PGR placement opportunity: Social sciences research and LSSI internationalisation strategy

The Leeds Social Sciences Institute (LSSI) would like to hear from post graduate research students (based in the Faculty of Arts, Environment, ESSL, LUBS, Medicine or PVAC) interested in working with LSSI to undertake a review connected to the LSSI internationalisation strategy.

This work will involve a mapping of social sciences research institutes located in universities within the UK and in other countries, with a focus on the latter. This work will inform the internationalisation agenda of the LSSI in terms of next steps in promoting the work of the LSSI externally and internationally with a view to developing potential synergies with other institutes in other countries.

The successful applicants will receive a bursary funded by LSSI. The student will be employed by the University of Leeds throughout the placement.

Project Title: Social Sciences Research and LSSI Internationalisation

Length of Fellowship: 8 hours per week, up to maximum of 100 hours

Proposed start date: 1st November 2016

Location of Placement: Leeds Social Sciences Institute, University of Leeds


The post graduate researcher will be based with the LSSI team at the University of Leeds and will work closely with Professor Jennifer Tomlinson, deputy director of the LSSI, along with Josine Opmeer and Sophia Kennedy to deliver the project.

The work of social scientists is supported and enhanced by the Leeds Social Sciences Institute. LSSI is a large, vibrant Institute which fosters interdisciplinary and international research collaborations, promoting relations with external partners in the public, private and third sectors and building capacity through the provision of training and skills development for the next generation of research leaders.

Five interdisciplinary research themes have been identified as particular areas of strength across the social sciences:

  1. Inequality
  2. Migration and mobility
  3. Security and Conflict
  4. Social Justice
  5. Sustainable Societies

In order to further our ambitions to support and promote internationally excellent research and social sciences collaboration within and beyond the University, the LSSI executive has developed an internationalisation strategy. One of the first steps is a mapping exercise of other social science institutes to understand more about the potential for research partnership and collaboration. We also with to learn more about how other institutes support and promote social sciences research broadly speaking, along with identifying thematic priorities and clusters of critical mass around particular research themes.

LSSI will fund the placement through its funds, providing a bursary of up to £1,500, and the project must be completed by the 1st Feb 2017.

Expected tasks

The successful applicant is expected to work on a small scale study reviewing the research activity taking place across and beyond the social sciences. The project will mainly involve desk based research (both quantitative and qualitative), data collection and quality assurance, and report writing.

The researcher will be asked to:

  • Identify key sources through which social sciences institutes can be identified nationally and internationally (with support from the LSSI team)
  • Draw on QS100 data sources, other social science databases and knowledge of key academics (LSSI executive, steering group members and other leading social scientists at the University of Leeds)
  • Gather key information and statistics on social sciences institutes, detailing their location, reputational prestige, key activities, size, scope, governance, noting academic leadership of institutes and how they promote research with impact
  • highlight any in particular that look to have critical mass of expertise in our thematic priority areas
  • Compile all the data collected in an easily accessible format and clear references to the sources of the data

The majority of this work will be undertaken directly by the post graduate researcher. The Leeds Social Sciences Institute will develop a programme of work with the successful applicant and will provide suitable office equipment if required.

Skills required

  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • An ability to work independently
  • Experience of carrying out quantitative and qualitative research
  • An ability to work with data from a range of disciplines
  • Experience of use of visualisation tools would be desirable

This placement would be ideal for someone with an interest in interdisciplinary research.

The closing date for this call is Monday, 24 October 2016

Applicants should submit a short CV plus a statement explaining why they would like to take up this opportunity, what experiences and skills make them suited to the position to Sophia Kennedy.

Applications will be considered by the panel and successful applicants will be notified within two weeks of the application closing date. Written confirmation of support from the applicant’s supervisor will be required with the application.

Any informal enquiries should be directed to Professor Jennifer Tomlinson.