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Research Fellow - Impact and Communications

Politics & International Relations

Location:  Highfield Campus
Salary:   £30,942 to £33,797 Per annum
Full Time Fixed Term (18 months)
Closing Date:  Thursday 28 May 2020
Interview Date:   Monday 08 June 2020
Reference:  1262420CC

Further Particulars for an Impact and Communications Research Fellow on the ESRC-funded TrustGov project 

An excellent opportunity exists for an Impact and Communications Fellow position based in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Southampton. This is part of an ESRC-funded research project that explores the issue of social and political trust in a comparative context. The TrustGov team is led by Professor Will Jennings (Southampton). 

Research will improve our understanding of how trust in different bodies relates to performance, how this varies across countries and different types of political regime, and what might help to strengthen trust. We live in an era of tribal trust. Many countries have become sharply polarized, trusting ‘Us’ but not ‘Them’. Cynics have lost all faith in democratic governance. Naïve followers place their fate in hands of corrupt demagogues and charlatans. The democratic ideal of skeptical citizens who ‘trust but verify’ has eroded.

To understand these problems, and what can be done to strengthen skeptical citizens, the TrustGov project ( has been launched by the University of Southampton and Harvard University, generously supported by the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC award ES/S009809/1). 

The project will combine a range of quantitative and qualitative methods and data to map public confidence in national governments, as well as in agencies like the EU, UN, World Bank and IMF, and interpersonal or social trust using evidence covering authoritarian and democratic states across the world.

The University of Southampton is in the top 1% of world Universities and one of the UK’s top 15 research–intensive universities. The Department of Politics & International Relations (PAIR) was ranked 5th in the UK for the quality of its research outputs in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework. The department is internationally recognised for its research on democracy and public opinion. Further information on all aspects of PAIR can be found on our web pages at Information about the School of Economic, Social and Political Sciences can be found at

Successful candidates will have completed or be near to completing a PhD* or have equivalent professional qualifications and experience in political science, humanities or the social sciences, possess quantitative research skills, and have experience of undertaking impact activities and communications relating to social science research.

The candidate will be responsible for coordinating impact and communications activities for the project, such as through briefings, reports, and material/infographics for social media. They will also undertake some research tasks relating primarily to quantitative aspects of the research, as well as supporting production and dissemination of published materials aimed at non-academic audiences.

The position is fixed-term, tenable for 18 months starting as early as possible. You will be line-managed by Professor Will Jennings.

For further details of the research project, see website:

For further information, please contact Professor Will Jennings, 

*Applications for Research Fellow positions will be considered from candidates who are working towards or nearing completion of a relevant PhD qualification. The title of Research Fellow will be applied upon successful completion of the PhD. Prior to the qualification being awarded the title of Senior Research Assistant will be given.

Application Procedure

You should submit your completed application form online at The application deadline will be midnight on the closing date stated above.  If you need any assistance, please call Steff Palmer (Recruitment Team) on +44 (0) 23 8059 4560. Please quote vacancy reference number 1262420CC on all correspondence.

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

Further details:

We aim to be an equal opportunities employer and welcome applications from all sections of the community. Please note that applications from agencies will not be accepted unless indicated in the job advert.

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