Research Associate

Vacancy Ref: : 052939 

Contact Person : Dr Amy Chandler Contact Number :

Contact Email :

An exciting opportunity has arisen for an experienced social scientist to contribute to a new 3-year research study in the School of Health in Social Science. Applications are invited for a post-doctoral Research Associate to contribute to a qualitative, interdisciplinary research project called ‘Suicide in/as Politics’, funded by a Leverhulme Trust Research Project Grant and led by Dr Amy Chandler (University of Edinburgh) and Dr Ana Jordan (University of Lincoln).

Suicide in/as Politics is an innovative project that will use qualitative methods to analyse the ways in which suicide is employed in political discourse. How suicide is understood and represented in formal and informal political arenas can have concrete effects on policy, and in turn, on the lives and deaths of citizens. To date, however, research which examines the ways suicide is understood and framed in political contexts has been limited. This interdisciplinary project (situated between sociology and political studies) will examine the construction and contestation of suicide in UK politics and policy, and among ‘private’ citizens. The research has two main strands: a) critical analysis of policies and political discourse which refer to suicide and, b) participatory research using arts based methods with diverse communities, examining and interrogating understandings of suicide among ‘private’ citizens.

This post is one of two Research Fellowships embedded in the Suicide in/as Politics Research Project, funded by a Leverhulme Trust Project Grant (the other Research Associate will be based in the College of Social Science at the University of Lincoln).

The post is full-time (35 hours), fixed-term funded post for 36 months, from November 2020.
The salary is £33,797 – £40,322 per annum.

Further Particulars

  • Job Details

    Job title: Research Associate

    School/Support Department: School of Health in Social Science

    Unit (if applicable): Counselling, Psychotherapy and Applied Social Sciences (CPASS)

    Line manager: Dr Amy Chandler

  • Job Purpose

    The Research Associate’s main tasks are: collecting and analysing qualitative data relating to the ways in which suicide is employed in political discourse (Year 1); developing relationships with relevant community-based organisations who have a political stake in how suicide is made use of within politics (Year 1); carrying out arts-based research projects with community-based organisations, in order to investigate how members of diverse communities make sense of and understand the political uses of suicide (Year 2); and finally, analysing and writing up research findings (Year 3).


  • Main Responsibilities
    • Data Collection/Generation – parliamentary discourse, policy documents, arts-based group workshops (Approx. 40% of time)
    • Data Analysis and Write-up – drawing on qualitative approaches (Approx. 40% of time)
    • Professional and Career Development – including presentations to peers, academic and non-academic meetings, working on (and leading at least one) publications for academic and non-academic audiences (Approx. 20% of time).
  • Planning and Organising

    Within a Broad Structure, The Post-holder Will Be Required To

    Planning and overall direction will be provided by the PI (Dr Chandler) and Co-I (Dr Jordan).

    Manage own time effectively to ensure all relevant tasks are completed on time;
    Develop (in collaboration with wider research team) strategies for identification, generation and analysis of qualitative data;
    Develop (in collaboration with wider research team) approaches to data analysis;
    Develop and maintain relationships with relevant community groups in Scotland;
    Organise arts-based activities/projects (in collaboration with relevant community groups).


  • Problem Solving

    Problems That The Post-holder Will Have To Solve Include

    Developing and maintaining relationships with community groups in Scotland – especially if no prior relationship, this can be challenging.
    The project relates to suicide, which can be a sensitive and upsetting topic


  • Decision Making

    The successful candidate will take responsibility for organising their own activities on the grant, with direction from the wider research team.


  • Key Contacts/Relationships

    Line manager – Amy Chandler
    Co-investigator – Ana Jordan and Lincoln-based Research Associate
    Head of Subject Area
    Head of School
    Director of Research
    Colleagues in Subject Area and Suicide Cultures research group
    External colleagues in the professional field


  • Knowledge, Skills and Experience Needed for the Job


    A PhD (good candidates may be accepted with a PhD pending, subject to publication record) in a social science discipline (e.g. sociology, politics, anthropology)

    Extensive experience of relevant research methods and of qualitative data analysis

    Authorship of research outputs of national/international standing

    Ability to design, conduct and project manage original research in the subject area

    Excellent written communication, including the ability to write reports and research outputs

    Ability to prioritise own workload and work to specified deadlines under pressure

    Ability to communicate complex subjects orally

    Skills specific to project/area (e.g. developing and maintaining relationships with community groups)

    Ability to work on own and as part of a team

    Enthusiasm and commitment

    Excellent interpersonal skills.


    Experience of research in specific project area (e.g. interest or experience in social scientific approaches to understanding suicide or mental health)

    Experience of multi- and inter- disciplinary team working.


  • Dimensions

    The postholder will report directly to the PI, Dr Amy Chandler; there will be regular meetings with the wider research team: Co-I Dr Ana Jordan (University of Lincoln) and Lincoln-based Research Associate.
    In addition, the successful candidate will be expected to interact with and contribute to the wider School of Health in Social Science academic community, including the Suicide Cultures research group led by Dr Chandler at the University of Edinburgh.


  • Job Context and any other relevant information

    This post is part of the Suicide in/as Politics Research Project, led by Dr Chandler at Edinburgh, along with Co-Investigator Dr Ana Jordan, University of Lincoln. The post-holder will join Dr Chandler’s Suicide Cultures research group, as well as benefitting from the vibrant multi-disciplinary, applied health research culture within the School of Health in Social Science and across the wider University.

    Application Procedure

    All applicants should apply online by clicking the apply link at the bottom of this page [and submitting an up to date CV. The application process is quick and easy to follow, and you will receive email confirmation of safe receipt of your application. The online system allows you to submit a CV and other attachments.

    Interviews are scheduled to take place on Wednesday 14th October 2020. You will be notified by email whether you have been shortlisted for interview or not.

    The closing date is 5pm on 30th September 2020.

    Right to Work

    In accordance with the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 and Immigration Act 2016 the University of Edinburgh, as an employer, has a legal responsibility to prevent illegal working and therefore must check that all employees are entitled to work in the United Kingdom (UK).
    To do so, the University requires to see original documents evidencing right to work in the UK before commencement of employment and this is normally carried out at interview. Details will be provided in any letter of invitation to interview.

    For further information on right to work please visit our right to work webpage

    If You Are From Outside The EEA And Not Currently Eligible To Work In The UK, There Are Visa Routes That May Be Available To You, For Example

    • Global Talent: If you are an academic, researcher or technical specialist in the field of sciences; humanities; engineering; medicine; digital technology; or the arts, it may be possible for you to apply for a Global Talent visa. This route requires you to apply to be endorsed as an internationally recognised leader or emerging leader in your particular field by an endorsing body (Arts Council England, British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering, Royal Society, Tech Nation, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)). However, if you are applying for a senior academic role, e.g. Professor/Reader there is an accelerated route to endorsement. Further information can be found on the UKVI website
    • Tier 2: The University is a UKVI licensed sponsor and is able to issue a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) to successful candidates who are offered highly skilled roles and meet the eligibility criteria. The CoS enables candidates to apply for a Tier 2 (general visa).

    Please note if you were last granted leave to stay in the UK in any Tier 2 category in the 12 months immediately preceding an application and the leave has

    • ended or expired.
    • the CoS which led to that grant of leave was issued for more than 3 months, and
    • you are either:
    • applying for entry clearance from outside the UK, or
    • you are in the UK and had a previous period of Tier 2 leave, but then changed (‘switched’) into a different immigration category and now wishes to apply again under Tier 2.

    You must wait 12 months before applying again.

    Further information about whether you require a visa and other visa routes can be found at:

    Conditions of Employment

    Pension Scheme

    This role is grade UE07 and therefore the post holder is automatically included in membership of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), subject to the USS membership criteria, unless they indicate that they choose not to join the Scheme.

    For further information please visit our Pensions website .


    The role is grade UE07 and attracts an annual salary of £33,797 to £40,322 for 35 hours each week. Salary is paid monthly by direct transfer to your Bank or Building Society account, normally on the 28th of the month. Salaries for part-time staff are calculated on the full-time scales, pro-rata to the Standard Working Week.

    The University reserves the right to vary the candidate information or make no appointment at all. Neither in part, nor in whole does this information form part of any contract between the University and any individual.

  • Seniority level

    Mid-Senior level

  • Employment type


  • Job function

    ResearchAnalystInformation Technology

  • Industries

    Nonprofit Organization ManagementResearchHospital & Health Care