Research Associate – Community Reading Coach Initiative

Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK


  • Posted on: 15th Feb 2021
  • Salary: £30,942 - £40,322 per annum, pro rata
  • REF: 5865
  • Closes: 08th March 2021
  • Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
  • Hours: Full Time, Part Time

We are a world class research-intensive university. We deliver teaching and learning of the highest quality. We play a leading role in economic, social and cultural development of the North East of England. Attracting and retaining high-calibre people is fundamental to our continued success.

Salary: £30,942 – £40,322 per annum, pro rata

Closing Date: 8 March 2021

The Role

We are looking to appoint a Research Associate to support a new NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) funded evaluation of a Community Reading Coach initiative across five Local Authorities in the North East England.

The main purpose of the post is to support a new NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) funded evaluation of a Community Reading Coach initiative across five Local Authorities in North East England. Working as an integral part of the ‘Read Well’ project team, which is conducting an independent evaluation of a new initiative focused on ‘Supporting access to books and reading to help promote health and wellbeing in disadvantaged groups’. The work will take the form of a realist evaluation of Community Reading Coach provision which will be based in a range of settings, targeting different groups according to local needs.

The project, a collaboration between Newcastle University, Northumbria University, VONNE, Public Health England and Ann Cleeves (author), focuses on the wider social determinants of poor health and wellbeing. The project investigates if there are salutogenic outcomes achieved from supporting access to books and reading for people across the region, and also explores stakeholder experiences of organising, delivering and receiving the intervention.

You will be expected to conduct high quality applied research to understand the context, potential mechanisms of action, acceptability and outcomes of reading coach provision. In addition to exploring the reach of the reading coach work in terms of numbers and types of people supported by the initiative and its impact on their health and mental wellbeing.

Key activities will include:
• Carry out high quality research within agreed timelines and milestones
• Plan and deliver all activities related to the project
• Support public and practitioner involvement activity
• Attend meetings and other events appropriate to the project
• Prepare papers for publication in peer-reviewed journals
• Present findings at meetings and conferences
• Support less experienced staff and/or students, where appropriate

The Population Health Sciences Institute is committed to supporting equality, diversity and inclusion for all staff and students. Applications for part time/flexible working are welcome; please state your desired working arrangements in your application.

The post is available as Full or Part Time, 22 hours to 37 hours per week, fixed term until August 2022.

Further information can be obtained by contacting Sam Redgate, Research Associate (via

Key Accountabilities

  • Take a leading role in the planning and conducting of research, individually or jointly, in dialogue with senior team members
  • Undertake in-depth qualitative work with practitioners and people supported by the reading coaches
  • Use qualitative and quantitative methods to support process, outcome and economic (social return on investment) evaluation
  • Develop and refine realist programme theory relating to the impact of the reading coach provision
  • Work collaboratively with partners within and connected to the project group
  • Lead high quality public involvement work for the project
  • Document research output, including, analysis and interpretation of data, maintaining records, drafting progress reports and papers as appropriate
  • Produce high quality outputs from research activity including (but not limited to) publications for peer reviewed journals, publicity materials and reports, website content
  • Ensure compliance with current data protection legislation encompassing data collection, analysis, reporting and archiving processes
  • Any other relevant activities required by the Principal Investigators

The Person (Essential)

Knowledge, Skills and Experience

• Clear knowledge and experience of realist approaches
• Evidence of ability to lead peer reviewed publications
• Evidence of successfully working across several projects or complex project components at one time
• Evidence of ability to work independently and co-operatively with others
• Experience of collaborative working across multi-professional teams
• The ability to communicate well to a range of audiences using a range of presentation approaches
• Ability to supervise others and handle difficult or sensitive situations
• To have relevant IT skills
• Project management experience
• Clear knowledge of health and social care policy relating to health and health inequalities
• Chairing and/or facilitating skills, including with members of the public (Desirable)
• Good knowledge and understanding of health economic analysis (Desirable)

Attributes and Behaviours

• Ability to use initiative, prioritise and show a creative approach to problem solving
• Be able to work flexibly with regard to hours of work, including occasional evenings and travel across the region


• Educated to PhD level
• Have a Masters degree in a relevant subject

Newcastle University is committed to being a fully inclusive Global University which actively recruits, supports and retains staff from all sectors of society. We value diversity as well as celebrate, support and thrive on the contributions of all our employees and the communities they represent. We are proud to be an equal opportunities employer and encourage applications from everybody, regardless of race, sex, ethnicity, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, age, disability, gender identity, marital status/civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, as well as being open to flexible working practices.

The Institute is part of the Faculty of Medical Sciences which holds a Silver Athena SWAN award

Requisition ID: 5865

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