Research Assistant

Durham, United Kingdom
£26,715 - £32,817 per annum
Apr 30, 2021
End of advertisement period
May 30, 2021
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Part Time

Department of Sport & Exercise Science

Grade 6: - £26,715 - £32,817 per annum
Fixed Term - Part Time
Contract Duration: 6 months
Contracted Hours per Week: 17.5
Closing Date: 30-May-2021, 6:59:00 AM 

Durham University

Durham University is one of the world's top universities with strengths across the Arts and Humanities, Sciences and Social Sciences. We are home to some of the most talented scholars and researchers from around the world who are tackling global issues and making a difference to people's lives.

The University sits in a beautiful historic city where it shares ownership of a UNESCO World Heritage Site with Durham Cathedral, the greatest Romanesque building in Western Europe. A collegiate University, Durham recruits outstanding students from across the world and offers an unmatched wider student experience.

Less than 3 hours north of London, and an hour and a half south of Edinburgh, County Durham is a region steeped in history and natural beauty. The Durham Dales, including the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, are home to breathtaking scenery and attractions. Durham offers an excellent choice of city, suburban and rural residential locations. The University provides a range of benefits including pension and childcare benefits and the University’s Relocation Manager can assist with potential schooling requirements.

Durham University seeks to promote and maintain an inclusive and supportive environment for work and study that assists all members of our University community to reach their full potential. Diversity brings strength and we welcome applications from across the international, national and regional communities that we work with and serve.

The Department

The Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences at Durham University offers a vibrant, innovative and friendly academic environment for individuals to flourish. We seek to appoint individuals who want to join a multi-disciplinary research community and whose research interests are linked to tackling inequalities, promoting social justice and ensuring better health and wellbeing across society. The Department has two research themes, ‘Healthier Communities: Moving, Growing, and Thriving’ and ‘Sporting Lives: Transforming Sport, Transforming Lives’ and a weekly research seminar series, which the successful candidate will be invited to actively engage with. The department is highly collegiate and recognised among the world’s best, as shown by our World Top 100 position in the QS World University Rankings for Sports-Related Subjects in 2020.

Durham University’s strategic plan identifies a diverse and inclusive workforce as one of our key priorities. The Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences, therefore, welcomes colleagues with the experiences and competencies to contribute to our principles of inclusion, equity and diversity throughout campus life.

The Role

We are seeking a fixed-term Research Assistant to join an established team of researchers across Durham, Sheffield and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. The Research Assistant will contribute to an ongoing work package entitled, ‘Enabling children and young people’s involvement in whole system action to reduce inequalities in the social determinants of health’, funded by the NIHR School for Public Health Research, under the Children, Young People and Families programme.  The work package seeks to explore children and young people’s views of health, including what makes people healthy, what makes it harder to be healthy and their perspectives regarding inequalities in health within their local area. The research is already underway and we are currently working with young people to identify their key priorities in addressing the impact of social determinants on their current and future health, and the messages that they would like to convey to people with a role in addressing health inequalities at a ‘place’ level.

The Research Assistant will work closely with the Durham research team, consisting of Professor Carolyn Summerbell, Dr Caroline Dodd-Reynolds (Line Manager) and Dr Naomi Griffin. The successful applicant will be expected to support the Post-Doctoral Research Associate with day-to-day administrative tasks, reporting to funders, communication with stakeholders and other researchers, literature searching and contributing to a bibliographic database, coordinating fieldwork arrangements, contributing to fieldwork data collection and analysis as appropriate and other related tasks as directed by the department.

Responsibilities :

  • To understand and convey information which needs careful explanation to the team or group of people through presentations, discussions and meetings which contribute to the production of research reports and publications.
  • To write up results of research work, present information on research progress and outcomes to bodies supervising research in a clear and accurate manner.
  • To analyse or undertake basic research by deciding how best to apply existing methodology according to overall context and objectives.
  • To deal with problems that may affect the achievement of research objectives and deadlines by discussing with the Principal Investigator or Grant-holder and offering creative or innovative solutions.
  • To liaise with research colleagues and make internal and external contacts to develop knowledge and understanding to form relationships for future research collaboration.
  • To contribute to the planning of research projects.
  • To assist in contributing to support student projects on the use of research methods and equipment. 
  • To contribute to fostering a collegial and respectful working environment that is inclusive and welcoming and where everyone is treated fairly with dignity and respect.
  • To engage in wider citizenship to support the department and wider discipline.
  • To engage in continuing professional development by attending relevant training and development courses.   

This post is fixed term for 6 months, to work with the team during a focused period of activity and to support the 0.8 FTE Post-Doctoral Research Associate with day-to-day tasks. The role is time limited and is not expected to be extended beyond 6 months.

The post-holder is employed to work on research/a research project which will be led by another colleague. Whilst this means that the post-holder will not be carrying out independent research in his/her own right, the expectation is that they will contribute to the advancement of the project, through the development of their own research ideas/adaptation and development of research protocols.

How to Apply

For informal enquiries please contact Dr Caroline Dodd-Reynolds caroline.dodd-reynolds@durham.ac.uk.  All enquiries will be treated in the strictest confidence. 

We prefer to receive applications online via the Durham University Vacancies Site. https://www.dur.ac.uk/jobs/. As part of the application process, you should provide details of 3 (preferably academic/research) referees and the details of your current line manager so that we may seek an employment reference.

Applications are particularly welcome from women and black and minority ethnic candidates, who are under-represented in academic posts in the University.

What to Submit

All applicants are asked to submit:

  • A CV and covering letter which details your experience, strengths and potential in the requirements set.

The Requirements


  • A good first degree in Sport and Exercise Sciences, Social Sciences, Public Health, Education, Geography, Anthropology or an appropriate discipline.
  • A Masters in Sport and Exercise Sciences, Social Sciences, Public Health, Education, Geography, Anthropology or an appropriate discipline
  • Experience in conducting basic academic research or providing research assistance, including the use of standard research methods.
  • Demonstrable ability to produce concise and well-written reports for a range of stakeholders.
  • Experience in qualitative research methods and literature searching.
  • Demonstrable ability to work cooperatively as part of a team, including participating in research meetings.
  • Ability to manage time effectively and work to strict deadlines.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Ability to liaise with a range of stakeholders.


  • A PhD (or be close to submission) in Sport and Exercise Sciences, Social Sciences, Public Health, Education, Geography, Anthropology or an appropriate discipline.
  • Experience of conducting high quality academic research.
  • Experience of preparing academic papers.
  • Ability to assist in the provision of support to student projects.
  • Experience in working in the field of social and health inequalities.
  • Ability to contribute to the planning and management of independent research. 

DBS Requirement: Not Applicable.

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