Research Fellow / Senior Research Fellow in Democratic Innovation

Southampton, United Kingdom
£33,314 to £43,414 Per annum
05 Jan 2023
End of advertisement period
01 Feb 2023
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Politics & International Relations

Location:  Highfield Campus
Salary:   £33,314 to £43,414 Per annum
Full Time Fixed Term (30/04/2024)
Closing Date:  Wednesday 01 February 2023
Interview Date:   To be confirmed
Reference:  2125423CC

Applications are invited for a fixed term postdoctoral Research Fellow in Democratic Innovation in the School of Economic, Social and Political Science at the University of Southampton. The successful applicant will undertake research on the UKRI funded project ‘Rebooting Democracy: Democratic Innovations for the Information Age’ The project is led by Dr Matt Ryan, (Department of Politics and International Relations, Southampton). This interdisciplinary project brings together social scientists, computer scientists, democracy practitioners, and public officials. The fellow will assist in research design, managing partnerships and implementing high quality democratic interventions, data management, and research. The project will implement both qualitative and quantitative evaluation of democratic innovations. Previous experience in managing qualitative and/or quantitative research including randomised controlled trials is welcome.

The fellow will assist in the collection and analysis of data, and support the collaborative design and implementation of interventions to improve democratic participation. The role will also involve supporting the PI in effective liaison with collaborators and stakeholders and the project will support career progression of the successful candidate through mentoring and training programmes.

The successful candidate should hold (or be about to complete) a PhD or equivalent professional qualification in the social sciences with experience and interest in methods of data gathering and analysis relevant to political participation, democratic innovation, deliberation and/or community engagement. Experience in fieldwork and working with stakeholders outside of academia is also desirable. The candidate will need to show capability of engaging efficiently in interdisciplinary research, and ability to organise their own activities and deliver high-quality work to deadlines. Specifically the candidate will be based at the University of Southampton and will

  • support delivery and evaluation of at least two democratic innovations - including a climate assembly and an online dialogue,
  • support project management including liaising with stakeholders such as policymakers and civil society organisations to ensure high quality of inclusive processes and data collection, 
  • contribute to user design workshops for development of digital tools for participation and deliberation, 
  • contribute to resarch design, implementation and investigation using qualitative and/or quantitative methods aimed at understanding and improving the quality and effectiveness of citizen deliberation and participation, 
  • engage with a large interdisciplinary team including computer scientists and software developers and be supported with training for career progression. 
  • support non-academic dissemination and impact activities.

The University of Southampton is in the top 1% of world Universities and one of the UK’s top 15 research–intensive universities. The Schools and Departments contributing to the project have world class research expertise in advanced social science methods. Information about the Department of Politics and International Relations can be found at Information about the School of Economic, Social and Political Sciences can be found at

Successful candidates will have completed or be near to completing a doctoral degree in social sciences. 

The post is fixed term until 30th April 2024, and should be taken up by 1st May 2023 at the latest. Informal enquiries should be directed to Dr Matt Ryan

Applications for Research Fellow positions will be considered from candidates who are working towards or nearing completion of a relevant PhD qualification. The title of Research Fellow will be applied upon successful completion of the PhD.  Prior to the qualification being awarded the title of Senior Research Assistant will be given

We are proactive in fostering a culture of inclusion, respect, and equality of opportunity. We select candidates based on merit and ability and aspire to thrive in the diversity of our workforce.  We welcome applications from all candidates with an interest in the role and those who are committed to helping us create an inclusive work environment. We encourage applications from candidates from Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic communities, people who identify as LGBTQ+, and people with disabilities. 

Application Procedure

You should submit your completed online application form at The application deadline will be midnight on the closing date stated above. If you need any assistance, please call Sian Gale (Recruitment Team) on +44 (0) 23 8059 2750, or email Please quote reference 2125423CC on all correspondence.