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Principal Researcher

Uniting - Sydney, NSW

Biotech, R&D, Science
Source: uWorkin


Principal Researcher - Extended closing date to 22/2/21 5 pm

NCLS Research/ Uniting (NSW.ACT)

About NCLS Research

NCLS Research is a world leader in research focused on connecting churches and their communities. Decades of rigorous and thoughtful research has examined wellbeing, spirituality, and church health. The most well-known five-yearly project is called the National Church Life Survey, which has had millions of participants. Cooperating denominations are a network for sharing practical resources to help churches and communities. http://ncls.org.au/

Our mission is to use credible research to identify signs of hope, to nurture life in both leadership and churches as well as to encourage the wider community to reflect on its spiritual journey and the churches place within it.

NCLS Research is a collaborative venture between church denominations and social service agencies. Uniting currently provides employment services for some NCLS Research staff. This position reports to the Director of NCLS Research and is located within the Church Engagement Team of the Mission, Communities, and Social Impact Directorate of Uniting (NSW & ACT Synod).


NCLS Research is recruiting for one full-time Principal Researcher to join a multidisciplinary team. The position is full-time, fixed-term till June 2023.

This is a broad and varied role where interactions with programs, practitioners, university partners, and church and government agencies are key. On any given day, members of our team may be designing or conducting rigorous research and analysis, writing research reports and academic papers, or presenting findings to colleagues or at national conferences.

In 2021, we will run the seventh National Church Life Survey. This is an exciting and demanding national project, made up of multiple research projects across 20 Christian denominations.

Day to day responsibilities are set out in the Position Description, link below.


This role is responsible for tasks associated with the research activities of NCLS Research, primarily focused on the National Church Life Survey datasets, as well as other commissioned and joint projects. The position will involve participation in quantitative and qualitative research projects and will include leadership of selected projects. It may also involve liaising with Church personnel across Christian denominations with regard to research and resources and presenting research findings at conferences and other gatherings. The position will involve academic research both individually and in collaboration.


  • Skills in quantitative research, analysis, and evaluation design
  • An ability to translate research findings into reports and presentations which can drive reform of practice and/or policy settings or stimulate innovation
  • An ability to consult and cultivate productive working relationships with practitioners, policymakers, and academics
  • A firm commitment to social justice and interest in the research and policy areas covered by Uniting’s services


  • Tertiary qualifications in a relevant discipline (e.g. social science, public health, or social work)
  • Three to five years’ experience in conducting high-level independent research, and producing and publishing scholarly work
  • Demonstrated experience in quantitative analysis of multivariate datasets
  • Knowledge of a range of research methodologies/approaches
  • An understanding of and willingness to work within the Christian ethos and across different faith traditions


  • Higher degree qualification in a relevant field
  • Demonstrated experience in qualitative research
  • Demonstrated capacity to contribute to administration and management of a research program
  • Demonstrated ability to contribute to the selection/development and implementation of data collection instruments

2021 PD NCLS Principal Researcher.pdf


Uniting is proud to be an EEO employer. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are encouraged to apply.

We work together to ensure that every employee can be the best they can be. We value you and will support you in your life and in your career by:

  • Offering Salary Packaging benefits, designed to increase your take-home salary
  • Ensuring a 35 Hour Working Week (full time)
  • Access to a range of professional resources including current journals, research, and publications at your fingertips

Please Note: The successful applicant will be required to pass probity checks, including a criminal record check

What next?

Please submit a cover letter and CV, showing how you meet the criteria described above under “Your skill set will include”, “Your qualifications and experience”, and “Even better”.

Questions? Please call Louise Massie on 0468 341 590 or send an email to [email protected]

Extended closing date to Monday, February 22nd, 5 pm

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