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Disabled lay researchers needed

Shaping Our Lives is recruiting Disabled researchers for a project exploring how social workers are using digital technologies when working with Disabled adults.

This user-led study is being run by Shaping Our Lives in partnership with King’s College London and the British Association of Social Workers.

This is part time freelance work for a study that runs from 10th May 2021 to 28th Feb 2022. Researchers will be paid at a rate of £30 per hour. We will require a commitment of at least 3.5 hours per week and up to 7 hours per week on average, but this will vary at different times of the project and may be more or less than this.



Project dates: 10th May 2021 to 28th February 2022

Availability: 39 weeks of the 42 weeks between these dates

Number of hours: Between 3.5 and 7 hours per week on average but will vary with quiet periods and busier periods

Pay: £30 per hour worked (this is a freelance opportunity)

Required: Applicants will need to agree to a standard DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check

Deadline for applications: Friday 23rd April at 5pm

Interviews of shortlisted applicants: Tuesday 4th May

Support costs: It is expected that applicants will have existing arrangements for any support or access needs for this role. It may be possible for applicants to apply for Access to Work:


Access to Work Factsheet

Our team of freelance Disabled researchers will mainly be conducting interviews with Disabled people who use adult social work services and with front-line social workers who work with adults. They will also be working with the lead academic researcher to analyse the data. There will also be opportunities to take part in writing and events to publicise our findings. You will be required to have access to email and already have or agree to a standard DBS check.

We are interested in recruiting people who are eager to develop their field research skills. Applicants do not necessarily need to have previous research experience to be considered, as training will be provided during the project based on individual skills and experience. This may include training on interviewing techniques, data collection and analysis, and inclusive and accessible communications, including the use of digital technologies.

Our mission is to use this research to better understand how digital technologies like telephones, video calls and video conferencing are being used in social work, and to develop a set of guidelines and principles for using these technologies that meets the needs of both social workers and service users.

Skills needed:

· Good communication skills (in English)

· Good interpersonal / teamworking skills

· Good listening skills

· Ability to follow a scripted interview and ask additional questions if an answer is not complete

· A flexible approach to work

· Ability to conduct research in an ethical and sympathetic manner

How to apply

Please send the below by 5pm on Friday 23rd April 2021 to [email protected] with Researcher recruitment in the subject line of your email (Due to access requirements we cannot accept paper applications):


1) A CV with contact details and other information such as relevant skills, qualifications, employment, unpaid and / or voluntary work you have done.

if you do not have a CV please contact Becki Meakin ([email protected]) for an application form.

2) A letter or statement of no more than 2 pages (1,000 words) that:

· Gives examples that sh ow you have the skills listed above.

· Indicates whether you have ever been a user of adult social worker services and for what purpose (i.e. they carried out a carer assessment; or linked you up with other services or resources; and / or provided general support.

· Tells us the number of hours per week you would like to be contracted for.

· Tells us if you have a standard current DBS check.

This is a significant project that we hope will continue to shape aspects of social work practice well into the future. We are eager to work with researchers who are interested in building a framework for the more inclusive provision of social work

services, based on the experiences of the people who use those services. We are committed to equality, diversity and inclusion in our recruiting process, and we welcome applications from people from diverse and often excluded communities.


If you have any queries please contact Becki Meakin on 07956 424511 or [email protected]

All this information is also available on our website:

Shaping Our Lives Website