Research Associate

Updated: about 2 months ago
Location: London, ENGLAND
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 07 Dec 2020

Job description

Dr Slovak's group is seeking a highly motivated post-doctoral researcher with a strong background in Human-Computer Interaction or Mental Health, as part of the newly awarded £1.2 million UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship ( ).

Project background

The project will envision, design, and test new conceptual models and mechanisms-of-delivery for interventions in the context of child mental health. Such innovative approaches are sorely needed: more than 1 in 10 children and young people (aged 5-16 years) in the UK have a clinically diagnosable mental health problem, yet only 30% have had appropriate intervention at a sufficiently early age, and less than half of those improve from the treatment.

The overarching goal of this project is to conceptualise, develop, and evaluate new exemplars of `situated' interventions that—in contrast to the current workshop and classroom based approaches—are fully embedded in the lives of children and their families. As an example, PI's prior work led to an interactive socially-assistive robot (‘smart toy’), which has since been commercialised ( ) by the largest social-emotional developer in the US (Committee for Children). This serves as an initial proof-of-concept showcasing the possibility of the situated intervention model, as well as the appeal and benefits of such new interventions.


The postdoctoralresearcher will take a lead on the user-centred design process of developing exemplar situated interventions across two case study contexts—emotion regulation and parenting interventions—working directly with the PI and another postdoctoral fellow as relevant. The successful candidate will design and run studies with children, parents, as well as clinicians and psychologists; analyse the resulting data; propose, design, and validate plausible intervention approaches; as well as publish the results at top venues in HCI and psychology. 

The researcher will have access to funds to hire additional temporary research assistants to support their work and scale up research efforts (after consultation with the PI), with ~£80k budgeted for such RAs across the project duration. A substantial prototyping and user study budget is also available. The fellowship includes a generous training and travel budget directly allocated for the postdoctoral researcher, as well as he opportunity to co-supervise PhD students associated with the project; aiming to further help position the researcher as an academic leader and prepare them for the next step in their careers.

In addition, the research associate will be able to interact, collaborate, and learn from a network of world-leading professors associated with the project at KCL and across other top universities (Oxford, Stanford, Harvard, UCL, Michigan, Northwestern, UW, ...) as well as leading non-profit developers of intervention programs (e.g., Committee for Children, whose program is in more than 30% of US schools; or Silvercloud, a leading UK Digital Health platform), thereby allowing for a range of opportunities and career choices.

The successful candidate will join the HCC group and will be able to contribute and get involved in various departmental hubs including


The successful applicant will be based at the Informatics department on London Strand Campus; with a possibility of a visiting appointment at the Institute of Psychology, Psychiatry, and Neuroscience (IoPPN).

For further information about the Department of Informatics at King’s, please see  .

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