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Inclusive Design Researcher

Position Type

Full-time, permanent employment with GDI Hub (Community Interest Company) for the duration of the research project - three years

Responsible To

Director of Operation & Inclusive Design (with support provided from AT2030 Project Manager)

Responsible For

N/A

Job Level

Researcher

Salary Grade

Up to £45k* per annum + Benefits (*depending on experience)

Primary Location

Office based (east London) and remote working are both acceptable. Please note: This role will require significant travel and may also involve some time spent in-country.

Deadline to submit application

Monday 16th December 2019

Application Procedure

To apply for this position send a CV and a covering letter describing how you think your skills and experience are relevant to this role (no more than 2 pages) to the GDI Hub Operations Manager: Mark.Byrne@ucl.ac.uk by 9am Monday 16th December 2019. Please request an alternative if this format is not accessible to you.

Shortlisted candidates will be notified by CoP on Friday 20th December 2019 with interviews expected to take place on Monday 13th January 2020.

For an informal discussion about the role, please contact Iain McKinnon, GDI Hub CIC - Director of Operations - i.mckinnon@ucl.ac.uk

Role Purpose

The Global Disability Innovation Hub (GDI Hub) is leading a UK Department for International Development (DFID) funded £19.8m global programme, ‘AT2030 - Life Changing Assistive Technology for All’. The AT2030 programme is made up of a number of sub-programmes. One of these is called ‘Inclusive Infrastructure’ which responds to feedback that an important aspect of any Assistive Technology (AT) intervention is the accessibility of the built environment in which it is deployed and used. This appointment is for the primary researcher working on the Inclusive Infrastructure sub-programme of AT2030 (the research project).

The Inclusive Infrastructure sub-programme has a total budget of £0.9m, will run for 3 years and focus on six global case studies. For each case study, the researcher will be responsible for working closely with in-country representatives and partners to do a ‘deep-dive’ of inclusive design legislation, policy, regulation and guidance. They will assess how inclusive design is practically applied at both a country and then regional and city level, working closely with both national and local authorities in country. This role holder will also pro-actively engage with local disability organisations and charities to help build an accurate picture of accessibility levels currently being planned and achieved.

This process will be replicated in six different locations around the world. These locations will be linked to AT2030 activity and will be chosen to offer distinct and valuable perspectives. The intention is to build a picture of the current state of inclusive design of the built environment globally and specifically in low and middle income countries (LMICs) to uncover trends, themes and help understand the most common barriers to an inclusive built environment. The research will address a number of key factors including but not restricted to; general knowledge and awareness of the subject and the issues, education of design professionals, current legislation, regulation and guidance, geographic location and topography, financial support available, international policy implications, national and local government policy implications and community activity and participation.

The researcher will undertake this research under the supervision and guidance of the project lead (GDI Hub’s Director of Operations and Inclusive Design). They will be responsible for producing the case study reports for each of the six global case studies. This includes getting ethical approval for the studies and developing the research protocols. They will produce an ‘Emerging Themes’ report that will draw out the key learning and common threads from each case study. They will then work alongside the project lead to produce the final deliverable of the sub-programme which will be a ‘Global Action Report’ that summarises the research work and findings and proposes actions to be taken that could begin to tackle the key issues and challenges highlighted from the research.

Alongside these reports the researcher is also expected to write and publish academic journals and prepare and deliver presentations to key audiences.

All six case studies are still to be confirmed with in-country partners. However, we do currently expect case studies to take place in Mongolia, India, Kenya and Sierra Leone.

Role Responsibilities

  • Be the primary researcher for this significant research project
  • Be a subject expert in the inclusive design of the built environment, ideally in a variety of different contexts and regions
  • With the project lead (Director of Operations & Inclusive Design) confirm all 6 global case studies to be undertaken
  • Pro-actively engage with in-country partners and stakeholders to set up visits, in-country research activities and meetings
  • Undertake country visits and where necessary short residencies to undertake research for each of the six case studies
  • Plan research work activities and schedules in collaboration with the AT2030 Project Manager for this work and the project lead
  • Prioritise work plans and research activity
  • Regularly report to the AT2030 Project Manager on research progress against the project plan
  • Lead on coordination of in-country collaborations
  • Work closely with in-country partners and stakeholders to ensure robust information and evidence is being gathered
  • Engage with local stakeholders including DPOs (Disabled People’s Organisations) and other public and third sector organisations as appropriate
  • Lead on procuring language translation services as required with support from in-country partners
  • Write the case study research reports for each of the six case studies. These will be produced in a similar format and report at a similar level of detail as to be comparable
  • Coordinate collaboration with partners and stakeholders as required to produce each case study report
  • Ensure all six case studies are complete with reports published by Q1 2022
  • Following the completion of all six case study reports, draft the ‘Emerging Themes Report’ with support from the project lead
  • Lead on the consultation and stakeholder reviews of all draft reports to arrive at universally agreed final versions ready for publication
  • Draft the ‘Global Action Report’ with support from the project lead
  • Lead on the consultation and review of the Global Action Report to arrive at a final version ready for publication
  • Write and publish academic journals and prepare and deliver presentations to key audiences
  • Promote this work throughout the project using appropriate comms channels (supported by GDI Hub comms) and appropriate use of social media

This is a description of the role as known at present. It is the practice of GDI Hub to review role profiles annually to ensure that they relate to the role being performed. This review will be carried out by the line manager in consultation with the role holder.

Role Competencies

Part One - Knowledge and Experience

Essential:

  • Experience undertaking research of this nature including an understanding of the different methods and processes used to produce world leading research reports
  • Knowledge of the principles of inclusive design and in particular the inclusive design of the built environment
  • Access audit skills and experience undertaking a variety of different access audits of the built environment
  • Experience providing inclusive design support to infrastructure projects
  • Experience undertaking community engagement, with disability organisations, groups and disabled people
  • Knowledge of the kind of support some disabled people may need in order to participate fully in the research work
  • Experience working effectively with a wide range of internal and external stakeholders
  • Experience producing robust research reports and/or papers
  • Ability to travel and spend some time abroad (durations tbc)

Desirable:

  • International work experience, including an understanding of the variation of inclusive design practice in different geographic locations
  • Experience working with different policies regarding inclusive design
  • Knowledge of project management tools and experience working alongside a Project Manager
  • Experience working on large, multi-partner programmes
  • Experience working across the private sector, public sector, third sector and academic projects
  • Experience working in small but complex teams
  • Knowledge of academic literature and ability to produce work suitable for academic publication.
  • Ability to publish academic-level research in leading venues
  • Experience working with Microsoft Office 365 online software and tools including; OneDrive, SharePoint and Teams - as this is currently used by GDI Hub
  • Any additional language skills would be desirable though not essential

Part Two - Skills and Abilities

Essential:

  • Research management and data gathering
  • General project management skills
  • Research analysis and evaluation skills
  • Research report writing
  • Consultation and community engagement
  • Brokering partnerships and building robust working relationships with multiple and varied stakeholders
  • Access auditing and report writing skills
  • Digital project management skills
  • Strategic thinking
  • Pragmatic and innovative approach to challenges
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Proactive, self-motivated, committed and enthusiastic
  • Excellent ICT skills
  • High degree of integrity and ability to operate in a politically sensitive environment

Desirable:

  • Knowledge of University ethics processes
  • Visual thinking skills

Part Three - Personal Style and Behaviour

Essential:

  • Pro-active and self-motivated
  • Enthusiastic and passionate about this area of work and this amazing opportunity
  • Strong work ethic and professional at all times
  • Dynamic and able to adapt to different situations quickly
  • Attention to detail
  • Ability to manage and influence others, often beyond your authority
  • Proactive problem solver
  • Practical and pragmatic
  • Likes working as part of a small, energetic team
  • Integrity and inclusive behaviours
  • Able to work independently, prioritise and work to tight deadlines
  • Excellent presentation and communication skills
  • Approachable and amiable