Research Fellow x 2 Ref: 2416

School/department: School of Education and Social Work, Department of Social Work and Social Care
Hours: Part time hours considered up to a maximum of 0.5 FTE per week, per post.  Requests for flexible working options will be considered (subject to business need). Potentially one person could be appointed to both posts.
Contract: Fixed term until 03 November 2023
Salary: Starting at £33,797 and rising to £40,322 annum, pro rata (if applicable)
Placed on: 30 September 2019
Closing date: 
29 October 2019. Applications must be received by midnight of the closing date.
Expected interview date:
4 November 2019
Expected start date:
As soon as possible

Job description 

The Department of Social Work and Social Care, within the School of Education and Social Work, has been awarded a major grant by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), entitled ‘Improving social care systems and practices for young people at complex safeguarding risk: what promotes and sustains innovation?’. The four year project will examine innovation in services and interventions to address complex safeguarding risks faced by adolescents, such as child sexual and criminal exploitation, gang involvement, and unmet mental health needs. 

The project as a whole is led by Professor Michelle Lefevre (Principal Investigator) with a team at the University of Sussex, working in collaboration with the Universities of Bedfordshire and Oxford, Research in Practice (, Innovation Unit ( and ‘Become ( 

To support this work, we seek to appoint two 0.5 FTE Research Fellows (NB one person could potentially be appointed to both posts). In year 1, they will contribute to literature reviews and practice surveys, and the development of a project website and research tools.  Fieldwork will be conducted in years 2 and 3 with six local authorities or social care organisations across the UK which have developed practice services or systems based on the approaches of Trauma-informed Practice, Contextual Safeguarding or Transitional Safeguarding.

One of the Research Fellows will work primarily with the project strand of Trauma-informed Practice (two case studies)  (working with Dr Kristine Hickle, Dr Carlene Firmin, and Dr Reima Ana Maglajlic), while the other will work particularly with the Transitional Safeguarding strand (Professor Gillian Ruch, Dr Susannah Bowyer, Dr Jeri Damman). Year 4 will primarily involve the Research Fellows in analysis and dissemination, impact generation and capture. 

The Research Fellows will have a core role in conducting ‘embedded ethnography’ (observing practices within organisations, often for several days at a time), undertaking creative interviews with vulnerable young people and their parents/carers, and interviewing professionals.  The work will be influenced by feminist, participatory and psychosocial principles. The role will involve substantial travel and some overnight stays to the locations of the case study organisations, which could be based anywhere in the UK. 

In addition, the Research Fellows will conduct literature reviews and surveys, assist with analysis of administrative data, contribute to the generation of research impact by face to face and online engagement, and provide general research support to the project. 

The project offers the opportunity for the Research Fellows to be involved in the generation of new knowledge for the discipline and sector, and in the preparation of project outputs, including journal articles, blogs, vodcasts, and research briefings. 

Although these two Research Fellow posts are advertised as separate opportunities, it would be permissible for one person to apply for, and be appointed to, both posts.

Download job description and person specification Ref 2416 [PDF 169.52KB]

How to apply

Download our academic post application form [DOC 301.50KB] and personal details and equal opportunities form [DOC 162.50KB] 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 (don't use a web-based upload/weblink service) 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.

Download our terms and conditions summary for Research Faculty Terms and Conditions [DOC 36.00KB]

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