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Research Assistant, Department of Psychological Medicine

Psychological Medicine

London, Denmark Hill Campus

Overview

  • Posted on: 26th Jan 2021
  • Salary: £35,366 per annum pro rata (50%FTE), including London Weighting Allowance
  • REF: 014265
  • Closes: 26th February 2021
  • Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
  • Hours: Full Time

Job description

The post holder will be part of the Centre for Affective Disorders, and will be working on a highly innovative MRC-funded longitudinal study to validate and extend our previous machine-learning model which predicted recurrence in major depressive disorder with over 80% accuracy using fMRI and cognitive probes of self-blaming biases. The post will be supervised and closely supported by Roland Zahn, Reader in the Neurocognitive Bases of Mood Disorders and Consultant Psychiatrist (https://translational-cognitive-neuroscience.org) and will entail writing up first authored papers for publication in high quality journals. The post holder will also be supported by a postdoctoral research associate and by a junior and senior statistician. Career development, such as combining the post with a part-time PhD taking advantage of reduced fees for our research staff will be highly supported and we welcome applications from people from diverse backgrounds. The role will be based at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at Denmark Hill, South London, but the role may include travel across London to support recruitment activities.

A successful candidate will have a relevant MSc (high merit/distinction) or a first-class undergraduate degree in psychology or a related field. Experience of diagnostic assessments of patients with psychiatric disorders and basic software coding skills for scripting analyses are desirable. There is also the opportunity to develop additional research questions by designing neurocognitive tests or analysing diffusion weighted images, as well as virtual reality, and mobile monitoring, and linking this with data related to cortisol, oxytocin, and opioid systems.

This is a fixed-term contract, a part-time post for 4 years and 7 months.
Key responsibilities

  • Recruit participants with major depressive disorder and use semi-structured diagnostic interviews
  • Run fMRI & neurocognitive assessments
  • Carry out fMRI analyses
  • Write first-authored manuscripts

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

  • Passion for research into the neurocognitive aspects of self-blame in depression
  • Experience with assessing research participants in English
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English
  • Ability to work collaboratively as part of a team
  • Self-motivated and conscientious
  • Ability to manage time and meet deadlines
  • Excellent data management skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and polite manner
  • Excellent academic track record during undergraduate/postgraduate taught university courses (high merit/distinction level)
  • Excellent critical appraisal skills

Desirable criteria

  • Ability to script analyses using software coding
  • Experience with diagnostic assessments of patients with psychiatric disorders

Further information

  • As part of your application, please include a pdf of your dissertation which we require for assessing your writing skills, otherwise we will not be able to consider your application.
  • Interviews will take place via online video conference in early March. Due to funding restrictions this post will commence on 15th of June 2021. There is no flexibility with the start date.
  • Shortlisted candidates will be invited for a 30-minute assessment skills observation, where they will receive a copy of a semi-structured mental health interview which they are asked to administer to a mock patient via online video conference.
  • Candidates will be emailed a data-entry task to be completed using excel and to be emailed back within a given timeframe.
  • Candidates will be asked to complete an online critical appraisal task of a paper which will be shared with them.
  • Candidates will be asked to give a presentation about their previous research and how the advertised job fits with their research interests and career objectives.
  • This post is subject to Disclosure and Barring Service and Occupational Health clearance.

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