Paid Internship in Translational Mental Health


 

Research Assistant paid internship

The Research Assistant posts listed below are advertised as part of this scheme.  To apply, applicants must select at least one, and a maximum of two, of the posts listed below.  Applications must be submitted via the King's College London on-line application system**.  With their application, applicants must upload a separate single-side A4 page for each post they are applying for, with one or two paragraphs to explain why they are interested in that particular post.  Applicants must also upload their CV and personal statement with the on-line application.

**The link to the on-line application system is available on the King's College London website - scroll down the King's page to Apply for job.

Please note:  Only one on-line application needs to be submitted together with one separate A4 page for each post the candidate wishes to be considered for. 

Each post lists the key contact person.  Applicants are encouraged to contact this person if they wish to discuss the post before applying.

 

About the Team

Principal Investigator:  Dr Matthew Howard

Research Group:  Pain and Neuroimaging

Academic Department:  Neuroimaging

 

About the role

Title of study / studies:  Stratifying Chronic Pain Patients By Pathological Mechanism- A Multimodal Investigation Using Functional MRI, Psychometric And Clinical Assessment.

Two key publications:

  1. Makovac, E., Venezia, A., Hohenschurz-Schmidt, D., Ottavia Dipasquale, Jackson, J. B., Medina, S., O’Daly, O., Williams, S.C.R., McMahon, S.B., Howard, M.A. The association between pain-induced autonomic reactivity and descending pain control is mediated by the periaqueductal grey. (preprint, provisionally accepted in J Physiol). doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.10.26.355529
  2. Jackson, J., O'Daly, O., Makovac, E., Medina, S., Rubio, A. d. L., McMahon, S. B., Williams, S. C., & et al. (2020). Noxious pressure stimulation demonstrates robust, reliable estimates of brain activity and self-reported pain. NeuroImage, 221 117178. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2020.117178x

Summary of role:  The post-holder will assist in performing clinical and experimental medicine studies, joining a team of researchers performing assessments of healthy volunteers and patients during evoked acute and ongoing pain states in the Department of Neuroimaging, with associated collaborators at the Wolfson CARD at the Guy's campus, and with healthcare providers within the King's Health Partnership. Alongside neuroimaging endpoints, conventional clinical, behavioural and psychometric endpoints will be collected, with a view to developing multimodal fingerprints of pathophysiological phenomena known to underpin the experience of chronic pain. Their responsibilities will include assisting in recruitment and screening of participants, performing multimodal assessments including structured interviews, questionnaires, psychophysical techniques and quantitative sensory testing. They will also receive training and experience in the acquisition and analysis of functional and structural MRI data. They will also be expected to contribute to the preparation and submission of research reports, manuscripts and presentations emerging from this work.

*Key responsibilities:

  • Assisting in recruitment and screening of participants.
  • Performing multimodal assessments including structured interviews, questionnaires, psychophysical techniques and quantitative sensory testing.
  • Contributing to the preparation and submission of research reports, manuscripts and presentations emerging from their work.

*Additional Essential Criteria:

  • BSc in any of the related fields of psychology, neuroscience, or the physical, medical and biological sciences.
  • Excellent core ICT skills (Microsoft Office) are expected. The successful applicant will be
  • a team-player with excellent communication skills, both verbally and in written form. They should be
  • passionate and enthusiastic about their work, with
  • an ability to multi-task and to prioritise their workload.
  • A willingness and capacity to learn new skills is paramount.

This post will require an enhanced disclosure (criminal records) check from the Disclosure & Barring Service (formerly CRB). 

*Additional Desirable Criteria:

  • Experience in any or all of the fields of neuroimaging, pain physiology and anatomy, the practice of psychophysical and clinical assessments in humans are desirable characteristics.
  • Experience of performing experiments and collecting data in humans, including clinical trials will also be viewed favourably.
  • Experience and understanding of the principles of scientific computing (e.g. UNIX, MATLAB, R)will also be useful, including coding and data science.
  • Numerate with a good understanding of statistics.
  • Some experience in the analysis of Neuroimaging, physiological, psychophysical and psychometric data will be advantageous.

It is not expected that any candidate will have all these qualities and relevant training will be provided.

*These responsibilities and criteria are specific to this post and are in addition to those listed as part of the Research Assistant job description

Campus site/s:  Denmark Hill.  There may be opportunities to interface with collaborators at the Wolfson Centre for Age Related Diseases ased at Guy's campus.

Additional information:  The post-holder will receive training and experience in the acquisition and analysis of functional and structural MRI data. On the job training will be provided by experts in the relevant fields. Access to courses for specialist training (e.g. scientific computing, Neuroimaging and statistical analysis will also be provided via specialist courses. Where required the costs of these courses will be met, although it is envisaged that the majority of training can be provided using freely available online resources (e.g. https://fsl.fmrib.ox.ac.uk/fslcourse/)

Attendance at seminars and workshops organised locally and nationally will be encouraged, for example, the British Neuroscience Association or the British Chapter of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine and the British Pain Society.

Key Contact:  To discuss this post, please contact Dr Matthew Howard:  Matthew.Howard@kcl.ac.uk

About the Team

Principal Investigator:  Dr Rory Sheehan

Research Group:  LeDeR Project Group

Academic Department:  Forensic & Neurodevelopmental Science

 

About the role

Title of study / studies:  Learning From Lives and Deaths – learning disability and autism (LeDeR) projectLearning From Lives and Deaths – learning disability and autism (LeDeR) project

Two key publications:

  1. Heslop, P., Byrne, V., Calkin, R., Pollard, J., Sullivan, B. (2021) LeDeR programme annual report 2020. University of Bristol Norah Fry Centre for Disability Studies. Available at: https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/LeDeR-bristol-annual-report-2020.pdf
  2. Strydom, A., Corcoran E., Rebillat, S. The COVID-19 pandemic should be last orders for poor care of people with neurodevelopmental disorders. British Journal of Psychiatry 2021; 218(6): 302-304. Available at: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry/article/covid19-pandemic-should-be-last-orders-for-poor-care-of-people-with-neurodevelopmental-disorders/A2776C8EDCCE04C4797EB1B528F1E8F7

Summary of role:  The post-holder will be a key member of the team delivering the ‘Learning From Lives and Deaths – learning disability and autism’ (LeDeR) project, part of the NHS England Learning Disability and Autism Programme. The overall aim of LeDeR is to reduce premature mortality and drive down health inequities experienced by people with learning disability and/or autism. The contract to complete the work was recently awarded to KCL – the delivery team includes Professor Andre Strydom, Dr Rory Sheehan, and new staff at KCL (research assistant, project manager). We have major collaborations with academic partners (Kingston and St George’s University and the University of Central Lancashire) and statutory and third-sector organisations across health and social care (NHS Trusts, academic health science centres including KHP, clinical commissioning groups, local authorities, and social care provider organisations). The scope of the project is broad. Work includes: - analysis and reporting of national data derived from reviews of deaths of people with learning disability or autism - in-depth exploration of selected topic areas using different methodologies (qualitative, quantitative, evidence synthesis) and primary and secondary data sources (e.g. CRIS) - rapid reviews of emerging themes and national and international trends in health and care of people with learning disability or autism The LeDeR project remit also includes translation of findings from the above work to meaningful change in the lives of people with learning disability or autism. We will implement health and care improvements through a variety of mechanisms including quality improvement methodology, a workstream led by Professor Umesh Chauhan. The research assistant will contribute to all aspects of the project deliverables with some flexibility to allow them to pursue areas of particular interest or development goals. They will gain a broad training in health research whilst working with a dynamic and diverse team.

*Key responsibilities:  Working closely with the project steering group and receiving regular supervision, the research assistant will provide comprehensive and flexible research support to the LeDeR project. Work will include:

  • Collating and managing data;
  • Producing reports;
  • Developing, organising, and conducting small research projects (which may be qualitative or quantitative in nature); and contributing to rapid reviews of relevant topics.
  • Organising meetings and liaising with core members of the team, collaboration partners, and external stakeholders.
  • Providing support to the LeDeR project co-production group including producing accessible information and gathering feedback to present to the project steering group.
  • Undertakinge other duties, as are consistent with the needs of the project, including some administrative tasks.

*Additional Essential Criteria:

  • BPS accredited psychology degree, nursing or other clinically relevant degree.
  • Experience of database management including accurate data entry and use of statistical software packages (e.g. Stata, SPSS, R).
  • Experience and evidence of conducting literature reviews.
  • Experience of working on research studies involving human participants.
  • Ability to work as part of a multidisciplinary team and recognise contributions of all team members.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, with evidence of previous report writing.
  • Excellent time management and organisational skills and ability to work to deadlines, evidenced with recent examples.
  • Ability to travel.

*Additional Desirable Criteria:

  • Master’s degree in research methods/applied research, a relevant clinical discipline, or equivalent.
  • Experience of collecting and managing large volumes of clinical data.
  • Experience of working with individuals with learning disability and/or autism.
  • Knowledge of the health need of individuals with learning disability and/or autism.
  • Evidence of authorship of peer reviewed scientific publications.

*These responsibilities and criteria are specific to this post and are in addition to those listed as part of the Research Assistant job description

Campus site/s:  Denmark Hill

Additional information:  This post offers an excellent training opportunity and will advance the career of the successful applicant. The post-holder will be expected to complete Good Clinical Practice and relevant online courses necessary for the post (e.g. informed consent) using the NIHR Learn hub. The post-holder will complete training delivered by KCL including King’s Diversity Matters for staff and data protection and information security training. Other professional development opportunities will be available to the post-holder through the King’s Academy / SkillsForge and agreed by supervisors. In addition, the post-holder will attend departmental and institution meetings (e.g. FANS science meetings, IoPPN academic meetings e.g. journal clubs). To aid in their understanding of the clinical aspects of the work, the post-holder will be encouraged to attend the monthly south London multi-disciplinary CPD meetings in learning disability co-ordinated by the Estia centre. There will be the opportunity for the candidate to observe clinical sessions with the supervisor or other clinical colleagues. The post-holder will have regular supervision with the project leads and/or project manager. Additional academic and job enrichment opportunities are likely to include, invitations and supervision in peer-reviewing scientific articles, contributing to ethics applications, and producing scientific publications. Other training will be facilitated according to the needs of the project and the candidate and a small budget will be made available. This might include training or refreshers in specific techniques or attending MSc modules or workshops e.g. research methods and statistics module of the Clinical Neurodevelopmental Sciences MSc, thematic analysis workshops.

The LeDeR project has a national profile and there will be many opportunities for the post-holder to present the project findings at relevant conferences and to different audiences. Potential conferences include: Royal College of Psychiatrists Faculty of Intellectual Disability Psychiatry Spring Conference – London/online; International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities International Congress – - Chicago, USA;  Pan-London learning disability trainee conference; conferences organised as part of the Intellectual Disability Forum at the Royal Society of Medicine – London/online.

Key Contact:  To discuss this post, please contact Dr Rory Sheehan:  rory.sheehan@kcl.ac.uk

About the Team

Principal Investigator:  Dr Rina Dutta

Research Group:  Centre for Translational Informatics

Academic Department:  Psychological Medicine

 

About the role

Title of study / studies:  Social Media, Smartphone Use and Self-Harm Study (3S-YP) - https://3syp.co.uk/

Two key publications:

  1. Temporal and diurnal variation in social media posts to a suicide support forum Dutta, R., Gkotsis, G., Velupillai, S., Bakolis, I. & Stewart, R., 19 May 2021, In: BMC Psychiatry. 21, 1, p. 259-266 , 259.
  2. Social media, internet use and suicide attempts in adolescents Sedgwick, R., Epstein, S., Dutta, R. & Ougrin, D., Nov 2019, In: Current Opinion in Psychiatry. 32, 6, p. 534-541

Summary of role:  The intern will be based in Psychological Medicine and line-managed by Rina Dutta, Senior Clinical Lecturer/Consultant Psychiatrist. By integration into a core team of research assistants, clinical fellows, postdocs and academic staff and students, the 3S-YP intern will be guided in their primary responsibilities which will be to assist with recruitment, data collection, and data management. The post-holder may also contribute to data entry, data cleaning, qualitative and quantitative data analysis, general administrative duties, preparing progress reports and writing draft research papers. The post will be tailored to fit the career goals of the intern.

*Key responsibilities:

  • To assist with the recruitment of young people to the study.
  • To act as a point of contact for participants and respond to any queries and technical issues.
  • To monitor and support ongoing participation in the study.
  • To assist with data management tasks including maintaining participation logs.
  • To support cleaning and analysis of free text data in electronic patient records.
  • To ensure the security and confidentiality of sensitive data.
  • To attend project meetings.
  • To prepare progress reports on recruitment and participation.
  • To maintain clear and up to date written documentation.
  • To prioritise workload according to discussions with manager.
  • To work flexibly to ensure that recruitment targets and other deadlines are met.
  • To develop good working relationships with other team members.

*Additional Essential Criteria:

  • Ability and willingness to learn new skills.
  • Good interpersonal and communication skills, especially with young people and vulnerable groups.
  • Good attention to detail and accuracy.
  • Ability to work well in a multidisciplinary team.

*These responsibilities and criteria are specific to this post and are in addition to those listed as part of the Research Assistant job description

Campus site/s:  Denmark Hill

Additional information:  The intern will complete Good Clinical Practice (GCP); Data Protection & Information Security Training; King’s Diversity Matters for staff as a minimum requirement. We would also encourage the intern to access in-house courses in biostatistics and study designs (e.g. qualitative research) and bespoke guidance will be provided based on the career aspirations of the individual.

If the post-holder is keen they will be supported to present at a conference. This might for example be an ACAMH (The Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health) event or the Zero Suicide Summit 5 planned for Liverpool, UK this year, but postponed to summer 2022.

Key Contact:  To discuss this post, please contact Dr Rina Dutta:  rina.dutta@kcl.ac.uk

About the Team

Principal Investigator:  Professor Matthew Hotopf

Research Group:  Centre for Translational Informatics

Academic Department:  Psychological Medicine

 

About the role

Title of study / studies:  Remote Assessment of Disease and Relapse in CNS Disorders (RADAR-CNS) and Peer Support Platform

Two key publications:

  1. Zhang, Y. Folarin, A.A. Sun, S. Cummins, N. Bendayan, R. Ranjan, Y. Rashid, Z. Conde, P. Stewart, C. Laiou, P. Matcham, F. White, K.M. Lamers, L. Siddi, S. Simblett, S. Myin-Germeys, I. Rintala, A. Wykes, T. Haro, J.M. Pennix, B.W.J.H. Narayan, V.A. Hotopf, M. Dobson, R.J.B.; RADAR-CNS consortium The Relationship between Major Depression Symptom Severity and Sleep Collected Using a Wristband Wearable Device: Multi-centre Longitudinal Observational Study Journal of Medical Internet Research (2021) https://mhealth.jmir.org/2021/4/e24604

  2. Laiou, P. Kaliukhovich, D.A. Folarin, A. Ranjan, Y. Rashid, Z. Conde, P. Stewart, C. Sun, S. Zhang, Y. Matcham, F. Ivan, A. Lavelle, G. Siddi, S. Lamers, F. Penninx, B.W.J.H. Haro, J.M. Annas, A. Cummins, N. Vairavan, S. Manyakov, N.V. Narayan, V.A. Dobson, R. Hotopf, M. on behalf of the RADAR-CNS consortium. Home stay reflects symptoms severity in major depressive disorder: A multicenter observational study using geolocation data from smartphones. (Submitted: NPJ Digital Medicine)

Summary of role:  The post will be based in Psychological Medicine under the supervision of Matthew Hotopf (Director of the BRC, Vice Dean for Research IoPPN). The postholder will be part of a highly collegiate and supportive team which is focused on bridging the gaps between mental and physical health. One project, RADAR-CNS is a study assessing whether signals from smartphones and wearable devices (e.g. Fitbits) can inform us about the state of someone's health - specifically depression. In another project we are testing whether an on-line peer support platform can improve wellbeing and prevent depression in people with long term conditions. The post could potentially include: participant recruitment, data handling (cleaning, analysis), qualitative research (e.g. focus groups), systematic reviews and help with writing up manuscripts for publication. The postholder will fit into a team of research assistants, PhD students, clinical fellows, postdocs and academic staff. The post will be carefully supported to identify the career aspirations of the intern and develop a programme of work for them which fits those ambitions.

*Key responsibilities:  For negotiation with the intern - defined according to their career goals.

*Additional Essential Criteria:

  • Enthusiasm.
  • Good team worker.
  • A willingness to learn new skills.
  • An understanding and some skills in statistics or data handling.

*These responsibilities and criteria are specific to this post and are in addition to those listed as part of the Research Assistant job description

Campus site/s:  Denmark Hill

Additional information:  Training will be bespoke to the intern, but we would expect them to attend minimum requirements e.g. Good Clinical Practice (GCP); Data Protection & Information Security Training; King’s Diversity Matters for staff.  We would encourage the intern to access in-house courses in biostatistics and study designs (e.g. qualitative research) . There will be funding available for a limited number of external courses.

If the postholder was keen, they would be supported to present at a conference such as the European Psychiatric Association Social/Epi section or  European Association of Psychosomatic Medicine.

Key Contact:  To discuss this post, please contact Professor Matthew Hotopf:  matthew.hotopf@kcl.ac.uk

About the Team

Principal Investigator:  Professor Sukhi Shergill

Research Group:  Cognition Schizophrenia Imaging (CSI) Lab

Academic Department:  Psychosis Studies

 

About the role

Title of study / studies:

  1. A novel TMS-EEG study of GABAergic and glutamatergic neurotransmission in antipsychotic treatment response in schizophrenia - Main focus of the post-holder
  2. Virtual Reality to measure and improve cognition in patients on the schizophrenic spectrum
  3. Successful Treatment of Paranoia (STOP) study
  4. Pharma-funded study on the effects of an experimental drug on Cognition and Functional Capacity in Schizophrenia

Two key publications:

  1. Shergil SS, Santoro V, Rocchi L, Di Hou M, Premoli I. TMS-EEG indexes abnormal GABAergic signalling in patients with schizophrenia. BJPsychOpen June 2021 7(S1):S52-S52 doi:10.1192/bjo.2021.185
  2. Horne CM, Vanes LD, Verneuil T, Mouchlianitis E, Szentgyorgi T, Averbeck B, Leech R, Moran RJ, Shergill SS. Cognitive control network connectivity differentially disrupted in treatment resistant schizophrenia. Neuroimage Clin. 2021;30:102631 doi: 10.1016/j.nicl.2021.102631

Summary of role:  This is an exciting new position where the post-holder will have the opportunity to work as a part of multidisciplinary team of researchers investigating the mechanisms underlying the development and symptoms of psychosis and their treatment. The team has a particular interest in investigating the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying the response to antipsychotics and their neural substrates. As a part of this role, the post-holder will be directly involved in an innovative patient-centred research which will address the lack of response to antipsychotics, which characterises treatment-resistant schizophrenia. The study will apply transcranial magnetic stimulation with concurrent electroencephalography (TMS-EEG) to measure the effects of antipsychotics on GABAergic and glutamatergic neurotransmission and study their association with cognition in responders and non-responders to antipsychotics. The study will develop our understanding on the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying antipsychotic response in schizophrenia and will in turn lead to the identification of candidate predictive neurophysiological biomarkers predictive of response to antipsychotics and aid the development of novel candidate treatments modulating the GABA and glutamatergic systems. The post-holder will be based at the IoPPN, while the research project procedures will be implemented at the NIHR Clinical Research Facility (CRF). The post-holder will work closely with the grant holder of the study, Dr Panayiota Michalopoulou, and other investigators, such as research fellows, research assistants, post-doctoral researchers and PhD students of the CSI Lab and the Head of the CSI Lab Prof. Sukhi Shergill. The post will be funded for 12 months in the first instance. The post is ideally suited for those interested in developing experience and expertise in research in psychosis in addition to gaining valuable experience in neuromodulation, electrophysiology, neuroimaging, and clinical and neuropsychological assessments. The post-holder will be encouraged to develop their own research interests.

*Key responsibilities:

  • Conduct literature reviews.
  • Collect and analyse data.
  • Prepare materials for submission to granting agencies and foundations.
  • Help prepare Ethics Committee application and attend/present to Ethics Committee.
  • Identify/Recruit subjects/Apply C4C process/BRC-NIHR CRIS training and use.
  • Support study participants during the study visits.
  • Participate in the study assessments after receiving appropriate training.
  • Maintain accurate records of project data safeguarding the confidentiality of subjects, as necessary.
  • Request or acquire equipment or supplies necessary for the project • Manage and respond to project related emails.
  • Prepare, maintain, and update website materials.
  • Attend and contribute to project meetings, departmental meetings and other meetings as necessary.
  • Summarise project results.
  • Prepare progress reports for the PI and funding agency.
  • Prepare other articles, reports, and presentations.
  • Work with colleagues on joint projects as required.
  • Show consideration to others.
  • Respect confidentiality.

*Additional Essential Criteria:

  • BSc in psychology.
  • Ability to work with clinical teams in research.
  • Willingness to learn using study specific equipment.
  • Good organisational and time management skills.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Good knowledge of statistics.
  • Appreciation of data confidentiality/security.
  • Previous experience in research.
  • Ability to work in a team and also independently and to meet deadlines.
  • Good attention to detail and high standards of accuracy in all aspects of work.
  • Enthusiastic, responsible, flexible and self-motivating.

*Additional Desirable Criteria:

  • MSc in a relevant subject (e.g. psychiatric research, mental health studies, clinical neuroscience).
  • Previous research experience in mental health, psychosis, neurophysiological or neuroimaging studies.
  • Working with people with psychosis.
  • Experience of working in multidisciplinary environment.
  • Presentation and dissemination.

*These responsibilities and criteria are specific to this post and are in addition to those listed as part of the Research Assistant job description

Campus site/s:  Denmark Hill

Additional information:  The post-holder will be offered the following training: • Good Clinical Practice (GCP) • Data Protection & Information Security Training • King’s Diversity Matters for staff "On-the-job" training will include: • Training in clinical and cognitive scales, as appropriate for the projects • Training in neurophysiological (EEG) and neuromodulation (TMS) applications • The post-holder will also have the opportunity to receive training in digital computerised approaches, virtual reality and functional neuroimaging data acquisition and analysis, as per ongoing research projects at the CSI Lab. As per job responsibilities above, the post-holder will also participate in academic and training activities including but not limited to: • Attend CSI lab and project meetings, journal clubs, departmental meeting, Neuroimaging group meetings and BRC Neuromodulation group meetings, conduct literature review, critique research papers, outcome measures, interview schedules • Help prepare Ethics Committee application and attend/present to Ethics Committee • Witness/participate in the procedure for recruiting patients/Apply C4C • Training in the use of BRC-NIHR Clinical Record Interactive Search Tool (CRIS) for the purposes of recruitment.

The post holder will be expected to attend and present a poster at the Royal College of Psychiatrists International Congress 20-23 June 2022.

Key Contact:  To discuss this post, please contact Professor Sukhi Shergill:  sukhi.shergill@kcl.ac.uk

About the Team

Principal Investigator:  Dr Jenny Yiend

Research Group:  Digital Therapeutics

Academic Department:  Psychosis Studies

 

About the role

Title of study / studies:  STOP (Successful Treatment Of Paranoia) Study

Two key publications:

  1. Leung, C.J., Fosuaah, A., Frerichs, J., Heslin, M., Kabir, T., Lee, T.M.C., McGuire, P., Meek, C., Mouchlianitis, E., Nath, A.S., Peters, E., Shergill, S., Stahl, D., Trotta, A., Yiend, J. A qualitative study of the acceptability of cognitive bias modification for paranoia (CBM-pa) in patients with psychosis (2019). BMC Psychiatry, 19 (1), art. no. 225. DOI: 10.1186/s12888-019-2215-3
  2. Yiend, J., Trotta, A., Meek, C., Dzafic, I., Baldus, N., Crane, B., Kabir, T., Stahl, D.,Heslin, M., Shergill, S., McGuire, P., & Peters, E. (2017) Cognitive Bias Modification for paranoia (CBM-pa): Study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. Trials, 18 (1),doi: 10.1186/s13063-017-2037-x

Summary of role:  The main purpose of this post is to a) support the necessary preparatory work prior to the start of a two-site clinical trial of STOP b) to commence recruitment and screening activities at the London site. Tasks under a) will include the preparation, submission, and revision of the trial protocol paper, ethics application, and MHRA application as well as assisting with the pre-trial pilot of the mobile app therapy. Tasks under b) will included finalising the study website, recruiting and screening the first participants to enter the trial.

*Key responsibilities:  The post-holder will undertake and assist in tasks related to the STOP project, including the following:

  • preparation, submission, and revision of:

the trial protocol paper, and any other agreed academic papers (e.g. app development protocol)

ethics application

MHRA application

  • conducting a two week pre-trial pilot of the mobile app therapy, including data dump, and intervention and assessment scheduling functions.
  • liaising with software developers to finalise the mobile app
  • finalising the publicity and recruitment pages of the study website
  • recruiting and screening the first participants via SLaM and local research registers and liaising with the services user charity self-referral networks.
  • Working with other researchers and clinicians employed on the trial throughout the first year of recruitment, randomisation, assessment and reporting.

*Additional Essential Criteria:

  • Suitable first degree, for example BSc Psychology or related discipline.

*Additional Desirable Criteria:

  • Some previous clinical experience (e.g., volunteer work)
  • Interest in, or knowledge of, the academic literature in the fields of psychosis, cognitive biases, and cognitive bias modification.

*These responsibilities and criteria are specific to this post and are in addition to those listed as part of the Research Assistant job description

Campus site/s:  Denmark Hill.

Additional information:  On-the-job training will be provided. This may include (but not limited to) literature review, academic writing, statistical analysis, research methods and research governance. Specific courses to include:

  • Training in the access to ‘Consent for Contact’ patient recruitment scheme
  • PANSS and SCID diagnostic interviewing (costs covered by the research grant)
  • King’s Clinical Trials Unit online training in conduct of clinical trials
  • MRC and Kings data compliance and good research practice training

Conferences are currently held remotely. The trial protocol can be presented at the 2022 APS conference: https://www.psychologicalscience.org/conventions/archive  34th Annual Convention; May 26-29, 2022;  Chicago, IL USA

Key Contact:  To discuss this post, please contact Dr Jenny Yiend:  jenny.yiend@kcl.ac.uk

About the Team

Principal Investigator:  Professor Alan Simpson

Research Group:  Mental Health Nursing Research

Academic Department:  Health Service and Population Research

 

About the role

Title of study / studies:  An investigation into whether Body Worn Cameras (BWCs) increase patient and staff safety, and whether BWCs have wider impacts on patients’ subjective experiences of respect, dignity and compassion, on therapeutic relationships, and ward atmosphere. To synthesise data and findings and help develop an application for a NIHR Programme Grant for Applied Research (PGfAR) to undertake a five-year programme of research on body-worn cameras in acute mental health settings.x

Two key publications:

  1. Wilson, K., Eaton, J. Foye, U. & Simpson, A. (under review) Are Body-Worn Cameras likely to enhance safety in mental health inpatient wards? A systematic review and narrative synthesis of the effects of Body Worn Cameras in public sector services. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing. 
  2. McAllister, S., Simpson, A., Tsianakas, V., & Robert, G. (18 January 2021) "What matters to me”: A multi-method qualitative study exploring service users’, carers’ and clinicians’ needs and experiences of therapeutic engagement on acute mental health wards. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/inm.12835

Summary of role:  The Burdett Trust for Nursing have funded us to undertake a pilot study of BWCs in two acute mental health wards in South London and The Maudsley NHS Trust. This mixed-methods study will investigate whether BWCs increase patient and staff safety, while exploring wider impacts on patients’ subjective experiences of respect, dignity, and compassion, therapeutic relationships, and ward atmosphere. The pilot study will also provide data to inform the design of a proposed cluster randomised controlled trial (RCT) of BWCs. The postholder will work on the Burdett Trust study and conduct recruitment and data collection, which includes officially collected data, questionnaire surveys of service users and staff, and semi-structured interviews with service users, staff and visitors. The researcher will be involved with quantitative and qualitative analysis, writing for publication and dissemination. Black mental health service users, and to a lesser extent Asian and other minority ethnic populations, are disproportionately detained under the Mental Health Act and are more likely to be subject to restrictive practices such as seclusion, restraint, and enforced medication. Considering this, we are particularly keen to ensure our sample of service users (and visitors/families) participating in this study includes a high proportion of Black and minority ethnic service users to ensure their views and experiences are represented. We are also keen to ensure Black staff are included in the study as recent research has shown Black mental health nurses less likely to participate in studies relevant to their practice. The postholder will take a lead in this regard. The postholder will also help us synthesise the findings from our literature review, qualitative study, and mixed methods study to inform and develop a proposal to undertake a five-year programme of applied health research that will include a cluster RCT with internal pilot, process evaluation, and cost effectiveness evaluation.

*Key responsibilities:

  • Contribute to the preparation of project materials.
  • Contribute to the promotion of the study amongst SLaM staff and service users.
  • Conduct all aspects of the study in line with research ethics and governance requirements.
  • Maintain accurate records in line with project requirements.
  • Participate in recruitment of service users, ward staff and visitors in the study.
  • To help develop and execute a strategy to recruit Black and other minority ethnic participants into the study.
  • Participate in collating officially collected data and ward shift reports (Patient-Staff Conflict Checklist).
  • Encourage and enable completion of questionnaires amongst service users and staff.
  • Conduct semi-structure interviews with service users, staff and visitors.
  • Communicate effectively and regularly liaise with project team members, line managers, advisory group members and SLaM staff as required.
  • Contribute to quantitative and qualitative data analysis.
  • Contribute to drafting of reports and papers for publication and the drafting of future research proposals.
  • Contribute to presentation and dissemination of project updates and results.
  • Work collaboratively with other researchers, including lived experience researchers.
  • Support members of the mental health nursing research team with other projects ad activities as required.
  • Willing to adapt to online and remote working if required.

*Additional Essential Criteria:

  • First degree in relevant discipline, i.e. nursing, psychology , occupational therapy, or social science.
  • Experience of working on inpatient mental health wards.
  • Ability to confidently use MS Excel, MS Word and team communications software, and willing to learn other software tools as required.
  • Able and willing to present the research project to various audiences verbally, with or without slides.
  • Aware of the key research ethics and governance issues involved in health services research.
  • Aware of issues in relation to diversity and inclusion and willing to help in developing and implementing strategies aimed at maximising diverse involvement in the study.
  • Ability to follow an agreed plan of work, but to also work independently under your own direction.
  • Experience and/or understanding of the issues involved in undertaking research in inpatient mental healthcare settings.
  • Experience of research participant recruitment.
  • Experience of conducting qualitative research interviews.
  • Experience of collating and managing questionnaire and other quantitative data.
  • Good communication and social/interpersonal skills; ability to collaborate with team members and engage with busy clinicians and service users.
  • Ability to clean and check quantitative data and undertake basic analysis, using SPSS or other suitable software.
  • Experience of undertaking qualitative data analysis, ideally using NVivo or similar qualitative data analysis software.
  • Willingness to undertake occasional flexible working hours.
  • Willing to participate in formal and informal training relevant to the study.

*Additional Desirable Criteria:

  • MSc in a health/research-related subject. 
  • Experience of collaborating with mental health service users.
  • Involved in writing research reports and/or peer reviewed publications.
  • Experience of remote working.

*These responsibilities and criteria are specific to this post and are in addition to those listed as part of the Research Assistant job description

Campus site/s:  Denmark Hill

Additional information:  KCL online training:

  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
  • KCL online training: Research Integrity: The fundaments of research excellence at King’s.
  • Online EDGE (NHS research recruitment logging) training.
  • Qualitative Research Methods: Interviews.
  • Qualitative Data Collection and Analysis. 
  • Quantitative Research Analysis (course depending on level required).

In-house interview training, rehearsal and feedback with colleagues and lived experience advisors. Face-to-face if possible, or online.

The post-holder will be encouraged to present at the International Mental Health Research Conference in September 2022 (UK location to be confirmed).

Key Contact:  To discuss this post, please contact Professor Alan Simpson:  alan.simpson@kcl.ac.uk

About the Team

Principal Investigator:  Professor Philippa Garety

Research Group:  AVATAR2

Academic Department:  Psychology

 

About the role

Title of study / studies:  AVATAR2 Therapy Trial

Two key publications:

  1. Protocol Paper: Garety, P., Edwards, C.J., Ward, T. et al. Optimising AVATAR therapy for people who hear distressing voices: study protocol for the AVATAR2 multi-centre randomised controlled trial. Trials 22, 366 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13063-021-05301-w

  2. AVATAR therapy for auditory verbal hallucinations in people with psychosis: a single-blind, randomised controlled trial. Prof Tom KJ Craig, PhD, Mar Rus-Calafell, PhD, Thomas Ward, DClinPsy, Prof Julian P Leff, FRCPsych, Prof Mark Huckvale, PhD, Elizabeth Howarth, PhD, Prof Richard Emsley, PhD, Prof Philippa A Garety, PhD Open Access Published: November 23, 2017 DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/S2215-0366(17)30427-3

Summary of role:  The post-holder will have experience across a range of skills and activities involved in delivering a clinical trial. This includes support with recruitment of eligible participants to the trial and conduct clinical research assessments at baseline, 16 weeks, and 28 weeks with participants. These assessments include standardised clinical interviews and self-report questionnaires focusing on psychosis and related difficulties (low mood, low motivation, distress, trauma). They will also support with recruitment into the trial and develop skills in working with clinicians to refer eligible people from their caseload. They will work to engage interested clients and support them to complete assessments. The post-holder will conduct data entry and management and work alongside two research assistants and the KCL trial coordinator to ensure high quality trial delivery. They will also work across sites with researchers in North London, Manchester and Glasgow to ensure consistency in assessments. The post-holder will have the opportunity to contribute to publications if this is of interest to them. The post-holder will also take part in promotional activities i.e., presentations to teams, presenting at conferences.

*Key responsibilities:

  • To liaise with staff in local participating NHS teams to promote the research and to identify suitable participants to participate.
  • To clearly communicate information regarding the research to potential participants and support them in the informed consent process, including assessment of capacity to provide consent.
  • To complete validated self-report measures and semi-structured interviews with participants at three time points.
  • To carry out data processing and analysis, under supervision.
  • To attend and contribute to multi-disciplinary research group meetings.
  • To promote and support Patient and Public Involvement in the project.
  • To present information regarding the research, and prepare reports, for example at NHS team meetings and other professional meetings.
  • To carry out other duties as agreed with the research team.

*Additional Essential Criteria:

  • First degree in Psychology.
  • Excellent IT skills including Word, Excel and data management systems.
  • Data analysis skills and familiarity with SPSS.
  • Excellent organisational and project management skills.
  • High quality data input, cleaning, & data management.
  • Good interpersonal / team working skills.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Flexible approach to work.
  • Ability to conduct research to ethical standards and in an empathetic manner.
  • An understanding of working with difference and diversity in a mental health setting.
  • Proactive and able to use initiative.
  • Understanding the importance of confidentiality in management of participant data, awareness of ethics & data protection systems.
  • Able to demonstrate clear attention to detail & an organised approach to recording, storing & managing data acquired.

*Additional Desirable Criteria:

  • MSc in relevant field e.g. Mental Health Studies or Psychology.
  • Experience of conducting research within a clinical population.

*These responsibilities and criteria are specific to this post and are in addition to those listed as part of the Research Assistant job description

Campus site/s:  Denmark Hill

Additional information:  The post-holder will have training in delivering several established assessments of psychosis and other symptoms in research: Psychotic Symptoms Rating Scale ; Scale for the Assessment of Positive Symptoms; Clinical Assessment interview for Negative Symptoms; Mini- Trauma and Life Events Checklist ; International Trauma Questionnaire ; Beck Depression Inventory ; Clinical Service Receipt Inventory; EQ-5D-5L; and others. The post-holder will have training in data entry and data management as well as broader aspects of conduct of a clinical trial of a psychological intervention. This includes experience of working across sites and understanding the role of oversight committees, governance, ethics and good clinical practice in research. The post-holder will have training in effective Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) in an RCT and experience of working with our PPI reference group. The post-holder will receive training on psychological models of psychosis and voice-hearing as well as engagement and clinical skills with this population. The post-holder will have developed recruitment and presentation skills with training provided. The post-holder will be expected to complete the Good Clinical Practice course as well as GDPR courses provided by KCL. Training will be provided on informed consent principles. There will be no costs incurred for any of this training. 

Key Contact:  To discuss this post, please contact Dr Clementine Edwards:  clementine.edwards@kcl.ac.uk

About the Team

Principal Investigator:  Dr Alexandra Georgescu

Research Group:  ADHD Research Lab (Dr. Ellie Dommett)

Academic Department:  Psychology - Health Psychology

 

About the role

Title of study / studies:  Assessing a novel occulomotor biomarker of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and examining the efficacy of anti-saccade eye movement training as a novel treatment.

Two key publications:

  1. Karatekin, C. (2006). Improving antisaccade performance in adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Experimental brain research, 174(2), 324-341.
  2. Overton, P. G. (2008). Collicular dysfunction in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Medical Hypotheses, 70(6), 1121-1127.

Summary of role:  The post-holder will work on an experimental study investigating the effects of anti-saccade training on microsaccade rate and impulsivity in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in adults. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is the most common neurodevelopmental disorder, affecting 6% of children and 3% of adults worldwide. Despite its prevalence the underlying neurobiology is still unknown and existing treatments limited. For children, several psychosocial treatments are typically offered prior to medication. In contrast, medication is the first-line treatment for adults. In both age groups, the most commonly prescribed medications are psychostimulants. However, these treatments are less than ideal because residual symptoms remain; side effects can be unpleasant and there are concerns about drug abuse. Given the limitations of current treatments, alternatives are being explored. The project is addressing a gap in the literature by: 1) assessing whether microsaccade rate can provide a biomarker for attentional and impulsivity impairment in ADHD and by 2) establishing whether an anti-saccade training programme can produce significant improvement in measures of inattention and impulsivity in individuals with ADHD both in terms of statistical and clinical significance. The Research Assistant will be required to work with the research team to recruit participants, be responsible for the testing of participants, as well as data sorting and conducting analysis. They will receive any necessary training and ongoing supervision from the investigators. Additionally, King’s offers excellent researcher training activities in a range of skills from statistics to report writing and the post-holder will be actively encouraged to engage in professional development.

*Key responsibilities:

  • Recruitment of participants through organisation of institutional advertisements and contact with external organisations where appropriate.
  • Allocation of participants to groups based on screening data.
  • Arranging & conducting testing with individual participants. This will involve further screening prior to cognitive testing with and without eye tracking. 
  • Data analysis of all data with support and guidance from the research team.
  • Communication with the research team, collaborators and any undergraduate project students will be required on a regular basis.
  • Testing takes places in shared facilities so the post holder will have to liaise with other users appropriately.
  • Responsible for communicating with all participants professionally.
  • The post is based within the psychology department –a thriving community of students and staff at all levels and it is therefore expected that they will contribute to this community attending relevant seminars and research meetings.
  • The post-holder is expected to work independently to ensure daily tasks and ongoing workloads are priorities and completed in agreed timeframes.
  • Anticipate and manage problems that may affect the achievement of research objectives and project timeframes.
  • Contribute to the appropriate collection and management of information with full awareness of needs for confidentiality and data protection.

*Additional Essential Criteria:

  • First degree in Psychology or allied health related subject
  • Excellent IT skills including Word, Excel and data management systems.
  • Intermediate data analysis skills in a specialised software or language like SPSS, JASP or R.
  • Well-developed problem-solving skills.
  • Ability to work independently.
  • Proactive and able to use initiative.
  • Excellent organisational skills.
  • Experience with Data input, cleaning, & data management.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Flexible approach to work.
  • Good interpersonal / team working skills.
  • Experience with cognitive testing and/or eye tracking.
  • Ability to conduct research to ethical standards and in an empathetic manner.
  • Able to demonstrate clear attention to detail & an organised approach to recording, storing & managing data acquired.
  • Understanding the importance of confidentiality in management of participant data, awareness of ethics & data protection systems.

*Additional Desirable Criteria:

  • MSc in relevant field e.g. Mental Health Studies or Psychology.
  • Experience of conducting research within a clinical population.
  • Interest in developing an academic or research career.

*These responsibilities and criteria are specific to this post and are in addition to those listed as part of the Research Assistant job description

Campus site/s:  Guy's Campus at London Bridge.

Additional information:  Training will involve eye-tracking stimulus presentation and data analysis (by supervisor), advanced data analysis (SPSS syntax & Python programming, by supervisor), Gorilla software use (experiment programming for lab and online experiments, by supervisor), project management & dissemination (KCL Skills Forge courses are online or on face to face on campus, as well as online on LinkedIn Learning or Nature Writing Masterclasses).

The post-holder will be encouraged to present at an EPS meeting, if possible. They will also be required to give informal presentations at the lab and the departmental meetings.

Key Contact:  To discuss this post, please contact  Dr Alexandra Georgescu:  alexandra.georgescu@kcl.ac.uk or Dr Eleanor Dommett:  eleanor.dommett@kcl.ac.uk

About the Team

Principal Investigator:  Professor Emmanuelle Peters

Research Group:  Psychosis

Academic Department:  Psychology

 

About the role

Title of study / studies:

  1. The STAR (Study of Trauma And Recovery) trial: Multisite RCT of Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for psychosis to reduce post-traumatic stress symptoms in people with co-morbid post-traumatic stress disorder and psychosis, compared to Treatment as Usual.
  2. How does the STAR therapy affect the mind and brain? Therapeutic targets for the effective psychological treatment of trauma sequelae symptoms and psychosis in patients with comorbid schizophrenia spectrum disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: Psychological and neural mechanisms.
  3. Development of SlowMo 2: a digital therapy for the treatment of paranoia.

Two key publications:

  1. Keen, N., Hunter, E.C.M., Peters, E. (2017) Integrated Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy for Psychosis:  a  Case-Series Study using Imaginal Reprocessing Strategies for Post-traumatic Stress and Psychotic Symptoms.  Frontiers in Psychiatry, 8:92.  https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2017.00092

  2. Garety, P. et al (2021) Effects of SlowMo, a blended digital therapy targeting reasoning, on paranoia among people with psychosis. JAMA Psychiatry, https://doi.org/10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2021.0326

Summary of role:  The post-holder should be enthusiastic about research in, and psychological therapies for, trauma and psychosis. They will have the opportunity to contribute to all studies, but they will have the choice to focus on one or two if preferred. The post-holder will work with an internationally renowned team of experts in trauma and psychosis, including clinical academics, clinical psychologists and psychiatrists, neuroimagers, statisticians and health economists. STAR is running in 5 sites across England (London; Sussex; Oxford; Manchester; Newcastle), with the host site in London. All of the sites have a vibrant and active research community, and there will be opportunities to attend national team meetings and other career development activities. The primary role will be to assist in the running of the studies, working with the STAR team of researchers and clinicians. STAR has been actively recruiting since November 2020, so tasks will include liaising with and presenting to local NHS teams and staff members, assisting in the identification and recruitment of appropriate participants, meeting with participants to collect outcome data, writing assessment reports and entering the data for analysis. The post-holder will assist with general administrative tasks and preparation of reports for the NIHR, and other tasks as required. They will assist in consenting participants for the two add-on mechanism studies (ESM and fMRI), and administering of research procedures. Recruitment is due to continue until July 2022, and follow-up assessments will continue until August 2024. The post-holder will also have opportunities to be involved in the interdisciplinary design and development of SlowMo v2, working with a team of experts-by-experiences, software developers, clinicians, researchers and designers. This will involve planning and administration of co-design workshops with experts-by-experiences and clinicians, product management support and usability testing of prototypes. Work is due to commence in October 2021 until May 2022.

*Key responsibilities:

  • Clinical and Client Care:
    To clearly communicate information regarding the research to potential participants and support them in the informed consent process, including assessment of capacity to provide consent.
    To complete validated self-report and interview outcome measures with participants, at four time-points.
    To conduct telephone interviews with participants during the follow-up period of the trial.
    To write brief reports of the assessments, with participants’ consent, for the referring team.

  • Contributing to team or service clinical functioning:
    To liaise with staff in local participating NHS teams to promote the research and to identify suitable participants to participate.
    To carry out data processing and analysis, under supervision.
    To attend and contribute to site research meetings.
    To present information regarding the research, and prepare reports, for example at team and other professional meetings.
    To carry out other duties as agreed with the research team.
    To be mindful that the research operates in services for diverse local communities.

  • Policy and service development:
    To follow policies and procedures in own area of work.
    To be aware of all Trust policies relevant to the post.
    To participate in the consultation and engagement of service users in planning and delivering services which meet the needs of local communities.

  • Care or management of resources:
    To take care of, and use carefully, the Trust’s equipment and physical resources.
    To ensure that the post-holder has sufficient resources by estimating future needs and requesting supplies as needed. KR 5 Teaching and Training •
    To participate in the training provided by the STAR team for Research Workers.
    To support other training activities of the team as required.

  • Record-keeping and Information Governance:
    To ensure that all information generated by own work is recorded as required by Trust policies and local procedures.
    To maintain the highest standards of clinical record keeping and report writing, according to professional and Trust guidelines, including electronic data entry.

  • Research and development:
    To assist in the implementation of the STAR trial and associated studies conducted within the team as required.
    To contribute to transcribing and analysing qualitative data as required.
    To maintain data bases and enter data, and perform analyses and produce reports using IT and statistical programmes, as required.
    To contribute to newsletters, papers, and other written materials, and conference presentations as required.

  • Maintaining professional standards and continuing professional development:
    To receive regular clinical and professional research supervision in accordance with professional practice guidelines.
    To gain wider experience of professional psychology and research within the NHS over and above that provided within the principal service area where the post-holder is employed.
    To develop skills and competencies that assist in the delivery of current duties.
    To undertake personal training relevant to the post in agreement with the supervisor.

  • General:
    To travel to community teams and across the Trust when required.
    To be aware of risk amongst the client group, and follow trust policies relating to its management.
    To respond appropriately and professionally to emotionally distressing situations and to support others involved in such situations.

*Additional Essential Criteria:

  • A Bachelors degree with Honours in Psychology that is accredited by the British Psychological Society and confers the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership of the British Psychological Society.
  • Graduate level knowledge of psychological research methodology and statistical analysis.
  • Good theoretical knowledge of the problems experienced by and the needs of people experiencing trauma and psychosis.
  • Knowledge of psychological models relevant to psychosis and evidence base for related interventions.
  • Awareness of racial and diversity issues through attendance of relevant training.
  • Experience of working with psychosis.
  • Experience of assessment and / or research with people with psychosis or complex needs.
  • Experience of conducting psychological research projects or audits.
  • Experience that supports working with, and addressing issues of, diversity within local communities. This may have been gained through work, research, volunteering and / or lived experience.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills to facilitate engagement and interaction with people with psychosis and complex needs.
  • Well-developed verbal and written communication skills including communicating complex, information to clients, families and colleagues.
  • Skills in engaging and working with local NHS teams and staff.
  • Skills in providing supporting teaching and training provided by psychologists or others to other professional groups.
  • Well-developed IT skills including entry and analysis of research data. 
  • Ability to administer clinical research assessments to people with psychosis, that enable working as a pre-qualified practitioner with close clinical supervision.
  • Ability to work both independently and as part of a team.
  • Ability to work effectively within a team, participating in effective team functioning and holding team roles.
  • Ability to identify and follow relevant clinical governance procedures.
  • Ability to maintain concentration and to remain in restricted positions for long periods during observations, assessments and psychological interventions.
  • Ability to manage occasional emotionally stressful situations such as working with victims of abuse or trauma, or with people who engage in severe self-harming or aggressive behaviour.
  • Ability to communicate complex, sensitive or contentious information to people who may have impediments to understanding.
  • Ability to manage verbal abuse and hostility directed at self.

*Additional Desirable Criteria:

  • Experience of working with people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • Experience of administering cognitive tasks or running experiments.
  • A desire to explore a career in clinical psychology.
  • Experience of managing complex databases in SPSS.
  • Experience of presentations to other professional groups.

*These responsibilities and criteria are specific to this post and are in addition to those listed as part of the Research Assistant job description

Campus site/s:  Denmark Hill.  The post-holder may be required to travel across the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust to assess participants from the four boroughs of Southwark, Lambeth, Lewisham & Croydon, although currently much of the work is done remotely. There may be occasional travel to the other sites (e.g., Oxford or Sussex).

Additional information:  The post holder will receive training in the STAR trial assessment measures, communicating with people with trauma and psychosis, and presenting to clinical teams. They will also receive training in ESM and neuroimaging procedures. We have developed extensive training procedures and resources for Research Workers, all available on our SharePoint site. The trial coordinator will guide the post-holder through all training requirements, which consist of a mixture of online and in-house training, observations of current Research Workers doing assessments, and being observed by members of the team before being ‘passed out’. The post-holder will complete the necessary induction courses for fMRI procedures. The post-holder will be able to attend any in-person top-up training occurring during their time working with the team. There are no costs involved. The post holder will be supported by the SlowMo team to acquire skills and knowledge in relation to co-design and supporting product development, with this learning supported by outputs from the SlowMo trial and open access training materials, such as from the Design Council. There are no costs involved.

Key Contact:  To discuss this post, please contact Dr Amy Hardy:  amy.hardy@kcl.ac.uk

About the Team

Principal Investigator:  Dr Sam Norton

Research Group:  Health Psychology (IoPPN) & Centre for Rheumatic Diseases (Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine)

Academic Department:  Psychology - Health Psychology

 

About the role

Title of study / studies:  APPro: App-based collection of patient reported outcomes in rheumatic conditions

Two key publications:

  1. May, M., Junghaenel, D. U., Ono, M., Stone, A. A., & Schneider, S. (2018). Ecological momentary assessment methodology in chronic pain research: a systematic review. The Journal of Pain, 19(7), 699-716.
  2. Tung, H. Y., Galloway, J., Matcham, F., Hotopf, M., & Norton, S. (2021). High-frequency follow-up studies in musculoskeletal disorders: a scoping review. Rheumatology, 60(1), 48-59.

Summary of role: The role will mainly involve assisting with recruitment to the APPro study and assist with the preparation of manuscripts. This study aims to recruit 40 people with rheumatoid arthritis initiating targeted therapies (e.g. anti-TNF, JAKi's) and to monitor the speed of the impact of these therapies on mental and physical health symptoms, sleep and physical activity. Participants are provided with a wearable activity monitor and complete symptoms ratings (ecological momentary assessments) 6 times per day for a period of 3 days before treatment initiation to 28 days after initiation. Specifically, regarding recruitment the post-holder will attend weekly multi-disciplinary team meetings to identify patients who will be initiating targeted therapies in the next few weeks, they will then approach them and invite them to participate in the study, enrol those who consent, set up the data collection platform and send out wearable devices to enrolled patients, monitor data collection during the 30 days of follow up, and debrief patients at study end. Alongside recruitment activities there would be an opportunity to undertake training in longitudinal methods for the analysis intensive longitudinal data, as well as further training in GCP and data protection. The person would also have the opportunity to spend some time shadowing members of the rheumatology team, including rheumatologists and clinical psychologists.

*Key responsibilities:

  • Attend weekly multi-disciplinary team meetings to identify patients who will be initiating targeted therapies.

  • Approach eligible patient and invite them to participate in the study.

  • Enrol those who consent, set up the data collection platform, and send out wearable devices to participants.

  • Monitor data collection during the 30 days of follow up Debrief patients at study end (potentially undertaking brief qualitative interview).

  • Assist with the preparation of manuscripts for publication.

*Additional Essential Criteria:

  • BSc Psychology, or closely related area
  • Experience of recruitment to research studies, including remotely by phone or video call

*Additional Desirable Criteria:

  • Experience with using statistical software to analyse longitudinal data (Stata, R or SPSS)
  • Knowledge of GCP and conducting research within the NHSx

*These responsibilities and criteria are specific to this post and are in addition to those listed as part of the Research Assistant job description

Campus site/s:  Denmark Hill and Guy's campus at London Bridge.

Additional information: Training will include Good Clinical Practice and General Data Protection.  The post-holder will have the opportunity to shadow healthcare professionals in outpatient clinics (e.g. rheumatologists, clinical psychologists).  Training will be provided in the analysis of intensive longitudinal data (via the line manager and online courses).

The post-holder will be expected to attend and potentially present at one relevant conference in 2022 - e.g. British Society of Rheumatology annual conference (May 2022), European Health Psychology conference (Aug 2022). It has not yet been confirmed whether these will take place in person or online.

Key Contact:  To discuss this post, please contact Dr Sam Norton:  sam.norton@kcl.ac.uk

About the Team

Principal Investigator:  Professor Gerome Breen and Dr Juliana Onwumere

Research Group:  The NIHR BioResource for Mental Health

Academic Department:  Social, Genetic & Developmental Psychiatry

 

About the role

Title of study / studies:  NIHR Bioresource South London African Ancestry (SLAA) Cohort study

Two key publications:

  1. Davies, M. R., Kalsi, G., Armour, C., Jones, I. R., McIntosh, A. M., Smith, D. J., ... & Breen, G. (2019). The Genetic Links to Anxiety and Depression (GLAD) Study: Online recruitment into the largest recontactable study of depression and anxiety. Behaviour research and therapy, 123, 103503.
  2. Dikilitas, O., Schaid, D. J., Kosel, M. L., Carroll, R. J., Chute, C. G., Denny, J. A., ... & Kullo, I. J. (2020). Predictive utility of polygenic risk scores for coronary heart disease in three major racial and ethnic groups. The American Journal of Human Genetics, 106(5), 707-716.xx

Summary of role:  The research assistant will work with the PIs to carry out PPI and protocol development to enable the launch of the NIHR BioResource South London African Ancestry Project, which is a project that aims to recruit >5,000 African ancestry individuals from South London with a focus on mental health, Sickle Cell, pregnancy outcomes, and diabetes. The post-holder will help conduct Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement sessions with relevant communities to discuss the rationale, design, implementation, and dissemination of the research project. We plan for these sessions to take place in person (e.g. places of worship), and remotely. The post-holder will assist in the submission of ethics applications, including protocols and amendments, hosting meetings and presentations to update on the project progress.

*Key responsibilities:

  • Liaise with the wider research team, stakeholders, and collaborators to successfully launch this project.

  • Create materials and documentation necessary for the pre-launch, launch, and recruitment of this project (including creating and being responsible for ethics applications).

  • Hosting PPI sessions, focus-groups, and interviews (both in-person and online).

*Additional Essential Criteria:

  • A willingness to learn new skills and an enthusiasm for increasing research into Black physical and mental health.

*Additional Desirable Criteria:

  • Due to the nature of the study, we would value applications from people from the black community in South London.

*These responsibilities and criteria are specific to this post and are in addition to those listed as part of the Research Assistant job description

Campus site/s:  Denmark Hill and Guy's campus at London Bridge.

Additional information:  We will offer a variety of training tailored to the needs of the intern, including a General Bioresource Team induction, Wellbeing and resilience training, NIHR Good Clinical Practice Training, Cultural Competency & D&I Training, Peer and Community Research Course, Social Media training, Data Analysis / report writing, Database training, and Ethics and R&D Training.

The project could be presented at the NIHR and King's Health Partners' conferences, and conferences such as the European Society of Human Genetics.

Key Contact:  To discuss this post, please contact Professor Gerome Breen:  gerome.breen@kcl.ac.uk or Dr Juliana Onwumere:  juliana.1.onwumere@kcl.ac.uk

About the Team

Principal Investigator:  Dr Sylvane Desrivieres

Research Group: ESTRA - Eating disorders STRAtification

Academic Department:  Social, Genetic & Developmental Psychiatry

 

About the role

Title of study / studies:  ESTRA, STRATIFY, IMAGEN

Two key publications:

  1. Zhang, Z., …>30 authors... and Desrivières, S. Development of Disordered Eating Behaviors and Comorbid Depressive Symptoms in Adolescence: Neural and Psychopathological Predictors (2020) Biological Psychiatry. 2020 Jun 10;S0006-3223(20)31672-3. 2.
  2. Robinson L., …>30 authors and Desrivières, S., IMAGEN Consortium. Association of Genetic and Phenotypic Assessments With Onset of Disordered Eating Behaviors and Comorbid Mental Health Problems Among Adolescents (2020) JAMA Network Open, 2020 Dec 1;3(12):e2026874.

Summary of role:  The post-holder will work on the ESTRA study aimed at early detection and stratification of eating disorders and comorbid mental illnesses. This study, that identifies predictors and correlates of eating disorders in longitudinally collected samples, involves comprehensive assessments of patients with diagnoses of anorexia nervosa (AN) or bulimia nervosa (BN), including collection of neuroimaging (multiple modalities of magnetic resonance imaging), genomics, psychological and behavioural measures. The post-holder will coordinate and execute the second phase of the study, which will involve a follow-up assessment of the original ESTRA sample and the recruitment of new participants who have recovered from AN or BN. The successful candidate will recruit and assess participants using a range of neuropsychological and neurocognitive tasks, run MRI scans and collect biological samples. He/she will coordinate all communication with participants, including sending MRI brain images and arranging participant reimbursement. The position provides excellent opportunities for an ambitious individual to develop unique skills and expertise in clinical neuroscience. This post is also a unique opportunity to work with a worldwide network of collaborators and develop innovative research using cutting-edge approaches.

 

*Key responsibilities: 

  • Engaging service users in research. The post-holder will be expected to recruit and assess participants. This activity will take place in a variety of sites, including all sites of the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust Eating Disorders Unit and other participating Eating Disorder Units.
  • Assisting clinical staff in providing information so that the service user may make an informed decision about their participation.
  • Assisting participants with the completion of questionnaires as necessary. Coordinate assessments, investigations, follow-up as necessary in accordance with the research protocol.
  • Attending multidisciplinary meetings and liaise between research and clinical activities.
  • Identifying and communicate areas of difficulties and help develop mechanisms of improvement in collaboration with the research team.
  • Working at all times according to Good Clinical Practice, Research Governance and Trust guidelines.
  • Work as a conscientious and committed member of the team in order to achieve the aims of the project.

*Additional Essential Criteria:

  • Degree in Psychology or Neuroscience.
  • Communication skills and the ability to convey the goals of the project to patients/service users.
  • An ability to work effectively with a wide range of colleagues.
  • Excellent computer and statistical skills.
  • Experience of using databases (Microsoft Access, Excel, SPSS, STATA).
  • Relevant research experience, e.g. conducting quantitative and qualitative research • Experience of administering psychological/cognitive assessments in a research setting.
  • Good attention to detail and high standards of accuracy in all aspects of work.
  • Available to work weekends when necessary.

*Additional Desirable Criteria:

  • Experience of working with people with mental illness.
  • Experience in collecting and processing biological samples.
  • Experience working with neuroimaging.

*These responsibilities and criteria are specific to this post and are in addition to those listed as part of the Research Assistant job description

Campus site/s:  Denmark Hill.

Additional information:  Project-specific training will be provided by a multidisciplinary set of postdoctoral researchers and PhD students working on the project, ensuring that the post-holder benefits from an extensive and well-rounded training to develop new skills. Trainings for recruitment/assessment, neuroimaging and genomics data processing will be provided within the research team. The post-holder will also be trained for communication and oral presentation and are expected to present their research within the research group and colleagues within the BRC and Eating Disorder Unit.

The post-holder will have the opportunity to attend / present at a conference such as the International Conference on Eating Disorders.

Key Contact:  To discuss this post, please contact Dr Sylvane Desrivieres:  sylvane.desrivieres@kcl.ac.uk

About the Team

Principal Investigator:  Professor Thalia Eley

Research Group:  Emotional Development, Intervention and Treatment (EDIT) Lab

Academic Department:  Social, Genetic & Developmental Psychiatry

About the role

Title of study / studies:  Twins Early Development Study (TEDS)

Two key publications:

  1. This is an overview of the TEDS cohort: Rimfeld, K., Malanchini, M., Spargo, T., Spickernell, G., Selzam, S., McMillan, A., Dale, P.S., Eley, T.C., Plomin, R. (2019). The Twins Early Development Study: a genetically sensitive investigation into behavioural and cognitive development from infancy to emerging adulthood. Twin Research and Human Genetics, 16(1):1-9. doi:10.1017/thg.2019.56
  2. This is a paper using the type of predictive approach we plan to use with the mental health data currently being collected. The post holder would not run these types of analyses, but heir work would be very informative in understanding who we have in the sample (and why) when interpreting these types of analyses: Peel, A. J., Purves, K. L., Baldwin, J. R., Breen, G., Coleman, J. R. I., Pingault, J.-B., Skelton, M., ter Kuile, A. R., Danese, A., & Eley, T. C. (2021). Genetic and early environmental predictors of adulthood self-reports of trauma. medRxiv, 2021.06.09.21258603.

Summary of role:  We will invite adult twins self-identifying as Black to participate in focus groups exploring their views about contributing to research. First, the post-holder will write the ethics application, supported by the TEDS team. Next, they will invite TEDS twins who self-identify as Black (63 families, 126 twins) to take part in focus groups. They will also attempt to trace some twins self-identifying as Black who have dropped out of the study to see if they would also be willing to engage in the focus groups. This effort will be aided by the postal leaflet we will send to all twins enrolled in the study at the start of the medical record linkage work, reminding those who forgot about their being enrolled in TEDS. The focus groups will seek to understand views around reasons for participating in TEDS, the importance of medical research, and the importance of engaging Black individuals in medical research. They will specifically address research into mental health, genetics, and genetic research into mental health, as these are areas which evoke mixed reactions from members from the Black community. Focus groups will involve 6-10 participants in order to ensure a range of views. We hope that ~50% of those currently engaged in TEDS will participate (~60 adult twins) so we expect to run 6-8 focus groups. The post holder will then perform thematic analyses and write these up for publication. The design of the focus groups and the qualitative analyses of the resultant data will be undertaken in collaboration with Dr Vanessa Lawrence, a senior researcher in qualitative and social science. This project provides an invaluable learning opportunity for the post-holder to lead an entire project from start to finish. This is only feasible because it is a relatively modest spin-off from an established project, support by a very experienced team.

*Key responsibilities:

  • Write ethics application
  • Invite participants by email
  • Answer participant questions (by email or phone as appropriate)
  • Prepare for and run 6-8 focus groups
  • Undertake thematic analyses of the data
  • Write up the findings for publication

*Additional Essential Criteria:

  • Enthusiasm for understanding barriers to members of the Black community engaging in research.
  • Understanding of and commitment to equality of opportunity and good working relationships.
  • Interest in mental health research.
  • 'Can do' attitude.

*Additional Desirable Criteria:

  • Prior experience of writing an ethics application.
  • Prior experience of interviewing participants and/or undertaking qualitative analyses.
  • Interest in genetic research into mental health.

*These responsibilities and criteria are specific to this post and are in addition to those listed as part of the Research Assistant job description

Campus site/s:  Denmark Hill.

Additional information: The Principal Investigator (Prof Eley) will provide weekly supervision and support to the postholder for the entire year, engaging actively in all aspects of the study. Specific training for elements of this role will be provided by members of the TEDS study team, Prof Eley’s wider group, and/or the collaborator (Dr Vanessa Lawrence). For example, the TEDS team will support writing the ethics applications and contacting participants, whereas Dr Lawrence will provide training in thematic analyses.

Funding will be provided for the post-holder to take part in at least one conference. This could include, for example, a CLOSER (UK Longitudinal Studies) conference, or the British Psychological Society annual conference.

Key Contact:  To discuss this post, please contact Professor Thalia Eley:  thalia.eley@kcl.ac.uk

 

Closing date for applications: Sunday 12 September 2021 (23.59 hrs). 

Interviews are scheduled for the week of 04 October 2021 - day to be confirmed

Applications must be submitted via the King's College London on-line application system.  The link to the on-line application system is available on the King's College London website - scroll down the King's page to Apply for job.