Research Fellow - Institute for Global Health and Development

Research Fellow 

Location: Queen Margaret University, Musselburgh, Edinburgh
Salary: Grade 8: £38,460 - £48,677 (with possible progression to £54,765)

About the Organisation 

The Institute for Global Health and Development (IGHD) works to promote critical thinking, practical engagement and social justice on issues of health and development globally, with a particular emphasis on low income and conflict-affected contexts. The Institute has become a leader in the field of refugee resettlement and integration with a programme of research, policy engagement and innovative practice addressing integration, mental health and psychosocial wellbeing in diverse contexts of displacement. This role will be central to building on the 'Indicators of Integration'  framework originally developed at IGHD (Ager & Strang, 2008). It will directly contribute to a research programme exploring the development of social connections and their role in integration, social cohesion and mental health, supported by the refinement of a tool for measuring social connections in research and practice settings.

Over the coming 2 years, the Institute will undertake a mixed methods research programme to build knowledge of how new refugees' social networks develop and the role of these patterns of social connection in key aspects of integration. This research will support an integration programme led by the British Red Cross (BRC) for families arriving in the UK through refugee family reunion. Working with national, academic, grassroots partners, and BRC will deliver a holistic integration programme across England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, empowering 3,000 people in reunited families across 8 cities. Operational and research data will facilitate a pioneering capacity building programme benefiting integration strategies and statutory, voluntary and community services.

 

Role Purpose

For IGHD, Dr. Alison Strang's team will bring in expertise on refugee integration, and within that, the role and measurement of social connections. The IGHD team will work closely with BRC and partners in 8 locations across the UK supporting the integration of 900 reunited families. The project will target refugee sponsors and families that have arrived in the UK via the Refugee Family Reunion route. Intervention locations will be England (Birmingham, Leicester, Plymouth, Sheffield, Leeds), Scotland (Glasgow), Northern Ireland (Belfast), and Wales (Cardiff).

The research team will design and implement a mixed methods study examining the development of social connections by family groups and the individuals within them. It is anticipated that the research team will train local project staff to collect data using a research tool currently being developed at IGHD. The tool combines participatory workshops with individual survey data (collected using an app currently under development).  Quantitative data on social connections will be used to study patterns of social connections and may be combined with other data collected by the BRC team to link these with key aspects of integration identified within the theory of change underpinning interventions. Qualitative data will be collected in selected locations to gather a rich picture of refugee families' experiences.  This research will help address important challenges faced by the sector nationally, and inform policy and practices aimed at enabling reunited families embed better in their new communities. The study - which has a high profile with the UK Home Office and links to a global research agenda on refugee integration - will also more broadly support growth in the knowledge base on refugee integration and the development of social connections.

This position provides a unique opportunity to substantially shape an applied field study of national and international policy relevance. You will manage the project under the direction of Dr. Strang, and will be responsible for the organisation and coordination of the delivery of the work programme and supervision of a junior researcher. Your will play a key role in the design, implementation and dissemination of this research, working closely with the IGHD research team and British Red Cross colleagues. You will be responsible for the timely completion of research protocols, supervision of field data collection, analysis of data and all other project deliverables. With the supervision and support of Dr Strang you will take the lead in developing internal and external relationships and - in due course -  disseminating the research outcomes for academic, policy and practice audiences. Travel within the UK will be required including periodic field site visits over several days

How to Apply 

For the person specification, additional information and to apply go to https://www.qmu.ac.uk/footer/vacancies/vacancies/ and search for 'Research Fellow' under 'view current vacancies'.  

Closing Date: 12th October 2018 

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