Vacancy: Research Associate, DECIPHer


Cardiff School of Social Sciences


Cardiff University School of Social Sciences is looking to recruit a Research Associate to work within the Centre for Development, Evaluation, Complexity and Implementation in Public Health Improvement (DECIPHer) research centre which is located within the school.

As the Research Associate you will work as trial manager for a physical activity research trial in Wales. The research trial will be based at several schools across Wales and the post holder will be working with children, school staff and a range of organisations, as well as a multiple university academic team. You will also pursue excellence in research and to inspire others to do the same.

This role focuses on day to day management of a Health and Care Wales funded feasibility study called CHoosing Active Role Models to INspire Girls (CHARMING). Girls are consistently shown to engage in less physical activity compared to similar aged boys and one potential solution, the use of role models to promote physical activity among girls, has been recommended in international guidelines. In 2016, a school-based community linked role-model program (CHARMING) was developed using a participative community approach. Formative work with the target audience showed promising findings relating to; intervention attendance, enjoyment, logistical aspects of sourcing role models and mapping community clubs. This project aims to examine the feasibility and acceptability of a cluster randomised controlled trial (cRCT) of CHARMING which is to robustly test whether this approach increases and sustains PA levels among 9 to 11-year-old girls.

This is a full time post, 35 hours per week, fixed term to the 31 August 2022.  The post is available from 1 October 2021.

Salary: £33,797 – £40,322 per annum (Grade 6)

Responsible to: Dr Kelly Morgan, Principal Investigator

Further details: Contact Dr Morgan Tel: 029 2087 0296

Date advert posted: Tuesday, 13 July 2021

Closing date:
Tuesday, 10 August 2021

This post has previously been advertised to employees of Cardiff University only.  We now invite external applications.

Please be aware that Cardiff University reserves the right to close this vacancy early should sufficient applications be received.

Cardiff University is committed to supporting and promoting equality and diversity and to creating an inclusive working environment. We believe this can be achieved through attracting, developing, and retaining a diverse range of staff from many different backgrounds who have the ambition to create a University which seeks to fulfil our social, cultural and economic obligation to Cardiff, Wales, and the world.  In supporting our employees to achieve a balance between their work and their personal lives, we will also consider proposals for flexible working or job share arrangements.

“Cardiff University is a signatory to the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), which means that in hiring and promotion decisions we will evaluate applicants on the quality of their research, not publication metrics or the identity of the journal in which the research is published. More information is available at:”

Job Description

  • To conduct research within the area of Complex Public Health Interventions and contribute to the overall research performance of the School and University by the production of measurable outputs including bidding for funding, publishing in national academic journals and conferences, and the recruitment and supervision of postgraduate research students.  
  • To develop research objectives and proposals for own or joint research including research funding proposals. 
  • To undertake day to day management of a research trial, including the planning and organisation of the project, the organisation of project meetings, and the implementation of procedures required to ensure accurate and timely reporting.
  • To monitor project progress to ensure adherence to the project plan and to identify, evaluate and rectify problems.
  • To collect and analyse quantitative and qualitative data and contribute intellectually to the project through the critical interpretation of these data.
  • To work collaboratively with other staff within and external to the research team. 
  • To attend and or present at conferences/seminars at a local and national level as required. 
  • To prepare research ethics and research governance applications as appropriate.
  • To review and synthesise existing research literature within the field.
  • To participate in School research activities. 
  • To build and create networks both internally and externally to the university, to influence decisions,   explore future research requirements, and share research ideas for the benefit of research projects.


  • To engage effectively with industrial, commercial and public sector organisations, professional institutions, other academic institutions etc., regionally and nationally  to raise awareness of the School’s profile, to cultivate strategically valuable alliances, and to pursue opportunities for collaboration across a range of activities. These activities are expected to contribute to the School and the enhancement of its regional and national profile.
  • To undergo personal and professional development that is appropriate to and which will enhance performance.
  • To participate in School administration and activities to promote the School and its work to the wider University and the outside world.
  • Any other duties not included above, but consistent with the role.

Person Specification

Essential Criteria

  1. Postgraduate degree at PhD level (or nearing completion / submission) in a related subject area or relevant industrial experience.
  2. An established expertise and proven portfolio of research and/or relevant industrial experience within the following research fields:
    • Public health
    • Psychology
    • Social sciences
    • Health sciences
  3. Knowledge of current status of research in specialist field.
  4. Proven ability to publish in national journals.
  5. Knowledge and understanding of competitive research funding to be able to develop applications to funding bodies. 
  6. Experience of working with policy and practice stakeholders.
  7. Proven ability in effective and persuasive communication.
  8. Ability to manage projects, supervise the work of others to focus team efforts, and motivate individuals.
  9. Proven ability to demonstrate creativity, innovation and team-working within work.
  10. Proven ability to work without close supervision.

Desirable Criteria

  • Relevant professional qualification(s).
  • Experience of working with schools on research studies
  • Proven ability to adapt to the changing requirements of the Higher Education community. 
  • Welsh language skills.

Additional Information

Established via UKCRC funding as one of 5 Public Health Research Centre of Excellence in 2009 – 2019, DECIPHer (Centre for Development, Evaluation, Complexity and Implementation in Public Health Improvement) is now a Health and Care Research Wales funded public health research centre. It continues to Develop and Evaluate Complex Interventions for Public Health Improvement, with a primary focus on children and young people. 

Since 2009, DECIPHer has aimed to conduct research that:

  • leads to measurable improvements in the health of children and young people
  • co-produces and evaluates interventions at multiple ecological levels that are effective in improving health and reducing health inequalities, and can be maintained in real world practice

On going funding for DECIPHer has ensured that we continue to provide:

  1. a platform for internationally excellent multidisciplinary research in the development and evaluation of complex interventions to improve the health and wellbeing of children and young people and address health inequalities
  2. an internationally excellent environment for multidisciplinary public health improvement research career development
  3. a focal point in Wales for collaboration between academia, policy, practice and the public in public health improvement research that will maximise its relevance, innovation, translation and impact.

DECIPHer hosts the Public Health Improvement Research Network, the School Health Research Network and an internationally recognised programme of research and teaching in methodology for the development and evaluation of interventions. In the next five years, DECIPHer will focus on health improvement research across four core research programmes:

  • Healthy public policy
  • Healthy social relationships 
  • Healthy Settings and Organisations
  • Methodological innovation in complex intervention science

DECIPHER is located within the School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University and works across the University, including colleagues in the Cardiff Trials Unit and the School of Medicine. The School of Social Sciences is an internationally recognised centre of excellence in research and teaching across a range of subject areas, including sociology, policy studies, criminology, education and social work

Over 220 staff (including over 30 professors and 60 researchers) are involved in a substantial programme of research – both fundamental and strategic – funded by ESRC, AHRC, MRC, charitable foundations, the European Union, Central Government departments and agencies and voluntary associations. Since its creation in 1999, the School has received over 25 million pounds for funded research. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework the School was ranked third for research quality in Sociology and joint fifth for research quality in Education. Cardiff University was ranked fifth overall for research quality. The School has a large student population, with almost 1000, and 300 postgraduates (including 100 postgraduate research students). The School has ESRC recognition for doctoral training the fields of Sociology, Education, Social Policy, Criminology and Science, Technology and Innovation. The School offers a number of scholarships, bursaries and studentships each year. Our taught and postgraduate research programmes welcome students from around the world.

Further details of the School’s activities may be found on our home page: 

Salary Range Min. 33,797

Salary Range Max. 40,322

Job Category: Academic – Research

Grade: 6

For full details and to apply, please click here.