Research Assistant for the 3S-YP study

London (Central), London (Greater) (GB)
£32,676 - £36,317 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance
May 12, 2021
End of advertisement period
Jun 10, 2021
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

The post holder will join the Social Media, Smartphone Use and Self-Harm (3S-YP) study, led by Dr Rina Dutta (

The rise in self-harm in young people has been linked to increasing social media and smartphone use. However, studies have been unable to identify which aspects of social media and smartphone use may increase the risk of self-harm. For example, frequency of use, nocturnal use combined with poor sleep quality, cyberbullying or a combination of these factors may increase the risk. 

The aim of the 3S-YP study is to collect real-world user-generated data to understand the relationship between social media and smartphone use and self-harm in a clinical sample of young people. The study uses online research methods for recruitment and data collection.

The post holder's primary responsibilities will be to assist with recruitment, data collection, and data management. The post holder will also contribute to data entry, data cleaning, qualitative and quantitative data analysis, general administrative duties, preparing progress reports and writing draft research papers.

The post holder will be required to work flexibly, including evenings and weekends, to support with recruitment and participation outside of usual working hours. The post is funded for 12 months. This post will be suitable for those interested in gaining experience in clinical research and online research methods.

This post will be offered on a fixed-term contract for 12 months.

This is a full-time post - 100% full time equivalent.

Key responsibilities

  • To assist with the recruitment of young people to the study
  • To act as a point of contact for participants and respond to any queries and technical issues
  • To monitor and support ongoing participation in the study
  • To assist with data management tasks including maintaining participation logs  
  • To support cleaning and analysis of free text data in electronic patient records
  • To support with qualitative analysis of social media data
  • To ensure the security and confidentiality of data
  • To attend project meetings and take notes/minutes if required
  • To prepare progress reports on recruitment and participation
  • To maintain clear and up to date written documentation
  • To undertake any administrative tasks if required
  • To support the planning of annual steering group meetings
  • To prioritise workload according to discussions with managers
  • To work flexibly to ensure that recruitment targets and other deadlines are met
  • To develop good working relationships with other team members
  • To conduct relevant literature searches, summarise research and draft papers for publication under supervision

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

  • A first degree in social sciences, health, epidemiology or similar  
  • MSc in a relevant discipline 
  • Experience of recruitment with young people and vulnerable clinical groups  
  • Knowledge and/or experience of online research methods
  • Data management skills 
  • Excellent working knowledge of Excel 
  • Ability to work flexibly, including evenings and weekends 
  • Knowledge and/or experience in qualitative research methods and analysis 
  • Ability and willingness to learn new skills
  • Understanding of the importance of confidentiality in managing data and data security 
  • Understanding of the ethical issues in research involving young people and sensitive subjects such as self-harm, social media and smartphone use 
  • Understanding of the sensitive nature of the research questions being asked and how to manage potentially vulnerable young people
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills 
  • Ability to work independently and use initiative
  • Ability to work well in a multidisciplinary team
  • Excellent organisational and time management skills  
  • Good attention to detail and accuracy  

Desirable criteria

  • Research experience using electronic health records
  • Familiarity with NVIVO, STATA and other software packages  
  • Good writing and presentation skills  

This post is subject to Disclosure and Barring Service and Occupational Health clearance.