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Post-Doctoral Research Associate in Social and Sustainable Innovation

Unit :  Faculty of Business and Law (FBL)
Salary :  £36,333 to £38,474
Location :  Milton Keynes
Please quote reference :  20905
Fixed term contract for 26 months. Ideally we would like the successful candidate to start on 1st November 2023
Closing Date :  12 June, 2023 - 12:00

It is anticipated that a hybrid working pattern can be adopted for this role, where the successful candidate can work from home and/or the office. However, as this role is contractually aligned to our Milton Keynes office it is expected that some attendance in the office will be required when necessary and in response to business needs. We’d expect this to be approximately every 3 to 6 months as required. 

Change your career, change lives

The Open University is the UK’s largest university, a world leader in flexible part-time education combining a mission to widen access to higher education with research excellence, transforming lives through education.

This role is a unique opportunity to join the Social and Sustainable Enterprise research cluster in The Open University Business School, Department Pulse to work on a new and exciting externally funded Horizon Europe project ENCASE.

The ENCASE project focuses on developing a European Network of Research Infrastructures for CO2 Transport and Injection. Our role in the project will be to develop and evaluate social innovation labs, processes and initiatives to integrate the research infrastructures in their local communities.

In this role, you will develop methodological protocols, co-design training to support research infrastructures to establish social innovation lab and co-creation activities and carry out comparative qualitative and quantitative research to explore if the processes worked (or not) and how.

The role

You will develop your skills in leading, managing and researching co-creation projects. You will assist the team in developing the social innovation lab and process in collaboration with the Scottish research infrastructure partner, contribute to the project planning and coordinate activities across project collaborators. You will bring a keen interest in supporting co-creation activities with environmental objectives and specific knowledge on evaluating if and how these processes work.  At all stages of the project, you will work closely with and receive support from experienced academics who have qualitative and/or quantitative research methods expertise.

Skills and experience

  • Hold a PhD (or be close to completion) in Public Management, Management, Political Science, Economics, Sociology or related disciplines
  • Willingness to travel to Scotland for fieldwork
  • A strong record of research (such as publications published or publications in pipeline/under review) and/or knowledge exchange (such as organisation of event(s) for knowledge sharing or development of policy briefs) that is related to the position.

More information can be provided via a link to the Job Description.

If you would like to discuss the application or recruitment process before making an application, please contact Jennifer Reid at Resourcing Hub on 01908 655544 or quoting the reference VRF 20905.

Francesca Calo (, the Principal Investigator of the ENCASE Project is happy to speak with potential applicants and answer questions.

What you get in return

We have a strong commitment to providing training and development in and beyond your current role. This includes thorough induction into the organisation and regular reviews of your training and development needs.

We also offer a great range of benefits that support our employees and their families for the long term. Staff Benefits include an attractive pension proposition and 33 days holiday per annum pro rata, plus Bank Holidays and Christmas closure days.

How to apply

Unless otherwise stated in the advert, all applications are completed online via the instructions on The OU Job’s page. Applications submitted via 3rd party websites will not be received.

Access details for disabled applicants are available from the Resourcing Hub, telephone: 01908 655544, quoting the vacancy reference above.

To apply for this role please submit the following as one document;

  • CV
  • Personal statement, up to 1,000 words, you should set out in your statement why you’re interested in this role and provide examples of where your skills and experience meet the required competencies for this role as detailed in the job and person specification.

Please save your document with the following file name as appropriate to the vacancy you are applying for: 20905, surname, forename.

You will need to have your documents ready ahead of submitting the electronic application.


You will receive updates regarding your application from Please ensure this email address is added to your list of trusted senders so it does not go to your junk folder.

You can view your application communications on the Candidate portal.

Closing Date: 12th June 2023 at 12 noon

Interview date:  21st & 22nd June 2023

Find out more about us and our mission by watching this short video (you will be taken to YouTube by clicking this link).

The Open University is committed to equality, diversity and inclusion which is reflected in our mission to be open to people, places, methods and ideas. We aim to foster a diverse and inclusive environment so that all in our OU community can reach their potential.  We recognise that different people bring different perspectives, ideas, knowledge, and culture, and that this difference brings great strength.  We strive to recruit, retain and develop the careers of a diverse pool of students and staff, and particularly encourage applications from all underrepresented groups. We also aspire to make The Open University a supportive workplace for all through our policies, services and staff networks.


Job related information : 

File Job Description - Social and Sustainable Innovation.docx52.45 KB

Posting Date :  15 May, 2023 - 00:00

Contact us

If you have any queries or questions about the recruitment process, or regarding your application, please contact:

If you have any feedback regarding the recruitment process, please contact the Senior Resourcing Account Manager who will look into the matter.

Senior Resourcing Account Manager,
Resourcing Hub,
The Open University,
Walton Hall,
Milton Keynes,