CIRCLE Research Associate opportunities

The Centre is led by Director, Professor Sue Yeandle, and Deputy Director / Associate Professor, Dr Andrea Wigfield

Our Centre for International Research on Care, Labour and Equalities (CIRCLE) wishes to engage a number of Research Associates with expertise that complements our existing portfolio of work.

The Research Associates will be engaged on a consultancy basis to provide work on projects within the Centre.


Established in 2006, CIRCLE is a theoretically informed and policy relevant research centre, based in the School of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Leeds. The Centre carries out research, evaluation and bespoke consultancy on contemporary issues and debates in three areas of social enquiry:

Care: the needs of carers; services for carers; cost effectiveness of carer support; roles of homecare workers; Telecare and Assistive Technologies.

Labour: organisation of paid and unpaid work; work-care reconciliation; divisions of labour; work, care and migration.

Equalities: equality of opportunity; fair outcomes; tackling inequalities; Good Relations in diverse communities.

The Centre is led by Director, Professor Sue Yeandle, and Deputy Director / Associate Professor, Dr Andrea Wigfield, and comprises a dedicated administrative team and a strong team of academics and researchers who work flexibly with policy makers and practitioners in the public, private and voluntary sectors as partners, collaborators, funders and clients.

CIRCLE’s strategy for the next five years has recently been refreshed and includes further planned growth of both staff and resources. Formalisation of the role of existing CIRCLE Associates and the recruitment of new Research Associates is part of this planned growth.

Highly motivated individuals who are able to work to the highest quality and to tight time deadlines are invited to apply to become one of our growing pool of associates. Successful candidates will have expertise in research, evaluation and/or policy engagement in one or more of our three areas of expertise: Care; Labour; Equalities.

Description of Services

Research Associates will liaise with CIRCLE’s Deputy Director, Dr Andrea Wigfield to agree specific tasks and work required, or to deliver/develop collaborative projects and may work on a range of projects chosen to reflect their strengths. Work and tasks may include:

  • In-depth face-to-face or telephone interviewing
  • Facilitating focus groups
  • Desk research/documentary analysis
  • Statistical analysis
  • Literature review
  • Report writing
  • Applying for externally funded research

Note: How, when and where the work is completed will be determined by the Research Associate (within the agreed timescales of the project and to the standards required by the funding agency).  The Research Associate will agree to do the work for an all inclusive fee and to correct unsatisfactory work in their own time and at their own expense.  The Research Associate will provide the main items of equipment they need to do the work.


Subject to satisfactory performance of the services, the University shall pay an agreed daily rate for the services or a fee for specific outputs or activities which will vary depending upon their experience and the nature of the work. These arrangements will be subject to University of Leeds contractual terms and conditions for the provision of services (as set out on Form SE2) and will require approval of CIRCLE’s Director and the Head of School (Sociology and Social Policy).  The agreed fee or rate of pay is inclusive of any expenses incurred in providing the services (eg travel or accommodation expenses), unless otherwise specified.

Criteria: Skills and Expertise

Research Associates will require some or all of the following skills and expertise:

  • An undergraduate degree in a relevant area
  • Significant experience and knowledge of at least one of CIRCLE’s core areas of enquiry: Care, Labour, Equalities
  • Significant demonstrable applied research and/or evaluation experience, and the ability to apply this in a policy context
  • Experience of utilising a range of research methodologies including: literature reviews, focus groups, in-depth interviews, questionnaires
  • Data analysis skills (including qualitative and/or quantitative)
  • Excellent report writing skills
  • Good knowledge of Microsoft Office to an advanced level
  • Knowledge and experience of email and internet systems
  • Effective communication skills, both written and verbal, to interact with funders/clients, partners, interviewees and other team members
  • Ability to work within a small team without supervision
  • Organisation and time management skills, ability to work to tight deadlines and prioritise own workload
  • A flexible approach to work, and ability to work on own initiative and as part of a team
  • A track record of successful bid and proposal writing

Research Associates may also have the following:

  • Relevant postgraduate qualification
  • Good knowledge of SPSS

Informal inquiries

For informal inquires and further information about the Research Associate opportunities contact Dr Andrea Wigfield,, 0113 3437988.


To apply to become a CIRCLE Research Associate please send a CV (including the names of two referees) and a supporting letter  to Richard Stephenson,, Human Resources, University of Leeds, 11.11 EC Stoner Building, Woodhouse Lane, Leeds, LS2 9JT, outlining how you can contribute to CIRCLE, addressing the criteria listed above. In order to select an appropriate pool of Research Associates, informal discussions will take place with all Research Associates prior to being commissioned to carry out any work for CIRCLE.

Closing date: 31st March 2014