Research Associate (Policy and Mental Health) at the Policy Institute at King's
The Policy Institute at King’s College London works to solve society’s challenges with evidence and expertise. We combine the rigour of academia with the agility of a consultancy and the connectedness of a think tank.
The successful applicant will work on high-profile and influential policy research and analysis, with a particular focus on mental health and its social determinants. Around half of their time will be spent working within the ESRC Centre for Society and Mental Health and the other half on a range of projects with the Policy Institute team.
The ESRC Centre for Society and Mental Health brings together a unique mix of disciplines and expertise to conduct innovative research on the impact of rapid social changes on mental health. Its aim is to generate significant advances in our understanding of how social, economic, and cultural transformations affect mental health which can inform social policies and interventions to prevent and mitigate the effects of mental health problems, particularly in vulnerable and marginalised groups. In doing this the Centre works closely with service users, communities, practitioners, non-government organisations and policymakers.
The successful applicant will assist in the establishment of the Centre as a go-to source for objective, policy-relevant insight around mental health for government, policymakers, science providers, the media and the general public. This will involve a range of activities, including ‘Policy Lab’ stakeholder workshops, briefing papers, policy landscape mapping exercises, involvement in individual research projects and provision of support and training in engaging with policy communities.
In their wider role as part of the Policy Institute team, the Research Associate will deliver high-quality research and policy analysis on a range of projects and support the further development of our mental health portfolio. This will provide opportunities to both apply existing research and analysis skills and develop new ones.
The Policy Institute’s work covers a wide range of policy areas. Researchers in the institute apply a variety of different qualitative and quantitative research methods, as well as a range of stakeholder engagement approaches that cut across both academic disciplines and policy domains. Applicants, while not required to be expert in all areas, should be interested in and have an awareness of a broad range of policy analysis methods and approaches. Our research is complemented by extensive communications, impact and engagement activities.
This post will be offered on a full-time,, fixed term contract for 3 years.
- Work closely with the Policy Institute’s Director of Research in delivering the policy workstream within the Centre for Society and Mental Health.
- Provide support and training to Centre staff and students on effective engagement with governments, policymakers and communities.
- Facilitate the establishment of and administer a policy advisory board to ensure that key stakeholders in the policy community are able to provide guidance to the Centre on its strategies and objectives in the long term.
- Contribute research to Centre studies on mental health in relation to the key themes of work and welfare reform, marginalised communities and young people, social change and transitions.
- Work with the Centre’s impact team and the Policy Institute’s communications team to coordinate engagement activities with key stakeholders, including the general public, through events, press releases, blog posts etc.
- Work with the Centre’s Lived Experience Advisory Board to ensure that our strategic direction and policy influence is co-produced with those with lived experience.
- Pursue funding opportunities, particularly in the area of mental health, including scoping ideas, developing relationships with potential funders and developing applications for new research projects and initiatives.
- Conduct research and analysis for a range of Policy Institute projects, potentially across a variety of areas and sectors.
- Contribute to reporting and communication around the Policy Institute’s research activities.
- Be a collegial team member, contributing to the institute’s strong team culture, developing productive working relationships with others and making a demonstrable commitment to addressing issues of equality, diversity and inclusion.
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. A recognition of and passion for the role that evidence can play in addressing societal challenges and improving outcomes, including those related to mental health
2. PhD-level qualification or equivalent experience in a mental health-related area
3. Previous experience in a policy-related role or in conducting policy-focused research
4. Demonstrable research skills in some of the approaches/methods relevant to the institute’s work, including conducting literature reviews and evidence synthesis
5. Willingness and demonstrated ability to learn new skills, including research methods
6. Experience of developing projects and funding applications
7. Excellent written and oral communication, including a proven ability to engage with policymakers and work effectively with people from a wide range of backgrounds
8. Ability to work independently and use initiative as appropriate
9. Excellent organizational skills and ability to manage time effectively in delivering on multiple commitments
1. Experience in relation to (mental) health policy
2. Experience of delivering training