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We're hiring: Research Officer

Last Reviewed 15/02/2017

We are looking for a part-time Research Officer who is keen to apply their research skills in order to have a positive impact on the lives of people affected by rare diseases.

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Job title: Research Officer

Responsible to: Director of Research

Salary: £27,000 ― £31,000 per annum pro rata, depending upon experience

Benefits: 33 paid holiday days per year pro rata, plus contribution to pension

Contract: 2 days per week (8 months, with potential for extension)

Located: 37 Queen Square, London, WC1N 3BH

Purpose of the role:

  • To conduct an exploratory study into the mental health implications for patients with rare diseases and their families/carers; their experiences and support needs. (Input from a university-based academic and clinical supervision will be arranged).
  • To contribute to the activities of the research and policy teams.

Principle duties:

  • Help deliver and submit a research proposal for ethics approval, drawing on expertise of staff at Genetic Alliance UK and partner mental health organisations.
  • Draft an interview guide for semi-structured interviews with rare disease patients and their families and carers to identify mental health concerns related to living with their rare disease; to explore their experience of mental health services and their support needs.
  • Conduct a small number of semi-structured interviews and analyse interview findings using thematic analysis.
  • Develop and administer an online survey to validate and extend interview findings.
  • Investigate options for estimating the prevalence of mental health problems (diagnosed and self-reported) among rare disease patients/carers.
  • Contribute to the writing of a project report and paper for peer-reviewed publication, and support the Director of Research to develop further research plans.
  • Disseminate findings to the policy team and support their development of policy initiatives as necessary.

Person specification:

Essential education and qualifications

  • First degree in a relevant subject.
  • Masters degree, which must have included research (awarded or soon to be awarded), or equivalent research experience in a relevant subject.

Essential qualities, skills and experience

  • A commitment to the aims and objectives of Genetic Alliance UK
  • Experience of research related to one or more of: the experience of NHS service users; mental health issues; disability issues. (This could be your masters research).
  • Experience of working directly with vulnerable people, such as those with mental health problems or with serious, possibly life-limiting conditions. This might be as a researcher or in another capacity such as voluntary work.
  • Experience conducting semi-structured interviews and quantitative surveys and the ability to analyse and interpret both qualitative and quantitative data. – Good level of numeracy and IT literacy.
  • Excellent written communication.
  • Excellent time management: ability to manage deadlines, prioritise workload and maximise use of time.
  • Presentation skills and experience of presenting to a variety of audiences.
  • The ability to work in a team as well as to use individual initiative and judgement.

Desirable qualities, skills and experience

  • Appreciation of current issues in genetics and/or rare diseases and health care, and their impact on patients and their families.
  • Appreciation of the value and importance of patient and family experiences to inform policy and practice.
  • Experience of conducting research with people with current or historical mental health problems.
  • Experience of conducting research with parents of young children.
  • Experience with NVivo and SPSS.
  • Experience of contributing to research ethics committee submissions and to peer reviewed publications.

Additional requirements

  • Undertake any other duties that may reasonably be required on behalf of Genetic Alliance UK.
  • To be able to work occasional evenings and weekends.
  • Willing to travel (in the UK)
  • The post will be subject to a DBS check.


To apply:

Please email your CV and an accompanying cover letter, explaining your interest in the post and why you are suited to it, to Dr Amy Hunter, Director of Research with the subject heading ‘Research Officer'.

Application deadline: 6 March 2017

Interview dates: 14 or 15 March 2017

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