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Job id: 074306. Salary: £42,405 - £45,932 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance.

Posted: 08 September 2023. Closing date: 08 October 2023.

Business unit: IoPPN. Department: Psychosis Studies.

Contact details: Professor Alice Egerton. Alice.Egerton@kcl.ac.uk

Location: Denmark Hill Campus. Category: Research.

Job description

We are looking for a Postdoctoral Research Associate to work as part of a research team investigating the brain changes that occur in people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia using advanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET) neuroimaging techniques.   

The project involves acquisition and analyses of advanced neuroimaging data, acquired on combined PET- MR and 7 Tesla (7T) MRI scanners. The postholder would also contribute to recruitment and assessment of healthy volunteers and people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, ensuring all participants have a positive experience of research participation.  

The postholder will be part of a multidisciplinary team, including researchers with expertise in the neurobiology of schizophrenia, PET and MR data acquisition and analyses, and clinicians. They will work within the Department of Psychosis Studies at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IoPPN), Denmark Hill campus. They will be required to travel to St Thomas’ Hospital campus where the PET-MR and 7T MRI scanners are located, and within South London and the Maudsley (SLaM) NHS Foundation Trust to support patient recruitment.  

The project is funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC), U.K. 

This post will be offered on a full-time, fixed term contract for 4 years. 

Key responsibilities

  • To acquire PET and MRI data in adults with / without schizophrenia. 
  • To contribute to participant recruitment and assessment. 
  • To analyse neuroimaging data in accordance with the study hypotheses 
  • To prepare scientific publications in peer-reviewed journals 
  • To maintain study databases to excellent standards, ensuring data quality and integrity. 
  • To ensure adherence to study protocols, training and administrative requirements 
  • To ensure that all data is treated confidentially, in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).  
  • To develop and maintain an effective collaborative relationship with SLaM clinical teams to support participant recruitment and retainment in the study.  
  • To work collaboratively with others in the direct research team, at the imaging facilities, and wider research teams within the Department of Psychosis Studies and IoPPN.  
  • To continually update own knowledge and understanding of the field and practical skills in neuroimaging data analyses.  
  • To develop own research interests  
  • Occasional teaching / supervision of postgraduate students will be encouraged. 
  • To contribute to administrative and other duties as directed.  

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.  

Skills, knowledge, and experience 

Essential criteria  

1.       Undergraduate degree in psychology, neuroscience or other relevant related area.  

2.       PhD awarded in a relevant subject or PhD near completion

3.       Experience of acquiring and analysing brain PET and / or MRI data in human participants. 

4.       Good publication record resulting from PhD or other academic research activities.  

5.       Self-motivated, reliable and able to work effectively as part of a research team.  

6.       High level of competence in written and spoken English.  

7.       Interested in further developing advanced neuroimaging data analysis skills.  

8.       Desire to develop own academic / research career in related areas.  

9.       Ability to interact in a professional, supportive and sensitive manner with study participants.  

10.   Good time-management and organizational skills, including ability to prioritise and manage multiple tasks.  

11.   Understanding of data protection and patient confidentiality. 

Desirable criteria

1.   Experience of recruiting and assessing people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia or other mental health disorder to research studies.     

2.   Experience of conducting clinical interviews, for example for assessment of symptom severity, within mental health.   

3.   Experience of interacting with NHS mental health teams to facilitate recruitment of participants to research studies.   

4.   Experience of supervising more junior staff or students.  

Further information

This post is subject to Disclosure and Barring Service and Occupational Health clearance.