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Research Associate

University of Sheffield

Sheffield, United Kingdom

Summary: This programme of research aims to develop and test a complex intervention to enhance the nutritional management of people living with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) leading to improvements in survival and quality of life. Work packages 2 and 3 of the programme of research focus on the development of the intervention materials and resources. The development of the intervention will be based on (i) systematic reviews of the factors associated with, and interventions to promote, nutritional behaviours to achieve a high calorie diet for people with ALS, and (ii) interviews and focus groups with patients with ALS, their carers, and health professionals to identify key barriers and enablers to achieving a high calorie diet. Information from the systematic reviews and interviews/focus groups will be synthesised using the COM-B model and the Behaviour Change Technique (BCT) taxonomy. The intervention materials will then be developed and subjected to acceptability and usability testing. Subsequent work as part of the programme of research (work package 4) will test and evaluate the intervention. The project is a multi-disciplinary collaboration including researchers in the Department of Psychology, the Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience (SITRaN) and the School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR) at the University of Sheffield, and in the School of Food Science and Nutrition at the University of Leeds. As part of the research team you will contribute to the coding and interpretation of studies included in the systematic reviews; conduct interviews, think-aloud studies and focus groups with patients with ALS, their carers, and health professionals; conduct the “behavioural diagnosis” to identify key barriers and enables that can be linked to appropriate behaviour change techniques; and contribute to the development of the materials and resources to be used in the intervention.

You will report to Professor Paul Norman, but you will also work with the wider project team in SITRaN and ScHARR. You will have a good honours degree in Psychology and a PhD (or be about to complete a PHD) in Health Psychology, or have equivalent experience. You will also have research experience and/or knowledge of the COM-B (or another relevant model of health behaviour), the behaviour change technique taxonomy, systematic reviews, interviews, focus groups and/or intervention development. This post is fixed-term for 25 months and available from 1st April 2018 (or as soon as possible thereafter). We’re one of the best not-for-profit organisations to work for in the UK. The University’s Total Reward Package includes a competitive salary, a generous Pension Scheme and annual leave entitlement, as well as access to a range of learning and development courses to support your personal and professional development.


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