Research Assistant - CAMHS Digital Lab

London (Greater) (GB)
£35,502 - £38,314 pro rata per annum, including London Weighting Allowance
14 Mar 2023
End of advertisement period
04 Apr 2023
Job Type
Research Related
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Job description

This is an exciting full-time position to work with a multidisciplinary team of social scientists, computer scientists and clinicians with a shared interest in applying novel techologies to adolescent mental health research and health care delivery.  

The post is based within the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) Digital Lab, and will support a interdisciplinary partnership across KCL and the University of Sheffield that includes developmental psychopathology researchers, clinicians and data scientists. The post-holder will play a crucial role within the lab partnership to support a Medical Research Council Funded project titled “The automated coding of expressed emotion to enhance clinical and epidemiological mental health research in adolescence.” The main aims of this project are:  


•        To develop an automated, deep learning model based on a UK cohort to detect emotional attitudes of mothers towards their adolescent children from brief samples of mothers' speech collected when children were aged 10.  

•        Examine the automated model's performance across socio-economic strata and geographical locations (across England and Wales).  

•        Investigate the capability of the deep learning model to predict young people's mental health outcomes at 12 and 18 years of age. 

•        Conduct creative workshops with young people, parents, health and social care practitioners, educators, and policymakers to identify potential ethical, social, and practical issues involved with developing, implementing and scaling automated approaches to expressed emotion measurement.  

•        Use the material developed from the creative workshops and internal discovery session to publish a detailed product design brief and evaluation plan to build a prototype secure digital platform that enables external researchers to automate expressed emotion coding.   


The postholder will be integral to the team in meeting the project’s aims. Specifically,  they will take a lead role in the creation of gold standard transcriptions of short recordings of parental speech. Following expert training on expressed emotion coding, they will code the transcripts and support data scientists to train deep learning models in accurately identifying the context and content of emotional speech.   


The post holder will contribute to all patient and public facing engagement activities, as well preparing materials for digital platform development, publication and grant milestone reporting. 


We particularly welcome applicants who are disabled, LGBTQ+ and/or from a minority ethnic background, as they are under-represented 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. 


This post will be offered on a fixed-term contract for 18 months in the first instance 

This is a full-time post - 100% full time equivalent (a part-time role or job-share would be considered).


Key responsibilities

•        To develop proficiency and high reliability in rating expressed emotion according to Five Minute Speech Sample coding frameworks 

•        To coordinate and deliver high quality transcription and annotation of expressed emotion from five minute speech samples, already collected within the E-Risk Longitudinal Twin Study (   

•        To work closely with the data scientists in the team and support their analysis of qualitative and quantitative output from the five minute speech samples. 

•        To support the co-design and creative workshops with stakeholders and develop materials that inform the prototype platform to automate expressed emotion.  

•        To coordinate the development and implementation of the project ensuring synergy between the different aspects of the project, and facilitating effective communication and collaboration between team members and collaborators 

•        To assist in management of all data in collaboration with Database Administrator and data scientists  


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.      First degree in a field relevant to mental health and/or healthcare data science 

2.      MSc relevant to mental health and/or healthcare data science - awarded or near completion 

3.      Proven record of delivering work that required high attention to detail, ability to follow technical instructions and deliver error-free work. 

4.      Highly competent in administrative and project management 

5.      Research experience relevant to mental health  

6.      Experience of transcribing audio/speech files

7.      Ability to communicate compelling concepts with relevant stakeholders 

8.      Understanding of ethical approaches (e.g. communication and engagement skills) 

9.      A willingness to act under direction in a responsible and self-motivated way 

10.  Excellent written and visual communication skills  


Desirable criteria

  1. Experience in rating five minute speech samples or other expressed emotion  
  2. Proven interest in the application of design methods for user interfaces 
  3. Proven interest in speech processing and affective computing  

Further information

Candidates are encouraged to specifically address the Essential criteria (and where relevant the desirable criteria) listed above in their covering letter. We aim to hold interviews the week commencing 20th March.