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Research Assistant

Are you an early career researcher looking for your first challenge?Do you have a background in employment or disability studies?Do you want to further your career in one of the UK’s leading research intensive Universities? Do you have experience of working with people with learning disabilities and a strong commitment to the inclusion of people with learning disabilities in employment and society? 

We are looking for an academic researcher to join our team to help to bring insights from academic literature to the execution and analysis of the Learning by doing together project. 

The learning by doing together is an innovative community-university participatory action research project designed to co-create new job opportunities for people with learning disabilities in their own services. The new jobs will be peer support worker jobs. In these jobs people with learning disabilities will work as support workers to service users. The project has been initiated by CHANGE together with the University of Leeds. CHANGE is a local human rights organisation led by disabled people and working to build and inclusive society where people with learning disabilities are treated equally. 

Three service provider organisations (‘the partner organisations’) want to use the skills and abilities of people with learning disabilities in their service provision. They are working with CHANGE and the University of Leeds to work out how to do it. We have all formed an inquiry group to work together to create new peer support worker jobs in each of the three organisations. 

The exciting part is that we want people with learning disabilities to lead the project. An academic from the University of Leeds has worked with people with learning disabilities at CHANGE to develop the research questions and overarching research design. A core member of the research team is an experienced project worker who has a learning disability. She is working with a non-learning disabled co-worker and academics from the University of Leeds to lead the design and use of inclusive research methods. The project will continue between February 2018 and the summer of 2019

A note about language. You will have noticed that we have used the term ‘people with learning disabilities’ within this advert. On this project we subscribe to the social model of disability. We understand that people are disabled, not by impairments but by society. We use the term ‘people with learning disabilities’ to refer to people who have been given a label of ‘learning disability’. We note that some people prefer and use the term ‘learning difficulties’. The people with learning disabilities at CHANGE prefer the term ‘learning disability’. When CHANGE was first set up (in 1994), people with learning disabilities at CHANGE wanted to campaign for changes for all disabled people, including people with learning disabilities. They wanted to be seen as part of the ‘disability’ movement. This is why CHANGE prefers the term ‘disability’.

To explore the post further or for any queries you may have, please contact: 

Dr Elizabeth Oliver

Tel: +44 (0) 113 343 6815, email:

Location:  Leeds - Main Campus
Faculty/Service:  Faculty of Business
School/Institute:  Leeds University Business School
Category:  Research
Grade:  Grade 6
Salary:  £26,495 to £31,604 p.a. pro rata
Working Time:  70% of full time
Post Type:  Part Time
Contract Type:  Fixed Term (12 months)
Release Date:  Thursday 17 May 2018
Closing Date:  Thursday 31 May 2018
Interview Date:  Wednesday 13 June 2018
Reference:  LUBSC1300
Downloads:  Candidate Brief  

The closing date for this job opportunity has now passed, and applications are no longer being accepted for this position

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Athena Swan Bronze Award
Equality and Inclusion - Everyone Included, Everyone Involved
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