Postdoctoral Research Associate in Sociology

Durham, United Kingdom
£34,304 per annum (pro rata)
03 May 2022
End of advertisement period
18 May 2022
Academic Discipline
Social Sciences, Sociology
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Part Time

Department of Sociology

Grade 7: - £34,304 per annum (pro rata)
Fixed Term - Part Time
Contract Duration: Until 30th November 2022
Contracted Hours per Week: 28
Closing Date: 18-May-2022, 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 in 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 Sociology was established in 1964 initially as a Department of Social Theory and Institutions.  The Department delivers undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in Sociology, Criminology and Social Work and supports the delivery of a faculty research methods programme as part of the collaborative NINEDTP. The Department’s research strategy is built around four themes:  Communities and Social Justice, Health and Social Theory, Higher Education and Social Inequality and Violence and Abuse. 

The Role

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Research Associate in social sciences with a particular emphasis on dementia and cognition. The post will support two projects that are funded by the ESRC Impact Acceleration Account. One project, led by Professor Brian Castellani, develops policy tools for mitigating the impact that air pollution has on brain health. The second project, led by Professor Charlotte Clarke, addresses the spread and adoption of a group-based intervention for people living with dementia.

The successful applicant will be expected support the development of a grant proposal, develop website tools, organise workshops and other events, contribute to developing impact case studies and impact plans, lead on a 1-hour lesson plan, contribute to the writing of academic publications and policy papers, liaise with a range of stakeholder groups, including people with dementia.


  • To understand and convey material of a specialist or highly technical nature to the team or group of people through presentations and discussions that lead 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, and 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 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 because the project funding is time-limited and will end on 31 November 2022

The post-holder is employed to work on research 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 the post as soon as possible.

How to Apply

For informal enquiries please contact Professor Brian Castellani and Professor Charlotte Clarke: brian.c.castellani@durham.ac.uk and charlotte.clarke@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 at 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 out above;

Next Steps

The assessment for the post will include a formal interview. Shortlisted candidates will be invited for an interview and assessment in May.

he Requirements



  • A good first degree in social science.
  • A PhD (or be close to submission) in social/health studies 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 communicate complex information to specialists and within the wider academic community and including with people with a diagnosis of dementia.


  • 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.



  • Strong publication record in peer-reviewed journals, commensurate with stage of career.
  • Demonstrable ability to develop research and impact proposals and designs in collaboration with other academics.
  • Experience in developing impact pathways and writing impact case studies.
  • Experience of working with people with dementia, service providers and in influencing policy


  • Demonstrable ability to plan and manage independent research. 

DBS Requirement: Not Applicable.