OPTIMA Research Assistant, ExPAND Group

London (Greater) (GB)
£32,676 - £34,442 per annum (pro-rata; 50% FTE), including London Weighting Allowance
Wednesday, 13 January 2021
End of advertisement period
Sunday, 31 January 2021
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Part Time

OPTIMA Research Assistant, ExPAND Group

Job ID: 013004

Salary: £32,676 - £34,442 per annum (pro-rata; 50% FTE), including London Weighting Allowance

Posted: 12-Jan-2021

Closing date: 31-Jan-2021

Business unit: IoPPN Department: Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

Contact details: Dr Kasia Kostyrka-Allchorne, 

Denmark Hill Campus   Professional and support services    

Job description
The Department of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry is seeking to recruit an enthusiastic and motivated Research Assistant to work on an innovative NIHR PGfAR-funded programme: On-Line Parent Training for the Initial Management of ADHD referrals (OPTIMA).

The aim of the OPTIMA programme is to offer easy-access training and support to parents of 5-11 year-old children recently referred to services for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) - related problems, who are awaiting full clinical assessment and diagnosis. This programme will utilise a specifically developed automated online screening portal to identify the eligible families and offer parent training in the form of a digital application. The latter will be evaluated in a randomised controlled trial across several NHS Trusts in South London, Nottingham and Hampshire.

The post-holder will provide day-to-day support for a variety of the OPTIMA programme research activities, which will involve recruiting families for the study, ensuring timely data collection, and preparing data for analyses. They will be responsible to the Trial Manager and will work alongside colleagues based across all the trial centres (London, Nottingham and Hampshire). This post is suitable for applicants who have an interest in ADHD and related disorders or in digital mental health interventions.

Applicants should understand the challenges facing families of children with ADHD and behavioural problems. They should also be able to demonstrate a mature attitude to work and the ability to work independently. The capacity to work efficiently to fulfil recruitment targets and to meet the project deadlines is essential. The successful candidate will need to be willing to work flexible hours, including evenings and weekends and work across the different trial centres if required.

This is a part-time post (50%FTE). In the first instance, it will be offered for 9 months, in line with NIHR PGfAR funding policies. However, following a successful programme review, there is the possibility that NIHR funding will be continued for a further 38 months.

Key responsibilities

  • Work with the OPTIMA team to ensure the project progresses in line with the agreed timelines.
  • Support the clinical teams in using an innovative digital screening portal to facilitate recruitment into the trial.
  • Identify eligible participants and consent them into the trial remotely.
  • Assist participants in getting access to the digital intervention (a mobile phone app).
  • Administer remotely the study questionnaires (via phone, online).
  • Ensure data confidentiality, work within the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the Data Protection Act 2018 and other regulatory bodies.
  • Assist in writing up findings for funder reports and publications.

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

  • Postgraduate degree in psychology or a mental health-related field
  • Experience of working with parents/families and awareness and understanding of different family circumstances.
  • Understanding of the challenges facing families of children with ADHD and behavioural problems.
  • Ability to work independently as well as within a larger team.
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Good organisational skills
  • Motivated, professional and enthusiastic
  • Ability to deal with sensitive issues and maintain confidentiality
  • Ability to use initiative, prioritise and organise workload
  • Proactive and accustomed to anticipating issues and needs before they arise
  • Willingness/ability to work flexible hours, including evenings and weekends if required.

Desirable criteria

  • Experience of conducting qualitative research including qualitative data analysis.
  • Experience of working with families of children with neurodevelopmental and behavioural difficulties
  • Experience of implementing digital health innovations or apps
  • Experience of collecting data online or conducting telephone interviews.
  • Experience of collecting data in primary schools/from teachers.
  • Experience of working with PPIE groups
  • Writing or co-writing academic papers for peer-reviewed journals