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Research Assistant/associate In Rural Innovation

Newcastle University - Newcastle, NSW

Education, Childcare & Training
Source: uWorkin


We are a world class research-intensive university. We deliver teaching and learning of the highest quality. We play a leading role in economic, social and cultural development of the North East of England. Attracting and retaining high-calibre people is fundamental to our continued success.

Salary: Research Assistant: £28,331 - £30,046 per annum

Research Associate: £30,942 - £32,817 per annum

Closing Date: 9 April 2021

The Role

We are looking for an outstanding individual with high quality research and engagement skills to support a portfolio of innovation and research projects for the National Innovation Centre for Rural Enterprise (NICRE), funded by Research England and led by Newcastle University.

Your main area of research will be to provide research and facilitation activity for a set of NICRE innovation projects in the north east region’s rural communities and enterprises. It will entail supporting and stimulating innovative demonstration projects and initiatives and providing insights and recommendations to enhance policy and practice for rural enterprise. The innovation projects involve a range of partners from the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. Part of your role will be to liaise with partners to complete existing projects and to generate ideas for new innovation projects.

You will be part of the coordinating office of NICRE, helping to achieve its objectives. You will be a strong communicator, with the ability to interact with researchers from other disciplines in the project and collaborate with our wider stakeholders in community, business and policy sectors.

NICRE will undertake research and knowledge exchange to inform policy, foster the innovation and resilience of rural businesses, and unlock the potential of rural economies across the UK. It is funded by Research England and founding University Partners. NICRE builds on three leading centres of expertise: the and the at Gloucestershire/Royal Agricultural University. It involves a partnership between Universities, Government departments, local authorities and enterprise partnerships, businesses organisations, rural stakeholders and enterprises. Baldwins Accountants and Strutt & Parker Property consultants are its founding national professional business service partners.

The post is full time, fixed term for 12 months and is available for an immediate start.

For informal enquiries, please contact Paul Cowie, Research Fellow

For further information about NICRE see

Key Accountabilities

  • Working with NICRE’s lead academics and management team, to support, develop and implement strategies for the achievement of NICRE objectives
  • To assist, manage and conduct innovation projects and associated research using a range of methods
  • To facilitate links between innovation projects and research expertise within the University
  • To support the sharing of learning from innovation projects and production of associated outputs
  • To organise knowledge exchange events with communities, businesses, their representatives and policy makers and helping to host discussions and facilitate productive debate
  • To contribute to the writing of research articles for peer-reviewed, international scientific journals and to the communication and dissemination of outputs, for example in briefing papers and evidence submissions to inform enterprise and rural decision making throughout the UK
  • To support the preparation and management of proposals for innovation and research projects that support NICRE sustainability
  • To attend NICRE management and research meetings and assist with the day-to-day running of research and innovation activities
  • Willingness to travel locally, nationally and on occasion internationally to visit collaborators, present findings and attend conferences, involving short stays away from home and occasional weekend working
  • Any other duties commensurate with the role and grade, as required
The Person (Essential)

Knowledge, Skills and Experience
  • Subject knowledge relating to themes such as rural development, innovation or enterprise
  • Research experience relevant to innovation – including research design, preparation of structured literature reviews, methodological knowledge, project implementation, analysis and writing up of empirical data
  • Excellent qualitative or mixed methods research skills
  • Experience of working with stakeholders in local communities or businesses, or development organisations
  • Excellent communication skills in English, both oral and written, with an ability to present material clearly to a variety of audiences
  • Ability to work effectively in a team, including building working relationships with colleagues and external contacts
  • Resilient, reliable and ethical team player with an ability to work well under pressure
  • Ability to make decisions independently, using own initiative, but also know when to seek wider input
  • Excellent written English to publishable standards – ability to prepare outputs to publication standards
  • Experience in effective research dissemination, communication and networking with local professional groups, policy makers or small businesses (Desirable)
  • Experience in practice or research linked to local community development (Desirable)
  • Experience in using relevant qualitative analysis software e.g. NVivo (Desirable)
  • Specific subject knowledge relating to rural development challenges and opportunities and associated key issues in the UK/Europe (Desirable)
  • Academic publications in internationally recognised journals (Desirable)
  • Experience of teaching in Higher Education, with the ability to communicate effectively in supervising and training students (Desirable)
  • Experience in attracting funding or preparing research applications (Desirable)
Attributes and Behaviour
  • Understands and makes sense of complex or conflicting data and different perspectives
  • Clear, concise and accurate communication, tailoring the approach accordingly using appropriate media and encouraging an overall effective communication process
  • Works collaboratively with others, playing a positive role in teams and establishing and growing relationships internally and externally across organisations and functions where different skills, expertise and opinions are valued
  • Effective at organising and managing heavy, diverse and complex workloads within tight deadlines
  • Has the ability to think strategically and to manage complex problems and issues
  • Sets own priorities in conjunction with team and area objectives
  • Encourages creative and innovative thinking in self and others
  • A pro-active, positive, motivated individual with a ‘can do’ attitude and the ability to remain calm and focused
  • Confidence and professionalism in personal interactions, able to establish and maintain good working relationships with colleagues and others at all levels whilst having the ability to negotiate and influence where appropriate
  • Willingness to travel to events and NICRE partner institutions throughout the UK and beyond (the post is based at Newcastle but the role will involve work across NICRE HEIs and partners)
  • Hold a PhD for Associate level (or close to completion for Assistant level) in a relevant discipline (e.g. economics, business management, human geography, rural development, sociology, etc.) (Essential for Research Associate)
Newcastle University is committed to being a fully inclusive Global University which actively recruits, supports and retains staff from all sectors of society. We value diversity as well as celebrate, support and thrive on the contributions of all our employees and the communities they represent. We are proud to be an equal opportunities employer and encourage applications from everybody, regardless of race, sex, ethnicity, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, age, disability, gender identity, marital status/civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, as well as being open to flexible working practices.

The University holds a silver award in recognition of our good employment practices for the advancement of gender equality. The University also holds the award for our work to support the career development of our researchers, and is a member of the initiative supporting researchers in Europe.

Requisition ID: 5973


Newcastle, NSW

Education, Childcare & Training


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