Research Fellow in Innovation Studies/Science Policy Ref 9633

School/department:   University of Sussex Business School, (USBS) – the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU)
Hours: Full time considered up to a maximum of 1.0 FTE. Requests for flexible working options will be considered (subject to business need). The position may be suitable as a job share.
Contract: Fixed term for 11 months 
Reference: 9633
Salary: starting at £43,414 to £51,805 per annum, pro rata if part time
Placed on:  06 September 2022
Closing date:  28 September 2022. Applications must be received by midnight of the closing date.
Expected Interview date: To be confirmed.
Expected start date: To be confirmed.

Job description

  • The Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) within the University of Sussex Business School, working with the Schmidt Science Fellows, is seeking applicants for a research fellow position, initially for one year, but with potential for extension into further years. We are looking for applicants who have the potential and ambition to become leading international experts on interdisciplinary research (IDR) and its impacts.
  • The first part of this project involves developing a systematic review of the previous literature on IDR and its impacts in both the international academic and wider policy literatures.  The candidate will need to search for, and structure a corpus of work, and then systematically review the evidence in the material.
  • This work builds on previous studies undertaken at SPRU and seeks to update and expand the studies that have been analyzed and deepen the analysis to take into account the reasons why findings may agree or differ across different settings. 
  • A key focus will be on the underlying methods and research designs, and any potential biases that may be found. The aim is to be able to integrate a rather fragmented literature and show how different measures, settings and research designs influence outcomes, and when and where they agree and disagree. A solid understanding of modern social science research design is therefore an essential skill.
  • The project aims to contextualize the findings and make sense of the differences found in the literature in light of national, disciplinary, historical and organizational settings, to provide an informed assessment of the quality of findings, and their overall robustness. A solid background in the economics, sociology, history, or philosophy of science, especially bibliometric analysis and econometrics, would be very useful.
  • The successful applicant will be provided with extensive training and support during this project to build any skills that they feel are lacking or could be improved.
  • For some studies it may be desirable to replicate the findings, so advanced quantitative skills would be useful.
  • The project requires the ability to organize a significant amount of material and analyze it in a structured way.
  • The project team is committed to open science, making research reproducible, and sharing data, methods and tools. Candidates should have a commitment to improving the quality of research.
  • The final outputs of the project will be a series of academic papers and a final report for the funder. An ability to write at a high academic standard is therefore essential. The funders require regular updates on progress and the candidate should be prepared to present findings and update them at several points throughout the project.
  • The project is inherently interdisciplinary and we welcome candidates from a wide variety of backgrounds. The team will work with the candidate to develop their future research career and will provide mentoring and guidance on developing a future independent research career.

Please contact Prof. Paul Nightingale (  for informal enquiries.

The University of Sussex values the diversity of its staff and students and we welcome applicants from all backgrounds.

You can find out more about our values and our EDI Strategy,  Inclusive Sussex, on our webpages.

Download job description and person specification Ref 9633 [PDF 112.22KB]

The University requires that work undertaken for the University is performed from the UK. 

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How to apply

Download our academic application form [DOC 199.50KB] and Personal Details and Equal Opportunities Form [DOC 119.50KB] and fill in all sections.

Email your completed application, and personal details and equal opportunities form, to  

You should attach your application form and all documents to the email in PDF format (we are unable to accept applications as or .pages) and use the format job reference number / job title / your name in the subject line.

You can also send your application by post to Human Resources Division, Sussex House, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton, BN1 9RH.

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