Research Assistant/Associate in Sustainable Water Consumption and Consumer Behaviour

Newcastle University
Newcastle, United Kingdom
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
Experience Level: 
Not Specified
Degree Required: 


Please note: this job post has expired! To the best of our knowledge, this job is no longer available and this page remains here for archival purposes only.

We are a world class research-intensive university. We deliver teaching and learning of the highest quality. We play a leading role in economic, social and cultural development of the North East of England. Attracting and retaining high-calibre people is fundamental to our continued success.

Salary: Research Assistant: £28,331 - £30,046 per annum

            Research Associate: £30,942 - £40,322 per annum

Closing Date: 10 December 2020

The Role

This is an exciting opportunity to join an interdisciplinary academic team at Newcastle University leading the “Innovation for Water Scarcity” research programme, which is part of the large industry-academia funded consortium delivering the Advancing Circular Economy R&D Demonstrator project. 

We are looking for a highly motivated and driven individual with a background in Marketing together with a focus on consumer behaviour, or related disciplines that are relevant to the project such as Environmental Psychology, Sociology, Behavioural Economics, and Management. You are expected to have advanced mixed-methods (quantitative and qualitative) research skills. You should have knowledge of the literature and current issues in behaviour change theory and practice; sustainability and sustainable behaviours (e.g. water use, energy, waste management, recycling, green transport); and impact metrics (e.g. social, environmental, economic) at various levels are essential. These are some of the key aspects that will be examined in the “Innovation for Water Scarcity” research programme.

Your role will involve activities related to literature review, primary data collection leading to peered-reviewed journal and conference publications, media reports and reports to the funder. As a representative of our dedicated research group, you will also engage in collaborative activities with industry stakeholders and government partners, and impact and dissemination activities. The project will require you to travel locally and international, at the discretion of the PI and subject to regulations regarding travel.  Please note that the position will be subject to a confidentiality disclosure agreement.

For any informal enquiries, please contact Dr Diana Gregory-Smith or Dr Anke Neumann  

This role is full-time, fixed-term, available immediately and for a period of 12 months in the first instance.

For information about the School of Engineering and our research, please click here

For current news about the project, please click the following links:

Key Accountabilities

  • Conducting research and other duties aligned with the research programme “Innovation for Water Scarcity” under the management of the academic research team (specifically Dr Anke Neumann and Dr Diana Gregory-Smith)
  • Effectively communicating results and working as a team player with the wider interdisciplinary academic research team at Newcastle University and the “Innovation for Water Scarcity” team, as well as the entire research consortium associated with the Advancing Circular Economy R&D Demonstrator project
  • Contributing to the dissemination of the research by its prompt publication in high-impact peered-reviewed journals, media reports and reports to the funder and by presentation at national and international conferences, workshops and policy-making forums
  • Contributing to the generation of further research ideas, the writing of research proposals to fund these ideas and interdisciplinary and intersectoral networking
  • Contributing to the community of researchers in and across Newcastle University Business School and the School of Engineering
  • The project will require travel in the North East region, UK and abroad for planning, data collection and impact/dissemination processes. All travel will subject to Government and University advice regarding Covid-19. The role will be subject to a confidentiality disclosure agreement

The Person

Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • Experience of conducting mixed-methods research projects (i.e. involving surveys, experiments, interviews, focus groups)
  • Good knowledge of literature and current issues in sustainability and sustainable behaviours (e.g. water use, energy, waste management, recycling, green transport)
  • Good knowledge of behaviour change theory and practice
  • Good knowledge of impact metrics (e.g. social, environmental, economic) at individual, community and regional/national level
  • Good networking and communication skills
  • Previous experience of working with industry partners/organisations (Desirable)
  • Post-doctoral research experience in consumer behaviour or similar areas (Desirable)
  • Research experience in the context of water recycling, water sustainability and sustainable behaviour (Desirable)
  • Experience in project planning (Desirable)
  • Proven record of publication in peer-reviewed journals (Desirable)

Attributes and Behaviour

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, including the ability to present the research to scientific community and/or industry, policy makers, general public
  • Excellent time-management and organisational skills
  • Good interpersonal skills particularly in working as part of an interdisciplinary team
  • Ability to work independently to develop research designs, collect data via mixed-methods and to solve problems
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality and security of information
  • Commitment to promoting equality, diversity and inclusion
  • Ability to travel, including overnight stay from home, both in the UK and abroad


  • A PhD awarded for Associate level (close to completion for Assistant level) in Marketing (Consumer Behaviour) or a related social sciences discipline such as Environmental Psychology, Sociology, Behavioural Economics, Management
  • Bachelor’s degree or Masters degree in social sciences (Desirable)

Newcastle University is committed to being a fully inclusive Global University which actively recruits, supports and retains staff from all sectors of society.  We value diversity as well as celebrate, support and thrive on the contributions of all our employees and the communities they represent.  We are proud to be an equal opportunities employer and encourage applications from everybody, regardless of race, sex, ethnicity, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, age, disability, gender identity, marital status/civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, as well as being open to flexible working practices.

The University holds a silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of our good employment practices for the advancement of gender equality.  The University also holds the HR Excellence in Research award for our work to support the career development of our researchers, and is a member of the Euraxess initiative supporting researchers in Europe.

Please be advised that due to the minimum salary thresholds imposed by the UKVI, this post may not qualify for University sponsorship under Tier 2 of the points based system.