Research Assistant

University of Stirling

United Kingdom

September 29, 2021

Description

Research Assistant Apply Post Details

Part time - 50% FTE Fixed term for 24 months

The closing date for applications is midnight on Wednesday 29 September 2021 Interviews are expected to take place on Friday 15 October 2021

This role will require membership of the PVG scheme. An offer of employment will be subject to a satisfactory outcome of this process.

This role is not eligible for sponsorship. Applicants require to have existing right to work in the UK.

The University of Stirling recognises that a diverse workforce benefits and enriches the work, learning and research experiences of the entire campus and greater community. We are committed to removing barriers and welcome applications from those who would contribute to further diversification of our staff and ensure that equality, diversity and inclusion is woven into the substance of the role. We strongly encourage applications from people from diverse backgrounds including gender, identity, race, age, class, and ethnicity.

The Post

The Project

The University of Stirling is seeking to appoint a Research Assistant for an ethnographic research project funded by the Sir Halley Stewart Trust. The overall aim of this project is to better understand the work of Safeguarders to the Children's Panel. In particular, the project seeks to develop a better understanding of how Safeguarders make judgements and decisions when reaching a recommendation in the best interests of the child. The project aims to provide insight into Safeguarders' sense-making practices and to contribute to improvements in decision-making on behalf of children within the Children's Hearings System and wider welfare systems. The project will also develop and test innovative tools and methods of data collection and analysis. Findings from the study, and the research tools developed within the study, are intended to be incorporated into a larger UK study of best interest judgements currently under submission to the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

The study will progress in two phases. In the first phase, an ethnographic approach informs a series of contacts with Safeguarders and the Safeguarders Panel Team to gather contextual data and pilot the data collections tools for phase two. In the second phase you will follow a series of case studies from the appointment of a Safeguarder to the submission of their report and recommendation. In each case study, the Safeguarder will be supported to undertake reflective exploration of their judgement processes and will be interviewed at key points to discuss the unfolding judgement process.

The Role

This post will contribute to both phases of the project. In phase one, you will follow the everyday practice world of Safeguarders as a participant observer to map behaviours, feelings, social practices and responses (Coffey 1999). Due to impact of Covid-19, innovative methods of data collection may need to be developed here. Through phase 2 and the case studies, you will carry out qualitative interviews (reflective conversations and semi structured interviews) and analysis of secondary data (this will include documentary analysis of supervisory frameworks, training materials, standards and guidance).

This project as at a fascinating intersection between the broad domains of judgement and decision-making studies and child welfare studies. You will be observing experienced professionals making life-affecting judgements and recommendations in the best interests of children and young people. The post will be suitable to an early career researcher with some experience of research within children's protective services. You will work directly with principal investigator, Dr Duncan Helm.

Informal enquiries about the post can be made direct to: Dr Duncan Helm, Senior Lecturer and Principal Investigator duncan.helm@stir.ac.uk

Description of Duties

The Role will involve:

  • Working with an advisory board to develop data collection methods
  • Building trusting research relationships with Safeguarders
  • Undertaking data collection (including extensive participant observation, interviewing and documentary analysis)
  • Undertaking data analysis
  • Working closely with the PI and with senior management within the research site
  • Writing as part of the research team (project reports, journal articles)
  • Taking part in regular supervision and interview debriefing with the principal investigator
  • Dissemination activities as part of the research team
  • Essential Criteria
  • A research-based Master's degree in social science, or equivalent experience
  • Good qualitative research skills
  • Ability to communicate complex information with a range of different people and methods
  • An understanding of the Children's Hearings System and Safeguarders Panel
  • Experience of conducting social research
  • The ability to work flexibly to meet the aims of the project
  • Desirable Criteria
  • A PhD (or be working towards a PhD) in a social science subject
  • Experience of ethnographic research
  • Knowledge of judgement and decision-making theory
  • Experience of working with or for Children's Hearings System and/or Safeguarders Panel
  • Initiative and creativity in developing research methods
  • Behaviours and Competencies

    The role holder will be required to evidence that they can meet the qualities associated with the following behavioural competencies, as detailed within the AUA Competency Framework.

  • Managing self and personal skills Being aware of your own behaviour and mindful of how it impacts on others, enhancing personal skills to adapt professional practice accordingly.

  • Delivering excellent service Providing the best quality service to external and internal clients. Building genuine and open long-term relationships in order to drive up service standards.

  • Finding solutions Taking a holistic view and working enthusiastically to analyse problems and to develop workable solutions. Identifying opportunities for innovation.

  • Embracing change Being open to and engaging with new ideas and ways of working. Adjusting to unfamiliar situations, shifting demands and changing roles.

  • Using resources effectively Identifying and making the most productive use of resources including people, time, information, networks and budgets.

  • Engaging with the wider context Enhancing your contribution to the organisation through an understanding of the bigger picture and showing commitment to organisational values.

  • Developing self and others Showing commitment to own ongoing professional development. Supporting and encouraging others to develop their professional knowledge, skills and behaviours to enable them to reach their full potential.

  • Working together Working collaboratively with others in order to achieve objectives. Recognising and valuing the different contributions people bring to this process.

  • Achieving Results Consistently meeting agreed objectives and success criteria. Taking personal responsibility for getting things done.

  • About Us

    The Faculty of Social Sciences (FSS) is an integrated multi-disciplinary team of academic and professional support staff with research and teaching interests in sociology, social policy, criminology, education, housing studies, social work and dementia. Working collaboratively with students, staff and stakeholders, the Faculty provide high quality undergraduate and postgraduate education, as well as professional development in all these areas through our interdisciplinary links across the University and beyond. We have a sustained successful research record and in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, 80% of our research was assessed as internationally excellent or world leading, with the top 23% of our work judged as world leading across two units of assessment, Education, and Social Work and Social Policy.

    In addition to teaching, social scientific research is undertaken in the Faculty under the following headings: Crime and Justice; Child Welfare and Protection; Curriculum and Pedagogy; Dementia and Social Gerontology; Educational Studies; Public Services and Governance; and Social Surveys and Social Statistics.

    Full information about the Faculty can be found here: stir.ac.uk/social- sciences/

    The University

    The University of Stirling is a leading UK teaching and research-intensive university, created by Royal Charter in 1967. Since its foundation, the University has embraced its role as an innovative, intellectual and cultural institution with a pioneering spirit and a passion for excellence in all that it does.

    In 2016, the University launched its current Strategic Plan https: // www. stir.ac.uk/about/our-vision/our-strategy/ (2016-2021), with targets to: be one of the top 25 universities in the UK; increase income by £50 million; enhance its research profile by 100 per cent; and ensure internationalisation is at the heart of everything it does.

    With three-quarters of its research ranked world-leading and internationally- excellent (Research Excellence Framework 2014), the University's groundbreaking, interdisciplinary research makes a difference to society and has a positive impact on communities worldwide. Stirling's research is making a positive impact on people's health, education and wellbeing, with key strengths across our research themes of: Cultures, Communities and Society; Global Security and Resilience; and Living Well. The University collaborates with international governments and policymakers, businesses, industry, and charitable organisations, to tackle and provide solutions to some of the toughest global societal challenges.

    For more information on working at Stirling, please visit https: // www. stir.ac.uk/about/work-at-stirling/.

    The University offers great benefits such as generous annual leave and membership of the Universities Superannuation Scheme. Additionally staff can benefit from a reduced membership rate at the University's excellent Sport Centre facilities.

    A full list of FAQs can be found here, we recommend you read these before making your application.

    Please ensure that you check your email account junk folder as your email provider may flag emails sent to you as suspected spam.

    Terms and conditions of this post can be found here.

    After the closing date, this job advert will no longer be available on the University of Stirling website therefore please keep a copy for your records.

    Job number

    FAC01402

    Contract Type

    Fixed Term Contract

    Closing date

    29-Sep-2021

    Location:

    Stirling Campus

    Grade

    Grade6 £27,116-£33,309 p.a.

    Faculty/Service

    Faculty of Social Sciences Post Details

    Part time - 50% FTE Fixed term for 24 months

    The closing date for applications is midnight on Wednesday 29 September 2021 Interviews are expected to take place on Friday 15 October 2021

    This role will require membership of the PVG scheme. An offer of employment will be subject to a satisfactory outcome of this process.

    This role is not eligible for sponsorship. Applicants require to have existing right to work in the UK.

    The University of Stirling recognises that a diverse workforce benefits and enriches the work, learning and research experiences of the entire campus and greater community. We are committed to removing barriers and welcome applications from those who would contribute to further diversification of our staff and ensure that equality, diversity and inclusion is woven into the substance of the role. We strongly encourage applications from people from diverse backgrounds including gender, identity, race, age, class, and ethnicity.

    The Post

    The Project

    The University of Stirling is seeking to appoint a Research Assistant for an ethnographic research project funded by the Sir Halley Stewart Trust. The overall aim of this project is to better understand the work of Safeguarders to the Children's Panel. In particular, the project seeks to develop a better understanding of how Safeguarders make judgements and decisions when reaching a recommendation in the best interests of the child. The project aims to provide insight into Safeguarders' sense-making practices and to contribute to improvements in decision-making on behalf of children within the Children's Hearings System and wider welfare systems. The project will also develop and test innovative tools and methods of data collection and analysis. Findings from the study, and the research tools developed within the study, are intended to be incorporated into a larger UK study of best interest judgements currently under submission to the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

    The study will progress in two phases. In the first phase, an ethnographic approach informs a series of contacts with Safeguarders and the Safeguarders Panel Team to gather contextual data and pilot the data collections tools for phase two. In the second phase you will follow a series of case studies from the appointment of a Safeguarder to the submission of their report and recommendation. In each case study, the Safeguarder will be supported to undertake reflective exploration of their judgement processes and will be interviewed at key points to discuss the unfolding judgement process.

    The Role

    This post will contribute to both phases of the project. In phase one, you will follow the everyday practice world of Safeguarders as a participant observer to map behaviours, feelings, social practices and responses (Coffey 1999). Due to impact of Covid-19, innovative methods of data collection may need to be developed here. Through phase 2 and the case studies, you will carry out qualitative interviews (reflective conversations and semi structured interviews) and analysis of secondary data (this will include documentary analysis of supervisory frameworks, training materials, standards and guidance).

    This project as at a fascinating intersection between the broad domains of judgement and decision-making studies and child welfare studies. You will be observing experienced professionals making life-affecting judgements and recommendations in the best interests of children and young people. The post will be suitable to an early career researcher with some experience of research within children's protective services. You will work directly with principal investigator, Dr Duncan Helm.

    Informal enquiries about the post can be made direct to: Dr Duncan Helm, Senior Lecturer and Principal Investigator duncan.helm@stir.ac.uk

    Description of Duties

    The Role will involve:

  • Working with an advisory board to develop data collection methods
  • Building trusting research relationships with Safeguarders
  • Undertaking data collection (including extensive participant observation, interviewing and documentary analysis)
  • Undertaking data analysis
  • Working closely with the PI and with senior management within the research site
  • Writing as part of the research team (project reports, journal articles)
  • Taking part in regular supervision and interview debriefing with the principal investigator
  • Dissemination activities as part of the research team
  • Essential Criteria
  • A research-based Master's degree in social science, or equivalent experience
  • Good qualitative research skills
  • Ability to communicate complex information with a range of different people and methods
  • An understanding of the Children's Hearings System and Safeguarders Panel
  • Experience of conducting social research
  • The ability to work flexibly to meet the aims of the project
  • Desirable Criteria
  • A PhD (or be working towards a PhD) in a social science subject
  • Experience of ethnographic research
  • Knowledge of judgement and decision-making theory
  • Experience of working with or for Children's Hearings System and/or Safeguarders Panel
  • Initiative and creativity in developing research methods
  • Behaviours and Competencies

    The role holder will be required to evidence that they can meet the qualities associated with the following behavioural competencies, as detailed within the AUA Competency Framework.

  • Managing self and personal skills Being aware of your own behaviour and mindful of how it impacts on others, enhancing personal skills to adapt professional practice accordingly.

  • Delivering excellent service Providing the best quality service to external and internal clients. Building genuine and open long-term relationships in order to drive up service standards.

  • Finding solutions Taking a holistic view and working enthusiastically to analyse problems and to develop workable solutions. Identifying opportunities for innovation.

  • Embracing change Being open to and engaging with new ideas and ways of working. Adjusting to unfamiliar situations, shifting demands and changing roles.

  • Using resources effectively Identifying and making the most productive use of resources including people, time, information, networks and budgets.

  • Engaging with the wider context Enhancing your contribution to the organisation through an understanding of the bigger picture and showing commitment to organisational values.

  • Developing self and others Showing commitment to own ongoing professional development. Supporting and encouraging others to develop their professional knowledge, skills and behaviours to enable them to reach their full potential.

  • Working together Working collaboratively with others in order to achieve objectives. Recognising and valuing the different contributions people bring to this process.

  • Achieving Results Consistently meeting agreed objectives and success criteria. Taking personal responsibility for getting things done.

  • About Us

    The Faculty of Social Sciences (FSS) is an integrated multi-disciplinary team of academic and professional support staff with research and teaching interests in sociology, social policy, criminology, education, housing studies, social work and dementia. Working collaboratively with students, staff and stakeholders, the Faculty provide high quality undergraduate and postgraduate education, as well as professional development in all these areas through our interdisciplinary links across the University and beyond. We have a sustained successful research record and in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, 80% of our research was assessed as internationally excellent or world leading, with the top 23% of our work judged as world leading across two units of assessment, Education, and Social Work and Social Policy.

    In addition to teaching, social scientific research is undertaken in the Faculty under the following headings: Crime and Justice; Child Welfare and Protection; Curriculum and Pedagogy; Dementia and Social Gerontology; Educational Studies; Public Services and Governance; and Social Surveys and Social Statistics.

    Full information about the Faculty can be found here: stir.ac.uk/social- sciences/

    The University

    The University of Stirling is a leading UK teaching and research-intensive university, created by Royal Charter in 1967. Since its foundation, the University has embraced its role as an innovative, intellectual and cultural institution with a pioneering spirit and a passion for excellence in all that it does.

    In 2016, the University launched its current Strategic Plan https: // www. stir.ac.uk/about/our-vision/our-strategy/ (2016-2021), with targets to: be one of the top 25 universities in the UK; increase income by £50 million; enhance its research profile by 100 per cent; and ensure internationalisation is at the heart of everything it does.

    With three-quarters of its research ranked world-leading and internationally- excellent (Research Excellence Framework 2014), the University's groundbreaking, interdisciplinary research makes a difference to society and has a positive impact on communities worldwide. Stirling's research is making a positive impact on people's health, education and wellbeing, with key strengths across our research themes of: Cultures, Communities and Society; Global Security and Resilience; and Living Well. The University collaborates with international governments and policymakers, businesses, industry, and charitable organisations, to tackle and provide solutions to some of the toughest global societal challenges.

    For more information on working at Stirling, please visit https: // www. stir.ac.uk/about/work-at-stirling/.

    The University offers great benefits such as generous annual leave and membership of the Universities Superannuation Scheme. Additionally staff can benefit from a reduced membership rate at the University's excellent Sport Centre facilities.

    A full list of FAQs can be found here, we recommend you read these before making your application.

    Please ensure that you check your email account junk folder as your email provider may flag emails sent to you as suspected spam.

    Terms and conditions of this post can be found here.

    After the closing date, this job advert will no longer be available on the University of Stirling website therefore please keep a copy for your records.

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