Research Fellow

Division of Psychology and Language Science

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UCL, Gower Street, London, UK


  • Posted on: 24th Sep 2021
  • Salary: £36,770 - £40,928 per annum
  • REF: 1878816
  • Closes: 22nd October 2021
  • Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
  • Hours: Full Time, Part Time

Duties and Responsibilities

Overview of the project

Adolescence is a period of heightened vulnerability to developing mental health problems. Rates of mental health disorder in this age group have increased in the last decade. It is striking how few resources have been invested in advancing our understanding of how to effectively prevent mental health problems developing before they become entrenched, particularly in adolescents who are at high risk. Increasingly, researchers and clinicians are recognising that a new approach is needed, focusing on transdiagnostic mechanisms implicated in vulnerability to mental health problems.

In this new study, we will develop a novel preventative intervention, delivered in the school setting, which integrates targeted training in emotional processing with group interpersonal therapy (IPT) that addresses young peoples social relationships. Given the rapid rise in mental health difficulties that occurs in early to mid-adolescence, the study focuses on ages 13-14 years (school years 8 and 9), which represent an ideal phase for effective prevention. This new hybrid intervention will be created through an interdisciplinary partnership between young people, teachers, psychologists, sociologists, parents, clinicians, statisticians, digital health experts and performing artists.

Young people will be actively involved in shaping the new programme and agents in co-facilitating its delivery. Performing artists that specialise in working with young people will play a key role in engaging young people in the co-development process and bringing the intervention to life. The study will involve close partnership with school leaders, teachers and school mental health specialists to ensure that the programme is integrated appropriately with existing mental health provision and is sustainable in the long-term.

The project is being led by Professors Essi Viding and Pasco Fearon. The postdoctoral Research Fellow will take a lead on collating and testing the parts of the study battery that focus on social relationships. This will include working with the data manager to implement data collection systems, checking and piloting measurements in the field (including work with young people to optimise the study protocols), analysing the data and writing it up for publication. A further key task will be working with the study PIs, co-ordinator and data manager in curating the data for public use at the end of the study.

The post is for 4 years in the first instance.

Key Requirements

We are looking for an individual with excellent skills in multivariate statistics and scientific writing. The ideal candidate will also have experience in conducting research with young people and have experience in longitudinal mental health/social relationships research and/or intervention studies. Experience in social network analyses would be an advantage but is not an absolute requirement for the job. The applicant also needs to possess good interpersonal skills for communicating with the wider project team.

Further Details

A job description and person specification can be accessed at the bottom of this page.

To apply for the vacancy please click on the Apply Now button below.

If you have questions about applying, please contact Prof Pasco Fearon (

UCL Taking Action for Equality

We will consider applications to work on a part-time, flexible and job share basis wherever possible.

Closing Date

22 Oct 2021

Latest time for the submission of applications


Interview date


Our department holds an Athena SWAN Silver award, in recognition of our commitment and demonstrable impact in advancing gender equality.

This appointment is subject to UCL Terms and Conditions of Service for Research and Support Staff.

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