Research Assistant in Young People and Social Change

King's College London

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Job id: 078207. Salary: £36,532 – £38,166 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance.

Posted: 03 November 2023. Closing date: 19 November 2023.

Business unit: IoPPN. Department: Health Services & Population Research.

Contact details:Professor Craig Morgan. [email protected]

Location: Strand Campus. Category: Research.

Job description

We are looking to appoint an enthusiastic and motivated research assistant to join our team and contribute to high-quality research on youth mental health within the ESRC Centre for Society and Mental health (CSMH) (www.kcl.ac.uk/csmh ) at King’s College London.  The Centre brings together a unique mix of disciplines. Its ethos is to ensure that the social context is recognised as central to how we think about, understand, and respond to mental ill-health.  

The post will contribute to the successful conduct and completion of the ‘Social Change, Transitions and Young Peoples Mental Health’ programme (co-led by Prof. Craig Morgan & Prof. Helen Fisher) which focuses on investigating trajectories of mental health during the transition from adolescence to adulthood, with a particular focus on contributing to data collection for the existing REACH cohort (Resilience, Ethnicity and AdolesCent mental health; www.thereachstudy.com ) which is embedded in the programme.  

REACH investigates the developmental origins of mental health among young people from diverse backgrounds. Since its inception in 2015 (originally funded by the European Commission), over 4000 young people from South London secondary schools have taken part, providing detailed information, each year, on their mental health and putative risk and protective factors for mental health problems. Around 800 participants have also provided in-depth information about their mental health and life experiences via face-to-face interviews and tasks. The latest phase of REACH (waves 4-6) investigated the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on young people from disadvantaged and marginalised groups. 

About the role:

Working closely with the project coordinator and the research team, the post holder will primarily contribute to the completion of the next wave of REACH data collection. This will involve recontacting the existing cohort, collecting and processing data and contributing to the development and delivery of impact and engagement activities to support with maximising engagement and cohort retention.  

The post holder will also contribute to other activities (e.g., research meetings, report writing, presentations, etc.), as directed, and will be encouraged and supported to make use of the wide range of training and career development resources available at King’s and within CSMH and the department. 

About you:  

You will have a strong interest and knowledge of epidemiological research methods and/or social determinants of health, data collection experience, and excellent time management and communication skills with an ability to communicate with diverse groups. 

Applicants from minority racial and ethnic groups are strongly encouraged to apply. 

This post will be offered on a full-time, fixed term contract until 31st December 2024.

Key responsibilities

  • Recontacting the study cohort and collecting data (via online questionnaire) in accordance with the study protocol.   
  • Contribute to processing study data, including data entry, data checking, and data cleaning – ensuring databases are maintaining efficiently and accurately.  
  • Support the research team to maintain up-to-date contact information for study participants and implementation of strategies to maximise cohort retention for future research.  
  • Contribute to the development and delivery of the project’s activities to maximise impact and engagement with participants and schools.  
  • Foster good working relationships with the research team including young people community champions and community stakeholders. 
  • Contribute to coproduction activities with young people.  
  •  Contribute to the production of reports and other public facing outputs e.g., content for the study website and social media platforms, showcasing research findings.  
  • Commit to enhancing Diversity and Inclusion, to actively contribute to the Centre ED&I activities, and to the principles of Athena SWAN, Race Equality and Stonewall Charters 
  • Attend team and research meetings and contribute to the preparation of information on research progress for research leads, advisory boards and funding bodies.  
  • Undertake any training relevant to the role, including safeguarding and data protection training.  
  • Undertake any other relevant activities that may be requested in relation to these programmes of work.  

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 relevant subject (e.g., social science, sociology, psychology, health-related discipline). 

2.       Strong interest and knowledge of epidemiological research methods  

and/or social determinants of health. 

3.       Experience of data collection and analysis 

4.       Experience of working or conduction research with young people. 

5.       Excellent written and verbal communication skills, with experience of communicating effectively with young people and/or diverse groups.  

6.       Excellent organisation, prioritisation and time-management skills   

7.       Proven ability to work independently and take initiative to manage problems that may affect the achievement of research milestones and objectives.  

8.       Ability to work in an interdisciplinary and diverse team, including with young people, community partners and people with lived experience.  

9.       Experience or excellent knowledge of GDPR protocol.  

10.   Awareness of practical and ethical issues involved in studies of young people and mental health. 

Desirable criteria

1.   Master’s degree in a relevant area (e.g., mental health sciences, psychology, public health, sociology)  

2.   Experience of delivering high quality public engagement activities 

3.   Experience of using creative methods to engage people in research.  

4.   Knowledge of basic statistical methods and using statistical software (STATA or R).  

This post is subject to a Disclosure and Barring Service clearance.

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