Research Associate

King's College London

Job id: 080768. Salary: £42,405 to £49,785 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance.

Posted: 07 December 2023. Closing date: 04 January 2024.

Business unit: Social Science & Public Policy. Department: Department of Political Economy.

Contact details:Dr Anna Gwiazda. [email protected]

Location: Strand Campus. Category: Research.

Job description

You will join the UKRI-funded research project, QUALREP, The Quality of Women’s Political Representation, originally awarded by the European Research Council. You will be responsible for the case study of Poland.

QUALREP is a five-year, £5million research project. Through thick comparison involving qualitative and quantitative methods, it will identify the conditions under which women, and especially marginalized and minoritized women, are well represented in and by through representative democracy. Evidence showing how and when women in their diversity can be well represented is needed to strengthen democratic institutions and processes to enable the promise of democracy to be more fully realised. QUALREP addresses this need by conducting a theoretically driven analysis of the quality of women’s representation, attentive to intersectional and ideological diversity, with particular concern for the most marginalised women, across five European nations, selected to represent variation in gendered welfare regimes: Belgium; Poland; Portugal, Sweden, and the UK.

In sum, it explores the ways in which, and by (and for) whom, formal politics can be made more inclusive and representation, and a more gender equal and stronger democratic system and society be realized. It interrogates processes of representation – the institutions, actors, procedures of democratic deliberation and decision making in particular places – in addition to representative outcomes to illuminate the quality of representation. In its innovative methodological approach, it sets a research agenda for the next generation of politics and gender and representation/democracy scholars.

  • As a Project PD you will collaborate closely with the CI in your Case Country (Dr Anna Gwiazda); the two QUALREP PIs (Prof. Rosie Campbell and Prof. Sarah Childs) in the UK; and the two Project PhDs.
  • Individually, and alongside other PDs, you will contribute to the Project research design, undertake data collection and analysis; author and co-author project outputs; and engage in dissemination activities, academic and societal
  • PD will undertake training in and become competent across the range of methods utilised in the research (qualitative and quantitative), to ensure that possibilities for synergies across conceptual and methodological divides are maximised

This post will be offered on a fixed-term contract for 3 years

This is a full-time post – 100% full time equivalent

Key responsibilities

  • Design and conduct empirical research for the relevant Country Case study (Poland), working closely with Project Team and women’s civil society groups, and engage in thematic collaborative research across the five country cases  
  • Literature review, project wide and Country Case specific, in conjunction with other PDs 
  • Network mapping of national organizations, grassroots groups, and activist claims makers for women, in your Country Case 
  • Develop interview schedules and undertake, transcribe and analyze, interviews with identified organizations, group representatives and activists,  
  • Qualitative and content analysis of associated websites, press releases, policy documents and other social media content, using an iterative coding process developed collaboratively by the whole team with a focus on moving from exploratory research to developing hypotheses for testing.  
  • Use digital methodologies (diaries, ethnographies) to co-produce with (select) research partners identified from the ‘network mapping’, re:  political efficacy, political engagement, and the perceived impact of their activism.  
  • Secondary data analysis of existing datasets re: policy preferences; issue framing; salience 
  • Develop and administer surveys on political participation 
  • Gather and analyze data on descriptive representation at supranational, national, and local level.  
  • Quantitative and qualitative analysis of government policy documents, parliamentary speech, and politicians’ social media output for claims to represent women  
  • Contribute to general project management responsibilities including curation of data in accordance with research study protocols, management and reporting obligations requested by PI and funder, and ethics and research governance responsibilities 
  • Individually author and co-author select Project outputs, as appropriate and in line with work packages 
  • Develop ongoing research relationships with national organizations, grassroots groups, and activist claims makers for women.  
  • Lead on Country Case relationship building and dissemination events and activites as appropriate,  
  • Lead on policy briefs for Country Case, with the assistance of the Project Team E&I PD, and CI, as appropriate; lead on identifying suitable outlets for communicating with non-academic audiences in country of case study 
  • Present research at a minimum of one academic conference every year.  
  • Work with the Project Manager to contribute to organizing project conferences, as appropriate 

The above list of responsibilities may not be exhaustive, and the post holder will be required to undertake such tasks and responsibilities as may reasonably be expected within the scope and grading of the post.  

Skills, knowledge, and experience 

Essential criteria  

1.      A PhD (or equivalent) in a relevant social science (for example, Politics, Gender Studies, Sociology, Social Science, Geography).  

2.      Knowledge of Polish language. 

3.      Ability to author high quality academic publications to deadlines. 

4.      Excellent analytical and communication skills – conveying complex information clearly, orally and in writing. 

5.      Relevant doctoral or postdoctoral experience  

(or equivalent work experience) conducting both quantitative and qualitative research (one to advanced level).  

6.      Ability to work on own initiative and meet competing deadlines. 

7.      Excellent interpersonal skills including team working and a collaborative, collegiate approach, and the ability to establish and maintain personal working relationships with colleagues. 

8.      Firm understanding of ethical frameworks and commitment to good governance practices for research 

9.      Commitment to the ‘feminist impact imperative’ i.e., to change as well as to study the world (see Campbell and Childs 2013). 

10.   Commitment to civil society engagement 

Desirable criteria

1.      First degree in a relevant discipline 

2.      Research design and research methods training  

3.      Relevant publications in international peer-reviewed journals, as lead or co-author. 

4.      Demonstrable knowledge of and critical engagement with literatures on gender and politics 

5.      Experience of carrying out collaborative research  

6.      Good IT skills and ability to adapt to digital research methods  

7.      Experience of disseminating research to non-academic audiences 

8.      Experience of undertaking impactful research 

9.      Experience in extra-university communications & dissemination  

10.   Experience of working with and/or studying women’s movements in Poland.

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