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Research Associate

Social Policy and Social Work
Based at
University of York - Heslington Campus
Hours of work
Contract status
Fixed term
31,604 - 38,832 a year (reduced pro rata)
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Role Description

We are seeking a Research Associate to join an exciting stream of research in the Department of Social Policy and Social Work (SPSW). You will play a key role in the completion of evaluations of projects within the Children’s Social Care Innovation Programme. This work is funded by The Department for Education (DfE) and is being carried out in collaboration with the University of Oxford across several areas of England.  You will conduct research within Bradford, Rotherham, Doncaster, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Warwick, but may be asked to support data collection in other sites (e.g. London and Oxfordshire).

You will be attached to three 24-month evaluations initially, which focus on new approaches to improving experiences and outcomes for young people on the edge of care, living in foster or residential care and leaving care. This will involve contributing to the development of the data collection tools, recruitment of participants, liaising with the project sites, managing data collection across sites (including overseeing area based interviewers), gathering data via a range of methods including surveys, questionnaires, focus groups and interviews. You will work with the research and participation worker to support research participants to engage with the research through participatory methods such as co-production and peer research. Working with local authorities you will identify sources of available data and contribute to analysis and writing up progress reports as well as contributing to the final report.

You will have a wide range of inter-personal and research skills including experience of carrying out research with young people and/or vulnerable adults. Ideally you will have experience of both qualitative and quantitative research methods. You will be supportive of the inclusion of service users, in this case young people, in all aspects of the research process via co-production and peer research approaches.  You will be supervised by the principle investigator and supported by a research and participation worker, project manager and research administrator.  You will be required to jointly oversee and supervise the work of the research and participation worker.

The post offers support and scope to develop your own research projects and provides opportunities for undertaking training to further your career development within research. 

You will be joining an active research community that encourages participation in departmental and university wide seminars and special interest groups, national and international conferences and forums and in engagement with service users and practitioners.

Key requirements:

  • PhD in relevant subject or equivalent research experience
  • Knowledge of UK children’s social care policies and practice
  • Highly developed communication skills to engage effectively with a wide ranging audience, both orally and in writing, using a range of media
  • Ability to work collaboratively with service users, practitioners and other researchers
  • Ability to travel throughout England as required by the project
  • Interest in and enthusiasm for the subject of child welfare and methods of engaging children and young people in research.

Informal enquiries to Jo Dixon:

The role is offered on a part time basis (80%), however, there could be opportunities to increase hours to full time at certain points throughout the project period or extend the contract.

This post is available on a fixed term basis for 22 months.

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