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Research Associate

Educational Research
Salary:   £28,331
Closing Date:   Friday 23 April 2021
Interview Date:   Monday 10 May 2021
Reference:  A3315

Lancaster University’s Department of Educational Research invites applications for a full-time Research Associate on the ESRC-funded project ‘Universities and Unicorns: building digital assets in the higher education industry’. 

You will join us on an indefinite contract however, the role remains contingent on external funding which, at this time is for 12 months in the first instance. 

The Project is concerned with digital rentiership and assetization in the higher education sector. Led by Dr Janja Komljenovic, working with Dr Sam Sellar, Manchester Metropolitan University, and Prof Kean Birch, York University, Canada, it will examine new forms of value construction from digital data extracted by digital platforms at universities. The research will include interviews and focus groups with key contacts at universities, education technology companies and financial investors, observation of meetings and events, document analysis, consultation with key higher education stakeholders, and engagement with the public. The research will also include database and social network analyses.

You will have completed a PhD in a social science discipline or be very near completion (i.e. thesis submitted for examination). Good working knowledge of either higher education marketisation, education technology industry, digital data assetization and/or monetisation and platformization in the digital economy is essential. You will have experience in case study research design and qualitative methodology. You will have the ability to write academic articles and research reports; and critically engage with the literature. Good organisational skills, independent work and initiative are expected, as well as team working skills. Expertise and experience with the quantitative methodology or social network analysis are desirable.

You will be based at Lancaster University and, working closely with the academics in this Project, you will undertake qualitative and quantitative research. This will include reviewing and critically analysing literature, preparing analytical and summative papers, analysing existing data sets, preparing new data sets (involving liaising with key informants at the research sites, conducting interviews, analysing databases and sourcing and collating documents), writing up results of research, including their policy implications, in reports and academic publications. You will also contribute to and help organise Project’s public seminars or webinars, meetings, dissemination events and international conferences. You will help in maintaining the Project’s website and communication channels.

The interview with shortlisted candidates will be held on 10 May 2021. 

For an informal discussion, please contact Dr Janja Komljenovic at

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Further details:

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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