Research Fellow – College of Medical and Dental Sciences

Full-time University of Birmingham in Academic Email Job
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Job Description


Position Details

College of Medical and Dental Sciences

Location: University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham UK

Full time starting salary is normally in the range £34,980 to £44,263 with potential progression once in post to £46,974

Grade: 7

Full Time, Fixed Term contract up to August 2028

Closing date: 18th July 2024



To create and contribute to the creation of knowledge by undertaking a specified range of  activities within an established research programme and/or specific research project.

The NIHR Research Support Service (RSS) commenced on 1 October 2023 for 5 years, replacing the NIHR Research Design Service (RDS) and NIHR Clinical Trial Units (CTU) Support Funding, which both ended on 30 September 2023.  The NIHR RSS Hub hosted by the University of Birmingham and Partners is based within the Institute of Applied Health Research (IAHR). It has two partner organisations, Keele and Warwick Universities.

The NIHR RSS will provide researchers, especially those applying for and in receipt of NIHR funding, with free access to support, advice and expertise. It will help them develop and deliver clinical and applied health and care research. Delivered collaboratively through eight hubs the service will operate nationally to allow researchers to access the most appropriate support independent of their location. It will provide seamless support for all researchers in England working across the remit of the NIHR, from pre-application through to post-application phases and connect with the NIHR Clinical Research Network to support the development of studies designed to ensure they are optimised for delivery at study sites. The service will respond or direct researchers to the most appropriate methodological expertise within the NIHR RSS that supports their study requirements. This will include:

  • advice and assistance with study development, design and delivery
  • advice on patient and public involvement
  • approaches to addressing research inclusion
  • signposting to other support available from the NIHR

The RSS will also provide support for clinical trials ranging from design, randomisation/allocation concealment, database development to full trial management depending on the needs of the client and funder.

RSS advisors employed by the service may become involved in research projects by mutual agreement, based on the needs of clients, academic development of the RSS team, substantive topic expertise and capacity. Team members may be identified based on the expertise required and assigned pre-award as co-applicants to ensure the development of a high-quality proposal and effective design. RSS research input post-award will be costed in the proposal budget.

Role Summary

The main focus of this role is to support service users to develop high quality competitive funding applications to national peer-reviewed applied health research funding programmes, such as those provided by NIHR. This will include the provision of methodological and other relevant advice, critical review of research proposals, and signposting to relevant individuals and organisations. The postholder will work collaboratively within a team of RSS research advisors based in IAHR, and will liaise with RSS colleagues in Keele and Warwick as necessary to deliver within the role. The role will include research activities agreed with senior staff in the Birmingham RSS, and may include collaboration and delivery of RSS research fundings proposals as appropriate and commensurate with the postholder’s research knowledge and skills.

  • Work within specified research grants and projects and contribute to writing bids
  • Operate within area of specialism
  • Analyse and interpret research findings and results
  • Contribute to generating funding
  • Contribute to licensing or spin out deals with demonstrated commercial success (such as revenues, asset or company sales, IP generated) and/or public understanding of the discipline or similar

Main Duties

The responsibilities may include some but not all of the responsibilities outlined below.

  • Support RSS users to develop high quality competitive fundings applications to national peer-reviewed applied health research fundings programmes e.g. NIHR programmes
  • Provide methodological advice commensurate with research knowledge and skills
  • Provide critical review of research funding proposals
  • Signpost RSS users to other RSS advisors, individuals and organisations as appropriate
  • Work collaboratively within the Birmingham and broader Keele and Warwick RSS teams
  • Attain and maintain knowledge that will underpin effective advice to RSS users, for example detailed knowledge of NIHR and other research funding programmes and relevant research activities e.g. PPIE and EDI in research.
  • Work collaboratively with senior RSS colleagues
  • Represent the RSS at events, seminars, meetings as necessary
  • Develop research objectives and proposals for own or joint research, as appropriate and as agreed with senior staff in the Birmingham RSS
  • Contribute to writing bids for research funding
  • Collect, analyse and interpret data as required
  • Disseminate research findings for publication,  and at research seminars as required
  • Supervise students on research related work and provide guidance to PhD students where appropriate to the discipline
  • Contribute to developing new models, techniques and methods
  • Undertake management/administration arising from RRS and research activities
  • Present research outputs as appropriate, including academic publications and other forms of outputs
  • Deal with problems that may affect the achievement of RSS and research objectives and deadlines*
  • Promotes equality and values diversity acting as a role model and fostering an inclusive working culture.

* These indicative responsibilities may also be included in a research role at grade 6.

Person Specification

  • First degree in area of specialism and normally, a higher degree relevant to research area or equivalent qualifications
  • Demonstrable knowledge and experience related to relevant health research methodologies and study designs (e.g. quantitative and qualitative)
  • Experience of contributing to the design of health research projects
  • Experience of contributing to health research funding applications
  • Knowledge of NIHR research funding programmes
  • Experience of providing critical review of research proposals in some capacity
  • High level analytical capability
  • Ability to communicate complex information clearly in different formats e.g. written, presentations
  • Demonstrable specialist knowledge in applied health research funding methods and study designs e.g. quantitative and / or qualitative
  • Ability to contribute to broader management/administration processes
  • Ability to contribute to the planning and organising of the research programme and/or specific research project
  • Ability to co-ordinate own work with others to avoid conflict or duplication of effort
  • Knowledge of the protected characteristics of the Equality Act 2010, and how to actively ensure in day to day activity in own area that those with protected characteristics are treated equally and fairly


Further particulars can be found here

Informal enquiries to Jonathan Mathers


We believe there is no such thing as a ‘typical’ member of University of Birmingham staff and that diversity in its many forms is a strength that underpins the exchange of ideas, innovation and debate at the heart of University life. We are committed to proactively addressing the barriers experienced by some groups in our community and are proud to hold Athena SWAN, Race Equality Charter and Disability Confident accreditations. We have an Equality Diversity and Inclusion Centre that focuses on continuously improving the University as a fair and inclusive place to work where everyone has the opportunity to succeed. We are also committed to sustainability, which is a key part of our strategyYou can find out more about our work to create a fairer university for everyone on our website.

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