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Research Assistant, Digital Engagement Job with DURHAM UNIVERSITY

Department of Sociology

6th year: Р£27,116.00 per year (prorated)
Fixed term – Part time
Contract duration: 12 months
Contract hours per week: seven
Closing Date: 09-Feb-2022, 07:59:00

Durham University

Durham University is one of the best universities in the world with strengths in the arts and humanities, sciences and social sciences. We are home to some of the most talented scholars and researchers from around the world tackling global issues and making a difference in people’s lives.

The University is located in a beautiful historic town where it shares ownership of a UNESCO World Heritage Site with Durham Cathedral, the largest Romanesque building in Western Europe. A collegiate university, Durham recruits exceptional students from around the world and offers an unparalleled student experience.

Less than 3 hours north of London and 1.5 hours south of Edinburgh, County Durham is an area steeped in history and natural beauty. The Durham Dales, including the North Pennines Area of ‚Äč‚ÄčOutstanding Natural Beauty, are home to breathtaking scenery and attractions. Durham offers an excellent choice of urban, suburban and rural residential locations. The University offers a range of benefits, including pension and child care benefits, and the University relocation officer can help you with any educational requirements.

Durham University seeks to promote and sustain an inclusive and supportive work and study environment that helps all members of our University community reach their full potential. Diversity brings strength and we welcome applications from the international, national and regional communities with which we work and serve.

The Department

The Department of Sociology was established in 1964 initially as the Department of Social Theory and Institutions. The Department offers undergraduate and postgraduate programs in sociology, criminology and social work and supports the delivery of a faculty research methods program through the collaborative NINEDTP. The Department’s research strategy revolves around four themes: Communities and Social Justice, Health and Social Theory, Higher Education and Social Inequalities, and Violence and Abuse.

The role

Applications are invited for a Research Assistant/Digital Engagement Officer in Sociology with a particular focus on digital engagement, research evaluation and measurement, and inequalities in knowledge production. The research project ‘Combating Epistemic Injustice in Academia and Beyond’ is funded by Durham University’s Research Impact Fund and is led by Dr Jana Bacevic. The main objective of the project is to collect and analyze data on experiences of epistemic injustice/epistemic positioning on a global scale, and to present this data in an online, interactive and publicly accessible format. The post holder will support Dr. Bacevic in developing the research and engagement elements of the project, and will also have the opportunity to contribute to research publications and other project outputs.

The Research Assistant/Digital Engagement Officer will be responsible for the design and maintenance of the project website during the first year of the project. This will involve designing forms for data collection; primary analysis of collected data, anonymization and presentation; monitor and report user engagement/audience reach, including comment moderation; and support social media engagement.

The successful candidate will need to have skills related to online data collection and analysis, data protection and digital engagement. Additional training (including advanced programming skills, eg Python) is available.


  • To understand and convey information that requires in-depth explanationnation to a wider audiencenumerous presentations, discussions and meetings that contribute to the production of research reports and publications.
  • To write up research results, present information on research progress and results to research oversight bodies in a clear and accurate manner.
  • Analyze or undertake basic research deciding how best to apply existing methodology based on overall context and objectives.
  • Address issues that may affect the achievement of research objectives and timelines by discussing with the Principal Investigator or grant holder and proposing creative or innovative solutions.
  • Liaise with research colleagues and establish internal and external contacts to develop knowledge and understanding in order to build relationships for future research collaboration.
  • Contribute to the planning of research projects.
  • Help contribute to support student projects on the use of research methods and equipment.
  • Contribute to fostering a collegial and respectful work environment, inclusive and welcoming and where everyone is treated fairly with dignity and respect.
  • Engage in broader citizenship to support the department and the discipline at large.
  • Engage in continuous professional development by completing relevant training and development courses.

This position is fixed-term for the duration of available funding (until the end of 2022). It is envisaged that the role would be best suited for an advanced postgraduate student/researcher with an interest in issues of research evaluation and metrics, gender, race, inequality and digital engagement. The incumbent is expected to work one day per week. Applications for flexible working and job sharing will be considered. The candidate would occasionally be required to travel to Durham for project meetings, but would otherwise be free to work remotely.

The incumbent is employed to work on a research project to be conducted by another colleague. Although this means that the post holder will not carry out independent research in their own right, they are expected to contribute to the progress of the project, through the development of their own ideas for research / adaptation and development of research protocols.

Successful candidates will ideally be in post at the beginning of February 2022.

How to register

For all informal enquiries, please contact Dr Jana Bacevic, All inquiries will be treated with the strictest confidentiality.

We prefer to receive applications online via the Durham University vacancies site. As part of the application process, you must provide details of 3 referees (preferably academic/research) and details of your current supervisor so that we can seek a job reference.

Applications are especially welcome from women and black and minority ethnic applicants, who are underrepresented in academic positions at the University.

What to submit

All applicants are invited to submit:

  • A CV and a cover letter that details your experience, strengths and potential in the requirements set out above;
  • A link to or example of web content you have designed (website/blog, social media profile, quiz/evaluation form), demonstrating minimal knowledge of web design and data collection principles; note that professional content is preferred, but in the absence of this, you can also submit personal profiles provided they include a presentation of your own research.

Next steps

The assessment for the position will include a pre-screening process (review of submitted documents) and an interview. Shortlisted candidates will be invited for an interview and assessment in February 2022.



  • A good first degree in sociology, a related social science discipline, or programming
  • A master’s degree in sociology or a related social science discipline.
  • Experience in conducting basic academic research or providing research assistance, including the use of standard research methods.
  • Demonstrable ability to produce concise, well-written reports for a range of stakeholders.
  • Experience in web content design
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively within a team, including participating in research meetings.
  • Ability to manage time effectively and meet strict deadlines.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Ability to liaise with a range of stakeholders.


  • A doctorate (or be close to submission) in sociology or a related field.
  • Experience in conducting high quality academic research.
  • Experience in the preparation of academic articles.
  • Ability to help provide support for student projects.
  • Experience in freelance website development for research projects (using WordPress or other engines) and/or maintaining social media for research organizations/projects.
  • Ability to contribute to the planning and management of independent research.
  • Advanced coding/web design skills

DBS requirement: Not applicable.


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