Research Associate - Methodologies Research

London (Central), London (Greater) (GB)
£39,345, including London Weighting Allowance
26 Jan 2021
End of advertisement period
21 Feb 2021
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Part Time

The successful applicant will be the Research Associate on a pilot project funded by an Economic & Social Research Council ‘Research Methods Development Grant’. The project is a partnership between social scientists at King's College London (Professor Glenn Robert, Dr Oli Williams) and Shaping Our Lives (Becki Meakin, Professor Peter Beresford), a national user-led organisation specialising in the inclusive involvement of Disabled people and people marginalised due to other and intersecting social and personal characteristics. Shaping Our Lives have been awarded almost £200,000 over the next four years by the National Lottery Community Fund to co-design (with their members and partners) new services to promote and facilitate meaningful involvement in research, local government planning and policy-making, as well as providing a sustainable means through which Shaping Our Lives can form partnerships with researchers and universities. Together we will pilot a novel methodology which seeks to facilitate and improve such co-design endeavours.
The project is principally concerned with exploring whether a methodological innovation derived from Elinor Ostrom's Nobel Prize-winning analysis of collaborative group working can both enhance the co-design of services designed with and for service users and also improve participatory research practice. By using collaborative ethnography to conduct a Participatory Action Research project of our process of adapting, implementing and evaluating this innovation we will gather insights into the methodological challenges involved in such ways of working which will strengthen future partnerships between researchers and user-led organisations. One aim of the project is to use the learning from this pilot project to prepare an application for further ESRC funding to study the longer-term impact of the co-designed services and the continued adaptation, application and refinement of this methodology as these services are implemented nationally. Another aim is to use our learning and creative methods to develop new, user-friendly resources to facilitate others to use Ostrom’s principles to improve the inclusivity and effectiveness of co-design endeavours in the health and social care sectors.
PLEASE NOTE: until it is safe to travel and meet face-to-face, this role will be performed whilst working from home via videocalls, e-mail, etc.
The Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery & Palliative Care is ranked number two in the world and number one in the UK in the Shanghai Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2018 (Nursing). It is also ranked second in the world and first in the UK for nursing in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2019. In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014), over 90% of our research was rated as world-leading or internationally excellent.
This is a fixed-term, part-time role until 30 April 2022 (if 3 days a week). Earlier end date to be agreed if 4 days a week.

Key responsibilities

  • responsible for day-to-day conduct of fieldwork (which will be performed digitally until safe to do otherwise), coordinating research activities and working in partnership with Shaping Our Lives
  • assist with data management
  • jointly facilitate and participate in monthly team meetings (Joint Interpretive Forums)
  • collecting and analysing qualitative data
  • contribute to writing peer-reviewed journal article, final report and funding application
  • contribute to co-designing user-friendly resources

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 

  • PhD in social science/health services research (awarded) or equivalent experience
  • Postgraduate training in ethnographic methods or equivalent
  • Conducting and analysing qualitative fieldwork
  • Knowledge of User-led/Charitable/third sector
  • Using digital communication, e.g., e-mail and videocalls
  • Writing for peer-reviewed publication
  • Working collaboratively and inclusively

Desirable criteria 

  • Experience of emancipatory/participatory methods/conducting action research in partnership with third sector organisations
  • Experience of conducting action research, using participatory methods and/or co-design in health & social care sectors
  • Experience of writing funding applications
  • Peer-reviewed publications
  • Familiarity with Disability studies and/or user-led research
  • A commitment to helping people from all communities to have a strong voice
  • Lived experience as a Disabled person/long term service user

Further information
Applicants are required to provide a covering letter (maximum 800 words) outlining their qualifications, experience, knowledge and competencies as relevant to the stated criteria for this post.