Postdoctoral Project Manager position at IoPPN, King’s College London

Post-Doctoral Research Associate – SPARK Project Manager

Job ID: 012084 Salary: £38,304 – £41,517 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance Posted: 15-Dec-2020 Closing date: 10-Jan-2021
Business unit: IoPPN Department: Psychology 

Contact details: Dr Rosa Hoekstra,
Guy’s Campus  

Job description

The post-holder will work on a 4-year NIHR-funded project entitled “SPARK: SuPporting African communities to increase the Resilience and mental health of Kids with developmental disorders and their caregivers”.
The SPARK project builds on previous research in Ethiopia (led by SPARK Co-PI Dr Rosa Hoekstra) and Kenya (led by SPARK Co-PI Prof Amina Abubakar) adapting and pilot testing a Caregiver Skills Training for parents of children with developmental disorders, developed by the World Health Organization.
SPARK aims to evaluate the effectiveness and cost effectiveness of the Caregiver Skills Training programme in improving the wellbeing and mental health of Ethiopian and Kenyan children with developmental disorders and their caregivers and to co-develop an integrated care model together with local communities, to promote identification and referral of children with developmental disorders, community-based support and inclusion.
SPARK will be conducted in four sites, spanning urban and rural Ethiopia and Kenya. The project comprises three phases: i) a pre-implementation phase in which a training package is developed to increase identification of children with developmental disorders in the community; ii) phase 1, in which the training package is implemented and evaluated, and site-specific integrated care models are developed; iii) phase 2, comprising a randomised controlled trial of the Caregiver Skills Training programme.

The post-holder will be based at the Institute of Psychology, Psychiatry & Neuroscience’s Department of Psychology and will have the opportunity to work with some of the world’s leading researchers in autism, global mental health and clinical trials research.

This is a full-time post and will be offered on a fixed-term contract for three years in the first instance with possibility of extension.

Key responsibilities

The post-holder will provide day-to-day management of the SPARK project, from development through trial management, to dissemination. They will collaborate closely with the Co-PIs and research coordinators and trial coordinators in Ethiopia and Kenya to ensure the smooth-running of the project. They will also be responsible for ethics submissions, report-writing and budget management, and develop documentation to ensuring the SPARK materials are harmonised across project sites. Moreover they will take the lead on aspects of the project that fit with their interests and experiences to analyse data, and with support from the Co-PIs and wider project team, will write academic papers from data generated at all stages of the project.

Skills, knowledge, and experience

Essential criteria

  • PhD awarded or PhD thesis submitted in a field related to Psychology, Mental Health or Global Health;
  • Previous experience in the management of research projects, including
    research design, data collection and data analysis;
  • Advanced research skills, supported by peer-reviewed publications and/or reports;
  • Advanced knowledge of research relating to global mental health, global child development, global disability, global child health and/or developmental disorders;
  • Excellent research-related IT skills: word processing, reference management, packages to support data analysis (e.g. SPSS, Stata, NVivo) and an aptitude for learning new IT packages;
  • Excellent organisational and decision-making skills;
  • Ability to work effectively and communicate with collaborators from a range of disciplines and cultural backgrounds;
  • Ability to work as part of a team with staff at all levels and with a variety of stakeholders;
  • Flexible, committed, reliable and enthusiastic approach to work;
  • Accuracy and attention to detail;
  • Willingness and ability to travel to project sites in Ethiopia and Kenya once or twice a year.

Desirable criteria

  • Qualification and/or relevant training in clinical trials or project management;
  • Experience working on international projects;
  • Previous experience working or living in a low or middle-income context, preferably in Africa;
  • Practical experience of monitoring and managing budgets, as well as producing financial reports.

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

In your application, please include

  • Details of your qualifications (you will need to attach copies)
  • A copy of your CV (please include this as an attachment)
  • A motivation letter describing your interests, why you wish to apply for this post, and how your previous research experience and skills fit with the post advertised. Please include this as an attachment rather than using the text box.

Shortlisted candidates will be asked to complete a short writing task and will be invited to a panel interview held on 29 January 2021.