Research Associate in the Department of War Studies

London (Greater) (GB)
£38,304 to £40,414 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance
Apr 22, 2021
End of advertisement period
May 16, 2021
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Research Associate in the Department of War Studies

Job ID: 021146

Salary: £38,304 to £40,414 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance 

Posted: 21-Apr-2021

Closing date: 16-May-2021

Business unit: Social Science & Public Policy

Department: Department of War Studies

Contact details: Julia Pearce,

Strand Campus   Research    

Job description
The Department of War Studies at King’s College London is looking to appoint a Post-doctoral Research Associate to a full-time (100% FTE) 12-month post to explore the psychological drivers and impact of public health communication on COVID-19 vaccination beliefs of minority ethnic groups in the UK. This study will involve three-waves of in-depth interviews and focus groups to understand (i) specific barriers and facilitators of vaccine uptake, (ii) changes in COVID-19 and vaccination risk perceptions over time, (iii) challenges for building and sustaining community support for vaccination programmes, and (iv) the impact of public health campaigns on vaccination intention. It will also use a behavioural science framework to evaluate national and local campaigns across the UK. This will facilitate the rapid development of evidence-based, theoretically informed, tailored health messages that are critical for the success of the UK mass vaccination programme.
The post-holder will play a significant role in the delivery of the scientific outcomes of the research programme and will play a key role in the day-to-day management of the project. S/he will join a multidisciplinary team conducting research into behavioural responses to extreme events. This post is funded by the ESRC (Grant ref: ES/W001721/1) and linked via the Principal Investigator (Dr Julia Pearce) to the NIHR funded Health Protection Research in Emergency Preparedness and Response (
This post will be offered on an a fixed-term contract for 12 months
This is a full-time post - 100% full time equivalent

Key responsibilities

  • Develop and undertake research of high quality consistent with making an active research contribution in line with Departmental/School/Faculty research strategy.
  • Manage research activities to an agreed timeframe and within a specified budget including data collection and analysis, report writing and academic publications.
  • Co-design, conduct and analyse stakeholder interviews.
  • Co-design, conduct and analyse focus groups and in-depth interviews with members of the public.
  • Collate and conduct qualitative content analysis of local and national COVID-19 vaccine communication campaigns.
  • Facilitate collaboration and networking which engages and supports the activities of the project.
  • Write up research findings as policy briefs and for academic publication.
  • Present research findings as required at internal and external meetings and conferences to contribute to the internal and external visibility of the project.

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

Essential criteria

  1. PhD (or near to completion) in the social/behavioural sciences (e.g. Psychology)
  2. Experience of conducting interviews and/or focus groups.
  3. Experience of publishing in academic, peer-reviewed journals.
  4. Good knowledge of research methodology (especially semi-structured interviews and focus groups).
  5. Good knowledge of qualitative data analysis procedures (especially thematic analysis and qualitative content analysis)
  6. Familiarity with NVivo or other qualitative analysis software
  7. Ability to work well as part of a team as well as independently
  8. Ability to be adaptable, flexible and capable of working under pressure
  9. Ability to communicate social/behavioural science ideas and concepts to a non-specialist audience.
  10. Ability to maintain confidentiality and trust.
  11. Strong organisational skills.

Desirable criteria

  1. Knowledge of risk perception and risk communication literature.
  2. Knowledge of behaviour change literature.
  3. Experience of community engagement.
  4. Experience of project management.
  5. Experience in policy relevant areas of research.
  6. Experience of writing policy briefs.
  7. Familiarity with maintaining databases (e.g. Excel).
  8. Familiarity with SPSS or other quantitative analysis software.

Please note that this is a PhD level role but candidates who have submitted their thesis and are awaiting award of their PhDs will be considered. In these circumstances the appointment will be made at Grade 5, spine point 30 with the title of Research Assistant. Upon confirmation of the award of the PhD, the job title will become Research Associate and the salary will increase to Grade 6.
The post will be located in the Department of War Studies on the Strand Campus, although due to COVID-19 restrictions we anticipate that the post-holder will at least initially work from home. If you would like any further information about the project or to informally discuss your application, please contact