C-POS Research Assistant – Mixed methods

London (Greater)
£32,676 – £37,297 per annum, Including London Weighting Allowance
26 Aug 2020
End of advertisement period
24 Sep 2020
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Job description

The Cicely Saunders Institute at King's College London seeks to recruit an ambitious and self-motivated mixed methods researcher to deliver a European Research Council funded project. The successful applicant will join the C-POS (Children's Palliative Outcome Scale) study, which aims to develop and validate a person-centred outcome measure for children, young people (CYP) and their families affected by life-limiting & life-threatening conditions (LLLTC).

Person-centred care is a core health value of modern health care, but international systematic reviews, and clinical guidelines have highlighted that no palliative outcome scale currently exists for use with this population. The ability for clinicians to capture what is most important to CYP and their families affected by LLLTC in a structured way will have major implications for families living with complex, often unpredictable conditions, and the wider field of paediatric palliative care. This novel study draws together a unique multidisciplinary collaboration to pioneer new methods, enabling engagement in outcome measurement by a population currently neglected in research.

The post-holder is expected to have excellent qualitative and quantitative research skills and to communicate and interact effectively with all members of our multi-disciplinary study team. The post-holder will be a vital part of our team, undertaking research tasks central to the C-POS study - working closely with partners to recruit study participants, undertaking and analysing qualitative cognitive interviews to support finalisation of the new measure, training and supporting clinical teams in implementing the measure in practice, and supporting the team with psychometric testing of the C-POS. Knowledge and skills in App development and design are desirable. The post will also involve preparation of study materials, working closely with team members on finalising and testing the measure, drafting conference abstracts and other outputs for local, national and international dissemination, and assisting in drafting manuscripts for journal publications.

Based in the Cicely Saunders Institute of Palliative Care, Policy and Rehabilitation, the successful applicant will report to Professor Richard Harding, Herbert Dunhill Chair and Director of the Centre for Global Health Palliative Care.

This is a full-time, fixed-term contract for 28 months or until 28 February 2023.

Key responsibilities

  • To deliver key research tasks on C-POS including recruiting, conducting, transcribing and analysing qualitative cognitive interviews with children living with LLLTC, and their parents/carers
  • To lead research tasks working with clinical teams and project partners at participating sites, including training for implementing the new measure
  • To support the team on psychometric testing of the measure.
  • To liaise with colleagues within KCL, members of the paediatric palliative care community in the UK and other key stake holders to ensure strong and productive partnership
  • To keep to agreed deadlines in all aspects of the programme of work
  • To be able to involve patients and public in research (PPI) and work with PPI representatives
  • Developing and sharing of study materials

Communication & networking

  • To assist with creating and strengthening key collaborations with partners.
  • Promote, communicate and co-ordinate all aspects of the C-POS study.
  • To prepare dissemination activities for C-POS in terms of presentations, reports and publications as needed.
  • To communicate research ideas, methods, design and findings to diverse C-POS partner audiences
  • To maintain strict confidentiality of any patient /family /staff information and work within the terms of the data protection act and GDPR
  • Manage recruitment and respond to issues from research participants sensitively and professionally
  • Confidence in decision making, planning & problem solving
  • To be independently motivated and able to work without direct supervision, but to be able to appropriately seek expert advice and supervision as required.
  • To work closely with the C-POS team of researchers, partners and project co-ordinator

Service delivery

  • To deliver to time as required and to contribute to, and ensure delivery on C-POS project objectives and activities.
  • To show commitment to high quality research.

Analysis & research

  • Recruit participants in line with inclusion and exclusion criteria
  • Conduct cognitive interviews with CYP facing LLLTC, and their families
  • To transcribe interviews, analyse qualitative data supported by NVivo, and share findings with C-POS team
  • To work with the C-POS team to finalise the new measure
  • To implement the new measure in clinical settings through training teams at participating sites
  • To support the psychometric testing phase of the new measure using statistical programming software (e.g. SAS, R, Stata)
  • To keep up to date with relevant literature for the C-POS study, maintain reference database and share updates with key colleagues
  • To substantively contribute to preparing publications for high quality, peer reviewed journals

Team work, teaching & learning support

  • To establish productive professional working relationships with all members of the C-POS team, and other colleagues at the institute.
  • To promote and maintain excellent relationships with academic partners
  • Promote anti-discriminatory work practices and promote college equal opportunities policies.
  • To deliver teaching as requested

Sensory/physical demands & work environment

  • Conduct risk assessments and comply at all times with Health and Safety regulations with responsibility for the health, safety and welfare of others in the working environment
  • Ability to travel and conduct research interviews in participants' homes, training at study sites, and to conferences, when necessary.
  • To have a good understanding of research methods in health services research and/or palliative care.

Pastoral care

  • Demonstrate the capacity to identify when others or self need assistance from their colleagues, senior staff, or through clinical supervision, and accordingly seek out assistance if/when required.
  • Demonstrate ability to manage distressed participants
  • Provide mutual support for other members of the department, in line with the responsibility of the post and as appropriate to context.

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 awarded (or near completion) in a subject relevant to C-POS
  • Experience of conducting and project-managing qualitative and/or mixed methods research, including qualitative interviewing and data analysis, either independently or as part of a team
  • Understanding of the issues and challenges in palliative care research and research with children and young people
  • Knowledge and skills on adherence to the data protection act and GDPR
  • Demonstratable critical appraisal and literature reviewing skills
  • Excellent research-related computing skills - experienced using packages to support qualitative data analysis (e.g. NVivo), competent in word processing, familiar with reference management databases (e.g. EndNote), and willingness to use remote platforms where necessary (e.g. Microsoft Teams, SharePoint)
  • Ability to prioritise workload and meet deadlines, and to achieve this independently without direct supervision
  • Excellent clarity in written and spoken communication, with ability to adapt language as appropriate to a given circumstance
  • Reliability, punctuality, probity and the ability to maintain confidentiality
  • Willingness to be proactive, assume responsibility and leadership, and to seek help appropriately when required
  • Ability to work respectfully and productively with people who have different cultural values from your own, including with the C-POS study team, clinical staff, patients and family members, colleagues at the Cicely Saunders Institute, and with students
  • Willingness and ability to travel within the UK and overseas on business when required (and when possible, considering current COVID-19 pandemic)


  • PhD awarded in a subject relevant to C-POS (or near to completion).
  • Experience of working with children and young people and people facing serious illness/ palliative care
  • Research experience in person-centred outcome measure development or undertaking psychometric testing using statistical programming software (e.g. SAS, R, Stata)
  • Research experience in systematic literature reviewing
  • Experience of App development and design

Further information
This post is subject to Disclosure and Barring Service clearance.

This advertisement does meet the requirements for a Certificate of Sponsorship under Home Office regulations and therefore the university will be able to offer sponsorship for this role.

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