Clinical Research Associate
• Many people with psychosis continue to have paranoid beliefs, despite the best treatments available. STOP (Successful Treatment of Paranoia) is a new digital health technology (a smartphone app) designed to encourage people with distressing paranoia to develop alternative ways of interpreting their paranoid thoughts. This post is an exciting opportunity to contribute to the development and evaluation of STOP, working as part of a large Medical Research Council award, building on the promising results of earlier work (Savulich et al., 2020, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbtep.2020.101575)
• The development of the mobile app is nearing completion, and we are about to start a 3-year clinical trial to evaluate the app’s efficacy in reducing symptoms of paranoia. This Clinical Research Associate position will lead the trial at the London site and would suit someone with academic interests in cognitive biases, bias modification techniques or paranoia/psychosis. We are looking for an enthusiastic, hard-working person who has plenty of common sense and a ‘can do’ attitude. The post will be attractive to clinical researchers who are passionate about translating basic research findings into useful applications that have the potential to provide downstream benefits for patients in the real world. The post-holder will be clinically qualified (e.g. a recent clinical psychology graduate) and may already have some experience of working in a research setting. Proven ability to successfully recruit patients into academic research studies would be a distinct advantage. The main responsibilities of the post holder are to ensure recruitment and assessment milestones are met, administer structured clinical interview assessments (and train others to do the same) and monitor and encourage patient adherence. An ability to ensure strong professional relationships are created and maintained with patients taking part in the trial will be key to ensuring the trial’s success.
The post holder will manage a junior researcher and co-supervise of a number of students, including DClinPsy and MSc. They will report directly to Professor Yiend and will work closely with the project manager. They will need to proactively liaise with the Co-I and team members at the second site (University of Bath) and work with other members of the academic team who include psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, statisticians, the local clinical trials unit, information technology experts and the McPin Foundation who coordinate our service user group. Attending and presenting at team meetings and drafting academic papers and study reports will be an expected part of the role.
While the post is located at the main IOPPN site at Denmark Hill, if circumstances require it, the role can be carried out entirely remotely, for example conducting patient interviews over the phone or online. The successful candidate should be in a position to work both on site and from home, as required.
• We are looking for someone to start as soon as possible after interview.
For an informal discussion about the role or your suitability please contact the study’s Principal Investigator Professor Jenny Yiend, email@example.com (07977978655).
This post will be offered on an a fixed-term contract for 36 months
This is a full-time post - 100% full time equivalent
a) Coordinating patient recruitment activity at the London site to ensure that recruitment targets are met, for example by accessing local NHS Trust research registers and disseminating self-referral information.
b) Supporting junior staff with patient screening and eligibility checks.
c) Conducting mental capacity assessments, where needed, and clinical diagnostic interview assessments.
Running the trial
a) Overseeing junior staff in their activities, and contributing to this activity as necessary, including: consent, randomisation, onboarding to the mobile app and assessments.
b) Ensuring a professional working relationship is established with every trial participant through fortnightly 10 min phone calls following a semi-structured brief.
c) Coordinating research activity to ensure that staff absences or sickness do not impede trial progress.
d) Helping to respond to patient queries and problems, including assisting in the management of the study’s generic email accounts.
e) Supporting the junior staff and project manager with any challenging clinical situations
Administration, Data Handling and Reporting
a) Being aware of and adhering to the agreed protocol, including ethical procedures, good research practices and standard operating procedures for researchers.
b) Provide regular reporting of progress against milestones to the project manager
c) Ensuring trial-related data downloads (from the mobile app) and manual data entry is kept up-to-date
d) Overseeing the administration of participant payments and reporting on these to the project manager
e) Preparing written reports on study progress and presenting to the academic team, Trial Steering Group and other relevant meetings on a regular basis, as requested.
f) Preparing draft academic publications, written study reports and presentations, as requested.
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
1. Suitable clinical qualification (e.g. DClinPsy)
2. Ability to proactively recruit patients into research studies
3. Competent in administering informed consent procedures with patients
4. Knowledge or experience of administering clinical diagnostic interviews and mental capacity assessments
5. Good attention to detail and high standards of accuracy
6. Able to work intelligently and independently to achieve set milestones.
7. Experience of working with patients suffering from paranoia/ psychosis
8. Experience with digital therapies
9. Knowledge or experience of clinical trials methodology
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.
This post is subject to Disclosure and Barring Service and Occupational Health clearance.
Cognitive bias; paranoia; clinical trial