Research Associate

London (Greater) (GB)
£38,304 – £40,414, including London Weighting Allowance
Feb 19, 2021
End of advertisement period
Mar 14, 2021
Academic Discipline
Social Sciences, Sociology
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Part Time

Job description 

We are seeking to employ a mixed methods researcher to join a multi-disciplinary team led from King's College London (KCL) and including GamCare, the UK's largest gambling support charity, to work on a study to develop a 'trigger' question to identify people affected by gambling-related harms. This one-item screening question will then be tested out in three Local Authorities (LAs).

This is an NHIR funded study and the role will start in 1st June for 2 days a week for 20 months.

The team plans to validate a new 'trigger' question which can be used with enquirers and service users and test its feasibility and effectiveness in three LAs. This will enable people affected by gambling harm to be put in touch with support and to build up a picture of the numbers affected and potential costs to LAs. This is important as there is a lack of data about gambling harms and costs to the public.

The RA will be involved in organisation of (virtual) meetings and data collection and analysis in all three phases of the study:

  • Development phase:
  • Literature review and development/validation of the screening measure. This will involve organising virtual lay/expert/cognitive testing groups and co-ordination with a third party who will undertake sensitivity/specificity testing. Also, involvement in development of materials for LA staff.
  • Implementation phase:
  • Co-ordination with GamCare who will train staff in three LAs to use the 'trigger' question with enquirers/service users and signpost those affected by gambling harms.
  • Evaluation stage:
  • The RA will assist with data organisation for comparing question responses across the three sites to support the study statistician. The RA will undertake qualitative interviews with service users and staff to assess the acceptability of using the trigger tool.

Expertise, knowledge and experience of mixed-methods research are  necessary. Knowledge of research in the social care sector is desirable. The role includes co-ordination with a wide group of team members and experience of qualitative and quantitative methods. The role involves conducting a literature review, qualitative interviews and data analysis and research paper drafting.

Enthusiasm in developing a career in social care research will be beneficial and we are a supportive team that can assist with developing future grants and taking ideas forward.

The role is set in the NIHR Policy Research Unit in Health & Social Care Workforce that exists to develop research knowledge in the health and social care workforce field and to disseminate findings to policymakers, professionals and service users.
HSCWRU's Director is Professor Jill Manthorpe. We have an active programme of Patient & Public Involvement and Engagement and conduct a wide range of studies. HSCWRU is part of the Policy Institute within the Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy. Our offices are in the Virginia Woolf Building on the Strand. The Policy Institute is engaged in the translation of academic research at King's College for the benefit of society.

This post will be offered on an a fixed-term contract for 20 months
This is a part-time post - 40% full time equivalent

Key responsibilities 

  • Assisting with the study literature review
  • Co-ordination with study partners (GamCare, three LAs, advisory group, PPI lead, screening and cost-benefit leads etc.)
  • Assisting in the organisation of lay/expert focus groups to develop the trigger question and accompanying materials for LA staff.
  • Assisting colleagues with quantitative data organisation enabling investigation of question responses across the three sites
  • Conduct short qualitative evaluation interviews of the acceptability of the trigger question for LA enquirers/service users and staff
  • Undertaking data analysis, and assisting with writing up reports, publications and dissemination material
  • Responsible for conducting research in an ethical manner, maintaining participant confidentiality and keeping data secure
  • Assisting with study organisation - Advisory Group and PPI meeting arrangement, seminars organisation.
  • Ensure smooth delivery, on time, of final study outputs, but remain responsive to intermediate deliverables
  • Be an active contributor to HSCWRU's ongoing work, in the form of contributing to blogs, presenting at forums/meetings and engaging with other colleagues
    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 (finalised or near completion) in health/social care research and analysis or related area or equivalent experience
  • Experience of undertaking literature reviews, evidence assessments and data gathering in a fast-paced research environment
  • Experience of contributing to formal processes of study development, such as gaining ethical approval, developing interview materials, report and journal writing.
  • Experience of coordinating with a range of stakeholders to ensure outputs delivered on time
  • Experience of qualitative research in health/social care, including co-ordinating with gate-keepers, recruitment of participants and undertaking interviews and analysis
  • Experience of organisation of quantitative research in health/social care
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, demonstrating a range of outputs (such as informal and formal briefings, slide presentations, journal articles)
  • Experience of using NVivo, SPSS, SurveyMonkey, Excel, Endnote
  • Good organizational skills
  • Self-starter, ability to work independently and apply initiative in day-to-day work

Desirable criteria

  • Willingness to engage actively with team members and other potential collaborators in developing a programme of research, impact and engagement

*Please note that this is a PhD level role but candidates who have submitted their thesis and are awaiting award of their PhDs will be considered. In these circumstances the appointment will be made at Grade 5, spine point 30 with the title of Research Assistant. Upon confirmation of the award of the PhD, the job title will become Research Associate and the salary will increase to Grade 6.

Further information

  • Ability to travel to LAs, conferences, interviews and so on when Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.

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