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Senior Research Associate in Organisational Learning Dynamics within the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority

Organisation Work & Technology
Salary:   £37,386 to £43,155
Closing Date:   Monday 17 July 2023
Interview Date:   Tuesday 15 August 2023
Reference:  0435-23

Employment Type: Full time for 16 months starting October 2023 or as close to that as possible

Work Base: Lancaster, UK. The post-holder will be required to conduct fieldwork in north-west England and other sites as necessary.

About the role: 

An exciting opportunity exists for an experienced social science researcher to make a key contribution to understanding and delineating the dynamics of organisational learning within the decommissioning aspect of the civil nuclear industry in the UK.

We are seeking a highly motivated and enthusiastic full-time Research Associate to join our active, collaborative and interdisciplinary research project based at Lancaster University Management School. The research project is funded by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, and is designed to develop in-depth understanding into current and potential learning dynamics and processes within the decommissioning of the civil nuclear industry, and how they may be affected by organisational insularity. The purpose of the project is twofold. Firstly, to contribute to identifying learning blockages and opportunities within the civil nuclear industry (and broader energy sector) and to inform practical interventions to address these. Secondly, drawing from this, to contribute to the academic understanding of organisational learning dynamics.

 You will be the lead empirical researcher, negotiating the use of a variety of qualitative and mixed method research methods to conduct fieldwork at case study sites, and comparative research with comparator industries. The postholder will record and analyse empirical materials, prepare written dissemination materials and reports, and produce summaries of findings and recommendations. You will contribute to dissemination of project findings through participation in appropriate practitioner and academic conferences and preparation and submission of practitioner and academic articles.

The Research Associate role is positioned in the Department of Organisation, Work and Technology (OWT) in Lancaster University Management School (LUMS). The project continues and builds upon a long interest within the Department and School into organisational learning, knowledge development, and the re-organisation of work in contemporary society. The project also continues the University tradition of combining theoretical, critical, and applied forms of inquiry, and will contribute to research, knowledge exchange, and impact activities. In the most recent UK research evaluation exercise (REF 2021) LUMS retained its #1 spot amongst UK business schools for ‘research power’, with 100% of LUMS’ research environment rated world-leading, 90% of its research rated world-leading or internationally excellent, and 85% of its research impact cases judged to be 3* and 4* - the highest possible categories.

You will have a PhD in organisation or management studies, sociology, anthropology, or an interdisciplinary combination (or have submitted their thesis for examination) and have high-level skills in developing and maintaining research access, and generating and analysing high-quality empirical data. A desirable, but not essential characteristic, would be knowledge of the field of organisational learning (broadly defined). Ideally, they will also have some experience or interest in management consulting or other modes of knowledge exchange or re-construction. Applicants will be familiar with multiple modes of primary and secondary research and will be able to demonstrate an interest in the interaction between organisational learning, development, and the organisation of work. Applicants are encouraged to think through their own ideas about these topics and how their area of expertise could be applied to this project. A proactive and enthusiastic approach, ability to work independently, and good interpersonal skills are essential. 

OWT, LUMS and Lancaster University offer a highly collegial and stimulating environment for career development based on departmental values and embedded in Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity (EDI) considerations and actions. There is access to relevant training and development, conference funding, and remote working in an agile work environment.

We welcome applications from people in all diversity groups.

Owing to the nature of the field of research, security clearance is a prerequisite for the position. Security clearance is governed by the UK Office for Nuclear Regulation, who require Lancaster University (as subcontractors to complete this research) to conduct preemployment screening and national security vetting.

As such, we will only able to offer this post after the interviews subject to the offerholder meeting the requirements to gain the necessary security clearance.

In order to help you ascertain whether you would be likely to get the requisite security clearance, please refer to the requirements for obtaining a basic check from the UK Disclosure and Barring Service: (Request a basic DBS check - GOV.UK (; and the requirements for a Baseline Personnel Security Standard application: National security vetting: clearance levels - GOV.UK (

Informal enquiries to Dr Dermot O’Reilly ( The anticipated interview date is the 15th August 2023. The anticipated start date is 1st October 2023 or as close to that as possible

A full job description and person specification is available online. For further information and to apply online please click the apply button.

What to include in each document of your application:

Cover Letter Please discuss why you are interested specifically in this position, and how it fits with your career goals. Please also describe any skills you have developed that are relevant to this post, and how you may seek to develop this area of research. 

CV Please include a 2-page CV.

Supporting Statements: Please provide a supporting statement for each Personal Specification point that is listed as being scored via “Supporting Statements”. This should include examples that provide evidence of your experience and expertise. Aim for one paragraph per criteria (~50-200 words).

Referees: Contact information for at least two referees (ideally academic referees able to discuss your research experience and skills).

For more information, see the Further Information link below.

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Further details:

Please note: Unless specified otherwise in the advert wording, all advertised roles are UK based.

The University provides an environment that strongly supports the individual needs of each employee, whilst promoting the importance of wellbeing for all our colleagues. We have a range of support networks available for our employees, and more information on these can be found on the ‘Working at Lancaster’ information page.


We are committed to family-friendly and flexible working policies on an individual basis. The University recognises and celebrates good employment practice undertaken to address all inequality in higher education.


We warmly welcome applicants from all sections of the community regardless of their age, religion, gender identity or expression, race, disability or sexual orientation, and are committed to promoting diversity, and equality of opportunity.

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