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Temporary researcher needed (1-3 months)


Are you interested in young people and spiritual practices?

We are looking for a researcher to undertake a rapid evidence review on this topic over the next few months


Employee Job Title: Temporary researcher

Subject Area: Religious communities, young people and well-being

Project: Rapid evidence review of the impact of Christian spiritual practice on people’s well-being, and any implications for work with young people.

Overview of Research Project

This literature review is part of a wider piece of work aiming to explore how the resources of Christian spirituality (particularly contemplative tools emerging from religious communities) can be used to support young people’s emotional, mental and spiritual well-being. We have identified a lack of evidence on the influence of spiritual practices on young people's mental health and well-being, and therefore want to review existing evidence that tells us, more generally, about the impact of spiritual practices on people's well-being, and whether this is likely to be applicable to young people.

Literature review

This is not a fully systematic review, but instead is what is known as a rapid review of existing evidence. The final research question is still to be agreed but is likely to cover these areas

  • What evidence exists for the positive benefits of Christian spiritual practices?

  • For whom are Christian spiritual practices most effective, and why?

  • What evidence exists on the impact of religious communities on those who participate in their rhythms of life and prayer?

  • Has any research been done specifically with young people in this area, and if so what did it find?

Role of researcher

We are seeking a researcher who can produce a rapid review of existing evidence on the impact of Christian spiritual practice on people’s well-being. This will involve the following.

  • Running searches of relevant databases and identifying relevant material to review by reading reference lists

  • Screening abstracts of online journal articles, and identifying final literature to be reviewed

  • Reading, reviewing and summarising literature

  • Synthesising findings and identifying key messages in discussion with wider project team

  • Producing a written report of no more than 10,000 words

The role is paid at £15 an hour (£120 a day) for a maximum of 24 days work. The researcher will be expected to record days worked, and invoice Youthscape when the report is submitted. This work could be completed full-time over four weeks or part-time over 2-3 months, but needs to be finished by the end of September 2022

Essential pre-requisites

  • Ability to self-motivate and manage time effectively with minimal support

  • Experience and knowledge of the topic (Christian faith)

  • Access to laptop or computer for data analysis

  • Assurance of confidentiality and data protection

  • Experience reviewing and summarising research literature in written papers or reports


This piece of work is a partnership between Youthscape, Canterbury Christ Church University, and the Diocese of Oxford. The post will be managed by Dr Lucie Shuker (Youthscape Centre for Research) and Dr Ann Casson (Canterbury Christchurch University). Progress milestones will be agreed before the work begins, and review meetings will be held regularly to problem solve, support and ensure the project is manageable and on track. If insufficient progress is being made, or the researcher is not able to work to the required standard, the project team reserves the right to end the work without payment.

To apply

Please send your CV with a covering letter to Lucie Shuker at lucie.shuker@youthscape.co.uk by Thursday 26th May.

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