Research Associate

5 days left

London (Greater) (GB)
£38,304-£39,345, including London Weighting Allowance
06 Jul 2021
End of advertisement period
06 Jul 2022
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Job description

This role is for a qualitative researcher based at the National Addiction Centre, King’s College as part of a research team that is based in three sites (London, Leeds/Huddersfield, Scotland). The post-holder will have responsibility for work in London with some responsibility to support and work with with a Research Assistant  based at the University of Huddersfield and to communicate effectively with the team in Stirling.  This is a longitudinal study that has been funded by the National Institute for Health Research, ‘Evaluating Models of care, best practice and care pathways for drug dependent women and their infants, from preconception to 18 months postnatal’ or the Stepping Stones Study.  The study is jointly led by Dr Polly Radcliffe at the National Addiction Centre, KCL and Professor Helen Cheyne of the Nursing Midwifery and Allied Health Professionals Research Unit at the University of Stirling.   


The study will firstly seek to establish systematic evidence of best practice models that improve the wellbeing of mothers and babies and that have the potential to interrupt the transmission of adversity across generations; and secondly will entail longitudinal qualitative research with 40 women, tracking their care pathways and experiences of services and treatment through pregnancy and up to 18 months postnatal. Using a range of qualitative research methods including serial qualitative interviews, timelines drawn by the research participants and audio diaries, we will explore women’s views and experiences of models of care and how services can be improved.


With at least two other researchers, the successful will conduct systematic reviews of international clinical and best practice guidelines and research evidence of integrated models of perinatal care for women who are dependent on drugs and their babies; they will recruit and consent participants into the study; assist with the facilitation of stakeholder meetings; conduct qualitative longitudinal interviews, and focus groups with professionals; undertake qualitative data analysis including managing data using software such as NVivo; contribute to project publications, report writing, other dissemination activities; and research-related administrative tasks. The study includes sites in London, Leeds and Scotland and will involve in-person research in the community. The job involves independent working and travel to research sites, an NHS research passport, and enhanced DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) clearance for work with vulnerable adults and children.


The National Addiction Centre, King’s College is a leading European research centre for addiction research and represents a network of clinicians, researchers and clinical teachers who have a shared commitment to excellence in prevention and treatment work, and to supporting and strengthening national and international endeavours in this field. Over the last 30 years, the NAC has developed a body of research evidence that has informed the development of new treatment services for alcohol, smoking and drug problems in the UK.


This post will be offered on an a fixed-term contract for 30 months 

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


Key responsibilities

• Support the Principal Investigators, research team, sponsor and funder to deliver the project in accordance with the terms of the grant and study protocol.  

• As part of a team of researchers, conduct a rapid review of multidisciplinary and integrated models of care delivery for women who are dependent on drugs and their infants 

• Liaise and maintain good links with participants/services/referrers to maximise recruitment and retention in the study.  

• Conduct home visits, following lone working and COVID policies and safety protocols, to engage participants and build rapport with them over time.  

• Conduct qualitative serial interviews, assisting women with timeline maps and encourage their recording of audio diaries.  

• Conduct focus group and individual semi-structured interviews with staff, senior managers and policy makers  

• Arrange transcription of digitally recorded interviews/focus groups, anonymise transcripts, enter data into NVivo, code and analyse data, write up analytic reports.  

• Assist with the organisation and facilitation of public engagement events 

• Write up and present reports to the research team

• Organise research team meetings, take minutes and liaise with the Study  Advisory and Coproduction Group as required.

• Comply with NHS patient care and King’s College, London staff safety policies relevant to research governance e.g. Child and Adult Protection Procedures, patient confidentiality and duty of care, adverse events procedures, lone working and travel policies etc.

• Ensure that all study data is recorded, stored, transferred, managed and destroyed in accordance with the study protocol and GPDR, data protection legislation, policies and codes of practice.

• Conduct the study in accordance with NHS research ethics committee and R&D Office requirements and in accordance with the UK Policy Framework on Health and Social Care Research.

• Co-write journal papers for publication, policy briefings and lay summaries.

• Contribute to the dissemination of research findings via conferences, seminars, practitioner workshops and other presentations.

• Take advantage of early career researcher training and development opportunities and take part in individual and peer supervision and support.

• Work collaboratively with other researchers in the project and the whole project team.  

• Ensure that deadlines are adhered to and the project is completed in line with the study protocol and on time 


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 awarded or near completion in health or social sciences  

• Experience of conducting systematic reviews. 

• Knowledge of qualitative methods and experience of conducting qualitative research. 

• Good analytical and critical thinking skills  

• Good computer skills with knowledge and experience of data management 

• Good academic writing and report writing skills  

• Excellent written and oral communication skills 

• Ability to travel within London and the UK  

• Knowledge of addiction treatment and/or child protection practice 

• Experience of patient and public involvement (PPI) in research  


Desirable criteria

• Experience of writing for publication in health/social sciences journals 

• Experience of working with parents who use drugs 

• Experience of using data management software (e.g. NVivo, SPSS/Excel, EndNote, Bibliographic reference libraries)  


* 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

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to take part in online interviews (with a ten minute presentation) w/b 2/8/2021  

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

Qualitative research, perinatal mental health, substance use research  

Similar jobs

Similar jobs