Quality of Life Research Associate

Sydney, Australia
04 Mar 2020
End of advertisement period
05 Apr 2020
Contract Type
Fixed Term

School of Psychology / Academic Operations
Reference no.

  • Opportunity to contribute to the research and development within the Sydney Quality of Life Office.
  • Join the School of Psychology here at the University of Sydney, Sydney CBD!
  • Part-time (0.6 FTE) up to Full-time, 12 months fixed-term contract. Base salary: $94k-$126k p.a. (Level A,6-B) plus annual leave loading and a generous employer’s contribution to superannuation.  

About the opportunity 

The University of Sydney is welcoming applications for a Quality of Life Research Associate to join our team at the University of Sydney’s Quality of Life (QoL) Office within the School of Psychology. Ideally, applicants will hold an Honours, Masters or PhD degree in psychology, public health or health-related science and/or prior experience in research. They will demonstrate a strong commitment to quality and attention to detail, initiative to solve problems and improve processes, and ability to work efficiently both independently and in teams. 

The QoL Research Associate will engage in scholarly and professional activities appropriate to the activities of the Quality of Life (QoL) Office. The QoL Office conducts educational and research activities about health-related QoL and other patient-reported outcomes (PROs). The QoL Office has two main activity streams: 1) the Cancer Australia QoL Services, i.e. expert advice and support services relating to the inclusion of in cancer clinical trials led by the 14 Australian Cancer Cooperative Trials Groups (CTGs); 2) independent QoL/PRO research. The QoL Office is directed by the Cancer Australia Chair in Cancer Quality of Life (the QoL Chair). Other staff members of the QoL Office include the Deputy Director (Senior Research Fellow), a Senior Research Administration Officer and, depending on funding and need, research staff. The QoL Office is co-located with the Psycho-Oncology Co-operative Research Group (PoCoG), within the School of Psychology, Faculty of Science, at the University of Sydney.

Responsibilities will include:

  • Developing evidence-based QoL research resources and educational materials
  • Conducting QoL/PRO training workshops and other educational activities and events
  • Contribute to QOL/PRO research activities
  • Providing high quality, expert advice, training and technical support services relating to the inclusion of QoL and PRO measures into industry-independent cancer clinical trials to staff and members of the 14 CTGs;
  • Liaising with CTG members and international QoL/PRO researchers about project concepts, plans and findings;
  • Planning, organising and giving QoL/PRO-related presentations, seminars and workshops for CTG staff and members.
  • Undertaking administration tasks primarily relating to staff member’s activities at the University, and other activities as determined by the Director of the QoL Office.
  • Contributing to grant proposals and supporting the preparation of funding applications
  • Preparing submissions and reports for ethics committees and funding bodies
  • Undertaking data preparation, management and analysis
  • Contributing to presenting, publishing and disseminating results

About you

The University values courage and creativity; openness and engagement; inclusion and diversity; and respect

and integrity. As such, we see the importance of recruiting talent aligned to these values and are looking for a Research Associate who possesses experience in the following areas:

At Academic level A you will have:


  • An honours or postgraduate degree in a relevant field
  • Understanding of patient-reported health outcome measures (e.g. quality of life questionnaires) and their application in research
  • Experience doing research (either as part of your honours/postgraduate study or in a previous research position)
  • Experience planning meetings, drafting agendas, writing minutes
  • Demonstrated ability to facilitate communication/co-ordination with collaborators via email, teleconference and meetings
  • Demonstrated proficiency with common computing programs for: word processing; reference managing; data entry, management and analysis; production of graphs and presentation slides (e.g.Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and Endnote)
  • Demonstrated ability to work both independently and co-operatively with others
  • Excellent interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills.


  • Ability to critically review the PRO components of clinical trial protocols and other research-related documents
  • Demonstrated experience developing educational resources or materials
  • Demonstrated experience preparing applications, submissions, and reports for ethics committees and funding bodies
  • Demonstrated experience conducting systematic literature reviews
  • Demonstrated experience undertaking data preparation, management and analysis
  • Demonstrated experience presenting, publishing and disseminating results
  • Strong problem solving skills and the ability to use initiative, exercise sound judgementin resolving matters that may arise as part of normal daily work
  • Ability to prioritise workload during busy periods

In addition, at Academic level B you will have:


  • A PhD in a relevant field or equivalent research experience
  • Demonstrated ability to contribute to research, scholarship or teaching, either independently or as part of a team
  • Demonstrated research track record, including ability to publish scholarly papers and research outcomes
  • Experience with teaching activities such as student supervision, tutoring, or lectures/workshops
  • Experience writing research documents, e.g. study protocols, ethics applications, grant applications
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently


  • Specialist knowledge of patient-reported health outcomes or quality of life
  • Demonstrated proficiency with common statistical software, preferably SPSS, SAS, R and Mplus
  • Experience in a research-intensive environment
  • Extensive experience in developing and working on research projects, including expertise in research protocols, experimental design, ethics submissions and grant applications
  • Demonstrated experience conducting systematic reviews
  • Demonstrated experience conducting qualitative research
  • Demonstrated experience preparing and presenting educational workshops
  • Demonstrated experience writing and publishing health-related scientific peer-reviewed manuscripts
  • Demonstrated experience writing abstracts for, and presenting at, scientific conferences
  • Demonstrated ability to attract research funding
  • Demonstrated ability to supervise research staff and students
  • Experience collaborating in geographically dispersed teams, nationally and/or internationally
  • Membership of relevant PRO research professional societies (e.g. ISOQOL)

About us

The mission of the Sydney Quality of Life Office is to optimise the use of patient-reported outcomes (PROs) in clinical trials and routine care, to achieve the best possible evidence to inform patient care, to improve patient quality of life, and to ensure that the patient perspective is part of health care, research, and decision-making.

The QOL Office is located within the School of Psychology at the University of Sydney. Originally created by the Psycho-Oncology Co-operative Research Group (PoCoG), the office is now under the direction of the Cancer Australia Chair in Cancer Quality of Life, Prof Madeleine King.

The QOL Office receives core infrastructure funding from the Australian federal government through Cancer Australia, to provide the QOL Technical Service to the Co-operative Clinical Trials Groups across Australia and New Zealand.

Academic staff at the QOL Office are also educators and PRO researchers facilitating, collaborating on, and supporting PRO research across multiple health and medical disciplines, addressing clinical and methodological issues to international standards of excellence.

The QOL Office is currently facilitating and collaborating on PRO research projects in:

  • ovarian cancer
  • early bladder cancer
  • early breast cancer
  • survivorship in colorectal cancer
  • country-specific utility weights for the FACT-U-8D and EORTC QLU-C10D measures
  • implementing patient-reported measures to improve patient self-management and behaviour change, clinical care and health services

How to apply

For more information on the position and University, please view the position description available from the job’s listing on the University of Sydney careers website.

All applications must be submitted via the University of Sydney careers website.  Visit and search by the reference number 507/0320F to apply.

 Routine pre-employment probity checks will be carried out for this position.

Closing date: 11:30pm, Sunday 5 April 2020 (Sydney Time)

The University of Sydney is committed to diversity and social inclusion. Applications are encouraged from people of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds; equity target groups including women, people with disabilities, people who identify as LGBTIQ; and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The University reserves the right not to proceed with any appointment.