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Photo credit: Malama Mwila / Save the Children

Job Opening: Post-Doctoral Research Associate

We are looking for a post-doctoral research associate to support a mixed methods assessment of MHPSS and socio-emotional learning [SEL] in the education sector in 2-3 humanitarian contexts (number and locations TBD). Position is for 75% of a full time role for 12 months, with extension possibe.

Description of the study:

Mental health and Psychosocial support (MHPSS) and social and emotional learning (SEL) are distinct but overlapping approaches to preventing the development of mental health problems amongst children affected by adversity, promoting well-being, and imparting and strengthening necessary social and emotional skills.

The study will explore the linkages between MHPSS and/ or SEL programing and learning and wellbeing outcomes for children aged 6-12 affected by humanitarian crisis, specifically:

  • What components of programming work for whom, and under what conditions – a pre-post quantitative survey of children, teachers and caregivers will explore the impact of the intervention(s) using a non-experimental study design (possibly with a control group);
  • What factors influence implementation of the intervention(s) – qualitative methodologies will be utilized to explore key aspects of implementation (attendance, retention, fidelity);
  • How do individual, household and community-level factors influence learning and wellbeing outcomes for children participating in the program? – baseline and post-intervention variables collected on individual, household and community-level factors will be assessed to explore influences on children’s learning and wellbeing outcomes;
  • How does teacher wellbeing relate to children’s wellbeing and learning outcomes and influence program impact? – quantitative assessment of teachers’ wellbeing, self-efficacy and job satisfaction will be assessed to explore influences on children’s outcomes.

This study will form the basis of upcoming grant applications and future research utilizing rigorous study design. The post-doctoral research associate could be included in future research plans.

The MHPSS Collaborative:

The MHPSS Collaborative is a global platform for research, innovation, learning and advocacy. In the field of Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS), we connect key academic and humanitarian actors with local civil society to give children and families in fragile circumstances the possibility to thrive.

The MHPSS Collaborative was born out of a response to a growing body of research on the impacts of Children’s exposure globally to unprecedented rates of violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect, particularly those in crisis, migration and displacement situations. Exposure to critical incidents and long-term adversity, and the failure of adequate child protection and nurturance, leads to devastating impacts on children’s physical and mental development, their potential to actively engage in the building of inclusive, peaceful societies, and the socio-economic development and stability of communities as a whole.

Role and responsibilities of the post-doctoral research associate:

The post-doctoral research associate will support implementation of the study in the following ways:

  • Support protocol development, including application to local Institutional Review Boards and undertaking necessary revisions to protocol(s) and instrument(s);
  • Provide direct management of Research Managers at each study site, ensuring smooth implementation of key components of data collection, including training of data collectors;
  • Support the Principal Investigator in instrument development, including over-seeing piloting, validation and revision of qualitative and quantitative instruments;
  • Provide oversight to implementation of study instruments, including managing a consultant to program tablets for quantitative data collection;
  • Provide on-going support for data quality, for example, review of qualitative transcripts, feedback to data collectors and Research Manager on conduct of all data collection activities;
  • Provide support for quantitative data analysis plan and oversee Statistician (consultant) to conduct all planned quantitative data analyses;
  • Lead qualitative data analysis plan, including developing draft codebook, coding qualitative transcripts, writing summaries of key themes;
  • Support reporting to donor on key study findings;
  • Support drafting policy briefs, final report, and manuscripts for peer-reviewed journals; and
  • Support other dissemination activities, including workshops at study sites, webinars, etc.

The position is home-based, with travel to study sites (if possible). The position will be directly managed by the study Principal Investigator. The role will be 75% of full time, for 12 months.

­­YOUR PROFESSIONAL & PERSONAL PROFILE

Required:

  • Advanced research degree (PhD recently submitted or soon to be submitted), with training in qualitative and quantitative research methods;
  • Experience managing quantitative and qualitative data collection in low and middle-income countries, ideally in humanitarian contexts;
  • Knowledge of and experience in the field of MHPSS and/ or education research, ideally in humanitarian contexts;
  • Experience developing and executing quantitative data analysis plans, familiarity with Stata or SPSS;
  • Experience developing and executing qualitative data analysis plans, and experience using qualitative coding software program(s) (i.e. Atlas.ti, Hyperresearch, NVIVO, etc);
  • Experience developing and overseeing training for data collectors in low and middle-income countries, ideally for both quantitative and qualitative data.
  • Experience designing and running phases of study, including piloting instruments, quantitative and qualitative data collection, ensuring retention of participants in study.
  • Energetic and a self-starter with a mind for details.
  • Excellent verbal and written English skills, particularly written and communication, for diverse audiences.

Desired:

  • Training and experience in piloting, validating and refining quantitative and qualitative instruments;
  • Experience supporting or leading dissemination of study findings, including publication in peer-reviewed journals;
  • Experience in knowledge transfer and learning (e.g., running workshops, seminars, presentation, webinars and lessons learned reports); and
  • Experience with or training in implementation research methodologies.

To apply:

Please send your CV, together with a short statement of research experience (maximum 1 page) and a writing sample (first author publication, if available) to Dr. Sarah Meyer via ext_sm@redbarnet.dk by Tuesday 17 November, 5pm CET.

Please direct any questions about the role to ext_sm@redbarnet.dk.

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