Postdoctoral Research Associate in Law / Politics

Durham, United Kingdom
£34,304.00 - £40,927.00 per annum
22 Jun 2022
End of advertisement period
12 Jul 2022
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Durham Law School

Grade 7: - £34,304.00 - £40,927.00 per annum
Fixed Term - Full Time
Contract Duration: 9 months
Contracted Hours per Week: 35
Closing Date: 12-Jul-2022, 6:59:00 AM


Department: Law
Grade: Grade  7
Term: 9 months Fixed Term Contract (but this is flexible: see below)
Salary Range: £18.8481/hour (Grade 7 Point 30)
Closing Date: 11th July 2022
Working Arrangements: This role is calculated at 9 months’ full time but requests for flexible working arrangements are welcome.

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

Durham Law School is a world leader in legal education and research with a distinguished 50-year history. Our award-winning 53 academic are producing ground-breaking research with significant impact and are highly active in public engagement both nationally and internationally. We are a top 50 QS World Ranked law school and our research ranked 3rd  in the UK’s last national Research Excellence Framework exercise in 2014. Durham Law School is consistently ranked among the top ten or higher UK law schools across various league tables, including in The Daily TelegraphThe Times and The Guardian.

The Role

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Law or Politics (or a cognate discipline) on the research project ‘How parliamentarians hold parliamentary administrations to account’. This is an 18-month project funded by the Leverhulme Trust, with Dr Ben Yong (Durham Law School) as Principal Investigator. The key aim of the project is to examine how parliamentarians scrutinise and hold their own administration—their own staff and services—accountable; and thereby strengthening Parliament’s institutional capacity. The project adopts a qualitative, comparative approach to explore how parliamentarians in Westminster and the devolved nations hold their legislatures’ administrations to account.

The successful applicant will be expected to be responsible for much of the administration of the project; literature reviews; organise and undertake some interviews; carry out data analysis; and co-author any articles.


  • Dealing with the administration of the project.
  • Undertake research as appropriate to the field of study including conducting literature reviews, collecting and analysing data.
  • Maintain accurate records of interviews, safeguarding the confidentiality of subjects, as necessary.
  • Prepare articles, reports, and presentations.
  • Manage and respond to project related email.
  • Attend project meetings, seminars and other meetings as necessary.

This post is fixed term for 9 months at 100%FTE, but there is flexibility about how this is structured (eg., 80%FTE for 11 months; 50%FTE for 18 months). The funding for the project is time-limited (18 months) and will end on 5 March 2024.

Successful applicants will, ideally, be in post by 5 September 2022.


  1. Qualifications
    • A good first degree in law or politics, or a cognate discipline.
    • A PhD (or have submitted the thesis) in law, politics or a cognate discipline.
  2. Experience
    • 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 conferences and communicate complex information to specialists and within the wider academic community.
    • Experience of qualitative research
    • Solid knowledge of legislatures
  3. Skills
    • ​​​​​​​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.


  1. Experience
    • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Strong publication record in peer-reviewed journals, commensurate with stage of career.
    • Demonstrable ability to develop research designs in collaboration with other academics.
    • Experience in working in a legislature
    • Experience with NVivo or similar coding software
  2. Skills
    • ​​​​​​​Demonstrable ability to plan and manage independent research.

How to Apply

For informal enquiries please contact Dr Ben Yong Benjamin.y.yong@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 out above;
  • Details of at least one academic referee.

Next Steps

The assessment for the post will include an evaluation of whether or not essential requirements have been met. Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interview and assessment around July 2022.

DBS Requirement: Not Applicable.