Research Assistant in Psychological Therapy University of Glasgow, School of Psychology United Kingdom

Job Purpose

The post-holder will contribute to a feasibility pilot project concerning the adaptation and use of a psychological therapy for people with severe learning disabilities and depression. The psychological therapy is behavioural activation. There is an absence of evidence concerning psychological therapies that can be used to address the mental health needs of those with more severe learning disabilities, contributing to a significant health inequality faced by these individuals. Specifically, the post holder would require to have expert knowledge of social science, psychological therapies and applied research.

Main Duties and Responsibilities

Perform the following activities in conjunction with and under the guidance of the Principal Investigator (PI):

1. Assist and contribute to predetermined, prescribed or individual/joint research objectives, under supervision of the PI and in accordance with the project deliverables and project/group//College research strategy. 

2. To assist in design and piloting materials and methods.

3. To conduct research, under supervision. The researcher would be expected to have and to develop some but not all of the following skills:
a)performing systematic literature reviews, critically appraising the relevant literature,
b)recruiting and consenting participants,.
c)collecting quantitative data, conducting semi-structured interviews, and analysis of data using quantitative and qualitative methodologies,
d)using other research skills.

4. To engage with stakeholders with learning disabilities.

5. To contribute to consultation events with the public.

6. To disseminate findings via a range of media, including easy-read summaries, web-site reports, and social media. 

7. To contribute to report writing for publication in key scientific journals.

8. To work with the team to meet study milestones.

9. To design and maintain project databases compliant with the Data Protection Act. 

10. To prepare reports for the stakeholders with learning disabilities, the study steering group and other key stakeholders. 

11. Keep up to date with current knowledge and recent advances in the field/discipline.

12. Engage in personal, professional and career development to enhance both specialist and transferable skills in accordance with desired career trajectory.

13. Undertake any other duties of equivalent standing as assigned by the and/or PI.

14. To contribute to the enhancement of the University’s international profile in line with the University’s Strategic Plan - Inspiring People – Changing the World.

These key tasks are not intended to be exhaustive but simply highlight a number of major tasks which the staff member may reasonably be expected to perform.

Knowledge, Qualifications, Skills and Experience



A1.Scottish Credit and Qualification Framework level 10 (Honours Degree) in a relevant subject e.g. psychology, sociology, public health. May be working towards post-graduate qualification such as Masters (SCQF level 11) or PhD (SCQF level 12) in, and experience of personal development in similar role.
A2. Knowledge of research methods. 
A3. Theoretical and practical knowledge in a research related field.

A4. Knowledge on the principles of research ethics.

A5. Knowledge of specialist IT software (e.g. ) as appropriate.

A6. Knowledge on health inequalities experienced by people with learning disabilities.
A7. An interest in people with learning disabilities and their families. 

B1. Masters degree or other relevant research experience.



C1. Excellent communication skills.
C2. Excellent organisational skills.
C3. Excellent writing and presentation skills.
C4. Ability to contribute to the development and progression of research, public engagement and knowledge exchange objectives, as an individual or team member.
C5. Ability to use initiative and judgement to plan and progress work.
C6. Excellent team working skills, as well as ability to work independently. 
C7. Ability to flexibly accommodate and prioritise competing demands on time.
C8. Ability to accept collegiate responsibilities and act accordingly.
C9. Excellent problem solving skills.
C10. Excellent use of computer and social media skills.
C11. Able to travel to undertake duties. 

D1. Evidence in distinction in career to date.



E1. Sufficient breadth and/or depth of knowledge in the specialist subject/discipline and of research/teaching methods and techniques, demonstrated through relevant work experience (including experience gained throughout PhD)
E2. Experience in the collection and analysis of data
E3. Experience of scientific writing
E4. Proven ability to deliver quality outputs in a timely and efficient manner
E5. Evidence of an emerging track record of publications in a relevant field


F1. Evidence of other relevant experience.

Job Features

Responsible for day to day management of the research, under supervision.
Development of project materials.
Participant recruitment
Data collection, analysis, and dissemination via a range of media.
Collaboration with team members, stakeholders with learning disabilities and the research group. 

Planning and Organising
Structuring activities across different sites.
Establishing work timetables to achieve goals to complete the different stages of the work.
Organising and managing time and prioritising as appropriate research, administrative, dissemination, and other related duties.
Organising research team meetings.
Seeking advice from more senior team members when needed.
Undertaking duties as assigned by the Principal Investigator.

Decision Making
Project direction - day- to-day decisions to prioritise work.
Setting short and longer term project goals.
Consultation with the public – when and how.
Engagement with stakeholders– when and how.
Knowledge exchange – which media, timing of press releases, use of website.
Publication of results - when and in which journal.
Selection of seminars and meetings to attend, and to deliver.
Prioritising activities within time and budget constraints.

Internal/External Relationships
Colleagues within the research team and the Institute of Health and Wellbeing, for exchange of information to facilitate effective research.
University of Glasgow support services.
Stakeholders with learning disabilities and recruitment sites.
The general public.
External bodies to develop and maintain collaborative partnerships in this field.
Peer review of academic papers.
Networking with colleagues, via a variety of channels including involvement in conferences and learned societies.

Problem Solving
Development of project materials.
Development of a recruitment strategy.
Developing methods to employ in data analysis.
Responding to enquiries from the public.
Analysis and interpretation of research results.
To give advice to and problem solve with other staff members as appropriate. 

Standard Terms & Conditions

Salary will be on the University’s Research and Teaching Grade, level 6, £28,660 - £32,236 per annum, pro rated to 17.5 hours per week.

This post is part time (17.5 hours per week) and has funding for up to 14 months. 

New entrants to the University will be required to serve a probationary period of 6 months.

The successful applicant will be eligible to join the Universities' Superannuation Scheme. Further information regarding the scheme is available from the Superannuation Officer, who is also prepared to advise on questions relating to the transfer of Superannuation benefits.

All research and related activities, including grants, donations, clinical trials, contract research, consultancy and commercialisation are required to be managed through the University’s relevant processes (e.g. contractual and financial), in accordance with the University Court’s policies.

A Research Passport will need to be obtained for this post and will require pre-employment checks such as PVG/Disclosure and Occupational Health. 

Protecting Vulnerable Groups Scheme

The post for which you are applying is considered ‘registered work’ in terms of the Protection of Vulnerable Groups Act. It requires the successful applicant to become a Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme member prior to appointment. This check is necessary to ensure that the University of Glasgow fulfils its legal duties under the Act.

If you are successful in your application, the offer of employment will be subject to PVG Scheme membership. Further information is available at:

Please note it is a criminal offence to apply for a child care position if you are on the Disqualified From Working with Children List.


If you are successful in your application, the offer of employment will be subject to a satisfactory Disclosure Report. The University will make a Disclosure application to Disclosure Scotland which will reveal any past criminal convictions (spent or unspent) or inclusion on the Disqualified From Working with Children List. Any non-conviction information held locally by the police may also be disclosed should this be considered relevant to the position.

Further information is available at:

It is the University of Glasgow’s mission to foster an inclusive climate, which ensures equality in our working, learning, research and teaching environment.

We strongly endorse the principles of Athena SWAN, including a supportive and flexible working environment, with commitment from all levels of the organisation in promoting gender equality.


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