Research Associate in the Department of Palliative Care, Policy & Rehabilitation

London (Central), London (Greater) (GB)
£38,826 - £45,649 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance
04 Jul 2022
End of advertisement period
25 Jul 2022
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Job description

This is an exciting opportunity for an experienced individual to the Marie Curie Better End of Life progamme, a UK-wide programme of research in palliative and end of life care:

We are looking for an enthusiastic, motivated individual with a track record in research in palliative care (or a related area) and a strong interest in health research and policy. You will join a thriving research team, and contribute to impactful research in palliative and end of life care.


The post-holder will be based at the Cicely Saunders Institute, King’s College London, and will work closely with colleagues at the Wolfson Palliative Research Centre, Hull-York Medical School, and at PELiCam, the Palliative and End of Life Care Group of the University of Cambridge.


The Better End of Life programme is a national research study that is now in its second year of the three year initial funding. The aim of the programme is to understand the outcomes and experiences of people affected by death, dying and bereavement in the UK, and to frame this evidence in a format that compels policy makers to take action. As part of this we publish annual Better End of Life reports.


The programme comprises three parallel Workstreams. The post-holder will primarily be working on WS1 which generates new data on the quality of care and support for people near the end of life through a large national survey of bereaved relatives and carers. The post-holder will also contribute to an innovative public and policy engagement programme that runs alongside the research.


Candidates should be highly motivated individuals with excellent communication skills, the ability to work independently as well as part of a team, and with experience of delivering health research. We are keen to hear from candidates with diverse backgrounds and experience, who are motivated by impact, and interested in policy engagement.


The purpose of the role will be:

•       Lead delivery and analysis of WS1 post-bereavement survey

•       Have oversight across all Workstreams and contribute to public and policy engagement activities

•       Liaise with the funder Marie Curie, including opportunities to be involved in policy engagement

•       Close working with our collaborators at Hull York Medical School and University of Cambridge

•       Coordination of Project Management Group and PPI meetings


The post is hosted at the Cicely Saunders Institute of Palliative Care, Policy & Rehabilitation.  This purpose-built institute brings together clinicians, researchers and service users to translate the results of research more quickly to patients and families.


The postholder will report to Prof Katherine Sleeman, Professor in palliative medicine.


This post will be offered on a full-time, fixed term contract for 16 months.


Key responsibilities

  • To lead on WS1 post-bereavement survey design, delivery and components of analysis
  • To contribute to all workstreams, and patient and public engagement activities
  • To oversee day-to-day coordination and management of the research programme, working collaboratively with study partners to ensure the project is delivered within the required timeframe
  • To prepare and submit applications and amendments for ethics and regulatory approvals, where needed
  • To contribute to preparation and writing of annual reports for Marie Curie, working with the wider team
  • To lead and contribute to writing of scientific papers and policy briefs
  • To work closely with the wider team, including collaborators at Hull York Medical School and University of Cambridge
  • To represent the project team in meetings with Marie Curie and other partners, to represent the project at national and international conferences
  • Develop excellent working relationships with other team members and Institute staff
  • Contribute to research and education activities within the Cicely Saunders Institute

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.       PhD awarded in health or social sciences or similar and a proven track record of high-quality scientific research

2.       Degree in health or social sciences or similar, awarded to a high level (eg first or 2:1)

3.       Experience in quantitative and / or qualitative research methods, good understanding of statistics, and proficiency with data analysis packages such as Stata and NVIVO

4.       Proficiency in critical appraisal and literature reviewing

5.       Excellent written and oral communication skills. Able to produce high quality reports and papers, demonstrating attention to detail and accuracy

6.       Excellent research-related computing skills: word processing; reference management (Endnote); packages to support data analysis (e.g. SPSS, Stata)

7.       Commitment to high quality impactful research that improves care for people with life-limiting illnesses and their carers

8.       Highly organized, self-motivated, ability to work independently as well as part of a team, ability to work to deadlines and prioritise competing workloads, flexible, able to manage and support other staff

9.       Ability to work respectfully and productively with people who have different cultural values from your own


Desirable criteria

1.   Understanding of policy context of palliative and end of life care, and experience in policy engagement

2.   Enthusiasm for public engagement

3.   Research experience with surveys

4.   Experience with ethics applications


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.


Further information

Your work base will be at the Cicely Saunders Institute, King’s College London, on the Denmark Hill campus. Research and academic staff are currently working a combination of remote and in-person, with all staff on campus at least one day per week. This may change in the future, informed by government and university guidance. 


While the post is advertised as full-time we welcome applications from individuals who wish to be considered for part-time working (minimum 60% FTE). 


Funding is available for 16 months in the first instance. 


Interviews will be held via MS Teams during the week of 8th August 2022.

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