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Job id: 079086. Salary: £42,405 - £49,785 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance.

Posted: 04 December 2023. Closing date: 07 January 2024.

Business unit: IoPPN. Department: Health Services & Population Research.

Contact details: Dr Ioannis Bakolis / Prof Andrea Mechelli. /

Location: Denmark Hill Campus. Category: Research.

Job description

We are seeking of an outstanding and enthusiastic individual with an interest in stasistics/data science, epidemiology (enviromental), and population mental health research to work on an exciting programme of inter-disciplinary research funded by Wellcome. The first aim of the research is to explore the impacts of extreme ambient heat and other environmental stressors on the mental health of urban communities. The second aim is to investigate the possible mitigation of these impacts by different types of urban green spaces.

The post will be based across two departments; Health Service and Population Research Department (HSPR) and Department of Psychosis Studies. The post is initially available for 12 months (Grade 6) from January 2024 or as soon as possible thereafter. The Research Associate will join a multidisciplinary team of public mental health researchers, epidemiologists, biostatisticians, psychologists, data scientists, envriomental exposure modellers, database managers from the two departments.

The post provide an excellent opportunity to design, analyse and interpret findings from rich datasets from large prospective cohort studies, including electronic medical records and smartphone-based measures, in a world-class environment. The post-holder will be involved in a wide range of activities within research contexts that span environmental epidemiology, statistics and formal quasi-experimental evaluation studies.

The posts involve the use of existing clinical and research databases, and the post-holder will need to work closely with staff in the relevant organisations (for example, the information technology departments of each partner NHS Trust and the South London and Maudsley/IoPPN Biomedical Research Centre.)

Expertise in programming for efficient statistical analysis and data management would be expected. The post-holders would be encouraged to participate in the wider academic programme of both the Health Service & Population Research Department and the Department of Psychosis Studies and the Department of Biostatistics and Health Informatics.

We would welcome applications from researchers who themselves have experience of using health services.

The posts will be located at the IoPPN, King’s College London, Denmark Hill Campus, De Crespigny Park, London SE5 8AF.

This post will be offered on a full-time, fixed term contract for 12 months from January 2024.

Key responsibilities

  • Apply modern statistical methods  (e.g. multilevel modelling, mediation analysis, time-series analysis) and conduct research in environmental and psychiatric epidemiology and mental health research;
  • Lead all aspects of data management from the design stage to analysis stage (i.e. cleaning and coding data) from local and national routine data and cohort studies to prepare variables for use in analysis;
  • Work collaboratively as part of the Health Services and Population Research Department (HSPR), Department of Psychosis Studies and Biostatistics and Health Informatics Department (BHI) to conduct analyses, interpret findings, and write academic papers and reports summarising key findings and implications;
  • Provide methodological advice for the researchers across HSPR, Department of Psychosis Studies and BHI;
  • Develop skills and competencies that are required for the delivery of current duties;
  • Contribute to dissemination of research findings, including writing peer-reviewed papers, conference presentations, blog posts, and reports.

As members of HSPR and Department of Psychosis Studies, the post-holder will be further expected to:

  • Demonstrate good academic citizenship and contribute to the general business of the departments, through active involvement in teaching, training and research support activities (e.g. project design clinics) in the field of statistical science;
  • Deal with problems effectively as they arise;
  • Demonstrate appropriate time management techniques;
  • Make decisions and use resources and facilities as appropriate;
  • Demonstrate initiative, autonomy and self-motivation;
  • Seek help and guidance where necessary;
  • Perform any other duties that may be agreed with the line manager.

The post-holder must have excellent written and spoken communication skills and ability to work well with a team of academic researchers as well as clinicians, managers and service users within the NHS.

The post-holders will be expected to contribute to the effective development and project work of the  project and HSPR/Department of Psychosis Studies. This is likely to include supervision of students as well as academic/public dissemination activity commensurate with the role. It is critical that the post-holder can work within and contribute to a highly-driven, high-achieving academic environment of significant reputation.

Academic supervision and direction of the post-holder will be provided by Dr Ioannis Bakolis, Reader in Biostatistics and Epidemiology, who will provide regular appraisals; and by Andrea Mechelli, Professor of Early Intervention in Mental Health. The post-holder will work with the rest of the team to set and monitor initial targets for academic career development, and project timelines. The post-holder will be encouraged to develop their own learning and career objectives.

Performing research requires attention to detail and sustained concentration. The majority of working time will be spent working with a computer.

*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 posts. *

Skills, knowledge and experience

Essential Criteria

1.   PhD or Msc with equivalent experience in relevant subject area (statistics, geography, epidemiology, data science, public health, psychology, econometrics with a specific focus on public health research or policy evaluation)

2.   Postgraduate level of skill in statistical analysis, using at least one of Stata or R, and able and willing to extend skills (e.g. to use SQL)

3.    Experience of preparing large datasets for analysis from longitudinal surveys or routine healthcare settings

4.     Experience working as a data analyst in a research enviroment

5.    Able to write succinctly and with clarity

6.    Ability to work both independently and as part of a team

7.    Strong time and personal management skills and ability to work to deadlines

8.    Good communication skills (spoken and written)

9.    Excellent working knowledge of Excel, Word, PowerPoint

Desirable criteria

1.  Knowledge of epidemiological and advanced statistical techniques such as time series analysis

2.  Competence in the analysis of longitudinal studies

3.  To have published in peer-reviewed journals