Applied Health Researcher

Candlelighters Trust

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Fixed Term until January 2019 (2 years)

Do you have a PhD in applied health research or relevant research work experience?

Are you passionate about contributing to shaping the future delivery of our support services for families affected by childhood cancer?

Candlelighters is seeking to recruit an Applied Health Researcher to work across a qualitative project incorporating 3 projects for an initial fixed term period of 2 years (please refer to the end of the advert for details on each of the key areas).

Research will be conducted with families and service providers at our Family Support Centre in Leeds, across the Yorkshire Region and in other areas of the Country to help shape Candlelighters future service delivery strategy. You will have significant research experience using a range of qualitative methods, including interviews (telephone and face-to-face), case studies, and focus groups, and will have experience of working in emotive environments, with excellent interpersonal skills. You will have a good understanding of qualitative approaches and methodologies. As areas of the project will be regional / national you must be willing to travel to research sites across England and potentially be willing to work away from Leeds in the latter part of the project for short periods (2-3 days).

You will hold a PhD qualification or equivalent experience in applied health research or a related discipline. You will have experience in analysing and interpreting large qualitative research data and have the ability to critically appraise, synthesise and report on qualitative and quantitative literature.

Although this is a research post it is vital that you are able to communicate with families effectively, are empathetic and can manage sensitive situations, operating within professional boundaries at all times.

About Us

Candlelighters is a successful Yorkshire Charity supporting parents and their families during treatment for childhood cancer. We also fund research into childhood cancer and leukaemia.


IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Please note that candidates who do not evidence how they meet each of the essential criteria within their covering letter will not be shortlisted for interview.

About the Job

You will be responsible for:

  • Setting up and leading the research
  • Managing the day to day running of the research projects and related activities working under the supervision of the Operations Director
  • Using your own initiative to manage and organise your own workload to ensure that project deadlines and activities are met
  • Contributing to the management and future development of Candlelighters research projects with regards to service delivery for families
  • Planning and overseeing the recruitment of families, service providers and other key stakeholders to the studies
  • Liaising with families and other identified key stakeholders to maintain their interest and arrange interviews/observations and any follow-up
  • Responding to requests for information about the research from colleagues
  • Conducting qualitative interviews/observations and collecting project data from a range of stakeholders
  • Engaging with families using creative formats e.g. film to collate their feedback about the support services provided by Candlelighters
  • Producing written reports for a variety of audiences
  • Designing or implementing a database to hold feedback and data provided by families
  • Conducting qualitative analysis and interpreting data to generate written proposals for future service delivery
  • Ensuring that research ethics, governance procedures and data protection are adhered to at all times according to local and national guidance
  • Contributing towards the preparation and presentation of research reports, academic papers, board presentations and other forms of dissemination of research findings
  • Actively supporting the pursuit of external research funding to support and enhance research within Candlelighters (if required and or appropriate)
  • Collating feedback from families in a meaningful way for Candlelighters
  • Developing ways to access and secure involvement of patients and their relatives in the design of the research where possible
  • Contributing to the execution of the research design conducting policy relevant evidence reviews; developing interview topic guides and support the development of questionnaires
  • Maintaining the highest standard of confidentiality, professional conduct and record keeping
  • Working flexibly according to the requirements of Candlelighters
  • Participating in de-briefing sessions and reflective practice


  • Developing and maintaining good working relationships with colleagues internally across the organisation and externally with key stakeholders
  • Undertaking administrative duties as appropriate
  • Traveling regularly as part of the role and to attend training events
  • Being proactive in maintaining own personal development
  • Any other duties commensurate with the post as directed by the Operations Director

About you, your skills knowledge and experience Essential Criteria

  • A PhD or relevant experience in health related research
  • Self-starter experience of leading on and managing successful projects
  • Experience of research interviewing, analysis and interpretation of qualitative data
  • Experience of using film, podcasts and social media to explore with families the possibility of recording their interviews / feedback which could then be shared with a variety of Candlelighters key stakeholders
  • Understanding of ethical boundaries
  • Ability to work within ethical boundaries when working with vulnerable groups
  • Experience of and ability to produce accessible written reports for a number of different audiences
  • Excellent IT skills and use of IT software packages, e.g Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint and ‘NVivo’
  • An ability to communicate effectively with a wide variety of people including families
  • Effective organisational ability, including the ability to manage time effectively; prioritise tasks and work to tight deadlines
  • Motivation and enthusiasm for providing support to families affected by childhood cancer
  • Calm, professional and highly resilient
  • Ability to work within and adhere to professional boundaries at all times
  • Ability to bring fun and happiness to the office environment whilst still maintaining professionalism
  • An ability to work independently and within the team
  • Have a ‘can do’, positive attitude
  • An ability to build trust through openness, honesty and integrity
  • Awareness of diversity and health inequalities issues and legislation
  • Experience of collaborating with external partners e.g. NHS, social services, third sector organisations
  • An ability to take accountability for own actions and their consequences
  • Hold a current driving licence, valid for driving in the UK and have access to own transport
  • It goes without saying that you will be committed to safeguarding children and you will be required to undertake an enhanced DSB check
  • Demonstrate an awareness of safer working practices for field work

Additional skills that would be desirable

Although we are asking a lot, there are a few other skills and experience that we would really like to you bring – though we accept that these are not essential

  • Experience of working with or supporting families with terminally ill children
  • Knowledge of quantitative data analysis
  • Experience of undertaking research within a medical environment

About the rewards

The role reports into the Operations Director (Deputy Director of the Charity).

External support and personal development will be available from the Institute of Health Sciences at Leeds University.

Salary Similar to University Grade 7 (£30,000 £34,000) depending on qualifications and experience

Due to the sensitive nature of the environment in which this post operates there will be a 2 stage formal interview process incorporating interviews, assessment activities and a taster session as outlined below:

Applications must be available on the dates detailed below:

Stage 1 – Role specific interview and CV interview
Date: Monday 14th of November 2016

Successful candidates from stage 1 will then be invited to:

Stage 2 – Taster day and assessment activities

Date: Tuesday 15th November 2016

Deadline for applications: 12 noon on 28th October 2016

Please submit your CV and covering letter to:

Application Feedback

Unfortunately due to the large number of applications we receive, we are unable to

provide feedback to those applicants who are rejected prior to interview.

Previous applicants need not apply

Please click here to find out more about the projects