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Research Assistant in the Department of Psychology

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Closing date: 14th November 2023

Job description

This is an exciting opportunity to join a National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) funded research programme, which will evaluate a novel mindfulness intervention for adolescents with depression.  

The intervention, Mindfulness for Adolescents and Carers (MAC), is delivered in small groups to older adolescents (15-18 years old) who have a history of depression, and to their parents and carers in separate parallel groups. The research programme will investigate MAC in several work packages: (1) developing and delivering training and supervision in MAC for child mental health practitioners; (2) developing an App to support between-group practice; (3) running a multisite hybrid clinical and cost-effectiveness randomised controlled trial; (4) investigating potential mechanisms of therapeutic change; and (5) developing an implementation toolkit.   

The current post is to support the successful running of the first two work packages in the initial 14 months of the programme. The postholder will support the development and delivery of a bespoke week-long experiential training programme for child mental health practitioners. They will also contribute to the development and design of a new App including co-production with an advisory panel of young people and carers with lived experience, alongside close work with an external software supplier.   

The successful candidate will be an enthusiastic and motivated person. They will have an interest in working with young people with mental health difficulties and in developing and evaluating new psychological interventions. They will be highly organised with excellent communication and engagement skills. They will work well with others, and independently, show initiative when faced with challenges, and have good problem-solving skills.  

The postholder will be based at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neuroscience (IoPPN), Denmark Hill, South London, working under the direction and supervision of Prof Patrick Smith. 

The postholder will also liaise with the wider study team including Chief Investigator Prof Tamsin Ford at Cambridge University, and collaborators in Exeter, Oxford, Nottingham, and Sussex.   

This post will be offered on a fixed term contract for 14 months.   

This is a part time post – 80% full time equivalent.

Key responsibilities

  • To assist the project team in all aspects of project delivery
  • To attend regular meetings with the work package leads, project team, and advisory group.
  • To actively promote and support patient and public involvement and engagement in the project
  • To assist in developing content and materials for MAC training workshops
  • To assist in delivering training workshops
  • To ensure data collection and entry for evaluating training
  • To assist in setting up systems for delivering and evaluating supervision
  • To work closely with the work package leads, PPI contributors, and the external software company to design and develop the new App.
  • To assist in producing content for the new App
  • To co-ordinate iterative testing of App modules by young advisors, carers, and service users during App development
  • To assist in preparing ethical applications and local recruitment strategies for the trial phase
  • Any other duties appropriate to the grade and project as agreed with supervisor.

*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.

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