Research Associate in Neuroimaging Analysis

Perinatal Imaging & Health

London, St. Thomas' Campus

Overview

  • Posted on: 16th Nov 2021
  • Salary: £38,826 - £45,649 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance
  • REF: 036966
  • Closes: 13th December 2021
  • Contract Type: Permanent
  • Hours: Full Time

Job description

We are seeking a full-time Postdoctoral Research Associate to support an MRI project investigating the brain changes in foetuses, neonates and infants at risk of neurodevelopmental disorders. Specifically, the role is part of the largest autism research programme in Europe, EU-AIMS-2-TRIALS. The over-arching aim of this work is to determine the biological impact of risk factors for neurodevelopmental disorders on the brain and to identify treatment targets.

This research role represents a unique opportunity to work on a pan-European programme of research into neurodevelopmental disorders over the lifespan, uniquely spanning prenatal life through to adulthood. The successful candidate should have substantial experience in the analysis of MRI and specifically a PhD in a neuroimaging in neonates and infants. They should also have research experience in neurodevelopmental psychiatric conditions.

Working closely with the team in KCL and with the analysts in Donders University and across EU-AIMS-2-TRIALS, the successful candidate will primarily contribute to analysis of pre-existing data and incorporate the new data acquired during the course of this post. They should be flexible and able to contribute to other aspects of the conduct and completion of the research project where appropriate. A focus will be on the publication and dissemination of the research findings. For this role in particular, in addition to an in-depth neuroimaging analysis expertise in MRI and the statistical techniques that can be applied to these methods they will be encouraged to be innovative in their approach to analyses; and be prepared to develop skills further. The department is highly collaborative and new collaborations both internally and with European partners are welcome and encouraged.

The successful candidate will have ample scope to develop his or her own research interests within this programme of work. They will be supported in working towards a fellowship application to support their own research in due course.

The post holder will also work closely with other research staff on the project and in the department and within the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, to foster effective collaborative working relationships. Importantly, the post holder will also have the opportunity to contribute to education, for example, providing teaching where appropriate to the host departments.

This post will be offered on an a fixed-term contract until 31 May 2023

This is a full-time post

Key responsibilities

The successful applicant will contribute to the successful conduct and completion of fetal, neonatal and infant MRI research projects (details to be discussed). Primary duties will be:

  • To be responsible for data analysis.
  • To ensure an effective collaborative relationship with other research workers on the project and within King’s, GSTT and SLaM and also with other linked NHS Trusts.
  • To contribute to the dissemination of findings as directed.
  • To assist with other research projects running within the group as directed.
  • To develop their own research interests with a view to applying for Fellowship funding support for future studies.
  • To contribute to education, for example, departmental MSc teaching and project supervision.
  • Communication & networking: Communicating with the Lead Investigators, research team and collaborators; organising regular meetings; communicating on a regular basis with the EU-AIMS-2-TRIALS consortium.
  • The post holder may be required to collaborate with other staff within KCL, attend regular team meetings and provide updates on activity. Excellent communication skills will be needed.
  • Decision making, planning & problem solving: Ensuring that project tasks are within their competencies, and to seek appropriate advice and assistance when beyond their competency.
  • To maintain competency and training.
  • To plan to ensure that the project is kept to schedule. To maintain high standards of research in line with good clinical practice.
  • The post holder will also be responsible for making decisions, planning strategies and devising solutions to research problems that arise. These decisions, plans and solutions will then need to be discussed with colleagues in a collaborative manner.
  • Application of principles of Good Clinical Practice: To maintain training and apply the principles of GCP.
  • To organise the appropriate collection and management of information with full awareness of needs for confidentiality and data protection.
  • All to be conducted according to the standards of Good Clinical Practice
  • To manage data and undertake analyses of large multimodal imaging datasets.
  • To remain current and have an innovative approach to analysis.
  • To work effectively with the academic research team
  • To work effectively with related projects
  • Use of computers and time spent at monitors
  • To travel on project business when required
  • To be prepared to cover evening/night scanning if required (with time off in lieu)
  • Pastoral Care: Show consideration to others.

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. Undergraduate degree

2. PhD awarded in in MRI analysis of neonates and infants, or PhD near completion.

3. Knowledge of the field of neurodevelopmental disorders and creative/innovative approach to research in this area

4. Advanced multi-modal image analysis skills

5. Ability to produce high quality publication outputs and Publications in peer reviewed journals

6. Programming skills

7. Sound understanding of research methods and ability to teach cohorts from diverse backgrounds

8. Previous experience processing neonatal and/or paediatric MR

9. Presentation and dissemination experience

10. Experience of vulnerable participants

11. Good organisational, time management and communication skills

12. Willingness to travel on project business when required and to work outside usual office hours where it is essential to the project

Desirable criteria

1. Ability to prepare ethical, research and development and research governance applications

2. Project management experience

* Please note that this is a PhD level role but candidates who have submitted their thesis and are awaiting award of their PhDs will be considered. In these circumstances the appointment will be made at Grade 5, spine point 30 with the title of Research Assistant. Upon confirmation of the award of the PhD, the job title will become Research Associate and the salary will increase to Grade 6.

Further information

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

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