Call for Research Assistants to join That’s Me! Deadline: 9th June 2024

Project Team standing outside campus

Birmingham City University is delighted to call for expressions of interest for short-term Research Assistants to join That’s Me! Eliminating barriers to post graduate research study in the West Midlands, a highly prestigious project funded by the UKRI and Office of Students as part of a nationwide programme to Widen participation in postgraduate research – UKRI.

Our Project

BCU co-leads That’s Me! with the University of Wolverhampton. Our project approach aims to explore evidence-bases that relate to the Postgraduate Researcher (PGR) experience, specifically Routes In (e.g., pathways and barriers to PGR study), Routes Through (e.g., bridges between PGT and PGR, networking, and mentoring models) and Routes Out (e.g., careers support and cross-sector employer engagement.) Taking an intersectional approach, we want to investigate these areas across our entire PGR community using a variety of research methods. From this, we can develop impactful interventions that holistically improve our culture and community for everyone, and particularly our Global Majority students. “Global Majority is a collective term that first and foremost speaks to and encourages those so-called to think of themselves as belonging to the global majority. It refers to people who are Black, Asian, Brown, dual-heritage, indigenous to the global south, and or have been racialised as 'ethnic minorities'” - follow this link for more information.

Click here to find out more about the project.

Who can apply?

You can apply for this role if you are:

  • Currently enrolled on a Doctorate or Master’s degree at Birmingham City University.
  • Are within one year of receiving your doctorate award from Birmingham City University.
  • Have undertaken their doctorate viva voce at Birmingham City University and are presently undertaking minor corrections.

The Role

Research Assistants will work on one of the following short research projects for up to six weeks:

 Project Name

Summary

1. Data Analysis

Work with the Project Data Manager to undertake analysis of Institutional data related to all aspects of the PGR Journey.

2. Open student forums

Develop an open Global Majority PGR student forum, including a pilot in July 2024.

3. PGR Role Models/Mentoring Programme 

Devise a PGR mentoring programme focused on Global Majority students that engages with a current PGRs, Alumni, and regional employers.

4. Research Exchange Seminar Programme

Develop a That’s Me! Research Exchange Programme of events and activities, including the delivery of an initial event in July 2024. 

5. Website audit

Content analyse promotional images to determine the representation of Global Majority postgraduate research students on BCU's website and produce a findings report in July 2024.

6. PGR research project portfolio

Evaluate BCU's PGR research project portfolio and produce a findings report in July 2024.

7. Pre-Research Degree Programme

Support the Chair of the Pre-Research Degree Working Group to research Master’s of Research provision and Open Access Bridging Programmes across the sector, producing a report by July 2024.

8. Open Access Materials

Support and develop project Open Access materials for dissemination via the That’s Me! Website, with the first documents added by July 2024. 

Research Assistants will:

  • collaborate to deliver project’s outputs
  • gain experience in research project management, interdisciplinary and cross-institutional project delivery, sector governance, and will have
  • access resources to support project delivery

Pay and role dates:

Research Assistants will receive compensation for their work at an hourly rate of £26.83. They will work between 17 June and 31 July 2024. Successful candidates will be expected to work a minimum of 20 hours per week during this period. Although, please note, flexible working options can be considered, including up to full time working hours, on a case-by-case basis. You can indicate your proposed commitment in your application. Research Assistants would be expected to balance their workload against current studies and cumulative contracted working time per annum.

During this employment there will be occasions where Research Assistants will be expected to attend in-person activities.

Research Assistant Criteria:

Essential

  • Enrolled on a Doctorate or Master’s degree at Birmingham City University or within one year of receiving your doctorate award from Birmingham City University or presently undertaking minor corrections
  • A commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion
  • Strong teamworking skills
  • Ability to manage time efficiently and meet project deadlines.
  • Be able to undertake the role between June 17 and July 31 2024.

Desirable

  • Demonstrable interest in research and related skills development.
  • Quantitative research experience.
  • Other relevant ability including:
    • collaborating with external partners
    • organising events
    • managing and developing content for online platforms

We strongly encourage candidates from Global Majority backgrounds to apply.

Making an application

Applications can made at the following link - https://forms.office.com/e/xZ7jWASXBg

You will be asked to:

  • Summarise your suitability for the role and the specific skills that you would bring to it (no more than 500 words)
  • Upload an up-to-date curriculum vitae (limited to 2 pages A4)
  • Confirm an order of ranking for the mini project’s you would prefer to work on.
  • Indicate your preferred working hours commitment.

If an alternative application format is required, please contact francis.hine-hughes@bcu.ac.uk

The deadline for applications is 9 June 2024 at 23:45

Applications will be reviewed against the above criteria by a panel made up of people from That’s Me’s leadership team.

All applicants will be notified of outcomes on 12 June 2024.

Benefits of Being a Research Assistant

Joining That’s Me! as a Research Assistant offers several benefits, including:

  • Skill Development: Gain hands-on experience and develop research skills, including, organisation of data, analysis, and report drafting.
  • Networking Opportunities: Build connections with experienced researchers, professionals, and fellow students, enhancing future academic and career prospects.
  • Collaborative Skills: Develop strong teamwork and communication skills by working with diverse groups, which are key for successful careers.
  • Resources: Beyond your hourly rate, you will have access to resources to undertake your project.
  • Career Advancement: Strengthen your CV with significant research experience, making you a more competitive candidate for graduate programs or job positions.
  • Profile: Increase your profile by contributing to project and university promotional activities.

Find out more

If you need further information or want to discuss the role informally, please contact the Project Directors, Professor Oliver Carter (oliver.carter@bcu.ac.uk) or Professor Sarah Cooper (sarah.cooper@bcu.ac.uk)