Research Assistant, Health and Social Care

University of Essex

United Kingdom

September 30, 2022


Job title

Research Assistant, Health and Social Care

Job reference


Application closing date





£27,929 - £31,411 per annum, pro-rata

Employment type

Fixed-term, Part-time

Job category/type




Job description

The School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

Organised health and social care is one of the greatest achievements of the 20th century, made possible by the vision and dedication of the professionals who staff it. We are at the forefront of preparing people to solve real-life issues in health and society, offering courses that both commissioners and employers believe in. People are at the heart of all we do. We work in partnership with people from all walks of life, who offer us their expertise and experience, making us a team of people who truly understand what is needed from health and social care professionals – now and in the future.

About the Post

You will work with and report to Dr ZhiMin Xiao of the Division of Interdisciplinary Research and Practice, one of the seven Divisions in the School of Health and Social Care. The post is generously funded by a grant from East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust. While the research project is about Physical and Mental Health and Wellbeing across the Lifespan, the RA will identify and analyse secondary datasets, from the UK Data Service and/or elsewhere, that contain information about the health and wellbeing of children and young people from families involved in either private or public family courts in the UK. This means you will help, under the guidance of Dr Xiao where necessary, search and review the literature on the topic, raise important research questions to answer and hypotheses to test, conduct descriptive and inferential statistical analyses of the data, and write up the findings for publication with Dr Xiao.

The post does not involve primary data collection from human participants at the first stage, but the results of the systematic literature review and secondary data analysis will inform empirical data collection from key stakeholders later. The RA will be required to take the initiative to disseminate research findings by co-authoring academic manuscripts for publication and contributing to the organisation and delivery of research seminars. There are also opportunities for the RA to contribute to research methods teaching and supervision of undergraduate and/or postgraduate students if they so wish.

This is a part-time post for five months in the first instance. The RA should have 10-20 hours a week for the project. If the project attracts many applications and the first choice cannot work on the project for more than 10 hours a week, two RAs will be hired, with each working 10 hours a week on the project. Therefore, the post would be ideal for an advanced PhD student close to the completion of their thesis, or those who have just completed their doctoral thesis but are still in the job market of Education, Psychology, Sociology, Health and Social Care, or Social Legal Studies.

The post can be based in Oxford or Essex but will involve regular meetings with Dr Xiao and engagement with other members of the Division.

Duties of the Role

The successful candidate will:

  • Conduct systematic reviews of relevant literature
  • Identify and analyse large-scale secondary data
  • Draft journal articles for publication
  • Contribute to public engagement & impact
  • Undertake teaching and student supervision (optional)
  • Skills and Qualifications Required

    The successful candidate will have experience in secondary data analysis and a publication record appropriate for the post or will be able to demonstrate evidence of potential to develop the profile required by the post. Excellent oral and written communication and presentation skills, strong analytical background, along with the potential to develop innovative research are all essential for this post.

    Working at the University of Essex

    At the University of Essex, internationalism and diversity is central to who we are and what we do. We are committed to being a cosmopolitan, internationally oriented university that is welcoming to staff and students from all countries, faiths and backgrounds, where you can find the world in one place.

    To support this commitment we have our Global Forum, a staff-led network that promotes and celebrates the rich cultural diversity among Essex staff, and our Colchester campus based Faith Centre, which hosts regular services, meetings and events organised by our chaplains and faith representatives.

    More information: Working at the University

    How to Apply

    Interested applicants should email Dr ZhiMin Xiao at with a CV, Covering Letter.

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    About the employer

    Founded in the year 1964, the University of Essex is one of the leading universities located in England, the U.K. same year, 122 students enrolled themselves at the university, which grew up to nearly 1,00,000 during the subsequent 50 years....