Wales Institute of Social & Economic Research, Data & Methods
Sefydliad Ymchwil Gymdeithasol ac Economaidd, Data a Dulliau Cymru

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Research Assistant or Research Associate

Institution: SOCSI - Cardiff School of Social Sciences

Closing date: Monday, 5th September 2016

The Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW) commissioned the Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research, Data and Methods (WISERD) to undertake a programme of research and capacity building in Wales. The programme commenced in 2013. You will be part of an interdisciplinary research team, collectively working on a range of research activities, which will involve working closely with schools, teachers and children to maintain a series of longitudinal studies across Wales. This will involve data collection and analysis of qualitative and quantitative data.

The post will be based within WISERD (at Cardiff University) and will be line managed by Prof Sally Power. You will also work closely with Prof Chris Taylor and alongside two other researchers.


£25,769 - £29,847 per annum (Grade 5)
£31,656 - £37,768 per annum (Grade 6)

This post is full time, fixed term until 31st July 2017.

Please be aware that Cardiff University reserves the right to close this vacancy early should sufficient applications be received

Cardiff University is committed to supporting and promoting equality and diversity. Our inclusive environment welcomes applications from talented people from diverse backgrounds.


Job Description: To conduct research within the area of education and contribute to the overall research performance of the WISERD Education Project, WISERD, School and University, carrying out research leading to the publishing of work in high-quality journals. To pursue excellence in research and to inspire others to do the same.

At Grade 5:

  • To undertake research with the WISERD Education Project, by planning, preparing, setting up, conducting and recording the outcome of fieldwork
  • Actively participate within the research group, communicating and presenting research at meetings, through publications and other recognised avenues as appropriate, ensuring information is communicated to internal and external partners
  • To contribute to research publications and presentations as required
  • To analyse and communicate complex ideas, concepts and data using appropriate methods and packages
  • To resolve issues and support senior colleagues in devising procedures required to ensure accurate and timely reporting
  • To generate research output and contribute to the development of independent and original ideas as appropriate
  • To provide support in research activities for undergraduate courses and research programmes and provide guidance to junior members of staff within the research team To maintain and update area of specialist knowledge, researching and critically appraising relevant literature within the area.

Additionally at Grade 6:

  • To conduct research with the WISERD Education cohorts and contribute to the overall research performance of the WISERD Education Project, WISERD, School and University by the production of measurable outputs including bidding for funding, publishing in national academic journals and conferences, and the recruitment and supervision of postgraduate research students.
  • To develop research objectives and proposals for own or joint research including research funding proposals
  • To promote the use of WISERD Education data in other HEIs in Wales
  • To provide guidance as required to staff participating in the WISERD Education researcher capacity building projects
  • To contribute to the day to day research and capacity building activities within the overall agreed research programme, undertaking research by preparing, setting up, conducting and recording the outcomes of fieldwork and qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis (using appropriate statistical techniques). This will involve working away from Cardiff for significant periods in the different regions of Wales
  • To undertake administrative tasks associated with the research project, including the planning and organisation of the project and the implementation of procedures required to ensure accurate and timely reporting
  • To prepare research ethics and research governance applications as appropriate
  • To review and synthesise existing research literature within the field
  • To participate in School research activities.
  • To build and create networks both internally and externally to the university, to influence decisions, explore future research requirements, and share research ideas for the benefit of research projects


  • To engage effectively with industrial, commercial and public sector organisations, professional institutions, other academic institutions etc., regionally and nationally to raise awareness of the School's profile, to cultivate strategically valuable alliances, and to pursue opportunities for collaboration across a range of activities. These activities are expected to contribute to the School and the enhancement of its regional and national profile.
  • To undergo personal and professional development that is appropriate to and which will enhance performance. To participate in School administration and activities to promote the School and its work to the wider University and the outside world
  • Any other duties not included above, but consistent with the role.

Person Specification ESSENTIAL CRITERIA

At Grade 5:

Qualifications and Education
1. Postgraduate degree at PhD level in asocial science discipline or relevant equivalent research experience

Knowledge, Skills and Experience
2. Experience in one or more of the following research methods:
Data elicitation with young children
Classroom observation
Longitudinal Studies
Managing Large Datasets
Locality Based Studies

3. Knowledge of the current status of research within the field of UK social and education research and expertise in the research of education, education policy and practices in Wales

4. Proven ability to be successful in competitive research funding

5. Previous experience in conducting and organising research projects as part of a multi disciplinary team with proven ability to demonstrate creativity, innovation and team-working along with an ability to prioritise and meet deadlines within the framework of an agreed programme.

6. Proven experience of obtaining, liaising and maintaining access with schools in conducting research and working with or undertaking research with children or young people

Communication and Team Working

7. Fluent Welsh Language Skills

Additionally at Grade 6:
8. Ability to supervise the work of others to focus team efforts and motivate individuals

9. Proven ability to publish in national journals in the social sciences and education research

10. Proven ability in effective and persuasive communication (written and oral) with a well developed ability to liaise with external collaborators and research partners, often a variety of levels.

Proven ability to conduct quantitative and qualitative research studies
Experience of giving presentations at conferences and meetings
Experience of undertaking interviews and / or focus groups with a variety of research participants, including children
Expertise in managing large-scale datasets (quantitative and qualitative)
Experience of engaging policy makers, practitioners and key stakeholders in research and research findings
Evidence of ability to participate in and develop both internal and external networks and utilise them to enhance the research activities of the School.
A valid driving licence and willingness and ability to work away from Cardiff for significant periods when required.

To find out more about this position please click here and search for the reference 5009BR.



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