Calling student researchers and campaigners: contraceptive health and rights

CERT is a policy group campaigning for contraceptive empowerment in Scotland. Formed in 2018 by four students at the University of Edinburgh, CERT works to produce research-based change and promote a prepared, informed and supported experience of contraception. Their work has been published in the British Medical Journal and they have successfully worked with the University of Edinburgh to push for the introduction of consent classes. They are currently campaigning to make stealthing (the act of non-consensual condom removal) illegal in Scotland.

If you are passionate about contraception, CERT wants to hear from you! Applications for positions for 2021/22 are open until 23:59 on Monday 11th October. You can learn more about each available role below.

Treasurer:

We are looking for a financially astute individual with an understanding of how best to obtain and utilise funding. The successful candidate should expect to coordinate CERT budgets through fundraising, sponsorships, grant proposals and keeping accounts. They will also lead our Fundraising and Events team and assist team members in organising events and applying for CERT to become a registered charity. As such, they should possess excellent interpersonal and leadership skills. They will also need to coordinate with the Buchanan Institute’s Treasurer regarding funding. 

Biomedical Research Director:

We are looking for an individual with considerable research experience to oversee our biomedical research projects, work with researchers to improve their skills and develop new research proposals and strategies. Successful candidates should expect to guide and track research projects, collaborate with our social science Research Director to develop workshops to hone research skills, and implement new research projects within a longer-term strategy.

Website Manager:

We are looking for an individual with experience of web design, UX (User Experience) and UI (User Interface) to manage and update the CERT website, ensuring it is visually appealing and reflective of our work. Key duties include: updating our website with CERT’s content and blog posts, updating current/new members, adding an alumni and campaigns section, publishing our finished reports, and optimising content for search engine optimisation (SEO).

 Campaigns Team Member:

We are looking for individuals interested in activism and turning policies from our past research projects into tangible change. In particular, we are looking for individuals who want to help CERT make stealthing (the practice of non-consensual condom removal) illegal in Scotland. This will include working with relevant third sector organisations and MSPs and running an online campaign and petition. Successful candidates will need to be solution-oriented and possess excellent teamwork and interpersonal skills.

 Fundraising Team Member:

We are looking for organised individuals to coordinate and provide regular funding schemes. Successful candidates should expect to apply for grants, strategise and timetable applications for funding, set and work towards targets and feedback to the Treasurer on these targets. This year we are also hoping to explore the possibility of becoming a registered charity. Therefore, successful candidates should expect to put together an application to the Scottish Charity Regulator. We are also recruiting an individual with prior experience of writing grant applications.

 Events Coordinator:

We are looking for organised and outgoing individuals with a passion for event planning to join our Fundraising and Events team. They will help to create, organise and run CERT’s academic and fundraising events, and end of year Ball. They will also liaise with our Treasurer to guarantee we remain within budget. Key duties include: brainstorming event ideas, booking venues/speakers/etc, obtaining materials (if necessary) and ensuring the event runs smoothly. As such, they will need to have excellent interpersonal and teamwork skills.

The Morning After Pill Education Team Member:

We are looking for individuals with an interest in understanding how the Morning After Pill is used and potential stigmas surrounding this, alongside an analysis of how information surrounding the Morning After Pill is disseminated in secondary schools in Scotland. Researchers should expect to engage in interviews with relevant stakeholders and educational groups and will then use this information to campaign to implement better education about the Morning After Pill into schools.

 The Impact of Contraception on Libido Team Member:

We are looking for individuals with an interest in ascertaining how often, and in which ways, contraception can affect libido. Successful candidates should expect to research how an individual’s relationship with sex can change depending on if/what contraception they take, and if there are any further social repercussions of this. They will also explore any potential consequences of a change in libido following contraceptive use on an individual’s mental health and identify possible solutions to this question.

Queer Women’s Experiences of Contraception Team Member:

We are looking for inclusivity-driven individuals to explore and reframe the conversation around contraception and STI prevention for queer women. This project will explore how contraception is used by people with vaginas in queer relationships, identify the research gaps for contraception within queer relationships and compare these results with heterosexual groups. Successful candidates should expect to write a research paper determining how effective the current contraceptive guidelines for queer people in WLW relationships is, and propose policy recommendations to enhance this.

Secondary uses of Contraception Team Member:

We are looking for individuals with an interest in understanding how often, and for what reasons, contraception is prescribed for non-contraceptive uses (e.g. acne, PCOS, endometriosis). Successful candidates should expect to research and write a report into the alternative options available (e.g. topical acne treatments, antibiotics etc.), the accessibility of these options for NHS users and the efficacy of the treatment. Researchers will produce a policy paper summarising their findings and make recommendations into alternative options.

Sexual Health Metrics Team Member:

Our Sexual Health Metrics research is a continuing project from last year. We are looking for individuals with an interest in the intersection between medicine and public policy, with successful candidates presenting their research findings in a report which details how sexual health outcomes are measured and how this affects patients’ experiences. This will involve engaging with stakeholders and analysing data to make recommendations.

Long Term Impact of Contraception on Mental Health Team Member:

We are looking for individuals who have an interest in gaining an insight into the mental health side effects surrounding contraception use. This team will conduct research into the link between contraceptive use and mental health side effects, how common they are, the experience of contraceptive users, and whether these side effects encourage discontinuation of their contraception method. Researchers will produce a policy paper summarising their findings and provide policy recommendations on the issue.

If you’re interested in any of the above positions, you can find out more information on the CERT instagram accounts Most of the information on the roles we are recruiting and what each of those entails, is available on the CERT Instagram account and the application form is  here. Good luck!