Postdoctoral Research Associate in Sports-Related Concussion

Durham, United Kingdom
£34,304 - £40,927 per annum (pro rata)
10 Sep 2021
End of advertisement period
24 Sep 2021
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Part Time

Department of Sport & Exercise Science

Grade 7: - £34,304 - £40,927 per annum (pro rata)
Fixed Term - Part Time
Contract Duration: 6 months
Contracted Hours per Week: 17.5
Closing Date: 24-Sep-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 talented individuals to flourish, whose research interests and experiences align with and extend the existing thematic strengths of the Department. The successful applicant will contribute to a rapidly expanding programme of concussion research in the Department’s Sporting Lives research theme, and which is also a central focus of the Brain, Body and Behaviour Academy of the Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing.

This post provides the opportunity to lead research within a highly collegiate Department that is already 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. The post will also mean you have opportunities to progress your career within one of the world’s great universities and one of the most distinctive.

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

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Research Associate in sports-related concussion with a particular emphasis on neurocognitive function. The research project is led by Dr Karen Hind and in collaboration with industry partner, My Sports Wellbeing.

The study will investigate neurocognitive scores in athletes at rest and following participation in sport. The neurocognitive assessment tool is completed on a smartphone and can detect small changes in cognitive function by measuring an individual’s speed of information processing. The test is currently approved for medical use as a general cognitive assessment tool, to inform on the early detection and diagnosis of dementia. This study will generate new data to support the application of the test in athletes at high risk of concussion. The research will also seek to determine precision of the test.

The successful applicant will be expected to prepare and submit the research ethics application, lead the recruitment of athlete participants, conduct the research, analyse the data and prepare the report. The data from this study will inform further funding applications for the next phase of research.


  • To conduct research under the direction of the Principal Investigator/Grant-holder.
  • To work collaboratively within the research team and integrate within the wider department through attendance at research seminars and related events.
  • To lead preparation of the research ethics application.  
  • To lead participant recruitment and professional communications with participants.
  • To perform the research through facilitation of neurocognitive tests in approximately 100 athletes at rest and within 1-hour post sports participation. This will involve physical presence at sports events/training sessions.
  • To analyse the data and prepare a report on the study and the findings.
  • To understand and convey material of a specialist or highly technical nature to the team or group of people through presentations and discussions that leads to the presentation of research papers in conferences and publications.
  • To prepare and deliver presentations on research outputs/activities to audiences which may include: research sponsors, academic and non-academic audiences.
  • To publish high quality outputs, including papers for submission to peer-reviewed journals and papers for presentation at conferences and workshops under the direction of the Principal Investigator or Grant-holder.
  • To assist with the development of research objectives and proposals.
  • To conduct individual and collaborative research projects under the direction of the Principal Investigator or Grant-holder.
  • To work with the Principal Investigator or Grant-holder and other colleagues in the research group, as appropriate, to identify areas for research, develop new research methods and extend the research portfolio.
  • 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 plan and manage own research activity, research resources in collaboration with others and contribute to the planning of research projects.
  • To deliver training in research techniques/approaches to peers, visitors and students as appropriate.
  • To be involved in student supervision, as appropriate, and assist with the assessment of the knowledge of students.
  • To contribute to fostering a collegial and respectful working environment which 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 participation in the undergraduate or postgraduate teaching programmes or by membership of departmental committees, etc. and by attending relevant training and development courses.

This post is fixed-term for 6 months duration to reflect the duration of the research project and the funding that is available for this fixed period only.

The post-holder is employed to work on 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.

Successful applicants will, ideally, be in post by October 

Please note that this position is subject to funding.

How to Apply

For informal enquiries please contact Dr Karen Hind karen.hind@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.

At Durham University, our aim is to create an open and inclusive environment where everyone can reach their full potential and believe our staff should reflect the diversity of the global community in which we work.  We welcome and encourage applications from members of groups who are under-represented in our workforce including people with disabilities, women and black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.

When appointing to this role the University must ensure that it meets any applicable immigration requirements, including salary thresholds that are applicable to some visas.

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 out above;

Next Steps

Shortlisted candidates will be invited for an interview and assessment in September.

The Requirements



  • A good first degree in sports science, psychology, health sciences or a related subject.
  • A PhD (or be close to submission) in sports science, psychology, health sciences or a related subject or a related subject.


  • Experience in conducting high-quality academic research.
  • Demonstrable ability to write material of a quality commensurate with publication in highly-ranked journals.
  • Demonstrable ability to present research papers at national conferences and communicate complex information to specialists and within the wider academic community.
  • Experience in writing and submitting research ethics applications, participant recruitment, research project management and data collection.
  • Experience in planning and conducting statistical analysis.


  • Demonstrable ability to work cooperatively as part of a team, including participating in research meetings.
  • Ability to work independently on own initiative and to strict deadlines.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.



  • Publication record in peer-reviewed journals, commensurate with stage of career.
  • A track record of presenting research at conferences, symposia, or meetings, commensurate with stage of career.
  • Demonstrable ability to develop research proposals and designs in collaboration with other academics.
  • Experience in neurocognitive testing.


  • Demonstrable ability to plan and manage independent research.

DBS Requirement: Not Applicable.

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