Research Associate, Addictions

London (GB)
£38,304 - £ 39,345 per annum
Wednesday, 14 April 2021
End of advertisement period
Tuesday, 27 April 2021
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

This is an exciting opportunity for an experienced qualitative researcher to join Dr Polly Radcliffe’s team on an ESRC funded research project, “Governing parental opioid use: a relational ethnography”. The multidisciplinary study will critically examine how parents who use drugs and their families engage with health and social care services, with a focus on the quality of care that families receive, the extent to which their needs are met, and how the governance of parents affects trajectories and outcomes for families. The project has a strong focus on Public and Patient Involvement (PPI) and includes three phases: establishing a ‘learning alliance’ with stakeholders for the duration of the project, analysis of policy/practice guidance, and ethnographic research with families and services over a 21-month period.

The successful candidate will recruit and consent participants into the study; assist with the facilitation of stakeholder meetings; critically analyse policy/practice documents; conduct ethnographic field work, including qualitative interviews and focus groups with families and professionals; undertake qualitative data analysis, including managing data using software such as NVivo; contributing to project publications, report writing, other dissemination activities; and research-related administrative tasks.

The study includes two sites, one in Scotland (field work in Lothian) and one in England (field work in London). The postholder will join the London team based at the National Addiction Centre, Kings College London, under the supervision of Dr Polly Radcliffe, Principal Investigator for the London site. The Scottish team is based in the NMAHP Research Unit, under the supervision of Professor Anne Whittaker who is leading the study. The project includes academics from the Universities of Stirling, Dundee, Edinburgh, West of Scotland, Leeds, Kings College London, the NHS as well as international collaborators in the USA, Canada and Australia.

The job involves independent working and travel to research sites, an NHS research passport, and DBS application (Disclosure and Barring Service) for work with children and vulnerable adults.

This post will be offered on a fixed-term contract for 23 months.

This is a full-time post.

Key responsibilities

  • Support the Principal Investigator, research team, sponsor and funder to deliver the project in accordance with the terms of the grant and study protocol.
  • Recruit and consent participants into the study from the NHS, social services and 3rd sector agencies.
  • Liaise and maintain good links with participants/services/referrers to maximise recruitment and retention in the study.
  • Conduct home visits, following lone working policies and safety protocols, to enrol participants and conduct ethnographic fieldwork and interviews with parents/family members.
  • Undertake fieldwork in the community and within health and social services and other relevant locations to collect data on participants and services enrolled in the study.
  • Record field notes and conduct audio-taped qualitative interviews/focus groups with parents/family members and staff.
  • Arrange transcription of taped interviews/focus groups, anonymise transcripts, enter data into NVivo, code and analyse data, write up analytic reports.
  • Record and enter socio-demographic (quantitative) data using SPSS/Excel, undertake descriptive statistics, and provide reports of results.
  • Contribute to policy analysis, including data extraction, coding, analysis and write up.
  • Assist with the organisation and facilitation of public engagement events, including 'learning alliance' meetings.
  • Write up and present reports to the research team.
  • Collate funder monitoring data and contribute to funder reports and other requirements e.g. finance audits.
  • Organise research team meetings, take minutes and liaise with the Study Advisory Group as required.
  • Comply with NHS patient care and University of Stirling staff safety policies relevant to research governance e.g. Child and Adult Protection Procedures, patient confidentiality and duty of care, adverse events procedures, lone working and travel policies etc.
  • Ensure that all study data is recorded, stored, transferred, managed and destroyed in accordance with the study protocol and GPDR, data protection legislation, policies and codes of practice.
  • Conduct the study in accordance with NHS research ethics committee and R&D Office requirements and in accordance with the UK Policy Framework on Health and Social Care Research.
  • Co-write journal papers for publication, policy briefings, infographics for practitioner audiences, and lay summaries.
  • Contribute to the dissemination of research findings via conferences, seminars, practitioner workshops and other presentations.
  • Take advantage of early career researcher training and development opportunities and take part in individual and peer supervision and support.
  • Work collaboratively with other researchers in the project and the whole project team, including our International collaborators.
  • Ensure that deadlines are adhered to and the project is completed as per the study protocol and on time.

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

  • PhD awarded in an appropriate topic area (or evidence of equivalence)
  • Knowledge of qualitative methods and experience of qualitative research
  • Experience in health and/or social services research
  • Understanding of the issues involved in working with people who use substances
  • Demonstrated experience of coding and analysing qualitative data
  • Excellent organisational skills with experience of co-ordinating research projects and data collection
  • Willingness to undertake field work in community and clinic settings (within London and the UK)
  • Good computer skills with knowledge and experience of data management
  • Good academic writing and report writing skills
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively as part of a team

Desirable criteria

  • Knowledge of addiction treatment and/or child protection practice
  • Experience of using data management software (e.g. NVivo, SPSS/Excel, EndNote, Bibliographic reference libraries)
  • Experience of writing for publication in health/social sciences journals
  • Experience of patient and public involvement (PPI) in research
  • Experience of policy and/or documentary analysis
  • Experience of conducting ethnographic research, in-depth interviews and focus groups

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