Research Assistant in the Department of Psychosis Studies

King's College London

Job id: 074305. Salary: £36,532 – £39,180 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance.

Posted: 08 September 2023. Closing date: 08 October 2023.

Business unit: IoPPN. Department: Psychosis Studies.

Contact details:Professor Alice Egerton. [email protected]

Location: Denmark Hill Campus. Category: Research.

Job description

We are looking for a Research Assistant to work as part of a research team investigating the brain changes that occur in people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia using advanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET) neuroimaging techniques.   

The successful candidate will recruit healthy volunteers and adults with a diagnosis of schizophrenia to the research study and ensure all study participants have a positive experience of research participation. The researcher will interview participants (in person) to assess current levels of symptoms and cognition, collect relevant data from medical records, organise and accompany participants to the PET and MRI scan visits and assist with neuroimaging data collection. They would also lead on entering data into the study database ensuring a high level of accuracy.  

The postholder will be part of a multidisciplinary team, including researchers with expertise in the neurobiology of schizophrenia, PET and MRI data acquisition and analyses, and clinicians.  

They will be based within the Department of Psychosis Studies at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IoPPN), Denmark Hill campus. They will be required to travel to St Thomas’ Hospital campus where the PET and MRI scanners are located, and within South London and the Maudsley (SLaM) NHS Foundation Trust to support patient recruitment.  

The project is funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC), U.K. 

This post will be offered on a full-time, fixed term contract for 3 years.

Key responsibilities

  • To recruit healthy volunteers and those with a diagnosis of schizophrenia to the research study.  
  • To arrange and conduct participant assessments, including contributing to acquisition of PET and MRI data.  
  • To maintain study databases to excellent standards, ensuring data quality and integrity.  
  • To ensure adherence to study protocols, training and administrative requirements 
  • To ensure that all data is treated confidentially, in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).  
  • To develop and maintain an effective collaborative relationship with SLaM clinical teams to support participant recruitment and retainment in the study.   
  • To work collaboratively with others in the direct research team, at the imaging facilities, and wider research teams within the Departments and IoPPN.  
  • To contribute to administrative and other duties as directed. 
  • To continually update own knowledge and understanding of the field.   

The above list of responsibilities may not be exhaustive, and the post holder will be required to undertake such tasks and responsibilities as may reasonably be expected within the scope and grading of the post.  

Skills, knowledge, and experience 

Essential criteria  

1.       Undergraduate degree in psychology, neuroscience or other relevant related area.  

2.       MSc in a relevant subject or currently enrolled on MSc and near completion. 

3.       Proven ability to work effectively with multidisciplinary research and clinical teams. 

4.       Ability to interact in a professional, supportive and sensitive manner with study participants.  

5.       Good time-management and organizational skills, including ability to prioritise and manage multiple tasks.  

6.       Excellent oral and written communication skills in English. 

7.       Understanding of data protection and patient confidentiality. 

Desirable criteria

1.       Experience of recruiting and assessing people with mental health difficulties in research studies.    

2.       Experience of conducting clinical interviews, for example for assessment of symptom severity, within mental health.  

3.       Experience human brain imaging, or proven interest in this area (for example through choice of undergraduate / MSc modules or dissertation topics).  

4.       Interest in developing academic career including PhD-level study in fields of neuroimaging or mental health.  

This post is subject to Disclosure and Barring Service and Occupational Health clearance.

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