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Postdoctoral Research Associate - Protecting Girls from Online Harm

Unit :  Faculty of Business and Law (FBL)
Salary :  £35,333 – £38,952
Location :  Milton Keynes
Please quote reference :  20804
1 x Part Time, Fixed Term until 29 Feb 2024 - 30 hrs/week (0.8 FTE)
Closing Date :  30 March, 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 the office. However, as this role is 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 once or twice per month. This role will also require trips to Birmingham to complete the required research as aligned to the funding and project plan.

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.

The role

Applications are invited for a Research Associate position at the Observatory on Online Violence Against Women in the Open University Law School to work with Dr Kim Barker and Dr Olga Jurasz on the EPSRC and REPHRAIN-funded project Protecting Girls from Online Harm: An inner city exploration. 

In this project, the candidate will combine a desk-based study with empirical research, to place girls’ lived experiences at the centre of academic inquiry, using the data collected to inform a critical review of the current socio-educational, legal, and policy approaches concerning online harms, especially those experienced by children.

In particular, the candidate will Conduct a desk-based systemic literature review on online harms affecting children and young people, collect and analyse data through surveys and focus groups with teenagers in inner city schools, recruit participants for focus groups, and liaise with appropriate reviewers and educational practitioners to develop a toolkit for use with Key Stages 3-5 in the personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) curriculum.

The full summary of duties and person specification can be found within the Job Description.

The candidate will also be expected to develop their own professional skills. In particular, they will be offered opportunities to publish high-quality research in appropriate outputs, participate in outreach activities, design and deliver research presentations, and apply for internal or external funding under the guidance of the project team.

Candidates must have completed a PhD in law, policy, educational policy or a subject closely relevant to the project, which includes, but is not restricted to online safety and online harms.

The post is funded for 9 months and is available with a fixed start date of 1st June 2023. The successful candidate will be based in the Open University Law School at the campus in Milton Keynes with flexible homeworking. The candidate will join the Observatory on Online Violence Against Women, the Feminism, Law & Gender research cluster, and the Law, Internet & Technology research cluster.

The School provides a supportive and flexible working environment, where diversity is celebrated. The School is active in challenging injustice and promoting equitable treatment for those from marginalized or under-represented groups.

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.

If you would like to discuss this role before applying, please contact Dr Kim Barker at If you would like to discuss the application or recruitment process before making an application, please contact Jo Beach, quoting the reference 20804, on 01908 655544.

How to apply

Unless otherwise stated in the advert, all applications are completed online via the OU Job’s page and following the instructions below and clicking the “APPLY NOW” link below. Applications submitted via 3rd party websites will not be considered.

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;

  • 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.

The above documents will need to be submitted as one attachment during the application process, please include the personal statement followed by the CV in this document.

To ensure your file is uploaded to our system correctly, please make sure your document is saved with the following file name as appropriate to the vacancy you are applying for: 20804, surname, first initial.

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

Remember to attach your CV and Personal Statement as ONE DOCUMENT.  


You will receive updates regarding your application from Please ensure this email address is added to your list of trusted senders. Please also keep an eye on your junk folder to ensure you do not miss any important updates regarding this role. 

You can view your application communications on the Candidate portal.

Please note: If you have not heard from us within 2 weeks of the application closing date, please assume that on this occasion you have not been selected for interview, however we thank you for your interest in The Open University and encourage you to apply for future positions. 

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

Closing date: 30th March 2023 at 12:00 (Noon)

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 our staff can reach their potential and attract diverse candidates.  We recognise that different people bring different perspectives, ideas, knowledge, and culture, and that this difference brings great strength. 

We offer a range of inclusive employment policies which include family and carer friendly flexible working arrangements and have many supportive staff networks and wellbeing services. We also endorse the principles of Athena SWAN, with commitment from all levels of the organisation in promoting gender equity. Our Staff Benefits page under Employment provides further links and information.

Job related information : 

File PDRA - PGOH - Job Description.docx99.98 KB
PDF icon Terms-and-Conditions-Academic-Staff-PSP037.pdf282.15 KB

Posting Date :  9 March, 2023 - 10:15

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,