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Research Assistant

Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust
Depending on experience
Closing date
24 Jul 2024

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We are looking for an enthusiastic research assistant working alongside the regional multi-disciplinary teams in a new pilot pathway in CYPMH Eating Disorder Intensive Day Virtual Service. The post holder will have the opportunity to be part of the implementation and developing the knowledge of a new model of care in the East of England region.

Main duties of the job

The main responsibilities are to work as a research assistant for the Regional CYPMH Eating Disorders Intensive Day and Virtual Services.This project is designed to evaluate the effectiveness of providing intensive support for young people with a severe eating disorder or disordered eating, who are at risk of needing inpatient admission.The post holder will assist in designing the evaluation process and will collect data and contribute to coordinating aspects of the research project. This will involve close liaison with the clinical teams and with the lead clinician leading on the services.This job description is an outline only and does not contain an exhaustive list of duties the post holder may therefore be required to undertake additional responsibilities. This JD may therefore be amended following discussion with the post holder.The post requires degree-level scientific knowledge and excellent communication skills in order to conduct specialist research and potentially present it both to specialists and to lay people. It will also demand empathy towards service user or parent/carer anxieties about the treatment and confidentiality implications of participation in research. The post holder may be required to be sensitive to challenging team dynamics and conflicting professional perspectives.

About us

Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (HPFT) is an outstanding organisation with ambitions to match. We are one of just five mental health trusts to achieve an overall rating of 'Outstanding' from theCare Quality Commission, and our aim is to be the leading provider of mental health and specialist learning disability services in the country.

Our family of over 3500 members of staff provide health and social care for over 400,000 people with mental ill health, physical ill health and learning disabilities across Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire, and Norfolk, delivering these services within the community and several inpatient settings. We also deliver a range of nationally commissioned specialist services including Tier 4 services for children and young people, perinatal services, plus medium and low secure learning disabilities services.

The care we provide makes a fantastic difference to the lives of our service users, their families and carers - everything is underpinned by choice, independence and equality, with our Trust values embedded throughout.

Our Trust values are:

Welcoming. Kind. Positive. Respectful. Professional.

These values are at the core of who we are, everything we do, and how we do it!

Job description

Job responsibilities

  • Job Responsibilities:

    To ensure the research design meets the needs of the evaluation and shows whether the project is effective and value for money

    To be responsible for ensuring patients treatments, assessment, follow- ups and data collection are co-ordinate

    To work to maintain service user and parent/carer confidentiality

    To maintain close liaison with relevant clinical and research staff

    To collect research data as appropriate

    To maintain and ensure that data associated with research projects is kept secure

    To ensure data collected meets the requirements of the research and evaluation

    The post-holder may be exposed to emotional situations on an occasional basis, for example hearing about life stories of service users and families in order to engage and encourage participation in research

    The post holder will manage their own work-load and timetable, with routine supervision

    They will travel to locations where it is agreed that in- person attendance is required

    Duties and Responsibilities:

    Duties are likely to involve some or all of the following :


    To attend multidisciplinary team meetings and other meetings to aid identification of any service users needed for particular evaluation. To present research protocols to the team to encourage participation.

    To identify tasks to ensure the evaluation is effective. To assist clinicians to obtain informed consent from participants if necessary

    To provide verbal and written information and support to research participants and their parents/carers for the duration of their involvement in the research project and to assist participants with the completion of questionnaires as necessary

    To undertake video calls to aid service users if necessary

    To carry out assessment of individual participants according to the research /evaluation demands

    To assist in preparing protocols and manuals for the evaluation

    To work at all times according to Good Clinical Practice, Research Governance and Trust guidelines


    To attend meetings as required

    To attend virtual meetings across the east of England

    To undertake assessments and follow-up when necessary

    To complete interviews with participants, families and other stakeholders as required

    To maintain a working knowledge of relevant mental health practice and to disseminate up to date information, protocol amendments etc to personnel as required

    To assist with the creation and delivery of relevant evaluation related protocols and procedures

    To undertake any other duties, which may be required from time to time, as are consistent with the responsibilities of the grade and needs of the service

    Education and Development

    To keep up to date with relevant training and develop skills and knowledge by maintaining a programme of development

    To participate positively in regular supervision and annual appraisal

    To complete Good Clinical Practice Training.

    Working Relationships and Communication Requirements of the Job

    To liaise with research and academic staff, the wider Trust personnel, clinical staff, and external contacts as necessary

    To maintain a position of integrity, appreciating the need for confidentiality when dealing with staff and issues appertaining to this post

    To demonstrate and use excellent communication skills

    Communication requirements

    To liaise with research and academic staff, the wider Trust personnel, clinical staff, and external contacts, including patients and participants using email, telephone, personal contact, written letters, notes, memos etc.

    To demonstrate and use excellent communication skills

    Clinical Responsibility

    The postholder will be responsible for understanding the clinical presentation of someone with a severe eating disorder / disordered eating, learning disability and autism, and mental health conditions in children and young people.

    Leadership and Staff Management Responsibility

    The postholder may be required to supervise some undergraduates who may be volunteering or working within the department.

    Financial responsibility

    The postholder will be responsible for minimising the financial impact of this evaluation

    Service Development and Improvement

    The postholder will be needed to make a contribution to the development of clinical interventions as directed by the Clinical Lead or Consultant Psychiatrist.

    Analytical and Judgemental Skills

    To ensure that any data collection is conducted according to specific research protocols and adheres to the Data Protection Act 1998 and according to Good Clinical Practice guidelines

    To be responsible for the recording of patient and/or parent/carer recruitment on appropriate systems, when required

    To provide information / reports on recruitment when requested

    The postholder should be familiar with data processing packages such as PASW

    For a more detailed description, please see attached JD and PS.

Person Specification



  • Psychology Degree (Hons, 2.1 or above) or equivalent degree in a related discipline


  • Higher degree (e.g. MSc, PhD)
  • Experience of working on funded clinical trials
  • Experience of gaining informed consent from those who volunteer to take part in research
  • Understanding of research methodologies including experimental and qualitative research methodologies



  • Experience of working with people with mental health problems
  • Working within mental health care services and nonstatutory services/voluntary agencies.
  • Ability to analyse complex statistical data using various analysis programs SPSS and Excel
  • A good level of keyboard skills gained from experience or training


  • Experience of working with those who have a history of PTSD/Trauma
  • Experience of working with people with neurodevelopmental disabilities



  • Able to communicate effectively within the multidisciplinary team environment.
  • The ability to communicate complex and sensitive material regarding clients of the team, effectively in team meetings (10+ people).



  • Ability to analyse complex statistical data using various analysis programs SPSS and Exce


  • Experience of managing data within clinical trials, including the completion and management of trialspecific Clinical Record Forms.

Employer details

Employer name

Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust


CAMHS Community Eating Disorder 15 Forest Lane, Kingsley Green Radlett WD7 9HQ

15 Forest Lane, Kingsley Green



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