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Project Researchers in Humanities/Social Sciences

Three Project Researchers in

1. Public Health, Urban Sociology and/or the Environment;

2. Media and Communications;

3. Education are required to generate data and reports for a European Research Council (ERC) project on 'The Cultural Politics of Dirt in Africa, 1880-present.

This five-year project follows four key themes—colonialism, the environment, sexuality and ethnicity—and examines everyday urban practices in Nairobi and Lagos, with particular attention to the ways in which urban encounters and identities are represented and interpreted through English and local-language categories denoting dirt.

Duration: to be appointed and employed full-time from 1st August 2017, and half-time from 1st

Salary range: This is a University of Lagos salaried appointment on the

University approved scale on a fixed-term contract for four years full time and one year (Year 5) half time

Start date: 1st September 2017 to 31st February 2014

End date: 31st August 2018

Responsible to: Dr Patrick Oloko, Regional Coordinator (Lagos), English Department, University of Lagos & Professor Steph Newell, Principal Investigator, School of English, University of Sussex, UK.

Responsible to: Dr Patrick Oloko, Regional Coordinator (Lagos), English

Department, University of Lagos & Professor Steph Newell, Principal

Investigator, School of English, University of Sussex, UK.

Key working relationships: The post-holder will work with the Regional Coordinator and Principal Investigator, plus the Regional Coordinator (Nairobi) and teams of researchers at the University of Lagos, Kenyatta University and the University of Sussex.

General Requirements:

The Project Researchers must be graduates with experience in conducting sustained research projects and preferably (but not necessarily) with a Masters degree in a relevant discipline. Proven skills are required in spoken and written English, spoken Nigerian Pidgin and in spoken and written Yoruba.

Core provision will be made for tailored research methods training for all Project Researchers in the UK for a 3 week period in May 2014.


  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Ability to use discipline-specific software and methodologies for the presentation and analysis of data
  • Experience in the completion of independent research projects
  • Transcription and translation skills

    Applicants should send their CV plus a cover letter to include the following information:

  • Description of research methods you have used in previous research projects (max. 250 words)
  • Description of how your skill-set will contribute to the post of Project Researcher (max. 200 words)

    Project Researcher 1: Public Health and the Environment

    This project researcher will be responsible for identifying resources and building relationships in the field of public health and waste management.

    Key areas of qualitative research will include interviews with public health users and providers, and interviews with users of and residents on local waste management sites.

    Translation, transcription and report-writing skills are essential to this post.

    Experience in the identification, collection and interpretation of resources is a core requirement, as well as an ability to work independently in challenging research contexts.

    The successful candidate will be expected to:

  • Identify core resources and communities in the field
  • Develop in-depth qualitative questionnaires
  • Identify, build communication with and undertake interviews with individuals in the field.
  • Identify and collect resources in consultation with line managers.

    Indicative qualification: a Masters degree in Urban Sociology, or Public Health, or Social Anthropology, or Development Studies, or Environmental Studies, or a related discipline.

    Project Researcher 2: Education and Schools

    This project researcher will be responsible for identifying schools, liaising with school stakeholders, developing and implementing an in-depth qualitative questionnaire and educational materials on the topic of "Life in My City" suitable for use in local schools at two levels: (a) 7 to 9 year-olds and (b) 13 to 15 year-old).

    Working closely with the project teams in Lagos, Nairobi and the UK, the successful candidate will generate data in relation to the ways children and young people interpret the connections between e.g., urbanisation and dirt, urbanisation and hygiene, urbanisation and migration.

    Training will be provided in (a) legal and ethical issues relating to research with children and young people and (b) qualitative approaches to working with children

    The successful applicant will be able to:

  • Demonstrate experience and expertise in the identification of stakeholders and gate-keepers in schools and para-school communities
  • Show an ability to develop and implement questionnaires for use in different educational contexts
  • Undertake one-to-one and group interviews including the translation, transcription and anonymisation of results

    Indicative qualification: a Masters (or M.Ed) degree in Education, or Educational Psychology, or Sociology, or a related discipline.

    Project Researcher 3: Media and Communications

    This Project Researcher will focus on cultural production in the contemporary public sphere, including urban newspapers, radio phone-ins, popular music, popular films (dvds), television soap operas, online blogs, local publications and other popular urban media.

    He/she will show a keen interest in the identification, collection and archiving of media resources.

    Experience in library archival/IT will be an advantage, and experience is essential in quantitative and qualitative analyses of media discourses (content analysis & discourse analysis).

    The successful candidate will be expected to:

  • Develop, pilot and implement an in-depth qualitative questionnaire for media producers and audiences, for which translation and transcription skills will also be required.
  • Identify and collect resources in consultation with line managers

    Indicative qualification: a Masters degree in Media and Communications, or Library, Archive & Information Studies, or Literary Studies, or a related discipline.

  • 2 research questions you would expect to address if appointed as Project Researcher (max. 100 words)

    Closing date for applications is 13th December 2013.

    Successful candidates will be contacted by mid-December 2013 with interviews between 9th – 14th January 2014.

    Application letters should be sent by email to: dirtpol [at]

    Enquiries to DirtPol project coordinator: c.craig [at]

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