Cell EXPLORERS Outreach Programme seeks applications for full-time Postdoctoral Researcher

NUIG                                          hr2

Postdoctoral Researcher

Cell EXPLORERS Outreach Programme

School of Natural Sciences National University of Ireland, Galway Ref. No. NUIG 166-16

Applications are invited from suitably qualified candidates for a full-time, fixed term position as a
Postdoctoral Researcher with the Cell EXPLORERS outreach programme in the School of Natural
Sciences at the National University of Ireland, Galway. This position is funded by Science Foundation Ireland and is available from 01/02/2017 to 31/12/2018.

Cell EXPLORERS is a science education and outreach programme based in the School of Natural
Sciences at NUI Galway (www.cellexplorers.com). The programme aims to inform, inspire and
involve the general public in science, technology and local research by connecting primary, second
level, third and fourth level students, lecturers, researchers and the general public. It uses handson activities and local scientists to engage a range of public in the importance of science in society with a diverse set of activities including school visits and science festival workshops. 

The programme is establishing a unique model of sustainable public engagement for higher education institutions. The idea is to engage students in science communication and educational outreach activities as part of their curriculum and to complement this with the activities of a growing
base of volunteers.

A key development is the national expansion of this model to disseminate and support STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) engagement activities sustainably in the future. Currently made of 5 partners team, the Cell EXPLORERS network will expand to 10 national partner teams in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in 2017. The Cell EXPLORERS teams in local HEIs act as informal science education providers by bringing engaging science
activities and information on science careers to children at an age where they make decisions about their interest in STEM (primary school age) or make their choice of STEM as a career (secondary school age). The programme will investigate whether a sustainable outreach structure for institutions nationwide can be developed following this model so that all areas and audiences of Ireland can be reached.

Job Description:
The successful candidate will be involved in the implementation, the development and evaluation
of the Cell EXPLORERS National expansion project. She/he will coordinate and organise all national partner teams set up, training and perform data collection. She/he will be expected to develop or improve research tools on the area of STEM public engagement and education involving volunteering work, to analyse results and to generate guidelines, reports and publications based on results. An important part of the project is the measurement of the success of national expansion of the programme and the impact of participation on volunteers of all teams. The successful candidate will also be integrated in the NUI Galway Cell EXPLORERS team and be involved in its outreach activities.

Main duties and responsibilities:
• Research Project management:
• Conduct a specified programme of research and scholarship under the supervision and direction of your Principal Investigator.
• Determine and adapt appropriate methodologies for research, with advice and support as appropriate.
• Plan, co-ordinate and implement research project
• Develop/improve communication documents to be distributed to partners
• Organise partner training and coordinate work with these partners to allow project delivery and data collection
• Contribute to quick and effective solving of technical problems raised by students and staff participating on the project
• To complete the administrative work to support the programme of research

Research study:
• Refine, in collaboration with the project leader, evaluation methodology according to scope,
goals and deliverables of the project
• Develop data collection and research tools for use within the project
• Collection of data and data analysis
• Compile and analyse data required for progress reports and presentations.
Research Dissemination:
• Engage in the dissemination of the results of the research under any suitable forms (reports, articles, conferences…) with the support of and under the supervision of the Principal Investigator.

  •  Write up research results and funder reports as required
  • Publish these results in academic journals as well as any other platform relevant to the project
  •  Assess research findings for the need/scope for further investigations / commercial exploitation.
  • Translate knowledge of advances in the subject area into guidelines and further research activity.

• Communicate results to all relevant groups (partners, peers, institutions, policy makers…) nationally and internationally

Research Supervision, Teaching & Training
• Contribute to teaching /tutoring/mentoring taking place within the framework of the Cell EXPLORERS programme
• Acquire generic and transferable skills (including project management, business skills and postgraduate mentoring/supervision).
• Mentor and assist, as appropriate and as directed, the undergraduate placement/intern/project and research graduate students of the Cell EXPLORERS group
• Develop their own career reputation and career development

Qualifications/Skills required:
The ideal candidate should have experience and a track record in research and project management in public engagement or outreach. Experience in measuring impact in these fields is essential. Applicants must possess sufficient breadth or depth of specialist knowledge in the field
of public engagement/outreach/informal science education as well as knowledge of research methods and techniques (for example, having obtained a PhD degree or equivalent experience to work on the research projects or programmes). Candidates should have excellent communication and organizational skills, be highly motivated and passionate about expanding the Cell EXPLORERS volunteering network and have strong oral and interpersonal skills.

Essential Requirements:
• PhD in Sciences or in Science education (or equivalent relevant experience)
• Demonstrable experience in delivery of STEM public engagement/outreach activities
• Evidence of experience in measuring impact of STEM public engagement/outreach activities.
Have experience in the following:
• Conducting research studies; Data analysis (use of SPSS); Report writing; Scientific writing skills
• Interview design; IT skills including word processing, Power Point and spread sheets; Research presentation
• successful project management skills
• Proven ability to work independently and in a team environment.
• Peer reviewed publications (conferences presentation, research article or equivalent)
• The applicant should be creative and enthusiastic, with excellent organization and communication skills.

Desirable Requirements:
• Teaching experience/qualification and/or experience of working with students
• Knowledge of Molecular and Cellular Biology and Biomedical sciences
• Experience in designing science outreach activities for young people (primary/postprimary
school students)
• Experience in volunteering programme
• Experience of applying for research funding and/or reporting for funders
• Experience with Social media, Website design
• Experience with press relation

Salary: €37,750 per annum

Start date: Position is available from 01/02/2017

Continuing Professional Development/Training:
Researchers at NUI Galway are encouraged to avail of a range of training and development opportunities designed to support their personal career development plans.

Further information on research and working at NUI Galway is available on Research at NUI Galway. 

For information on moving to Ireland please see www.euraxess.ie

Further information about Cell EXPLORERS programme is available at www.cellexplorers.com.

(Informal enquiries concerning the post may be made to Dr Muriel Grenon by emailing Muriel.grenon@nuigalway.ie)

NB: Gárda vetting is a requirement for this post

To Apply:
Applications to include a covering letter, CV, and the contact details of three referees should be sent, via e-mail (in word or PDF only) to Muriel.grenon@nuigalway.ie

Please put reference number NUIG-166-16 in subject line of e-mail application.

Closing date for receipt of applications is 5.00 pm on Wednesday 18th January 2017.

Interviews currently planned on 25th of January.

All positions are recruited in line with Open, Transparent, Merit (OTM) and Competency based recruitment.

National University of Ireland, Galway is an equal opportunities employer.