This is an exciting opportunity for an enthusiastic, motivated individual with a track record in palliative care and/or dementia care research (or a related area) to join a post-doctoral dementia capacity building programme hosted by the National Institute of Health and Care Research, Applied Research Collaborative South London (NIHR ARC SL).
We are looking for an individual with the ambition and potential for career progression in applied dementia research from across the health and social care disciplines. You will join a thriving cohort, under the support and mentorship of leading researchers in applied research.
This post will involve a novel mixed methods study on palliative dementia care for people living at home, focusing on a digital health intervention for family carers to identify priorities for care, inform decision making and enable timely access to healthcare. The post-holder will undertake cutting-edge research to co-design with family carers, using the Integrated Person-centred Outcome Scale for Dementia (IPOS-Dem) to identify needs, linked with evidence-based tools to support decision making, for the person with dementia and family carers. The intervention is delivered in an app. A key part of the study is understanding the cultural appropriateness of the intervention and opportunities to strengthen the approach.
The study builds on an ESRC/NIHR funded programme called EMBED-Care – Empowering Better End of Life Dementia Care (a joint programme between KCL and UCL). The study will extend the EMBED-Care framework, which incorporates IPOS-Dem linked with evidence-based decision support tools for optimal palliative care in dementia care. The framework forms an intervention delivered using the EMBED-Care app.
The post-holder will be based at the Cicely Saunders Institute, King’s College London, and will work closely with colleagues across the NIHR ARC SL, as well as engage with people living with dementia and carers from diverse communities. We have a rich collaborative environment crucial for addressing current challenges in dementia care and research. Patient and public involvement (PPI) in research is a vital part of our collaborative environment. We have built an innovative PPI infrastructure with a diverse community of public members affected by serious illness.
The postholder will capitalise on established capacity building programmes in the NIHR ARC SL with training/conferences on research methods and implementation science, including mentorship, individual coaching, policy engagement, and public involvement in dementia research, and utilise the extensive KCL internal courses for researchers (many at no cost). The postholder will engage with dementia networks across the NIHR, and people with care and support needs, carers and care practitioners, and managers. The postholder will have the opportunity to learn more about applied dementia research and provision, and implement their knowledge and skills in dementia care, practice, and policy. It provides an opportunity for them to hone methodological skills and develop expertise.
King’s applied health and social care research is ranked first in the UK in the Research Excellence Framework 2021, overall and for outputs, impact and environment, the Faculty of Nursing Midwifery and Palliative Care, ranked 2nd in the world for nursing.
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.
The postholder will report to Prof Catherine Evans, Professor in palliative care and honorary nurse consultant. Prof Irene Higginson, Professor in palliative medicine, and lead for the ARC SL theme for palliative and end of life care, will provide scientific oversight of the study and mentorship, and support supervision.
This post will be offered on an fixed-term contract for 2 years
This is a full-time post– 100% full time equivalent. We offer flexibility for part-time working and opportunity to retain clinical links or responsibilities.
• To lead on co-designing with family carers using the EMBED-Care framework and app for adults with dementia living at home, and strengthening the culturally appropriateness of the framework for palliative dementia care
• To undertake relevant systematic review to inform support activities and approaches for family carers to use digital healthcare for assessment and decision making for people with dementia living at home
• To develop a research protocol for a feasibility evaluation of the EMBED-care framework for family carers and identify and pursue research grant funding.
• To work closely and collaboratively with colleagues across ARC South London
• To embed Public and Patient Involvement in the project
• To contribute to the preparation and writing of reports
• To lead and contribute to writing of scientific papers and policy briefs
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. PhD awarded in health or social sciences or similar
2. A proven track record of high-quality scientific research in applied dementia research, palliative care or a related area
3. Degree in health or social sciences or similar, awarded to a high level (eg first or 2:1)
4. Experience in qualitative and/or quantitative research methods, good understanding of mixed methods research, and proficiency with data analysis packages such as NVIVO and SPSS
5. Proficiency in critical appraisal and literature reviewing
6. Excellent written and oral communication skills.
7. Able to produce high quality reports and papers, demonstrating attention to detail and accuracy
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
10. Commitment to high quality impactful research that improves care for people with dementia and their carers
11. Experience in Patient and Public Involvement
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.
Interview date, week commencing 12th September 2022