We are looking for a research assistant to join our Mid-Essex health and care integration research project

Integrated care is a key feature of the future of health and social care in the UK with the NHS Long Term Plan targeting all regions of the UK to operate Integrated Care Systems by August 2021. Successful integration also needs to include social care providers and private and voluntary providers of social care. Becoming integrated is a key challenge which has not received enough attention.

Essex Business School is seeking a research assistant to join the Mid-Essex health and care integration research project. This is the latest phase in a longitudinal project examining an example of a ‘place-based’ integration of single services and pilots, with a longer term aim for integration to be a cultural shift for all workers in health and social care, at all levels, across all services and in all that they do. This project is looking to understand how multiple stakeholders within the health and social care context can create a shared vision for care integration through storytelling and sensemaking.

The main responsibility of this role is to analyse a variety of data from an ethnographic study of health and social care integration in Mid-Essex. You will systematically analyse interviews, documents and observation notes, through a lens of storytelling and narrative development. You may also be asked to undertake other administrative duties relating to the project.

The successful candidate will have good qualitative analysis skills (demonstrated by previous academic and empirical research experiences e.g. student or commercial projects). As the post requires the post holder to understand various stakeholder perspectives in a complex and emerging health and social care context, critical thinking skills and excellent data management are required. The work will be carried out remotely and coordination with the research team will be via virtual meetings. The candidate should have access to their own computer and will provide their own workspace. There is considerable flexibility in working hours which can be arranged around the candidate’s own schedule.

The post could be most suited to those wishing to develop a future academic/research career, who can use this opportunity to develop a good understanding of the academic discipline of organisation studies and management. It would also be suitable for those who have an interest in health and social care integration or policy implementation. 

This post is for a fixed term, part time (approx. 0.2FTE) for 3 months – 8 hours a week.

If you would like to apply for this position, please send a copy of your CV and brief cover letter outlining how you meet the criteria for this role to dtucker@essex.ac.uk by 12noon on Tuesday 6th April 2021


The main duties of the post will include:

  1. To analyse interviews, documents and observation notes from an ethnographic study of health and social care integration in Mid-Essex.
  • To identify the evolution of important narratives used by stakeholders in creating a shared vision for integrated care.
  • To discuss these findings with the research team and iteratively develop core themes and mechanisms used over time.
  • To write a report detailing an overview of findings from the study and to contribute to papers, articles, reports or other publications as appropriate to career stage and discipline norms.



  • To independently perform an initial analysis of interviews, documents and observation notes from an ethnographic study of health and social care integration in Mid-Essex.
  • To work under the direction of the faculty members involved in the project to create and apply a theoretical lens to this analysis which will address research objectives set out by the research team.
  • To contextualise the analysis within a complex, multi-stakeholder policy context
  • To ensure that the analysis is methodologically rigorous and ethically appropriate
  • To organise and present data in a summary format which reflects the key findings of the study (for example, identifying illustrative quotations, data structures or key examples of themes). 
  • To produce a brief report detailing the data analysis process and an overview of findings from the study.


  • To attend regular research meetings with the project team and summarise research progress.

Leadership and Citizenship

  • To engage in discussions with the wider project team about future research ideas, publications and funding applications.

These duties are a guide to the work that the post holder will initially be required to undertake. They may be changed from time to time to meet changing circumstances.

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