Associate researcher: participatory research and communication officer at KINGS COLLEGE LONDON


job description

This post offers an exciting opportunity to lead the participatory research and communication of a new UKRI Network Plus (“RESPECT 4 Neurodevelopment”). RESPECT for Neurodevelopment stands for responsible, reliable, scalable and personalized neurotechnology for neurodevelopmental conditions. Our goal is to build a multidisciplinary community to advance child-specific neurotechnologies to support precision medicine for neurodevelopmental conditions. To do this, we will create the first UK-based hub that brings together leading bioengineering and physics communities from academia and industry working on neuroimaging, wearable and mobile technologies (e.g. MRI, fNIRS, EEG, eye tracking, digital technologies), neuroscientists, psychologists and psychiatrists working on early brain development and neurodevelopmental disorders, and neurodiverse individuals and families with lived experience who will use these technologies. They are joined by bioethicists who advise on legal and ethical issues arising from these new technologies, as well as health care providers and policy makers who will implement them in the health care system.

The post holder will be based at KCL in Dr Eva Loth’s group but will work closely with Prof Jones (Birkbeck University), our Ethics Advisors and an Accountability Task Force.

Key areas include:

  1. Help develop a virtual hub to connect researchers from academia and industry with charities, neurodiverse communities and people with lived experience;
  2. Examine the ethical issues of neurotechnology for infants and children through participatory work with parents and the public;
  3. Support the seed projects that will be carried out within the framework of the Plus Network through participatory work on the opportunity, feasibility and responsibility of these technologies (eg focus groups, interviews, surveys);
  4. Work with web developers to create the network website and update website content and disseminate key network results both internally and externally to professionals as well as the general public;
  5. Work with the Responsibility Working Group to develop a communication plan on the responsible use of neurotechnology for infants and children, and articulate key principles

This position will be offered on a fixed-term contract of 3 years/month [until May 2025]

This is a 0.5 part time position

Main responsibilities

  • Work with the Communication/Broadcasting Council to develop the virtual hub allowing network members to connect both internally and externally;
  • Work with Dr. Loth, Professor Jones, ethics counselors and the neurodiverse communities to examine fundamental ethical challenges of (potential) new neurotechnologies for infants and children through participatory work with parents and the public;
  • Coordinate participatory research conducted specifically for each pump priming feasibility project (up to 8) to be funded by the network;
  • Lead activities to engage the public, participants and parent groups;
  • Work with a web developer to create, maintain and update the network website;
  • Reach out to strategically targeted potential new network members; and
  • Work with the Accountability Working Group to develop a communication plan on the responsible use of neurotechnology in infants and children, and articulate key principles

The above list of responsibilities may not be exhaustive and the post holder will be required to undertake the duties and responsibilities reasonably expected within the scope and classification of the position.

Skills, knowledge and experience

Essential criteria

  1. PhD in human development, bioethics, psychology, neurosciences or biomedical sciences
  2. Experience in participatory research, working with neurodiverse communities (including people with autism, people with ADHD, intellectual disabilities, etc.)
  3. Experience with qualitative (e.g. focus groups, semi-structured interviews) and/or quantitative (e.g. survey) methods used in participatory research
  4. Experience in facilitating focus groups, sandboxes
  5. Experience writing, editing and sub-editing, including expressing complex or technical material in lay terminology
  6. Excellent interpersonal and communication skills

Desirable criteria

  1. Experience in science communication
  2. Experience with non-invasive neurotechnologies
  3. Understanding of early brain development

More information

This post is subject to Disclosure and Barring Service clearance.

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