Research Assistant

London (Greater) (GB)
£34,502 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance
18 Aug 2022
End of advertisement period
18 Aug 2023
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Job description

The post-holder will work in the area of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) on the REFUEL-MS programme grant, which aims to develop, optimise and implement a blended digital self-management treatment for fatigue in MS.   


REFUEL-MS is a 5.5 year National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) funded  programme grant for applied research. The overall aim of the REFUEL-MS programme grant is to draw together existing components of exercise and behavioural interventions into an individually tailored physiotherapist/occupational therapist supported digital fatigue treatment to be routinely implemented across NHS MS services. 


The post-holder will be responsible for supporting the groundwork during intervention development (i.e. focus groups) during the first 2.5 years of the programme and data collection (quantitative and qualitative) during the implementation study and subsequently trial of the developed intervention. This will include: 

•        facilitating intervention development workshops with people living with MS, 

•        facilitating focus groups and interviews with under-served/seldom-heard people living with MS, 

•        facilitating focus groups and interviews with formal and informal carers of people living with MS, 

•        managing recruitment and data collection for the mixed-method study to test the functionality, acceptability, and implementation plan for the intervention in four diverse NHS services, 

•        gathering qualitative data from people living with MS on their experiences of using the intervention for optimisation, 

•        Managing recruitment and data collection during the randomised-controlled trial of the developed intervention across 12 NHS services. 


This post will be based in the Health Psychology Group, Department of Psychology, embedded within a team which brings together expertise in long-term condition management, implementation, and intervention research. The Health Psychology section has been influential in the evolution of Health Psychology as a discipline in the UK.  We are internationally recognised for excellence in research and teaching, including: 


•        Fundamental research to establish the psychosocial and neurological processes underlying adaptation to long term conditions and the experience of symptoms. 

•        Translational research testing the efficacy and effectiveness of theory-based psychological interventions for people with LTCs.  

•        Development and evaluation of innovative methods for supporting self-management of health, symptoms, mood and adherence, including digital interventions. 

•        Delivering three courses; the BSc (Intercalated) Psychology / Neuroscience, MSc in Health Psychology and the IAPT LTC top-up training. 


At King’s we are deeply committed to embedding good equality and diversity practice into all our activities so that the university is an inclusive, welcoming, and inspiring place to work and study, regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, marital status, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion, sex or sexual orientation. 

We particularly encourage applications from candidates within black and minority ethnic groups which are under-represented within the University at higher academic levels. 


This post will be offered as a fixed term one year contract with potential to be extended – up to a further 4.5 years. 

This is a full-time  post


Key responsibilities

•        Provide assistance to the team in obtaining R&D and ethical approval for studies of the programme of research 

•        Conduct and analyse data from focus groups and interviews to inform intervention development and ensure the reach of REFUEL-MS to under-served/seldom-heard groups. 

•        Plan and conduct stakeholder meetings and co-production workshops (e.g. patient representatives, healthcare professionals) to inform intervention development and implementation. 

•        Assist with the development of the digital intervention including content and interactive tasks. 

•        Liaise with healthcare professionals in NHS MS services to establish treatment pathways and implementation where appropriate.  

•        Support recruitment, data collection and analysis of qualitative and quantitative data arising from the implementation study  

•        Contribute to the dissemination of findings, including writing up the work for publication in peer-reviewed journals. 

•        Anticipate and manage problems that may affect the achievement of research objectives and project timeframes.  

•        Work independently to ensure daily tasks and ongoing workloads are prioritised and completed in agreed timeframes 

•        Contribute to the appropriate collection and management of information with full awareness of needs for confidentiality and data protection. 

•        Work collaboratively in a multidisciplinary team 


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

Applicants should have a background in psychology, ideally with health-related research experience. This project will involve supporting multiple streams of work, including conducting research, working with stakeholders, content creation, research planning and analysis, and liaising with healthcare professionals. Therefore, excellent organisational skills and the ability to deliver different outputs at high quality and in a timely manner are very important, as are the ability to communicate effectively with different stakeholders in a friendly and professional manner.


Essential criteria  

  1. Degree in Psychology or related degree.  
  2. Knowledge of health psychology  
  3. Knowledge of quantitative and qualitative research methods.     
  4. Excellent IT skills, including data management systems. 
  5. Ability to work independently, with excellent organizational and project management skills. 
  6. Experience of planning and conducting research study. 
  7. Experience of data input, data cleaning and data management. 
  8. Excellent interpersonal / team-working skills. 
  9. Proactive and able to use initiative and problem solve. 
  10. Ability to conduct research to ethical standards and empathic manner. 
  11. Understand the importance of confidentiality, data protection and good clinical practice standards. 

Desirable criteria

1.      Master’s Degree in Health Psychology 

2.      Experience of conducting research within an NHS setting 

3.      Experience of writing patient content or creating health interventions, particularly within digital health. 

4.      Experience of gathering PPI input for research 

5.      Knowledge, understanding and experience of cognitive behavioural therapy

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