Research Assistant

Adoption and Fostering Alliance (AFA) Scotland


The Adoption and Fostering Alliance (AFA) Scotland is an independent, charitable organisation dedicated to improving outcomes for children in care by providing support to all those working in the field of adoption, fostering and the care of looked after children.

We are seeking to recruit an experienced and talented individual as a Research Assistant to contribute to our current research projects and to the wider range of services AFA Scotland offers.

Purpose of the role:

This post is primarily to provide support for AFA Scotland’s research activities, in particular the Moving Images project. The Moving Images project is exploring the use of video clips in finding adoptive families for children in Scotland. The project aims to develop good practice resources to support social workers and foster parents who may be involved in making videos.

The post-holder will help gather information for and develop a range of components of a good practice resource pack. They will also help with organising events to test and disseminate the learning from the project. In addition, depending on workload, the post-holder may be involved in identifying and summarising research to provide updates for AFA Scotland’s professional forums and/or may be involved in other research projects, dependent on the outcome of funding bids.

The post-holder will be supervised by our Research Associate and work closely with other members of the AFA Scotland team.

Main duties and responsibilities will include:

  • contacting local authorities and other stakeholders to seek information about their practice and experiences of making and using video clips for children’s profiles
  • drafting materials for the good practice resource pack
  • seeking and incorporating feedback from social work professionals and foster carers on draft materials
  • carrying out administrative tasks to support the project
  • helping to organise events to test and disseminate learning from the event
  • liasing with AFA Scotland staff regarding deadlines, meetings etc
  • other activities relating to the project

The successful applicant will be educated to a minimum of Masters level with experience of research in the social sciences (e.g. a current doctoral researcher).

The post-holder will be expected to work primarily from home, but will be required to attend meetings in Edinburgh on a semi-regular basis. AFA Scotland will provide a laptop and other equipment as necessary.

Essential criteria:

  • At least a Master’s degree in social sciences, or a related field
  • Knowledge of research methods
  • Ability to produce work that is detailed and accurate
  • Experience of data collection and analysis
  • Excellent communication skills in both spoken and written English
  • Ability to write for a range of audiences
  • Ability to engage external collaborators
  • Excellent administrative, organisational and team-working skills
  • Good analytical and critical thinking skills
  • Good computer skills
  • Proven record of meeting deadlines within an agreed framework
  • Ability to work autonomously and independently


To apply, please submit a CV and a covering letter, which should briefly address each of the criteria outlined in the job description, to:

Brenda Reilly, Business Support & Finance Manager, email: If you would like to discuss the post further, please contact Maggie Grant on 0131 248 2403.

For full details please see

Closing date: Monday 22nd January at 5pm
Interviews will be held on Tuesday 6th February 2018

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