AHEAD: Association for Higher Education Access & Disability
Creating inclusive environments in education & employment for people with disabilities.


AHEAD are Hiring: Research Assistant

AHEAD, established in 1988, is a non-profit organisation working on creating inclusive environments in education and employment for people with disabilities. You can find more about what we do by watching this short video. You can also read AHEAD’s Strategic Plan 2019 – 2023 where you will find our values and strategic themes in order to achieve its vision of shaping an inclusive future where students and learners with disabilities can succeed.

Job Details: AHEAD are hiring a Research Assistant reporting to the Employment Manager.

Duration: This position is offered on 2-year contract commencing as soon as possible.

Location: AHEAD operates a hybrid-working model and it is expected the successful candidate will work the majority of the time remotely. However, travel is required to attend meetings in Dublin and surrounding areas as needed or at AHEAD offices located within the UCD Smurfit Business School campus in Blackrock, Co. Dublin.

Hours: The successful candidate will work part-time 21 hours a week (spread of days negotiable). Hours will be agreed with the successful candidate however, flexibility is required for attending occasional out of hours events and meetings.

Deadline for Application: COB Wednesday 14th June 2023 

Click here to download the full job description

Nature and Scope

The Research Assistant will support the development of new national framework for inclusive employment based on international evidence and consultation with stakeholders. They will work closely with the Employment Manager and liaise with key stakeholders such as employers, policy makers, disabled people’s organisations and people with disabilities.

The Research Assistant will be responsible for carrying out administrative tasks for the project as well as conducting desk-based research and recording and analysing data arising from consultation with stakeholders.

 Key Responsibilities 


  • Conduct desk-based research on topics concerning national and international best practice in inclusive employment environments.
  • Contribute to consultation design and field work, in consultation with the Employment Manager.
  • Record, analyse and write up the results of consultation exercises.
  • Prepare and present findings of research and consultation activity to stakeholders for review purposes.


  • Liaise with stakeholders in setting up meetings, taking minutes and circulating to the groups.
  • Event organisation which includes undertaking tasks such as sourcing and liaising with venues, arranging catering and accessibility accommodations.
  • Contribute to development of public facing promotional materials, and content for dissemination to stakeholders the AHEAD’s website.
  • Produce regular reports for the Employment Manager on research and project activities.

Other Key Activities

  • Participate in regular staff and team meetings, updating staff on work conducted and keeping them informed of project output.
  • Keep abreast of relevant changes inclusive employment practices, research and legislation and report to the Employment Manager.
  • Undertake other duties as may reasonably be assigned by the Employment Manager.

 Person Specification 

Working Style

  • The Research Assistant must be a self-directed individual, capable of working on their own initiative and have a commitment to promoting the inclusion of people with disabilities in education and employment in line with AHEAD’s values.

Required Experience & Skills

  • NFQ Level 8 qualification in social policy, social science, human rights, public policy or any other relevant discipline.
  • Working knowledge of research techniques and evidence of ability to analyse and write up data.
  • Excellent organisational skills with the ability to organise meetings, focus groups, consultation sessions and other research/consultation related activities.
  • Demonstrated experience of strong ICT skills including use of excel for data analysis, word processing, formatting, PowerPoint creation, graph creation.
  • An understanding of issues concerning inclusion of people with disabilities in employment and/or education.
  • A very strong ‘team player’ ethic and willingness to help with day-to-day activities and work to support the team and other AHEAD staff during busy periods.

Desirable Experience & Skills

  • Experience of working in the community and voluntary sector and/or in an area related to AHEAD’s work – inclusive practice, assistive technology, inclusive teaching and learning, disability support etc.
  • Experience of managing events or workshops for research dissemination.
  • Experience of designed consultation exercises.

 Salary and Additional Benefits

The salary range for this position is €34,531 to €38,351 pro rata (€20,718.60 to €23,010.60) and commensurate with AHEAD’s pay scale and experience.

AHEAD also offers the following benefits to employees.

  • Rewarding and flexible working environment
  • Comprehensive needs assessment for employees with disabilities
  • 25 days annual leave per annum (pro rata)
  • Access to EAP (Employee Assistance Programme) covering a range of services such as nutrition, fitness, legal, financial and wellbeing supports in addition to free mental health counselling and coaching.

How to Apply

To apply for this role, please send an email to angela.glancy@ahead.ie with the subject line as “Research Assistant Application” with a Cover Letter (1 page maximum) and CV (2 page maximum) by COB Wednesday 14th June 2023.  Queries about the role in advance can also be sent to this email address.

For shortlisted candidates, first round interviews will take place remotely week commencing 19th June.

AHEAD is an equal opportunities employer. Applications from people from diverse backgrounds are welcome and AHEAD will provide reasonable accommodations for candidates with disabilities where appropriate, as identified through our needs assessment process.

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Creating Inclusive Environments in Education and Employment for People with Disabilities

East Hall, UCD, Carysfort Avenue, Blackrock, Co Dublin.
T +353 1 592 1467 E ahead@ahead.ie W www.ahead.ie RCN 20025182