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Research Associate

Psychological Medicine

London, Strand Campus


  • Posted on: 23rd Dec 2021
  • Salary: £38,826 - £45,649 per annum per annum, including London Weighting Allowance
  • REF: 039206
  • Closes: 16th January 2022
  • Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
  • Hours: Full Time

Job description

The main purpose of this post is to undertake high-quality research within the ESRC Centre for Society and Mental Health at King’s College London, and to support the objectives of the Centre as set out at https://www.kcl.ac.uk/research/centre-for-society-mental-health. The Centre is a cross-Faculty initiative between the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IoPPN) and the Faculty of Social Science and Public Policy (SSPP).

You will work specifically on the CONtributions of social NETworks for Community Thriving (CONNECT) study within the Centre’s Marginalised Communities and Mental Health programme. You will work with Professor Stephani Hatch, Dr Hanna Kienzler and Dr Charlotte Woodhead, and collaborate closely with our community partners as well as the interdisciplinary team of researchers based in the Centre, and our national and international partners.

Together with our community partners, you will conduct participatory research (incorporating qualitative and/or quantitative data collection and analysis) within communities. It will focus primarily on Black and other minoritised groups, with an intersectional focus. This research will aim to better understand how social relationships contribute to (or hinder) marginalised communities and their mental health and how health promoting social relationships can be amplified. You will engage with partners to enhance the capacity for translation of findings to existing community (e.g. public health related) initiatives.

In addition, you will be supported in your career development; for example, to develop independent research and fellowship applications. You will have opportunities to work with others in developing further externally funded research to support the objectives of the Centre, publish papers in peer-reviewed journals, present at national/international conferences, and participate in secondments to partner organisations. You will also have opportunities to contribute to teaching and service within the Centre. This may include undertaking occasional lectures to undergraduates and postgraduate students in your specialist area, helping develop training courses in the Centre, and assisting with Master’s and PhD student supervision.

We strongly encourage applications from Black and minority ethnic candidates and candidates identifying as men as they are under-represented within the university at this level.

This post will be offered on an a fixed-term contract for 24 months

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

This post is subject to Disclosure and Barring Service clearance.

Key responsibilities

  • To develop trusting relationships and undertake high quality ethical participatory action research with community and other non-academic partners under the overall guidance of the programme leads. This includes helping to recruit and work alongside community researchers.
  • To coordinate and manage CONNECT study, ensuring synergy between the different aspects of the project, and facilitating effective communication and collaboration between team members, as well as within and across the programmes within the Centre.
  • To conduct analysis of primary and secondary qualitative, and secondary quantitative data informed by social sciences concepts and theoretical frameworks.
  • To develop dissemination materials and support knowledge exchange with public health and related bodies/organisations (e.g., local authorities, Integrated Care Systems, other public sector and voluntary/community-sector organisations) and policymakers (working with partners in the King’s Policy Institute), as appropriate.
  • To develop own research interests and conduct independent research linked to the priorities of the programme and the Centre, with the support of and as agreed with the programme leads.
  • To publish findings in highly rated internationally recognised journals, present papers at international conferences, and participate in internationally recognised academic networks.
  • To plan and deliver occasional lectures to undergraduate and postgraduate students, assist with PhD and/or Master’s student supervision, and contribute to the development and delivery of training courses for the Centre (in areas appropriate to their specialism, as agreed with the programme leads).
  • To contribute to developing, coordinating and evaluating public engagement and pathways to impact across research programmes
  • To have responsibility for specific administrative duties for the Centre, as requested by the programme leads.
  • To prepare and present information on research progress and outcomes to programme leads and other colleagues.
  • To liaise regularly with research colleagues and support staff on routine matters.
  • To engage in thoughtful and respectful academic exchange with colleagues at meetings, conferences, workshops, and seminars in the UK and abroad.
  • To ensure close collaborative working with and ongoing input from other platforms and programmes.
  • To ensure effective collaborative working with relevant academic and non-academic partners.
  • To act as a responsible team member, leading where agreed, and developing productive and participatory working relationships with others.
  • To attend and contribute to relevant meetings including Centre meetings and research seminars.
  • To enhance a sense of collegiality and inclusion among staff.
  • To commit to enhancing Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, and to the principles of Athena SWAN, Race Equality and Stonewall Charters.
  • To look to constantly improve the effectiveness and efficiency of service delivery within the research project.

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

  • PhD awarded on a topic related to the work of the Centre or PhD on a topic related to the work of the Centre near completion (e.g., sociology, public health/public mental health, social/psychiatric epidemiology, applied mental health, social/ community psychology, or related social science)
  • Knowledge and experience of social research on mental health.
  • Knowledge of relevant theory and research (e.g., on social integration, social identification, social capital, social belonging, and/or other social determinants of mental health).
  • Experience undertaking qualitative and/or quantitative social science research (including planning, data collection, management, analysis and interpretation) with commitment to undertaking additional training, where needed, for carrying out mixed methods research.
  • Experience of conducting community-based research incorporating Participatory Action Research or other community participatory models and approaches.
  • Experience of working with voluntary and community sector and/or public sector organisations and other non-academic partners.
  • Knowledgeable about complexities in conducting research involving mental health and social processes in communities.
  • Experience in preparing journal articles and written reports for academic and non-academic audiences.
  • Experience in public engagement with evidence of strong interest in developing new methods for improving inclusion of marginalised groups.
  • Commitment to sharing power, challenging structural oppressions and creating sustainable, progressive change through research.

Desirable criteria

  • Experience in preparing ethics and research governance applications.
  • Experience in integrated knowledge translation or exchange.
  • Experience with public health approaches and monitoring/ evaluating community-based interventions.

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