Postdoctoral Fellow in Mental Health and Wellbeing at DURHAM UNIVERSITY

Department of Sport and Exercise Science

7th grade: – £34,304.00 per year
Fixed Term – Full Time
Contract duration: Until March 31, 2024
Contract hours per week: 35
Closing Date: 18-Feb-2022, 07:59:00

Durham University

Durham University is one of the best universities in the world with strengths in the arts and humanities, sciences and social sciences. We are home to some of the most talented scholars and researchers from around the world tackling global issues and making a difference in people’s lives.

The University is located in a beautiful historic town where it shares ownership of a UNESCO World Heritage Site with Durham Cathedral, the largest Romanesque building in Western Europe. A collegiate university, Durham recruits exceptional students from around the world and offers an unparalleled student experience.

Less than 3 hours north of London and 1.5 hours south of Edinburgh, County Durham is an area steeped in history and natural beauty. The Durham Dales, including the North Pennines Area of ​​Outstanding Natural Beauty, are home to breathtaking scenery and attractions. Durham offers an excellent choice of urban, suburban and rural residential locations. The University offers a range of benefits, including pension and child care benefits, and the University relocation officer can help you with any educational requirements.

Durham University seeks to promote and sustain an inclusive and supportive work and study environment that helps all members of our University community reach their full potential. Diversity brings strength and we welcome applications from the international, national and regional communities with which we work and serve.

The Department

The Department of Sport and Exercise Science at Durham University provides a dynamic, innovative and friendly academic environment for individuals to thrive. We are looking to nominate individuals who wish to join a multidisciplinary research community and whose research interests relate to addressing inequality, promoting social justice, and improving health and well-being in the society. The department has two research themes, “Healthier Communities: Move, Grow and Thrive” and “Sporting Lives: Transforming Sport, Transforming Lives” and a series of weekly research seminars, which the successful candidate will be invited to attend. actively participate. The department is highly collegial and recognized as one of the best in the world, as evidenced by our position in the Global Top 100 in the QS World University Rankings for Sports-Related Subjects in 2020.

Durham University’s strategic plan identifies a diverse and inclusive workforce as one of our top priorities. The Department of Sport and Exercise Science therefore welcomes colleagues with the experience and skills to contribute to our principles of inclusion, equity and diversity throughout campus life.

The role

Applications are invited for a postdoctoral research associate position in mental health and well-being, with a particular focus on the interplay between physical and mental health. The research project will explore the implementation of health promotion services in the care and support pathways of people living with serious mental illness. The project is led by Dr. Emily J. Oliver, and the post holder will work with Dr. Oliver and a wider team of mental health-focused researchers.

The successful candidate will, with the support of the research team and a research assistant, lead the administrative and practical implementation of the project. Responsibilities will include:


  • Understand and convey material of a specialized or highly technical nature to the team or group of people through presentations and discussions leading to the presentation of research papers in conferences and publications.
  • Prepare and deliver presentations on research findings/activities to audiences that may include: research sponsors, academic and non-academic audiences.
  • Publish high-quality outputs, including papers for submission to peer-reviewed journals and papers for presentation at conferences and workshops under the direction of the principal investigator or grant holder.
  • Assist in the development of research objectives and proposals.
  • Conduct individual and collaborative research projects under the direction of the principal investigator or grant holder.
  • Work with the principal investigator or grant holder and other colleagues in the research group, as appropriate, to identify research areas, develop new research methods, and expand the research portfolio.
  • Address issues that may affect the achievement of research objectives and timelines by discussing with the Principal Investigator or grantee and proposing creative or innovative solutions.
  • Liaise with research colleagues and establish internal and external contacts to develop knowledge and understanding in order to build relationships for future research collaboration.
  • Plan and manage own research activity, seek resources in collaboration with others and contribute to the planning of research projects.
  • Provide training on research techniques/approaches to peers, visitors and students, as appropriate.
  • Participate in the supervision of students, as appropriate, and assist in the assessment of student knowledge.
  • Contribute to fostering a collegial and respectful work environment, inclusive and welcoming and where everyone is treated fairly with dignity and respect.
  • Engage in broader citizenship to support the department and the discipline at large.
  • Engage in continuous professional development by participating in undergraduate or postgraduate teaching programs or serving on departmental committees, etc. and by attending relevant training and development courses.
  • Liaise with regional stakeholders and lead patient engagement and community engagement alongside other forms of outreach.

This position is for a fixed term of 2.25 years, ending on 31st March 2024; Project funding is only available for this specific period.

The incumbent is employed to work on a research/research project to be carried out by another colleague. Although this means that the post holder will not carry out independent research in their own right, they are expected to contribute to the progress of the project, through the development of their own ideas for research / adaptation and development of the research. protocols.

Successful candidates will ideally be in post by March 2022.

How to register

For all informal enquiries, please contact Dr Emily Oliver ([email protected]). All requests will be treated with the strictest confidentiality.

We prefer to receive applications online via the Durham University vacancies site. As part of the application process, you must provide details of 3 referees (preferably academic/research) and details of your current supervisor so that we can seek a job reference.

Applications are especially welcome from women and black and minority ethnic applicants, who are underrepresented in academic positions at the University.

What to submit

All applicants are invited to submit:

  • A CV and (maximum 2 pages) a cover letter that details your experience, strengths and potential in the requirements set out below;

Next steps

The assessment for the position will include a brief introduction, an opportunity to meet members of the research team and the department informally, and a formal interview. Shortlisted candidates will be invited for an interview and assessment.




  • A good first degree in psychology, health sciences, public health, mental health, nursing, medicine, sport and exercise science, or a related subject.
  • A PhD (or be about to submit) in psychology, health sciences, public health, mental health, nursing, medicine, sport and exercise science, or related field.


  • Experience in conducting high quality academic research.
  • Demonstrable ability to write papers of a quality commensurate with publication in top-tier journals.
  • Demonstrable ability to present research papers at conferences and communicate complex information to scholars and within the wider academic community.
  • Experience working with health-related stakeholders


  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively within a team, including participating in research meetings.
  • Ability to work independently, on own initiative and to strict deadlines.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.



  • Experience participating in research with mental health services and/or service users
  • Experience in implementation science methods
  • Experience with the NHS ethics approval process

DBS requirement: Not applicable.