Job description

We are really pleased to offer this excellent opportunity to join our team in the Research Division of Applied Technologies for Clinical Care (ATCC), within the Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery & Palliative Care (NMPC), as a Research Assistant.

Infants, children and young adults with complex neurological needs, including epilepsy and intellectual disability, often require overnight electroencephalography (EEG) to distinguish seizures from non-epileptic behaviours. The clinical team at King’s Health Partners have recently led the transfer of this service from the hospital to the home, retaining diagnostic yield while reducing costs by one third and pleasing families.

The purpose of this role is to retrieve and conduct preliminary processing of home EEG to test the hypothesis that these data have untapped potential regarding sleep evaluation. In particular, fragmented sleep i) could serve as a biomarker of epilepsy, and ii) exacerbate seizures and therefore provide a target for therapies.

The project fits within a research initiative led from NMPC – Better Health & Care Futures – which prioritises community and frugal innovations to improve health.

The line manager will be Dr Kimberley Whitehead, Senior Lecturer in ATCC, based at James Clerk Maxwell Building, Waterloo campus. The Co-Investigator is Dr Joel Winston, Senior Clinical Lecturer in the Department of Basic and Clinical Neuroscience.

The role would be an excellent fit for a candidate seeking research experience prior to applying for a competitive PhD fellowship, and Dr Whitehead and Dr Winston are part of the supervisor pool for several funded schemes (e.g. MRC DTP, LIDo DTP, Wellcome Neuro-Immune etc.)

This is a full time, fixed-term contract for 10 months.  However, requests to work part-time (minimum 3 days per week/60% full-time equivalent) will be considered. In this case, the fixed-term contract would extend for slightly longer than 10 months.

There is flexibility regarding the start date, but the post should be taken up by mid-August 2024 at the latest.

Key responsibilities

  • De-identify and export EEG recordings from the server based at King’s College Hospital
  • Apply an automated sleep staging application to the data, to derive quantitative sleep indices
  • Integrate these sleep and other neurophysiological indices with comprehensive associated clinical data retrieved from electronic health records
  • Custom-design and enter data into a project database (e.g. Microsoft Access)
  • Contribute to the fostering of a vibrant research environment at James Clerk Maxwell Building by in-person attendance at progress meetings, seminars, journal clubs, BSc and MSc student supervision meetings etc

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. BSc degree awarded to a high level (first or 2.1)
  2. Excellent computing skills, including ability to learn to use new and unfamiliar software, as well as mainstream packages (e.g. Microsoft Access), to support data entry and analysis
  3. Good attention to detail and high standards of accuracy in all aspects of work
  4. Excellent organisational skills, and ability to work independently
  5. Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  6. Understanding of data confidentiality and research integrity
  7. Mature manner suited to working within a clinical environment (albeit not patient facing) and responding positively to constructive criticism
  8. Able to adopt resilience strategies to thrive in a research environment with multiple task demands
  9. Demonstrates a commitment to promoting equality, diversity and inclusivity for staff and students

Desirable criteria

  1. MSc degree or equivalent experience (e.g. time spent as a lab technician)
  2. Experience using clinical datasets
  3. Experience with physiological time series data, e.g. EEG
  4. Experience of writing reports/papers
  5. Working understanding of paediatrics, neurology or related fields

Further information

We strongly encourage applications from underrepresented groups including those from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups, the LGBTQI+ community, those who are neurodiverse and those with a disability.

King’s considers the professional and personal development of our staff a priority and we offer an inspiring range of opportunities for training and career progression. Our Organisational Development team provide in-house and bespoke learning.

This post is subject to Disclosure and Barring Service clearance.


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