Funeral Innovations KTP Associate

Updated: about 2 months ago
Location: Durham, ENGLAND

Funeral Innovations KTP Associate (
Job Number:
Department of Theology and Religion
Grade 6: - £29,605 per annum
Fixed Term - Full Time
Contract Duration: 24 months
Contracted Hours per Week: 37.5
Closing Date
: 06-Mar-2024, 6:59:00 PM
Disclosure and Barring Service Requirement: Not Applicable. 

Durham University

Durham University is one of the world's top universities with strengths across the Arts and Humanities, Sciences and Social Sciences. We are home to some of the most talented scholars and researchers from around the world who are tackling global issues and making a difference to people's lives.  

The University sits in a beautiful historic city where it shares ownership of a UNESCO World Heritage Site with Durham Cathedral, the greatest Romanesque building in Western Europe. A collegiate University, Durham recruits outstanding students from across the world and offers an unmatched wider student experience. Less than 3 hours north of London, and an hour and a half south of Edinburgh, County Durham is a region steeped in history and natural beauty. The Durham Dales, including the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, are home to breath-taking scenery and attractions. Durham offers an excellent choice of city, suburban and rural residential locations. The University provides a range of benefits including pension and childcare benefits and the University’s Relocation Manager can assist with potential schooling requirements.  

Durham University seeks to promote and maintain an inclusive and supportive environment for work and study that assists all members of our university community to reach their full potential. Diversity brings strength and we welcome applications from across the international, national and regional communities that we work with and serve.


Faculty/Service:        Arts and Humanities

Department:              Theology and Religion

Role Title:                  Funeral Innovations KTP Associate

Salary Range:            £29,605 per annum          

Attendance requirements:                

Working Hours and holiday entitlement are in line with Kindly Earth.:

Working Hours:         9.00 am to 5.00 pm 37.5 hours per week

Holidays:                    28 days per annum

Contract type:            24 months fixed term

Start Date:                  The appointed candidate would need to be available to commence in post no later than 22 April 2024.


The KTP Project   

The KTP Associate will lead a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) project that is a collaboration between Durham University and Kindly Earth based in Houghton-Le-Spring. The Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) scheme helps businesses to innovate and grow through the aid of discipline specific academic expertise. It does this by linking them with an academic supervisory team and a researcher in a university to work on a specific project.

Working alongside the Company Directors and General Manager, the KTP Associate will be involved in a project to assess the social, cultural, and religious barriers to the introduction in the UK of alkaline hydrolysis (Resomation) and to develop the strategies to overcome these and support the growth of this innovative environmentally sustainable method of human disposition.  

Working as a KTP Associate provides a range of career development opportunities including:  

·           The opportunity to undertake a Higher Degree (if applicable)

·           Attendance at two residential, one week, management training workshops

·           £4000 individual training budget to spend on personal development opportunities such as further training or conferences


Kindly Earth (Kindly Earth ) The Kindly Earth brand represents Resomation ® technology globally and has the rights for the re sale of Resomation equipment in the United Kingdom.  

Resomation Ltd handles development of the technology and manufacture of the Resomation equipment, and Kindly Earth Ltd is the B2C organisation responsible for sales and marketing and building awareness of Resomation in the UK, to enable the introduction and provision of Resomation as an alternative funeral choice.

Kindly Earth’s vision is to:-

  • Demystify the Resomation process
  • Develop, share and represent an accurate and informative narrative founded on what Resomation means for both the public and the funeral industry (rather than focussing solely on the technology and process)
  • Provide support for Resomation to be incorporated into any choice of funeral arrangement.
  • Department of Theology - The successful candidate will be working with academics in the Department of Theology and Religion. The Department is one of the largest in the UK, a diverse intellectual community of 50 academics, over 150 postgraduate students, and more than 70 undergraduates in each year. They use a variety of perspectives and methods to explore the ways that human beings have had and continue to have, fundamental beliefs or worldviews concerning the world and our role within it. In the Department all beliefs and worldviews are taken seriously, respected, and studied, across the range of religious and non-religious perspectives. The Department is consistently ranked among the very top Departments of Theology and Religion in the UK, and the world.

    Specific responsibilities of the Associate:

    • Direct liaison with Professors Douglas Davies and Matthew Guest on funerals, cultural themes, social change, and some engagement with the field of Death, Ritual and Belief as pursued within the Department of Theology and Religion.
    • Promotion of the project, final reporting, including progress reviews and updates to stakeholders.
    • Journal/conference paper writing and publishing.

    Person Specification

    The Requirements


    1. Qualifications

    • A good Bachelors degree in an appropriate subject.

    2. Experience

    • Nuanced cultural understanding of the societal and cultural issues in this project.

    3. Skills

    • Ability to carry out social surveys and interviews with excellent written and spoken English.
    • Effective interpersonal and communication skills and a demonstrable ability to work cooperatively as part of a team.
    • Capacity to engage in a nuanced way with the bereaved and with service providers.
    • Self-motivation and ability to work autonomously and to schedule on agreed tasks.
    • Excellent presentation and communication skills to a wide target audience.
    • Ability to travel regionally, nationally, and internationally.

    4. Attributes

    • Resilient to be able to work with death and bereaved relatives.
    • Comfortable working cooperatively in a team, working independently on their own initiatives and to strict deadlines.
    • Enthusiastic researcher.

    ·     Desirable

    1. Qualifications

    • Appropriate work experience.

    2. Experience

    • Experience in the funeral sector or death industry.

    3. Skills

    • Ability to propose novel research ideas to solve a problem.
    • Ability to attract collaboration and opportunities for the project.

    4. Attributes

    • Proven ability to provide high quality input and recommendations to inform decisions of others.
    • Demonstrable ability to plan and manage independent research.
    • Adapting to ever-changing environment and business needs with a willingness to learn and explore state-of-the-art knowledge

    Responsible to:         Professor Douglas Davies , Professor in the Study of Religion and Director of Durham University’s Centre for Death and Life Studies, Department of Theology and Religion, Durham University.

    Miss Helen Chandler, General Manager, Kindly Earth.

    Location:                   The KTP Associate will be employed by Durham University but will be based at Kindly Earth, Houghton-Le-Spring, and will be expected to spend time in Durham University to undertake the partnership’s objectives.

    Additional Information:

    For an informal discussion about the post please contact:   

    Professor Douglas Davies (e-mail: [email protected] )

    Miss Helen Chandler (e-mail: [email protected] )   

    Find more information about the company at: (Kindly Earth )

    Find out more about the University at:

    Find more information on the Innovate UK programme at:

    What to submit?  

    All applicants are asked to submit:

    •  A CV and cover letter which details your experience, strengths and potential in the requirements set out above.

    PLEASE NOTE:  We will be shortlisting throughout the advertising period and may close the advert early, depending on level of interest, so early application is encouraged.

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