Community Researcher and Early Career Researcher roles have now been filled. This webpage should only be used for further information on the Community Led Research Pilot.

We hosted online information sessions for individuals interested in a Community Researcher role. Please find one of the recorded sessions below.

What is Community Research?

  • Empowers communities to use their own knowledge to identify an issue, design and carry out research.
  • It puts communities in the driving seat, allowing them to develop their own research questions and decide what the focus will be.
  • Forms a more equitable ways of working between local communities and the research sector.

What is the time commitment of the Community Researcher and Early Career Researcher roles?

For both roles, there will be a need for flexible working including regular weekdays and some evenings or weekends to be available to the community.

The Community Researcher role is part time and likely to be around 14 hours per week. The role includes:

  • Up to 7 days for training and getting to know the team (Nov 2022)
  • Up to 35 days for planning, outreach, community research and engagement (Dec 2022- May 2023).

The Early Career Researcher role is part time with the University of Reading for a maximum of 196 hours:

  • Up to 21 hours for training and getting to know the team (Nov 2022)
  • Up to 175 hours for planning, community research and engagement (Dec 2022 to March 2023), including attending meetings, workshops and activities (face-to-face and online).

When do the roles start?

We aim for the Community Researchers and Early Career Researchers to begin working on the project from early to mid-November onwards, likely to be the week commencing 7 November or the week commending 14 November.

Do I have to work in both Reading and Slough?

We aim to match Community Researchers and Early Career Researchers in the same area, so you will be working where you are based (either Reading or Slough). There may however be some training sessions which will be held in either location.

How will I be contracted for the role?

As a Community Researcher, you will be contracted by either Reading Voluntary Action and Slough Council for Voluntary Services. The role is freelance, so you are responsible for your own tax and insurance. The project can provide support to arrange public liability insurance if you don’t have it.

As an Early Career Researcher, you will be contracted by the University of Reading. This may be via Campus Jobs or an agreement through your existing role on a case basis. For example, payment as a bursary, to be agreed with each Head of School or as part of your existing role.

The Community Researcher job description says you need 2 years’ experience of community work. What does that mean?

This entails working in a paid or unpaid/voluntary capacity where you developed an understanding of working with/for community groups. Experience working with diverse groups is desirable, but not essential.

Who decides what will be researched?

The Community Researchers and Early Career Researchers will help to facilitate, guide and support communities to identify themes and ideas that matter to them.

Through this reflective process, researchers and communities will work together to refine themes into research questions and possible projects.

Are the research projects the main focus?

Not entirely. We want to explore with community groups/participants what research could mean to them. We want to build confidence, interest, and ownership when it comes to research, and science more broadly.

The Early Career Researchers will also get to explore what makes for an accessible, meaningful and truly collaborative research process.

Will all the communities taking part in the early outreach and community engagement be able to do a research project?

Not all of the community groups/people involved in the early outreach will go on to do a research project.

We will have funding for five research projects, working directly with five community groups, starting in June 2023.

What training will I receive and when?

There will be training and support provided throughout the pilot. Induction training for both the Community Researchers and Early Career Researchers will take place in early to mid-November.

For more information please visit:

The Community Led Research Pilot webpage

Is your question unanswered? Please get in touch on [email protected].