Research Associate/Research Assistant
This is an exciting new position where the successful candidate will have the opportunity to work as part of an internationally leading team of researchers investigating cannabinoid-based treatments for neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders and play a key role in a new line of research investigating the safety, efficacy and mechanism of action of a novel cannabinoid-based pharmacological treatment for Parkinson’s disease psychosis. The team has a particular interest in investigating the mechanism of action of cannabinoids and a key component of this program of work will involve the application of cutting-edge neuroimaging techniques (such as fMRI) to investigate the neural substrates underpinning psychosis in Parkinson’s disease and examine the effect of treatment on these neural substrates. As part of this role, the appointed person will be directly involved in a multi-centre randomised clinical trial to evaluate this new pharmacological treatment for people with Parkinson’s disease Psychosis. The person will be based in the Academic Psychiatry Division of IoPPN at KCL and will work closely with the CI for this study, Prof Sagnik Bhattacharyya ( https://www.kcl.ac.uk/people/professor-sagnikbhattacharyya) and other investigators based at King’s College London, in particular Dr Latha Velayudhan ( https://www.kcl.ac.uk/people/dr-latha-velayudhan), based in the Old Age Psychiatry department at King’s College London.
This post is currently funded for at least 24 months with potential for extension and an anticipated start from July 2022. However, the post holder will be employed for 12 months in the first instance, which will be extended subject to satisfactory progress. The start date is flexible and may be negotiated with the right candidate. The successful candidate will have a PhD or degree in Psychology or a related area (2:1 or above) and will need excellent communication skills. Previous experience in the management and co-ordination of clinical trials is desirable but not essential; however, appropriate academic and/or vocational qualifications are necessary. This position may suit a researcher who has just completed their PhD or are in the final stages of submission. However, exceptional candidates without a PhD but with appropriate level of experience will also be considered and are encouraged to apply.
The successful candidate will be encouraged to develop his/her own research interests and may have the opportunity to register for a higher degree.
They will also be part of a larger programme of research on cannabinoid-based treatments for a range of neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders at King’s College London and will interact with clinical fellows, research assistants, postdoctoral researchers and PhD students.
This post will be offered on a fixed-term contract for 1 year
This is a full-time post - 100% full time equivalent
- Recruit/Identify/ approach and consent potential study participants as appropriate
- To arrange and conduct all assessments with appropriate clinician support as relevant
- Contribute to the timely entry of data into study databases
- Ensure adherence to trial protocols and administrative requirements and to monitor and ensure data quality and integrity
- Contribute to the overall efficient day-to-day management of the trial.
- Ensure an effective collaborative relationship with local services, other trial sites and other related projects
- Monitoring the trial progress to ensure compliance with and adherence to the project plan and to identify, evaluate and rectify problems.
- Liaise with the Trials Steering Committee and Data Monitoring and Ethics Committee with a particular view on compliance with Research Governance, Good Clinical Practice, Data Protection and Ethical Requirements as required.
- Provision of regular and ad hoc information, both written and verbal, to all the trial participants, funders and sponsors, to include reports, updates, guidance, commitments and, possibly, a Newsletter.
- Assurance that personal and confidential information is restricted to those entitled to know.
- Any other duties appropriate to the grade as directed by the Chief Investigator.
- Develop own research interest
- Continually update knowledge and understanding in field
- Collaborate with academic colleagues on areas of shared research interest
- Attend and contribute to relevant meetings
- Show consideration to others and respect confidentiality
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. BSc/MSc in a relevant subject (e.g. psychology, neuroscience, neurodegenerative disorders, clinical trials, clinical neuroscience, psychiatric research, mental health studies) or comparable qualification (eg. someone with a medical background with relevant research experience). Those with a medical background with relevant research experience are welcome to apply, but the position is not funded for a clinician.
2. Ability to work effectively with multidisciplinary and clinical teams in research and ability to deal sensitively with study participants and their families/carers
3. Good organisational and time management skills- strong planning and organisational skills including the ability to prioritise, manage multiple tasks
4. Excellent oral and written communication skills
5. An understanding of data protection and patient confidentiality
6. Ability to prepare ethical, research and development applications and knowledge of research governance
7. Previous experience of clinical research or trials
1. PhD awarded in [Psychiatry, Neuroscience or related subjects] or PhD in [Psychiatry, Neuroscience or related subjects] near completion.
2. Previous research experience in Parkinson’s disease or other neurodegenerative disorders, experimental medicine studies or clinical trials
* Please note that candidates who have submitted their thesis and are awaiting award of their PhDs will also 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.
Parkinson’s disease, Psychosis, Cannabinoid medication trial