Job Vacancy - Research Assistant

We are looking for a Research assistant who will report to the Executive Director. This post is primarily to provide support for AFA Scotland’s research activities, in particular the Moving Images project. 

To apply, please submit a CV and a covering letter, which should briefly address each of the criteria outlined in the job description.

Full Details

Organisation:             Adoption and Fostering Alliance (AFA) Scotland

Address:                     Conference House,

152 Morrison Street,

The Exchange,

Edinburgh EH3 8EB

Tel:                              0131 248 2403

Email:                          This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Post:                          Research Assistant

Hours:                        7 hours (1 day) per week                              

Salary:                         £25,000 p.a. (pro rata)

Report to:                    Executive Director

Contract:                     Fixed term post for 6 months (with possibility of extension, dependent on funding)


The Adoption and Fostering Alliance (AFA) Scotland is an independent, charitable organisation dedicated to improving outcomes for children in care by providing support to all those working in the field of adoption, fostering and the care of looked after children. AFA Scotland was established following the demise of the British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF) in July 2015 and continues to provide services in collaboration with CoramBAAF.

AFA Scotland’s multi-disciplinary team has a wealth of experience and up-to-date expertise in adoption and fostering practice and delivers a wide range of training, consultancy, workshops and conferences to assist professionals to develop the knowledge and skills they require when working in this specialist area. The team also provides direct services to agencies, including chairing adoption panels, appeal panels, disruption meetings, and running case consultation sessions. An emphasis is placed in all AFA Scotland’s work on the need for a multi-disciplinary approach that enables social workers, lawyers, health professionals and educators to work effectively across professional boundaries in order to meet the needs of children and their carers. As a membership organisation, AFA Scotland helps to give agencies and individual members a national and regional voice and contributes to the development of policy and practice at a local and national level.

We are seeking to recruit an experienced and talented individual as a Research Assistant to contribute to our current research projects and to the wider range of services AFA Scotland offers. 


To apply, please submit a CV and a covering letter, which should briefly address each of the criteria outlined in the job description, to:  

Brenda Reilly, Business Support & Finance Manager at the above address. If you would like to discuss the post further, please contact Maggie Grant on 0131 248 2403.

Closing date                          5.00pm Monday 22 January, 2018

Interview date                       Tuesday 6 February, 2018

Location                                Conference House, 152 Morrison Street, The Exchange, Edinburgh EH3 8EB

Job summary and purpose

Purpose of the role

This post is primarily to provide support for AFA Scotland’s research activities, in particular the Moving Images project. The Moving Images project is exploring the use of video clips in finding adoptive families for children in Scotland. The project aims to develop good practice resources to support social workers and foster parents who may be involved in making videos. It is funded by the Big Lottery’s Awards for All Scotland scheme. A separate strand of the project is being carried out with the University of Glasgow to research the experiences of children, foster carers and social workers involved in film-making and the development of technical advice.

The post-holder will help gather information for and develop a range of components of a good practice resource pack. They will also help with organising events to test and disseminate the learning from the project.  In addition, depending on workload, the post-holder may be involved in identifying and summarising research to provide updates for AFA Scotland’s multi-disciplinary professional forums and/or may be involved in other research projects, dependent on the outcome of funding bids.

The post-holder will be supervised by our Research Associate, Dr Maggie Grant and work closely with other members of the AFA Scotland team.

Main duties and responsibilities will include:

  • contacting local authorities and other stakeholders to seek information about their practice and experiences of making and using video clips for children’s profiles
  • drafting materials for the good practice resource pack
  • seeking and incorporating feedback from social work professionals and foster carers on draft materials
  • carrying out administrative tasks to support the project
  • helping to organise events to test and disseminate learning from the event
  • liasing with AFA Scotland staff regarding deadlines, meetings etc
  • other activities relating to the project

The successful applicant will be educated to a minimum of Masters level with experience of research in the social sciences (e.g. a current doctoral researcher).

The post-holder will be expected to work primarily from home, but will be required to attend meetings in Edinburgh on a semi-regular basis. AFA Scotland will provide a laptop and other equipment as necessary.  

Essential Criteria

  • At least a Master’s degree in social sciences, or a related field
  • Knowledge of research methods
  • Ability to produce work that is detailed and accurate
  • Experience of data collection and analysis
  • Excellent communication skills in both spoken and written English
  • Ability to write for a range of audiences
  • Ability to engage external collaborators
  • Excellent administrative, organisational and team-working skills
  • Good analytical and critical thinking skills
  • Good computer skills
  • Proven record of meeting deadlines within an agreed framework
  • Ability to work autonomously and independently