Intergenerational Research Project Support Officer

  • Job Reference: GBP 4479
  • Date Posted: 8 October 2018
  • Recruiter:
  • Location: Exeter, Devon
  • Salary: £18,189
  • Sector: Community & Sport, Education
  • Job Type: Internship or Placement
  • Duration: 10 Months
  • Work Hours: Full Time

Job Description

An Intergenerational Research Project Support Officer is required by the University in Exeter. The role is to support the links between the University and the local community and build bridges between young adults and older generations. This is a 10 month GBP internship.


A full-time graduate intern is required to support the Exeter Intergenerational Project. This is an important position focused on developing a programme of activity that aims to further the links between the University and the local community and build bridges between young adults and older generations. The post holder will work with the Academic Project Director from the Department of English and will be based within the Community Liaison Team.

We are looking for a graduate with excellent communication skills and with the ability to build professional, trusting relationships with students and external partners. The ideal candidate will have a positive outlook, be able to manage and balance a busy and varied workload, meet deadlines, and be willing to work independently. Applicants should have an interest in intergenerational relationships and social cohesion.

 Department Summary

The Department of English forms part of the College of Humanities and is one of the leading departments of English in the UK. It has a strong track record of engaging students in volunteering and research-led activity. The Community Liaison Team works to enhance relationships with local communities by building relationships, running events and supporting projects.

Purpose of Role

The Exeter Intergenerational Project is a developing programme of activity that aims to further the links between the University and the local community and build bridges between young adults and older generations. It is run primarily through the English Department of the University of Exeter, and the main feature has been the Care Homes Reading Project (established in 2011). In October 2018 the Project is piloting a new scheme, the Exeter Intergenerational Project, whereby two students will have their accommodation fees significantly subsidised in return for spending daily time with the residents of a local care home. We are now seeking a Graduate Business Partner (GBP) to support the day-to-day administration of this pilot scheme and to collect data on the scheme as it progresses. The GBP will also conduct research into the underpinning themes of intergenerational activity, old age and loneliness, or another related research area of interest, acting as a research assistant to the Project Director, Dr Johanna Harris.

Duties and responsibilities

The GBP will support the recruitment of two undergraduate students for the Exeter Intergenerational Project, and will be responsible for overseeing their day-to-day project activities. This will involve: a weekly visit to the care home to supervise; regular liaison with the care home staff to discuss how the project is progressing; weekly collection of the students’ logs on their activities in the care home, collating relevant and useful observations. The GBP will report regularly on the data gathered to the Project Director. The GBP will also write regular blogs for the Project website, and manage the website on a day-to-day basis, seeking ways to expand its reach.

The GBP will also be responsible for conducting research into the wider literature on intergenerational relationships and activities (this could be from a literary, historical, or social science perspective, depending on the GBP’s educational background and interests); and, from a practical perspective, researching prospects for expanding the project on a longer-term basis, both locally or nationally. The research the GBP produces may be used in a co-authored research article with the Project Director, and there is scope for the GBP to write pieces about the project for a wider audience.

The position will involve a significant amount of responsibility, both in terms of the practical running of an innovative and important social project, and seeking its longer-term success and expansion, as well as in terms of researching the intellectual justifications for strengthening intergenerational relationships across UK society.

Training and Development opportunities

The GBP will work closely with Dr Johanna Harris, the founder and director of the award-winning Exeter Care Homes Reading Project, an innovative project which has gained widespread national and international recognition. It offers the opportunity to conduct research as an assistant to Dr Harris into intergenerational issues and enhancing intergenerational activity across society, as well as specifically to look into the role the University can play in strengthening intergenerational activity and understanding, and in community liaison for universities generally. The GBP will gain insight into professional administration within a Russell-Group university, in particular community liaison, collaboration with Student Guild and interactions with Student Engagement staff. He/she will gain pivotal insight into the day-to-day running of care homes and the many wider issues facing the aged care sector. Crucially, the GBP will gain experience in leading an innovative (not-for-profit) social enterprise, managing volunteers (the student recruits), and collecting data and presenting it for a wide readership. The experience of helping the Project Director to lead this scheme will be excellent experience for any young graduate researcher seeking, for example, to explore the possibilities of further academic research into intergenerational issues, the role of the university in society, social justice campaigns, loneliness or old age in literature/history/society; or it may appeal to a recent graduate testing a future in the charity sector or social policy. 

Level of Support

The GBP will report weekly to the Project Director, and will have monthly face-to-face progress meetings with the PD. Formal line management will come from the Community Liaison Team within Education and Student Services and will include one to ones, Professional Development Reviews and the opportunity to work within a wider team.



A relevant undergraduate degree (Preferably within a related area, such as arts/humanities, social science, social work or gerontology.

Prior Experience (please only include experience that could have been achieved outside of the workplace)

Experience of volunteering or charity work in the aged care sector is highly desirable.

Skills, Understanding and Personal Attributes

The candidate will be a good communicator (spoken and written), highly motivated, self-directed, positive, and reliable. Evidence of being responsible in meeting deadlines and producing work on time is essential, as is the ability to build professional, trusting relationships with students and external partners. The successful candidate will show a deeply established respect for older generations, and an interest in intergenerational relationships and social cohesion. 

An interest in how academic research intersects with local and national community issues and social policy is desirable. Evidence of extended research projects is also desirable. The candidate may also have experience in maintaining a website, though this is not an essential qualification.

Other Requirements

Graduate of a UK university within the last 3 years

Right to work in the UK for the duration of the internship.

Key Dates:

  • Closing Date: 21/10/2018
  • Interview Date: 29/10/2018
  • Start Date: 12/11/2018
  • End Date: 11/09/2019

To apply for this role please complete our internship application which can be downloaded here: Please send your completed form to us by clicking APPLY NOW