Job Details

Research Fellow (x5)

Reference Number
Gilmorehill Campus / Main Building
College / Service
Job Family
Research And Teaching
Position Type
Full Time
Salary Range
£34,520 - £38,833

Job Purpose

To make a leading contribution to the newly funded GCRF Centre for Sustainable, Healthy and Learning Cities and Neighbourhoods (SHLC).

SHLC is one of the 37 major projects funded by the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) Research Councils UK Collective Fund, which aims to build upon research knowledge in the UK, and strengthen capacity overseas, to help address challenges in the developing countries ( SHLC will conduct comparative studies of urbanisation and the formation and differentiation of neighbourhoods in cities in order to address the challenges associated with large-scale rural-to-urban migration in Africa and Asia; and to strengthen research capacity among urban researchers, government officials and policy makers in the public and private sectors both in the UK and in developing countries. The Centre, based at Glasgow, has eight international partners in South Africa, Tanzania, Rwanda, India, Bangladesh, China and the Philippines. The Centre’s research programme will involve neighbourhood level analysis in 14 case study cities located in these countries.
The jobs require expert knowledge in the areas of education, health, or urban studies in relation to developing countries from the perspective of development studies, geography, urban planning, urban studies, migration, public policy, economics or another relevant social science discipline.
Specifically, we expect each of the five posts to contribute specialist knowledge to the Centre in at least one of the following areas:
• Cities, urbanisation and urban development in Africa, South Asia and/or East Asia
• Education policy and provision in developing countries
• Health policies and health provision in developing countries
• Quantitative research and analytical skills including social survey, spatial analysis, GIS, Big Data
• Qualitative research and analytical skills and methods
The post-holders will also contribute to the formulation and submission of research publications and research proposals as well as help manage and direct this complex and challenging project as opportunities allow.
The jobs will be based in one of the world’s leading urban research centre at University of Glasgow but will require travel to case study cities in Africa and Asia and elsewhere to work with our international partners as required by the project to conduct joint research works with international partners. The post-holders are expected to become next generation research leaders in this important area. 

Main Duties and Responsibilities

Perform the following activities in conjunction with the Investigators (PI and Co-Is) as appropriate:

1. Take a leading role in the planning and conduct of assigned research, individually or jointly, in accordance with the project deliverables and project/School/College/University research strategy.

2. Document research output including analysis and interpretation of all data, maintaining records and databases, drafting progress reports and papers as appropriate.

3. Establish and maintain your research profile and reputation and that of the School/College/University, including establishing and sustaining a track record of independent and joint publications of international quality in high profile/quality refereed journals, enhancing the research impact in terms of economic/societal benefit, gathering indicators of esteem and identifying opportunities for knowledge exchange.

4. Survey the research literature and environment, understand the research challenges associated with the project and subject area, and develop/implement a suitable research strategy.

5. Present work at international and national conferences, at internal and external seminars, colloquia and workshops to develop and enhance the research profile of the School/College/University.

6. Take a leading role in the identification of potential funding sources and assist in the development of proposals to secure funding from internal and external bodies to support future research.

7. Take a leading role in developing and maintaining collaborations with colleagues across the project and in the broader School/College/University and wider community (e.g. Academic and other collaborators/partners).

8. Take a leading role in team/group meetings/seminars/workshops and School research group activities to enhance the wider knowledge, outputs and culture of the School/College/University.

9. Take a leading role in the organisation, supervision, mentoring and training of undergraduate and/or postgraduate students and less experienced members of the project team to ensure their effective development.

10. Perform administrative tasks related to the activities of the project and School, including budgets/expenditure.

11. Make a contribution to teaching activities and associated admin as assigned by the Head of School and in consultation with PI.

12. Keep up to date with current knowledge and recent advances in the field/discipline.

13. Engage in personal, professional and career development, to enhance both specialist and transferable skills in accordance with desired career trajectory.

14. Undertake any other duties of equivalent standing as assigned by the Head of School and/or PI.
15. To contribute to the enhancement of the University’s international profile in line with the University’s Strategic Plan - Inspiring People – Changing the World.

These key tasks are not intended to be exhaustive but simply highlight a number of major tasks which the staff member may be reasonably expected to perform.  

Knowledge, Qualifications, Skills and Experience


A1 An awarded Scottish Credit and Qualification framework level 12 PhD or equivalent in a relevant subject area
A2 Specialist theoretical and practical knowledge relating to either education, health or urban studies
A3 Knowledge of the development challenges facing cities and neighbourhoods in developing countries, and especially in southern Africa, or India/ Bangladesh, or PR China/ Philippines
A4 A comprehensive and up-to-date knowledge of current issues and future directions within the wider subject area and subject specialism
B1 Knowledge of data sources relevant to research on cities in developing countries
B2 Knowledge of specialist IT software as appropriate
B3 Significant spatial analytics / GIS knowledge and programming with GIS solutions, including extensive knowledge of proprietary and Open Source GIS software
B4 Knowledge of processes, practices and technologies of knowledge exchange relevant to research institutions/universities, cities, regions and communities
C1 Excellent skills in quantitative research methods and data analysis and/or spatial analytics/GIS, including excellent GIS programming and development skills (e.g. R or Python) and/ or qualitative methods and analysis, and associated IT skills 
C2 Research creativity and strong cross-discipline collaborative ability as appropriate
C3 Excellent communication skills (oral and written), including public presentations and ability to communicate complex information, theory and concepts clearly and concisely
C4 Excellent interpersonal skills including team working and a collegiate approach
C5 Appropriate workload and time management skills
C6 Excellent IT and data analysis/interpretation skills as appropriate 
C7 Self-motivated with ability for initiative and independent thought/working
C8 Problem solving skills including a flexible and pragmatic approach
C9 Good leadership skills including demonstrable supervisory skills as appropriate
C10 Willingness to travel to work for short periods in developing countries as required by the project
D1 Language skills relevant to working in southern Africa, or India/ Bangladesh, or PR China/ Philippines.
E1 Significant relevant research experience, normally including sufficient postdoctoral experience in a related field
E2 Experience with information retrieval, information extraction and related information support
E3 Experience of delivering quality outputs in a timely and efficient manner
E4 A track record of presentation and publication of research results in quality journals and/ or at conferences 
E5 Experience of making a leading contribution in academic activities
E6 Experience of independence as illustrated by identification of project objectives from assessment of literature, design and analysis of research data and drafting of papers
E7 Experience in undertaking independent research
F1 An emerging national or international reputation
F2 Experience in carrying out research in, or relevant to, cities and neighbourhoods in developing countries

Job Features

To carry out a range of research activities and functions within academic environments of the highest national or international quality
Publish and seek funding as appropriate to subject specialism within agreed timescales
Where appropriate informal supervision and support of less experienced members of the project team e.g. postgraduate and project students
Undertake teaching or other duties in accordance with school policy and as agreed with Head of School and PI
Engage in personal, professional and career development to enhance both specialist and transferable skills in accordance with desired career trajectory
Planning and Organising
Management of time and prioritisation of all activities 
Planning, organisation and implementation of research project on a weekly/monthly basis 
Plan research directions that are within the available budget 
React to varying project needs and deadlines 
Decision Making
Undertake decision making on all aspects of research project/activities within remit of the role 
Prioritise own, and where appropriate delegate to junior team members’, workload
Decide on research directions and goals within remit of original project proposal and, as appropriate, adjust research approaches to meet project outcomes
Identify best journals for publication and meetings/conferences to attend 
Internal/External Relationships
University colleagues: to exchange information to ensure efficient working and to facilitate cross disciplinary working
External bodies/collaborators: proactively maintain co-operation and links at all levels to enhance profile and reputation
Dissemination: Preparation and presentation of reports/results and participation in meetings and conference calls
Problem Solving
Research including technical and theoretical aspects, problem solving and development of novel ideas
Awareness of project and budgetary issues
Assistance to undergraduate/postgraduate students and less experienced team members with problems relating to the research project
Representation of the School/College/University through presentations at national and international events
Attendance at training events to learn and implement new research technologies)

Standard Terms & Conditions

Terms and Conditions

Salary will be on the University’s Research and Teaching Grade, level 7, £34,520 - £38,833 per annum.

These posts (x5) are currently funded until 31 December 2021.

New entrants to the University will be required to serve a probationary period of 6 months.

The successful applicant will be eligible to join the Universities' Superannuation Scheme. Further information regarding the scheme is available from the Superannuation Officer, who is also prepared to advise on questions relating to the transfer of Superannuation benefits.

All research and related activities, including grants, donations, clinical trials, contract research, consultancy and commercialisation are required to be managed through the University’s relevant processes (e.g. contractual and financial), in accordance with the University Court’s policies.

It is the University of Glasgow’s mission to foster an inclusive climate, which ensures equality in our working, learning, research and teaching environment.

We strongly endorse the principles of Athena SWAN, including a supportive and flexible working environment, with commitment from all levels of the organisation in promoting gender equity.

The University of Glasgow, charity number SC004401.

Vacancy reference: 019448, closing date: 3 January 2018