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Research Assistant

Newcastle University

Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Salary: £28,331 to £30,046 per annum, pro rata
Hours: Part Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 7th April 2021
Closes: 6th May 2021
Job Ref: 6941

Company description:

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.

Job description:

The Role

Dr Julia Heslop is looking to recruit a Research Assistant to work alongside her and other academic and community researchers on the research project ‘Dwellbeing: Shieling - Co-creating Community Spaces'. The role will involve aiding in project management, the acquisition, management and evaluation of data and administration duties.

The project ‘Dwellbeing: Shieling - Co-creating Community Spaces' is based in the estate of Shieldfield, in Newcastle upon Tyne - an area on the outskirts of the city centre. The project examines the impacts of studentification and rapid urban development in the neighbourhood which has affected the character and social mix of the area. In response, the project Dwellbeing has aimed to build knowledge of urban development, housing and land issues and action community-led responses to recent developments, through Participatory Action Research and social arts methods. This has involved founding a Community Benefit Society and cooperative which is run by local residents. In this process we have undertaken workshops, trips, research, artworks and a community ‘zine' to build knowledge and disseminate this.

There are few spaces for residents of all ages to gather, with no community centre and few green spaces, so social isolation is a key concern, and there is little cross generational activity. Furthermore many of Shieldfield's public spaces are in need of renovation. Since January 2019 we have undertaken ‘Shieling' - one strand of Dwellbeing's work. Shieling derives its name from Shieldfield. One theory about the name ‘Shieldfield' is that it was once a shieling ground, where people would come and graze their livestock in the summer months. Shielings were specific to the location in which they were built - created using local knowledge, skills and materials. For Dwellbeing, Shieling is a concept and action - a powerful tool to use to think about community use of Shieldfield's public spaces and creating new community spaces that are built from the ground up, using Shieldfield's natural ecology and drawing upon its people, materiality and histories. This strand is responsible for the public realm aspects of Dwellbeing's work, including horticulture, creating and sustaining community spaces and public realm improvements, as well as building community knowledge and engagement around the issues of food security, land and sustainable and participatory forms of building, planning and urban development.

The post is fixed term for 12 months, part time at 20% FTE.

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