Research Associate/Research Assistant job at KINGS COLLEGE LONDON

job description

This is an exciting new position where the successful candidate will have the opportunity to work within an internationally renowned team of researchers studying cannabinoid-based treatments for neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders and to play a key in a new line of research on the safety, efficacy and mechanism of action of a new pharmacological treatment based on cannabinoids for the psychosis of Parkinson’s disease. The team is particularly interested in studying the mechanism of action of cannabinoids and a key part of this work program will involve the application of state-of-the-art neuroimaging techniques (such as fMRI) to study the neural substrates that underlie psychosis in Parkinson’s disease and examine the effect of treatment on these neural substrates. As part of this role, the designated person will be directly involved in a multicenter randomized clinical trial to evaluate this new pharmacological treatment for people with Parkinson’s disease psychosis. The individual will be based in the IoPPN Academic Psychiatry Division at KCL and will work closely with the IC for this study, Professor Sagnik Bhattacharyya (https://www.kcl.ac.uk/people/professor-sagnikbhattacharyya ) and other researchers based at King’s College London, in particular Dr Latha Velayudhan ( https://www.kcl.ac.uk/people/dr-latha-velayudhan), based in the Department of Old Age Psychiatry from King’s College London.

This position is currently funded for a minimum of 24 months with potential for extension and an expected start from July 2022. However, the post holder will be employed for 12 months initially, which will be extended subject to satisfactory progress. The start date is flexible and can be negotiated with the right candidate. The successful candidate will have a PhD or degree in psychology or a related field (2:1 or higher) and will need excellent communication skills. Previous experience in the management and coordination of clinical trials is desirable but not essential; however, appropriate academic and/or professional qualifications are required. This position may be suitable for a researcher who has just completed his doctorate or who is in the final phase of submission. However, outstanding candidates without a PhD but with an appropriate level of experience will also be considered and are encouraged to apply.

The successful candidate will be encouraged to develop their own research interests and may have the opportunity to enroll in an advanced degree.

They will also be part of a wider research program into cannabinoid-based treatments for a range of neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders at King’s College London and interact with clinical fellows, research assistants, postdoctoral researchers and PhD students. .

This position will be offered on a fixed-term contract for a period of 1 year.

This is a full-time position – 100% full-time equivalent

Main responsibilities

  • Recruit/identify/approach and consent to potential study participants, as appropriate
  • Arrange and conduct all assessments with appropriate clinician support as needed
  • Contribute to timely data entry into study databases
  • Ensure adherence to trial protocols and administrative requirements and monitor and ensure data quality and integrity
  • Contribute to the effective day-to-day management of the trial.
  • Ensure an effective collaborative relationship with local services, other test sites and other related projects
  • Monitor the progress of testing to ensure compliance and adherence to the project plan and to identify, assess and correct issues.
  • Liaise with the Trials Steering Committee and Data Oversight and Ethics Committee with a particular perspective on compliance with research governance, good clinical practice, data protection and ethical requirements , as required.
  • Provision of regular and timely information, written and verbal, to all trial participants, funders and sponsors, to include reports, updates, advice, commitments and, possibly, a newsletter.
  • The assurance that personal and confidential information is reserved for those authorized to know it.
  • Any other duties appropriate to the rank as directed by the Chief Investigator.
  • Develop your own interest in research
  • Continually update knowledge and understanding in the field
  • Collaborate with academic colleagues on areas of shared research interest
  • Attend and contribute to relevant meetings
  • Demonstrate consideration for others and respect confidentiality

The above list of responsibilities may not be exhaustive and the post holder will be required to undertake the duties and responsibilities reasonably expected within the scope and classification of the position.

Skills, knowledge and experience

Essential criteria

1. BSc/MSc in a relevant field (e.g. psychology, neuroscience, neurodegenerative disorders, clinical trials, clinical neuroscience, psychiatric research, mental health studies) or comparable qualification (e.g. someone with a medical background with a relevant research experience). Individuals with medical training and relevant research experience are welcome to apply, but the position is not funded for a clinician.

2. Ability to work effectively with multidisciplinary and clinical teams in research and ability to deal sensitively with study participants and their families/caregivers

3. Good organizational and time management skills – strong planning and organizational skills, including the ability to prioritize and manage multiple tasks

4. Excellent oral and written communication skills

5. An understanding of data protection and patient privacy

6. Ability to prepare ethical, research and development applications and knowledge of research governance

7. Previous research or clinical trial experience

Desirable criteria

1. Doctorate obtained in [Psychiatry, Neuroscience or related subjects] or doctorate in [Psychiatry, Neuroscience or related subjects] almost finished.

2. Previous research experience on Parkinson’s disease or other neurodegenerative disorders, experimental medicine studies or clinical trials

* Please note that candidates who have submitted their thesis and are awaiting their doctorate will also be considered. In these circumstances, the appointment will be in 5th year, spine 30 with the title of research assistant. Upon confirmation of the PhD award, the job title will change to Research Associate and the salary will increase to Grade 6.

Further information

This position is subject to Disclosure and Barring Service and Occupational Health clearance.

Parkinson’s disease, psychosis, trial of cannabinoid drugs