Research Assistant

East London NHS Foundation Trust
£35,392 to £42,618 a year pa pro rata
Closing date
7 Jun 2023

View more

Healthcare scientist
Band 6
Job summary

The main duties of the post-holder will include supporting patients under the care of secondary mental health services through the research process, with particular focus on follow up assessments where you will be completing both quantitative and qualitative interviews with participants.

The post-holder will be responsible for collecting, analysing and reporting on research data pertaining to specific projects as part of the ERA trial. The post-holder will support qualitative analysis and quantitative analysis where needed using different methods and established software packages and be involved in the publication and dissemination/utilisation of findings. They will actively promote research amongst clinicians, service users and the wider NHS.

The overall aim of the ERA trial is to test the effectiveness of group arts therapies compared to group counselling for diagnostically heterogeneous community mental health patients (patients with different and varied mental health conditions) in a multicentre randomised controlled trial. The post will be based within our services in Bedford and will require the post-holder to be able to travel between sites in Bedford and London.

Main duties of the job

The post-holder will have excellent communication skills, with experience of working with and supporting people with severe mental illness, alongside exceptional self-organisational skills. They will be able to work methodically and accurately with good attention to detail and experience with data entry and analysis will be beneficial.

The successful candidate will be familiar with mental health services and the collection, management and analysis of quantitative and qualitative data. Knowledge and understanding of psychosocial interventions, particularly the arts therapies and research experience in the mental health field is desirable.

The Unit for Social and Community Psychiatry, with which the post is affiliated, is designated a World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre and is the only one in the world specifically for mental health services development.

About us

The Research Assistant will support the ERA multicentre randomised controlled trial, funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The ERA trial is one of the largest ever trials of arts therapies and is hosted by the Unit for Social and Community Psychiatry, a vibrant World Health Organisation collaborating research centre. The post will suit applicants with experience of working with and supporting service users in NHS mental health services.

Job description

Job responsibilities

  • Supporting patients under the care of secondary mental health services through the research process with particular focus on follow up assessments where you will be completing both quantitative and qualitative interviews with participants who have heterogeneous mental health conditions.
  • Collect, collate and enter data as required; and dispatch to relevant departments or research centres.
  • Work actively to monitor patient retention with regards to data collection and problem solve barriers to patient access and retention.
  • Attend and contribute to project management group meetings
  • Work as an active part of a multidisciplinary team of scientists and support staff at the Unit for Social and Community Psychiatry, develop good working relationships with the team and participant in the unit's remote and in person academic activities.
  • Travel between sites in central Bedford and London as required.

Person Specification

Essential and desirable criteria


  • Undergraduate degree in psychology or related social sciences
  • Post-graduate qualification, or equivalent research experience in psychology / psychiatry or closely cognate discipline (e.g. social science)
  • Knowledge of / familiarity with services for patients with severe mental illnesses OR experience of health service research
  • Research experience - data collection, data entry, data analysis, and writing up research
  • Management of both qualitative and quantitative data
  • Knowledge of Good Clinical Practice and Research governance together with the ability to disseminate the knowledge and information
  • Proven experience in a mental health setting
  • Good writing and communication skills - Demonstrable ability to communicate complex information to a range of audiences and through a variety of mediums with confidence, empathy and enthusiasm.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including the ability to communicate with people with severe mental illness and engage them in research
  • Ability to receive, analyse and handle large volumes of complex, sensitive and highly confidential information.
  • Ability to maintain accurate and up to date records with attention to detail
  • Understanding of the research process; demonstrable knowledge of research design and methods including an understanding of the analytical process
  • Proven organisation and time management skills to manage and deliver a range of tasks and projects to tight deadlines, including the ability to manage own workload within defined parameters.
  • Computer literacy
  • Able to work flexibly, creatively, and cooperatively - contributing to the formulation and adjustment of plans and organising clinical, academic and service user involvement within those plans.
  • Proven ability to work effectively as a team member as well as working alone
  • Highly motivated with the ability to influence and inspire others
  • Ability to work on own initiative with limited supervision and to take decisions independently when necessary; committed to getting tasks done
  • Willingness to learn new skills and undertake training (if necessary) to deliver psychological assessments and take clinical samples from study participants
  • Reliable
  • Able to travel across sites independently in Bedford and London
  • Able to start as soon as possible
  • Flexible approach to working, including problem solving, management of change and a desire to develop knowledge


  • ICH Good Clinical Practice
  • Previous experience of working on a clinical trial, ideally in mental health
  • Previous experience working within a multidisciplinary team, ideally with the NHS
  • Publication of research findings in peer reviewed journals
  • Recruitment of participants to research
  • Project management experience
  • Experience presenting research findings to internal departments and external bodies
  • Knowledge of standard statistical packages (e.g. SPSS and NVivo)
  • Grant application preparation skills
  • Quantitative and qualitative data analysis skills

Any attachments will be accessible after you click to apply.


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