Research Associate (Set in Stone?)

Job Description

The Department of Urban Studies and Planning (USP) is a globally recognised centre of education and research in planning and urban studies, being ranked as the top planning school in the country in the latest UK government Research Excellence Framework 2021. Over the last 60 years, the department has cultivated a reputation for excellence, offering a comprehensive range of research-focused and professionally accredited planning and property programmes at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

Our success has been built on a tradition of collegiality and critical engagement at the interface of theory and policy/practice, coalescing around a concern with social and spatial justice. We are a vibrant community of academics, PhD students, research fellows and associates with a deeply embedded and shared commitment to advancing education and scholarship in planning and urban studies.

We are seeking to recruit a Post-Doctoral Research Associate (PDRA) for the project ‘Set in stone? 'Desired whiteness' and the urban space: A collaborative research in (post) colonial Chile’. This 2-year ESRC funded research uses interdisciplinary and collaborative methods to address ideologies of whiteness and understand how these shape socio-spatial urban landscapes. Working alongside Indigenous organisations in Santiago, the project aims to make visible otherwise hidden processes of racialisation through practice-based collaborative interventions employing digital media. Focusing on Santiago, Chile, but also engaging in knowledge exchange events in Buenos Aires, Madrid, and Liverpool, the research will allow for a deeper understanding of the relationship between the city, colonial legacies and contemporary racial inequalities.

About the role

We are seeking candidates with a PhD or equivalent experience in Urban Studies, Geography, Digital Studies or related fields, as well as significant expertise in data justice, digital geography methods and qualitative research methods. As this role involves the development and implementation of a mobile phone app for research purposes, you will also need experience in digital media for social research, digital data analysis, and qualitative data analysis.

Working alongside the PI and in close collaboration with the project’s partners in Chile, you will use your academic and research skills to provide essential support to ensure the successful delivery and outstanding results of the ESRC funded project ‘Set in stone?’. In this varied and dynamic role, you will be responsible for data collection and analysis, dissemination and writing up. Other key aspects of the role will include contribution to the design of the mobile phone app and other digital research methods, support to workshops delivery, and fieldwork in Chile up to three months.

About the team

The successful candidate will join the ESRC project team led by Dr Olivia Casagrande, developing close links with academic and Indigenous partner organisations in Chile.

The USP Department ( is one of the largest and most thriving urban studies and planning schools, not only in the UK but globally, recognized in the latest UK Government Research Excellence Framework in 2014 as the top planning school in the country. You will work alongside colleagues with a diversity of research interests and specialisms, but with an overarching mission to enhance our understanding and management of cities for all citizens. Central to this is our intellectual leadership and innovation in pursuing goals of social and spatial justice, based on our core concerns for diversity, equity, participation, and sustainability. We are also committed to ensuring that our research and teaching has a major impact on policy, professional, and civil society responses to the challenges facing urban areas.

What We Offer:

● 41 days annual leave (including closure days and Bank Holidays).
● Up to 5 days of paid time off to cover emergency caring responsibilities.
● A commitment to work life balance including, flexible working opportunities and hybrid working where possible.
● A highly competitive pension scheme.
● Discounts at participating shops and cinemas, and a cycle to work scheme.
● A commitment to your development, with programmes, learning modules and mentoring schemes.
● An inclusive and diverse workplace.
● A commitment to your wellbeing.

Further information can be found at

We are committed to exploring flexible working opportunities which benefit the individual and University.

We build teams of people from different heritages and lifestyles from across the world, whose talent and contributions complement each other to greatest effect. We believe diversity in all its forms delivers greater impact through research, teaching and student experience.

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