Research Assistant(Two posts)

London (Greater) (GB)
£33,114 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance
01 Dec 2021
End of advertisement period
02 Jan 2022
Job Type
Research Related
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Job description

The King’s Centre for Military Health Research (KCMHR) is seeking two Research Assistants to contribute to an ongoing epidemiological cohort study of the mental health and well-being of serving and ex-serving UK Armed Forces personnel.  The study has been running since 2003 and is now in the fourth phase of data collection.  The current phase is funded by the Office for Veterans Affairs; previous phases were funded by the UK Ministry of Defence.  Phase 4 will involve following up approximately 8,000 serving personnel and veterans, inviting them to complete an online or paper questionnaire.  

The primary responsibility of the Research Assistants will be to carry out data collection activities to achieve the best possible response rates for the study.  This will involve contributing to large-scale mailings, monitoring questionnaire responses, liaising with military units to locate personnel and distribute questionnaires, arranging/undertaking base visits to collect data (if applicable) and following up and tracing non-responders (by phone and email). You will be required to work some flexible hours/shifts to contact participants at times convenient for them.  The role will also involve undertaking data management tasks for the study including data entry and data cleaning; an appreciation of data integrity and research governance issues will be important.  As time allows, you will also be encouraged to undertake data analysis and writing for publication (under supervision). 

We would like you to have a degree in a relevant subject (e.g. social sciences, epidemiology, health related involving some relevant research methods training) and excellent communication and interpersonal skills with experience of communicating with potential participants, patients or customers in person or by phone.  You will have some experience of data management tasks, using databases or spreadsheets and undertaking data analyses. Good written skills and the ability to present written information in a clear well organised manner is important. A relevant postgraduate qualification, experience of data analyses using STATA and experience of writing for publication are not essential but would be an advantage. You will join a multi-disciplinary research group and will be expected to work as part of the study research team.  The role will suit an individual keen to develop further research skills and experience with and interest in developing an academic/research related career.  

The postholder will be required to successfully apply for UK MoD security clearance.  

KCMHR sits within the Department of Psychological Medicine.  It launched in 2004 and is directed by Professor Sir Simon Wessely and Professor Nicola Fear.  

For more information, please see 


This post will be offered on an a fixed-term contract for 18 months (to June 2023) 
The interviews will be held on 18th January, 2022.

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

Key responsibilities

• Carry out data collection activities for the study to ensure the best possible response rates:  

• Invite participants to take part by email and contribute to large-scale paper questionnaire mailouts 

• Monitor responses to the online survey and log returned paper questionnaires 

• Liaise with military units to locate sampled personnel and distribute questionnaires 

• Arrange and carry out occasional UK military base visits for data collection (if applicable, this will involve some travel and overnight stays and time off in lieu will be given) 

• Follow up (by phone/email) non-responders to encourage participation and trace participants where contact details are out of date.  

• Work some flexible hours or shifts outside of normal office hours to contact participants, involving some evenings and weekends (currently expected to be 1 or 2 early evenings a week and 1 half day weekend shift a month) 

• Contribute to the supervision of tracing assistants and temps 

• Monitor the study email account, responding to participant and other stakeholder queries in a professional and timely manner 

• Interrogate and update the study administrative/contact database  

• Carry out data entry tasks including the data entry of consent forms 

• Undertake data checking/validation/cleaning tasks 

• Identify potential problems/issues and assist in finding solutions 

• Undertake data analyses (using STATA), contribute to the preparation of manuscripts, and carry out writing for publication under supervision and in collaboration with colleagues (as time allows) 

• Learn new skills and knowledge – especially relating to research methods and statistical techniques 

• Ensure data security and confidentiality; comply with GDPR and UK Data Protection legislation.  

• Attend and contribute to study and team meetings 

• Become involved in other activities or studies (as time allows) 

• Proactively engage with professional development activities 

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

1. A degree or equivalent qualification in a relevant subject (e.g., social sciences, epidemiology, health related involving some relevant research methods training) 

2. Experience of undertaking a relevant research study 

3. Experience of communicating with potential research participants, patients, or customers in person and/or by phone  

4. Excellent verbal communication and interpersonal skills (assessed at interview) 

5. Experience of data management tasks (data entry, data validation, and/or data cleaning) and an appreciation of data quality and integrity

6. Experience of working with databases (e.g. MS Access) and/or spreadsheets (e.g. MS Excel)

7. Experience of data analysis using relevant software (e.g. SPSS, Stata, R) and writing up research in a relevant area 

8. Good written skills with the ability to present written information in a clear and well-organised manner 

9. Excellent accuracy skills 

10. Good all-round IT skills 

11. An appreciation of data confidentiality and security; knowledge/awareness of GDPR and UK data protection legislation

Desirable criteria

12. A postgraduate qualification in a relevant subject  

13. Experience of collecting data on a relevant study 

14. Experience of quantitative data analysis using STATA  

15. Experience of writing for publication in peer review journals 

16. Interest in developing an academic/ research related career 

Further information

The postholders will be required to successfully apply for UK MoD security clearance.

Mental health, epidemiology, research  

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