Research Associate/ Trial Manager
This is an exciting new position where the successful candidate will have the opportunity to work as part of an internationally leading team of researchers investigating cannabinoid-based treatments for neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders and play a key role in a new line of research investigating the safety, efficacy and mechanism of action of a novel cannabinoid-based pharmacological treatment for Parkinson’s disease psychosis. The team has a particular interest in investigating the mechanism of action of cannabinoids and a key component of this program of work will involve the application of cutting-edge neuroimaging techniques (such as fMRI) to investigate the neural substrates underpinning psychosis in Parkinson’s disease and examine the effect of treatment on these neural substrates. As part of this role, the appointed person will be directly involved in a multi-centre randomised clinical trial to evaluate this new pharmacological treatment for people with Parkinson’s disease Psychosis. The person will be based in the Academic Psychiatry Division of IoPPN at KCL and will work closely with the CI for this study, Prof Sagnik Bhattacharyya (https://www.kcl.ac.uk/people/professor-sagnikbhattacharyya) and other investigators based at King’s College London, in particular Dr Latha Velayudhan (https://www.kcl.ac.uk/people/dr-latha-velayudhan), based in the Old Age Psychiatry department at King’s College London.
This post is currently funded for 36 months with an anticipated start from July 2021. However, the post holder will be employed for 12 months in the first instance, which will be extended subject to satisfactory progress of the study. The start date is flexible and may be negotiated with the right candidate. The successful candidate will have a PhD or degree in Psychology or a related area (2:1 or above) and will need excellent communication skills. Previous experience in the management and co-ordination of clinical trials is desirable but not essential; however, appropriate academic and/or vocational qualifications are necessary. This position will ideally suit a researcher who may have just completed their PhD or are in the final stages of submission. However, exceptional candidates without a PhD but with appropriate level of experience will also be considered.
The successful candidate will be encouraged to develop his/her own research interests and may have the opportunity to register for a higher degree.
They will also be part of a larger programme of research on cannabinoid-based treatments for a range of neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders at King’s College London and will interact with clinical fellows, research assistants, postdoctoral researchers and PhD students.
This post will be offered on an a fixed-term contract for 36 months
This is a full-time post - 100% full time equivalent
- The overall efficient day-to-day management of the trial.
- Recruitment, retention, training, appraisal and supervision of trial team members and liaison with other trial sites.
- Establishment of procedures to ensure adherence to trial protocols and administrative requirements.
- Ensuring the timely recruitment of trial participants with secure randomisation processes and subsequent efficient and effective data management.
- Monitoring the trial progress to ensure compliance with and adherence to the project plan and to identify, evaluate and rectify problems.
- Management of the trial budget(s) and maintenance of the accounts.
- Act as the point of contact for all external and internal agencies.
- Coordinate the preparation and publication of data, reports and information, ensuring that these meet legislative, contractual and ethical requirements.
- Understand the requirements of the various controlling bodies, agencies and frameworks, guiding the project in conforming to those requirements and co- ordinating any necessary audit processes.
- Liaison with the Trials Steering Committee and Data Monitoring and Ethics Committee with a particular view on compliance with Research Governance, Good Clinical Practice, Data Protection and Ethical Requirements.
- Provision of regular and ad hoc information, both written and verbal, to all the trial participants, funders and sponsors, to include reports, updates, guidance, commitments and, possibly, a Newsletter.
- Work with the Chief Investigator to ensure that the trial is meeting its targets, is producing meaningful output and to predict and plan any changes that warrant requests to changes in protocol, funding or time.
- Planning and supporting the meetings and work of the various groups and bodies associated with the trial.
- Creation and maintenance of all trial files, including the trial master file, and oversight of site files.
- Assurance that personal and confidential information is restricted to those entitled to know.
- The post holder will be expected to contribute to the writing of scientific manuscripts/ research grants as directed by the Chief Investigator.
- Any other duties appropriate to the grade as directed by the Chief Investigator.
- Support other researchers/ clinicians as necessary in the coordination, recruitment and identification of study participants
- Ensure/ contribute to the timely entry of data into study databases
- To monitor and ensure data quality and integrity
- Contribute to the administration of studies
- Ensure an effective collaborative relationship with local services and other related projects
- Develop own research interest
- Undertake any other reasonable duties as required
- Deal with routine communication using a range of media
- Communicate complex information orally and in writing
- Liaise with colleagues and students and any trial oversight or management committees as may be relevant
- Contribute to collaborative decision making with colleagues in area of research
- Deal with queries of a specialist nature or liaise with appropriate team members
- Continually update knowledge and understanding in field
- Work with colleagues on joint projects as required
- Collaborate with academic colleagues on areas of shared research interest
- Attend and contribute to relevant meetings
- Show consideration to others and respect confidentiality
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
- MSc in a relevant subject (e.g. neurodegenerative disorders, clinical trials, clinical neuroscience, psychiatric research, mental health studies) or comparable qualification (eg. someone with a medical background with relevant research experience). Those with a medical background with relevant research experience are welcome to apply, but the position is not funded for a clinician.
- Ability to work effectively with multidisciplinary and clinical teams in research and ability to deal sensitively with study participants and their families/carers
- Good organisational and time management skills- strong planning and organisational skills including the ability to prioritise, manage multiple tasks
- Excellent oral and written communication skills
- An understanding of data protection and patient confidentiality
- Excellent IT skills, including the Microsoft Office Package
- Ability to prepare ethical, research and development applications and knowledge of research governance
- Previous experience of clinical research
- Previous management or organisation of research projects and clinical trials
- Willingness to travel on project business when required
- Ability to work independently and balance competing priorities under pressure of deadlines and workloads
- PhD awarded in [Psychiatry, Neuroscience or related subjects] or PhD in [Psychiatry, Neuroscience or related subjects] near completion.
- Previous research experience in Parkinson’s disease or other neurodegenerative disorders, experimental medicine studies or clinical trials
- Evidence of coordinating multiple studies/projects at the same time
- Presentation and dissemination
Please note that ideally this is a PhD level role but candidates who have submitted their thesis and are awaiting award of their PhDs will also be considered. Should the successful candidate be awaiting the award of their PhD, the appointment will be made at Grade 5, spinal point 30 with the title of Trial Manager/Research Assistant until confirmation of the award of the PhD has been received. Upon confirmation of the award of the PhD, the job title will become Trial Manager/Research Associate and the salary will increase to Grade 6, spine point 31.