NUIG 200-20 Postdoctoral Researcher,Crisis Coping for Marginalised Youth: Living and Learning through COVID-19,UNESCO Child & Family Research Centre / School of Education, NUI Galway

Applications are invited from suitably qualified candidates for an 18 months, full-time Postdoctoral Researcher with the UNESCO Child & Family Research Centre/ School of Education at the National University of Ireland, Galway.

This position is funded by HRB and is available from 25 January 2021 to the contract end date of August 30th June 2022.

Information on project

The aim of this rapid response research study is to co-design and co- develop coping, wellbeing and support strategies for young people (aged 12-18 years) and their parents, in the context of coping with COVID-19, including fast- tracking dissemination to facilitate educational engagement.

This year has seen disruptions on a global scale, disruptions that for many have been deeply unsettling as they brought into focus the precarity of our everyday lives. The Covid-19 pandemic had a global impact on education, with the UN (2020) stating that school closures affected 94% of the world’s student population, a figure that rises to 99% in low and lower-middle income countries. The abrupt closing of schools meant that this key part of life either came to a halt or was significantly altered in terms of the ‘doing’ of school for children and young people. The challenges encountered in attempting to ensure the continuation of education pointed both to how limited the educational practices of schooling were once physical schools were closed but also to how much broader a societal role schools played than merely that of schooling.  As responses to the crisis developed, it became clear that, while school closures had negative implications for most young people, the effects were of greater consequence for some than for others, leading to a magnification of marginalisation for many groups of learners. In this context, the focus turned to trying to limit the exacerbation of existing inequalities and inequities, for example those affecting students with additional needs, lower SES groups (ESRI, 2020), students with limited access to technological hardware or internet access or, indeed, with limited capacity in the use of technology (Hall et al., 2020). Addressing and ameliorating these concerns continues as schools reopen and begin to reconfigure new norms for teaching and learning and the practices of everyday life in schools. This study intends to focus on these current experiences of schooling under the new norms that are now becoming established in schools. The purpose is to gain a contemporaneous insight into these emerging lived experiences.

Job Description:

Working closely with project partners, the successful candidate will be taking a lead role in the design and delivery of the research and evaluation of the project. 


The post holder will:

  • Work with project partners to refine and implement the evaluation framework for the project.

  • Undertake a literature review and further develop the theoretical framework for the project.

  • Plan, co-ordinate and implement qualitative and quantitative fieldwork.

  • Undertake qualitative and quantitative data analysis and report writing.

  • Present on research progress and outcomes e.g. conferences, steering groups; to other team members.

  • Provide project update reports at key stages in project delivery.

  • Engage in the dissemination of the results of the research.

  • Uphold ethical and legal requirements, including data protection and confidentiality.

  • Complete the administrative work to support the programme of research.

  • Carry out any additional duties as may reasonably be required within the general scope and level of the post.

Essential Requirements:

  • PhD in sociology, education, or a related discipline – completed or close to completion.
  • A track record of academic publications.

  • A track record of completed research projects in addition to a minimum of 2 years’ experience in applied social research.
  • Experience and skills in both qualitative and quantitative research.
  • Evidence of independent research at postdoctoral level.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage a research project of this nature and scope.

  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Ability to work to deadlines, especially in the collaborative production of research reports and deliverables.
  • Excellent writing and presentation skills

  • Demonstrate awareness of the research environment and stakeholder groups particualry marginalised and vulnerable populations.

Desirable Requirements:

  • Peer review publications

  • Experience in youth work and / or education settings

  • Experience of and ability to work as part of an interdisciplinary team.

Employment permit restrictions apply for this category of post

Salary: €38,631 - €44,659 per annum pro rata

Start date: Position is available from 25.01.2021

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. NUI Galway provides continuing professional development supports for all researchers seeking to build their own career pathways either within or beyond academia.  Researchers are encouraged to engage with our Researcher Development Centre (RDC) upon commencing employment - see for further information.

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

For information on moving to Ireland please see

Further information about NUI Galway is available at

NB:Gárda vetting is a requirement for this post (as appropriate to Child Protection Policy)

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 Professor Gerry Mac Ruairc:

Please put reference number NUIG 200-20 in subject line of e-mail application.

Closing date for receipt of applications is extended to 5.00 pm on Monday 18th January 2021

We reserve the right to re-advertise or extend the closing date for this post 

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

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


Closing Date: Friday, 08 Jan 2021

Application: NUIG 200-20 Postdoctoral Researcher