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Research Assistant: Constitution Unit

Department of Political Science

UCL, Gower Street, London, UK


  • Posted on: 09th Feb 2021
  • Salary: £31,542 - £33,257 per annum
  • REF: 1874621
  • Closes: 25th February 2021
  • Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
  • Hours: Full Time, Part Time

Duties and Responsibilities

The Constitution Unit is launching a new 22-month research project Democracy in the UK after Brexit funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as part of its Governance after Brexit programme. Applications are now invited for a Research Assistant on that project.

The project will examine attitudes to democracy in the UK today, focusing on three dimensions. First, models of democracy: How do citizens in the UK now conceive the core values of democracy? Second, the culture of democracy: How do people expect democracy to be practised, by politicians, political institutions, and their fellow citizens? Third, institutions of democracy: What do attitudes on models and cultures imply about citizens preferred roles for the executive, legislature, judiciary, and general public in future UK democracy? The project will also examine what factors influence variation in these attitudes, and whether peoples initial views change after they have been able to deliberate. The project will pursue these objectives by running survey experiments and holding a citizens assembly.

Created in 1995, The Constitution Unit conducts timely, rigorous, independent research into constitutional change and the reform of political institutions. Our publications include reports, books, and articles in both academic journals and mainstream media. We have always prioritised providing evidence to policymakers, and our research has significant real-world impact both in the United Kingdom and around the world.

The successful candidate will work with the PI and other members of the project team in assisting all parts of the research process, including reviewing relevant scholarly literatures, designing survey experiments, devising, administering, and processing surveys of citizens’ assembly members, preparing materials relating to the UK constitution and democracy for the assembly, coding assembly transcripts, writing up findings, and preparing data for archiving. That person will also participate alongside the rest of the team in various other aspects of delivering the citizens assembly itself.

Duration of the post is funded until the end of October 2022 in the first instance.

Key Requirements

Candidates must have a First or high 2.1 Bachelor’s degree in Political Science or a related field.

Candidates must have demonstrable knowledge of the key institutions and policy actors in British politics and an understanding of the key issues and arguments concerning the constitution and democracy in the UK. They must also have well developed quantitative and qualitative research skills, be able to gather and organise complex material from a range of sources, have excellent written communication and organisational skills, excellent interpersonal skills and an open mind to debates about democracy in the UK.

In addition to this the ideal candidate would have a Masters degree in political science or a related field at Merit or Distinction level, experience of conducting political research, experience of working in an academic research centre or similar, and demonstrable understanding of the theory and/or institutions of deliberative democracy.

Further Details

A job description and person specification can be accessed at the bottom of this page.

To apply for the vacancy, please click on the ‘Apply Now’ button below.

If you have any queries regarding the application process, please contact Edd Rowe Constitution Unit Office Manager, e.rowe@ucl.ac.uk.

UCL Taking Action for Equality

We will consider applications to work on a part-time, flexible and job share basis wherever possible.

Closing Date

25 Feb 2021

Latest time for the submission of applications


Interview date


Our department is working towards an Athena SWAN award. We are committed to advancing gender equality within our department.

This appointment is subject to UCL Terms and Conditions of Service for Research and Support Staff.

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