Research Fellow - Suicide Research

United Kingdom
£30,942.00 - £42,792.00
Dec 21, 2020
Mar 11, 2021
Organization Type
University and College
Full Time

There were 18,998 deaths attributed to suicide in England between 2011 and 2015 in the general population, constituting 12 deaths for every 100,000 people per year. Amongst health professionals, the suicide rate is 24% higher than the national average, largely explained by the increased risk of suicide in female nurses (four times the national average), male paramedics and female doctors. Those affected by suicide are at greater risk of mental ill health and suicide. The impact of the suicide of a colleague on other staff is unknown, and there is currently no postvention guidance to assist NHS organisations or managers to support staff; this research will fill this gap. This research is being conducted in collaboration with the Samaritans by a multidisciplinary team which includes representatives from the paramedic service, nursing and medicine.

This study is funded by Institute for Health Research (Reference: NIHR129341) and led by Dr. Ruth Riley.

Summary of Role

Ideally the researcher will have experience of undertaking suicide research, or research on other similar highly sensitive topics or with vulnerable groups. The appointed researcher will work with an experienced, supportive and inclusive team, and will have access to support and regular de-briefs.

The post-holder will be based in the Institute of Applied Health Research at the University of Birmingham. The post offers an exciting opportunity to work on a study within a multidisciplinary research team. It is hoped that the successful candidate will have relevant experience of conducting suicide research or research of a highly sensitive nature. The researcher will undertake a literature review, carry out in-depth interviews with NHS staff affected by the suicide of a colleague, analyse data, write papers and contribute to the development of the postvention guidance. We are using a case-study approach, involving participants from paramedic, hospital and community settings. The researcher will also work alongside and manage the work of a part-time researcher who will assist with data collection, analysis and dissemination activities.

Main Duties and Responsibilities

The main responsibilities of the post are listed below.
  • Conduct and write up findings of an integrative literature review
  • Recruit and consent research participants
  • Collect, analyse and interpret qualitative interview data using appropriate methods
  • Significantly contribute to writing up the study and preparation of progress and final NIHR report
  • Draft and make a significant contribution to academic papers for submission to a range of journals
  • Manage the research dissemination plan and prepare summary reports/press releases; organise seminars; coordinate dissemination events as required. Undertake management/administration to ensure the delivery of the project outcomes on time
  • Contribute to Departmental/School research-related activities and research-related administration
  • Respond to challenges that may affect the achievement of research objectives and deadlines.

Person Specification

  • A good first degree (first class honours/ 2.1 or equivalent) in social science or other relevant discipline.
  • PhD in social science or health services research or equivalent research experience.
  • Excellent knowledge of qualitative research methods
  • Experience of undertaking integrative (or similar) literature reviews
  • Experience of undertaking qualitative research in a health service or relevant research setting
  • Experience of face to face (or virtual) one to one interviewing with vulnerable populations covering sensitive subject matter
  • Experience of applied qualitative data analysis
  • Evidence of successful completion of qualitative research including report writing
  • Demonstrable ability to write for academic publication
  • Computer literate, with experience of qualitative data coding programmes (e.g. NVivo)
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Commitment to team-working, and respect and consideration for the skills of others
  • Self-motivated, pro-active, innovative, and able to use initiative where appropriate
  • Able to prioritise work
  • Adaptable to situations and able to handle people of all capabilities and attitudes
  • Willingness to work flexible hours and to travel within the UK
  • Knowledge of the protected characteristics of the Equality Act 2010, and how to actively ensure in day to day activity in own area that those with protected characteristics are treated equally and fairly

  • Advance communication skills training and/or in-depth interviewing training
  • Project management training (such as PRINCE)
  • Experience of working in a multi-disciplinary research team.
  • Experience of undertaking in-depth interviews with healthcare professionals
  • Experience of working with vulnerable groups
  • Literacy in social media and webpage management
  • Experience of using case-study methods
  • Experience of managing project staff
  • Training in use of NVivo

Informal enquires to Informal enquires to Dr Ruth Riley email:

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