Research Assistant

London (Greater) (GB)
£33,114- £34,906 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance
17 May 2022
End of advertisement period
05 Jun 2022
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Job description

This position will be based in the Health Service & Population Research Department, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, within the Centre for Implementation Science Research Group. 

The post-holder will work on a research project (AdStAC) aiming to co-produce, test and refine an advance statements implementation resource for Black people previously detained under the Mental Health Act (MHA).  

Completing an advance statement involves stating, in advance, aspects of your care, including preferences, wishes for and refusals of certain types of treatment when one is well enough to do so. These preferences can be used to guide the care when a person is unwell and does not have the capacity to make decisions about their treatment.  The UK government has committed to legislating for advance statements (  

Black people (defined as people of Black African and Caribbean heritage, including those of mixed ethnicity) with mental illness are more likely to be detained under the MHA than White people with mental illness. Advance statement use can reduce use of the MHA but there are barriers to their implementation. We will use Quality Improvement methodology to produce a resource that addresses identified implementation barriers and maximises Black people’s opportunities to have an advance statement. 

The study design comprises: 

1. Co-production of the implementation resource for the pilot using stakeholder workshops and a consensus development study. 

2. Testing the implementation resource in Lambeth and Lewisham, to learn what further modifications are needed.  

The study aims to benefit in the first instance, Black people in Lambeth and Lewisham previously detained under the MHA. The implementation resource to be produced will then be available for use or adaptation for other people with severe mental illness who risk losing capacity when unwell in England and Wales i.e. where the new mental health legislation will allow for advance statement completion.  


Role includes contributing towards the day-to-day operation of the study, including participant recruitment and data collection at SLaM locations under the guidance of Research Associate Ms Abigail Babatunde and Co-Principal Investigators Dr Claire Henderson and Dr Shubulade Smith 


The research assistant will contribute to the successful conduct and completion of the research project. Their primary duties include: 

a) Support participant recruitment to the study 

b) Quantitative data collection, e.g. extracting data from case-notes and administering questionnaires to service users, relatives/carers, and health professionals 


As the research focuses on improving African and Caribbean people’s mental health, relevant experience of working with/understanding these communities would be advantageous. 


This post will be offered on an a fixed-term contract for 6 months starting 23rd August at the latest. 

This post is full time.


Key responsibilities

Outline the key responsibilities and objectives of the job in line with the relevant role profile 


Key Objectives: 

•         Maximise recruitment via engagement activities 

•         Recruit service users to the study 

•         Administer quantitative assessments at baseline and 3 month follow up 

•         Maximise par­ticipant retention by implementing strategies developed with the research team 


Duties and Responsibilities: 

In addition to the duties and responsibilities outlined in the ‘Job Description’, the postholder will be expected to: 

•         Actively participate as a member of the multidisciplinary study team 

•         Attend and contribute to relevant meetings 

•         Undertake necessary training for activities 

•         Liaise with staff involved in providing the intervention ie advance choice document development 

•         Liaise with research colleagues and support administrative staff on routine matters 


Communication and Networking: 

•         Communicating openly and efficiently with the research team; attending weekly supervision meetings; 

•         Promoting the study in the South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, and service users/carer forums/support groups 

•         To help present information on research progress and outcomes to management groups 


Decision Making, Planning and Problem Solving: 

•         To act under the guidance of the Research Associate and Co-Principal Investigator to ensure that daily tasks and ongoing workloads are prioritised and completed within agreed timeframes 

•         To help the research team achieve research objectives and deadlines 

•         To report any concerns raised by study participants to  

•         To contribute to decisions affecting the work of the team the Research Associate and Co-Principal Investigator 


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.       BSc in Psychology or another relevant subject 

2.       Evidence of continued professional/educational development 

3.       Understanding of the research process 

4.       Efficient organizational and time management skills 

5.       Knowledge of data management 

6.       Previous recruitment to studies 

7.       Experience of working with patients/service users with a long term mental or physical health condition, or their relatives/carers 


Desirable criteria

1.       MSc in mental health, psychology, research methods or other relevant subject 

2.       Understanding issues of clinical risks and how they may be managed 

3.       Good understanding of psychosis 

4.       Awareness of issues relating to mental illness in the African and Caribbean communities in the UK 

Further information

Please note this role is not eligible for sponsorship for a Skilled Worker visa 

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

Similar jobs

Similar jobs