecting fields of governance, financing, production and delivery of healthcare, and on evolving moral economies of healthcare provision in the transnational context.


This post-doctoral social science post is full-time for 18 months, to commence before the end of 2021. It will suit a candidate with good working knowledge of India and the UK, experience with conducting high level interviews, and competent qualitative data analysis and academic writing skills.  The job will be based primarily in King’s College London Department of International Development, located in Bush House in central London. It will require travel to conduct fieldwork in India for approximately a third of the contract period, and for meetings in the UK, India and China. The post-holder will join an established and friendly team led by Professor Susan Fairley Murray, will receive career development funds and will have access to professional development support and training through the King’s College London Centre for Research Staff Development.


This post will be offered on an a fixed-term contract for 18 months


This is a full-time  post - 100% full time equivalent



The specific objectives are to:

  • describe and analyse the key drivers, actors, markets and supporting social and political infrastructures of commercialised transnational provisioning of healthcare;
  • investigate these and their everyday workings and moral economies through detailed qualitative case studies of UK-India healthcare provisioning in areas such as a) labour sourcing and processes, b) training and management consultancy and c) joint infrastructure ventures;
  • consider the implications for healthcare planning and governance in the three countries, and communicate these to scholarly, practitioner, advocacy and policy audiences.


The post-holder will be a member of a cross-institutional research team. They will work closely with colleagues in King’s College London Department of International Development and Department of Political Economy, Jawaharlal Nehru University, the University of Sussex, and Sun Yat-sen University to plan and conduct data collection, analysis and dissemination for the project. This post will be focused primarily on the enquiry in India and in England. It is anticipated that there will be at least two periods of fieldwork in India, each for approximately 3 months, including internal travel when conditions allow.


The post-holder will:


  • work closely with the co-investigators and researchers attached to the project, and regularly liaise with the project manager Dr Ben Hunter on a programme of work, and with Professor Ramila Bisht while in India.
  • be responsible for the identification of appropriate informants from the healthcare policy, business and management worlds in India and the UK for this strand of the work; for the organisation and conduct interviews and collection of observational data, and for the analysis of the data set using NVivo.
  • conduct a search for, and narrative synthesis of, relevant presentational materials including marketing materials, consultancy and industry reports, web pages, press media reporting, and policy documents
  • maintain a bibliographic database on Mendeley
  • contribute to the writing of research outputs including peer-reviewed journal publications and reports
  • assist in the dissemination of research outputs (including peer-reviewed publications and reports and dissemination events)
  • support the project’s advisory network and the end-user consultations in England and in India
  • conduct any other duties appropriate to the grade as directed by the Principal Investigator Professor Fairley Murray and the India co-investigator Professor Bisht


Communication & networking

The post-holder will be expected to:

  • communicate complex information orally and in writing for social science and public health audiences at national and international conferences and meetings
  • network and communicate with stakeholders from a wide range of academic and non-academic communities interested in the relationship between healthcare and the economy

Decision making, planning & problem solving

The post-holder will be expected to:

  • take a leading role in the planning of data collection and analysis for this strand of the project and be responsible for data documentation and management
  • consult and coordinate with the project leads on research design, methods and work schedules
  • manage their own research and administrative activities
  • identify potential problems and bring them to the attention of the project leads for discussion
  • act independently to take forward assigned tasks.


Analysis & research

The post holder will be expected to:

  • perform a search and narrative synthesis of presentational materials including marketing materials, consultancy and industry reports, web pages, press media reporting, and policy documents
  • plan and carry out qualitative data collection and analysis with the assistance of NVivo software
  • write articles to be published in international peer-reviewed journals
  • present project results in international conferences and meetings
  • produce written reports for internal and external audiences, including outputs tailored to non-academic audiences
  • carry out all research activities to consistent and high standards

Team work

The post holder will be expected to:

  • work with the Principal Investigator and other team members to help ensure all requirements are met for the project
  • act as a responsible team member, leading where agreed, and developing productive working relationships with others
  • contribute to the intellectual life of the department
  • attend and contribute to relevant meetings (e.g. departmental seminars and project meetings)


Sensory/physical demands & work environment

The post-holder will be expected to:

  • balance with help from supervisors the competing pressures of research and administrative demands and deadlines
  • be aware of the risks in the work environment in the UK and while travelling, and their potential impact on own work and that of others
  • undertake periods of travel for fieldwork within India, and for project meetings in China

Special requirements

  • you may be required to travel and work irregular hours in accordance with the needs of the role
  • information of a confidential nature must be kept strictly confidential and should never be disclosed either inside or outside work. It should be noted that breach of confidentiality is a serious offence which may lead to dismissal


All staff are expected to adhere to King’s policies and procedures.


Please note

This job description reflects the core activities of the role and as the College and the post-holder develop there will inevitably be changes in the emphasis of duties. It is expected that the post-holder recognise this and adopt a flexible approach to work and be willing to participate in training.

If changes to the job become significant, the job description should be reviewed formally by the post-holder and line manager. The Human Resources department should then be consulted as to the implications of the proposed changes.


The above list of responsibilities may not be exhaustive, and the post holder will be required to undertake such tasks and responsibilities as may reasonably be expected within the scope and grading of the post.

Skills, knowledge, and experience:

  • Skills to conduct high level interviews in the social sector, business and policy world are required for this post.
  • The successful candidate is likely to be educated to doctoral level within the social sciences or in healthcare management  or administration), and to have a close knowledge of India.
  • Interest in the sociology of healthcare systems and / or experience in social science research in other relevant sectors such as business studies will be advantageous.
  • A proven ability to work on their own initiative, and experience of conducting high quality qualitative research (design, data collection, analysis, writing up, dissemination).


Essential criteria

1.       PhD awarded in a social science discipline or in health studies (for example healthcare management, administration, policy); or PhD near completion *

2.       Experience of conducting high level interviews in the social sector, business or policy world, and experience of analysing qualitative data

3.       Excellent verbal and written skills in English

4.       Excellent knowledge of academic social science scholarship on healthcare systems, or in a cognate area of social policy or business and administration

5.       Close knowledge of India

6.       Emerging record of publications in peer-reviewed journals

7.       A desire and capacity to communicate effectively with, and influence, the wider research, business, NGO and policy communities

8.       Well-organised and able to work to deadlines

9.       Willingness to travel and work occasional irregular hours in accordance with the needs of the role


Desirable criteria

10.   Verbal and written skills in Hindi

11.   Relevant previous experience of working on collaborative research projects, preferably at the international level

12.   Knowledge of healthcare policy environment in India and in the UK

13.   Ability to interact with high-level national policy-makers

14.   Working knowledge of NVivo

Further information

Shortlisting for interview will take place in September, interviews in late Sept or early October 2021. There will be a two-part interview: an online conversation with Professor Bisht followed by an online panel interview during which shortlisted candidates will be asked to make a short presentation about their previous research.

This post is subject to Disclosure and Barring Service.

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