Cicely Saunders International Research Associate / Research Assistant

London (Central), London (Greater) (GB)
£34,502 - £39,333 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance (Research Assistant) £40,386 - £47
01 Mar 2023
End of advertisement period
22 Mar 2023
Academic Discipline
Clinical, Pre-clinical & Health
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Job description

This is an exciting opportunity for an enthusiastic and motivated individual with a research record and interest in palliative care to gain excellent research experience by contributing to  applied health research projects supported by the palliative care charity Cicely Saunders International, and preparing new fellowship and other applications.  


The post-holder will work with Professor Irene Higginson to support existing research activity, including analysing existing data from national and international studies, liaising with centres, undertaking scoping, systematic and narrative literature reviews, and supporting data collection where appropriate. S/he will assist in identifying and applying for further funding to carry the work forward, working in collaboration with the charity’s Scientific Director and Administrative Director. The post-holder will work on the charity’s key research priorities including improving care for people at home and in care homes, outcome measurement and standards of care, widening access to palliative care, promoting self-management and independence right up to the end of life, development and evaluation of virtual care and virtual education particularly related to symptoms management, palliative care policy engagement, and health economic palliative care.  


The post provides an opportunity for the postholder to hone their methodological skills and develop practical and theoretical research expertise. 


The post-holder will work with Professor Higginson, Trustees of the Cicely Saunders International and academics/researchers at the Cicely Saunders Institute. S/he will participate in all aspects of the research, including literature reviews, further development of protocols, application to ethics committees, interviewing and data collection, analysis and writing reports, reporting to funders, uploading activity to research fish, wider engagement, liaison with clinical services and dissemination of research outputs. 


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 NMPC is ranked 2nd  in the world for nursing.  


Candidates should be highly motivated individuals with the ability to work independently as well as part of a team, enjoy working on more than one project at a time, have a sound grasp of both quantitative and qualitative methods, and excellent communication skills. We are keen to hear from candidates with diverse backgrounds and experience. 


This post will be offered on a fixed-term contract for 3 years 


This is a full-time post


Key responsibilities

  1. Manage and execute all delegated areas of project and literature reviews, keeping to agreed deadlines. 
  2. Liaise with funders, staff in the service, and collaborating organisations. 
  3. Draft research reports and papers, including progress reports, final reports and publications, and update reporting data bases, such as research fish. 
  4. Maintain and update research datasets. 
  5. Interview patients, carers, professionals and other relevant individuals. 
  6. Analysis of data using appropriate statistical and other packages e.g. SPSS, Excel. 
  7. Be self-serving in producing reports, in communication and in establishing and managing an electronic database of references. 
  8. Represent the project and the department at meetings, conferences, on behalf of Cicely Saunders International and the Cicely Saunders Institute, and feedback as requested and appropriate.  
  9. Contribute to the dissemination of study results and implementation of good practice. 
  10. Work flexibly and in collaboration with staff in relevant organisations involved in the projects. 
  11. Maintain strict confidentiality of any patient/family/staff information and work within the terms of the Data Protection Act. 
  12. Participate in departmental staff meetings, researchers' seminars and development, appraisal and team building exercises and the general research quality and administrative duties within the department at King’s. 
  13. Undertake other literature reviews and searches, and collaborate on other projects as appropriate and consistent with departmental needs. 
  14. Any other duties consistent with the grade of the post, as agreed with Professor Higginson. This may include undertaking ad hoc reports and representing the project at meetings or conferences. 


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.       A degree in health or social sciences or similar;  

2.       PhD in health or social sciences or similar; (for Research Associate) 

3.       Relevant research (e.g. applied health research, palliative care) experience – in particular literature reviews, interviewing, protocol development, conducting studies, analysing results, reporting findings; 

4.       Demonstrated understanding of research methods, including quantitative research, mixed method research, and experimental and quasi-experimental study designs in health services research; 

5.       Previous experience in analysing research data to a high degree of accuracy, with a good level of numeracy – with commitment to rigour of analysis, and sound research computing skills, and ability to learn new packages – e.g. word-processing, databases, Reference Manager, SPSS, graphics packages; 

6.       Excellent presentation and communication skills, and ability to adapt to different audiences, evidenced by presenting at relevant meetings, research publications; 

7.       Well organised, and able to work independently and work to tight deadlines, prioritising competing workloads; 

8.       Evidence of being able to work well with others and work as a team with respect of other members of the department, students and colleagues; 

9.       Commitment to high quality research and teaching and to commitment to objectives of palliative care. 

10.   Commitment to actively fostering inclusion, equality and diversity 


Desirable criteria

1.       Research or clinical experience in palliative care;

2.       Experience of interviewing users about sensitive issues;

3.       Experience of philanthropic organisations and making submissions to philanthropy

4.       Recent relevant publications in leading academic journals with evidence of research impact.


Further information

Interviews will be conducted in March, 2023

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