Research Associate – Policy and Engagement, and Semi-Quantitative Ageing Studies

London (Central), London (Greater) (GB)
£38,826 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance
26 Nov 2021
End of advertisement period
04 Jan 2022
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Job description

Are you interested in public engagement with research? Do you want to establish networks with the charity sector and involve older people in policy making?


We are looking for an enthusiastic individual invested in policy making and public engagement to fill a temporary (38 months) full-time research position. This is a key post in a cross-disciplinary research programme funded by a UK Research and Innovation Future Leaders Fellowship on the Sciences of Ageing and the Culture of Youth. The position is available from 1 April 2022.


The Sciences of Ageing and the Culture of Youth focuses on cultural pessimism about ageing as shaping perceptions of the worth and value of human beings and as directing decisions about care, research and funding priorities. The project is hosted in the Department of English (Centre for the Humanities and Health) at King’s College London, but evolves at the cross-disciplinary nexus of literary study, medical sciences and empirical research. Like the PI, Dr. Martina Zimmermann, with a dual background in neuropharmacology and health humanities, the PDRA working on this project will be keen to cross disciplines and faculties.


A diverse set of skills and interests is required for this post and you are expected to invest in two key areas that will mutually benefit, and feed into each other as they evolve with the charity sector: policy making and public engagement.

You have a strong interest in health care politics and are willing to engage with policy makers and health economists, while also seeking out opportunities with third sector partners to involve service users in policy making activities. Under the guidance, where required, of the PI and staff in the King’s Policy Institute, you will take responsibility for the organisation and delivery of policy laboratories, including the preparation of policy briefing notes and the writing and design of policy lab reports. Aligned with national awareness strategies, you will organise and advertise public engagement events, collect event-based research data, and devise frameworks for capturing and evaluating public engagement and impact activities. You are an inventive innovator who will bring added value by devising methodologies that will investigate meanings of ageing across the life span and identify expressive strategies for sharing findings with a broad public.


You will write up research findings and outcomes for publication and contribute to the wider organisation of the project. You will work synergistically with other members in the team in their engagement with local community groups and their users.

The department is committed to building an equitable and diverse academic environment. We therefore welcome applicants from underrepresented communities.


Candidates interested in applying for this post are encouraged to contact the PI ( for informal enquiries by latest 17th December.


This post will be offered on a full-time, fixed term contract for 38 months.


Key responsibilities 

  • Contribute to the preparation and organisation of policy making workshops, including literature analysis, drawing up briefing notes and writing policy lab reports, and engagement with policy makers, health economists, third sector representatives and policy researchers;
  • Create and organise participatory public engagement activities (workshop-, theatre-, social media-based);
  • Evaluate the impact on meanings and anticipations of ageing of these public engagement activities using semi-quantitative research tools, in particular surveys;
  • Connect these public engagement activities to policy making activities;
  • Forge new connections, in London and outside of London, with the local charity sector;
  • Optimise social media dissemination and invest in web-based activities, including via a project website and blog.

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.       A PhD in social sciences, in areas that relate to ageing, dementia or the life course;

2.       Experience collaborating with a number of stakeholders across a range of areas beyond academia (e.g. policy-makers, practitioners, patient and public organisations, industry);

3.       Experience in research project management; 

4.       Significant knowledge and appropriate experience of using semi-quantitative and qualitative approaches in social research (including surveys);

5.       Excellent mixed media skills including, for example, social media, slide decks, infographics and briefing documents, with knowledge of related software; 

6.       Experience of designing and delivering public engagement activities, such as workshop- and theatre-based techniques;

7.       Experience with devising or implementing frameworks for public engagement and impact evaluation;

8.       A successful track record in publishing your research findings in internationally peer-reviewed journals;

9.       Excellent communication (written and verbal) and presentation skills, including with external stakeholders;

10.    The ability to work independently as well as in a team;

11.    A desire to work cross faculty, within an interdisciplinary team of researchers.


Desirable criteria

1.       Awareness of policy on ageing developments;

2.       Experience in conducting evidence syntheses (e.g. evidence summaries, systematic reviews, meta-analyses) and evidence appraisal; 

3.       Investment in knowledge exchange beyond the academy, including experience of researching areas that relate to policy making;

4.       Interest in working with older service users and those who don’t reach out to support services;

5.       Awareness of ethical and legal requirements regarding data protection, management and confidentiality.


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.

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