25-17 - Research Assistant – Mixed Methods

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Posted: 30/06/2017 09:27
Start Date: Not Available
Salary: Circa £24,500
Location: Aberdeen
Level: Hutton C
Deadline: 28/07/2017 23:59
Hours: 37
Benefits: Competitive
Job Type: Fixed term - 3 years

Applications are invited for a highly motivated social researcher to work within the Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences (SEGS) group. This 3-year post will involve supporting ongoing research on food choices, agri-environmental management, uptake of best practices and farm innovation, and community resilience. The successful candidate will join a team of research assistants providing a set of complementary skills that can be called upon by colleagues in SEGS.

The post will support the collection of qualitative and quantitative data, agent-based modelling, literature searches, document analysis, conducting interviews, running workshops, qualitative and/or quantitative data analysis and research dissemination. Experience or interest in mixed methods approaches is desirable. The candidate must have an Honours level degree in an appropriate social, economic or geographical science and experience of empirical social research and data analysis. The candidate should have an interest in food choices and food security, agri-environmental management, rural industries and community resilience issues and be willing to work in interdisciplinary teams. The work will be team-based, working across disciplines within the SEGS group and also working with other researchers in the James Hutton Institute and beyond.

This post is located on our Aberdeen site; there may be a requirement for occasional travel to our Dundee site and elsewhere in Scotland and the UK.

More information on the detail of the post and the post holder can be found below in the job description.

Main Purpose of Job

This post is to provide research support to members of the Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences Group (SEGS) in a variety of projects using qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods approaches.

The post will support work on the Scottish Government research programmes, particularly on topics regarding agri-environmental management and achieving multiple benefits at landscape scale (RD1.4.3), the role of farm advice and farmer peer-to-peer learning in the uptake of best practices and farm innovation (RD2.3.12 and 2.4.2), food choices (RD3.2.4), and community resilience, exploring demographic change in remote areas and community-based decision making around local assets. The post holder will also support other externally funded projects ongoing within the Institute. 

Main duties of post holder

  • Literature searches, reviews and document analyses 
  • Primary data collection via interviews and surveys, including instrument design and piloting, stakeholder liaison and participant recruitment
  • Planning, organising and running workshops
  • Data management using, for example, NVIVO, including data checking and data cleaning
  • Qualitative analysis of text data and quantitative analysis of e.g. survey data
  • Report writing
  • Dissemination of findings via scientific papers/posters, policy briefs, popular articles and web pages 
  • Contribution to tenders for external funding



  • Honours degree in relevant subject
  • Experience of research on food choices, agri-environmental management, rural industries or community resilience in Scottish, UK or European context
  • Experience of literature searching and reviewing
  • Experience of qualitative data collection and analysis
  • Experience of quantitative methods
  • Experience of working effectively in a team
  • Evidence of ability to produce written research outputs
  • Ability to communicate with a range of audiences
  • Ability to multi-task


  • Master’s degree in relevant subject
  • Experience of applying theories relevant to work
  • Project management experience
  • Familiarity with agent-based modelling
  • Experience of interdisciplinary work
  • Peer-reviewed publication record
  • Facilitation and workshop design skills

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