Voluntary Psychometric Administrator/Researcher

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Voluntary Psychometric Administrator/Researcher

Post by miriam »

Opportunity to gain experience in older adult neuropsychology

Volunteer research assistants needed

A new neuropsychological test, the Short Parallel Assessments of Neuropsychological Status (SPANS), published by Hogrefe Ltd in Oxford, is expanding its norm base to include more older adults (aged 65+). For the first time, the upper age limit of the norms will be extended to age 89. This expansion of the norm base will take place in parallel with initial validation studies exploring the use of the SPANS with older adults in memory clinics and dementia assessments.
We are now looking for volunteer research assistants (VRAs) to help carry out this norms expansion project. Each VRA will be expected to contribute 20 new norm participants to the study; 18 of these will be aged 65–89, and at least 12 must be over 75, while the remaining two can be of any age and will take part in an initial practice run. Participants will be unpaid volunteers. VRAs will work either independently or in pairs in a specified geographical region.

Role description
Your first task will be to identify and contact organisations for older adults in your area which might be willing to advertise the study to potential participants. The research team will guide and support you, and you will be given a template letter to use when contacting organisations. When suitable participants have been identified, you will work with each one individually to explain the purpose of the study, obtain formal consent to take part, and administer and score a questionnaire and test(s). The process will take approximately 60–90 minutes. Between 25 and 30 per cent of participants will take the primary test in this study (the SPANS) on two separate occasions, so will be tested twice. Results will be entered into an Excel spreadsheet.
You will be expected to work independently and manage your own research, which is to be completed by Friday, 21st of December 2018, or when 20 norming studies have been completed, whichever comes first.

Successful applicants will receive training in administration and scoring of the SPANS, the Addenbrooke’s Cognitive Examination (ACE-III), and a general health, demographic, and abilities questionnaire. VRAs will also be trained in the Research Ethics Committee’s approved standardised procedure for carrying out this norming and test validation study.
Training will take place for one full day in London (Friday 16 February 2018) and Leicester (Friday 23 February 2018), and offers will be conditional on successful completion of one of these courses.

Successful applicants will be asked to provide, or will be guided on how to obtain, a Good Clinical Practice (GCP) certificate and will also be subject to DBS/CRB checks. Possession of personal/professional indemnity insurance is encouraged.
The research is being supervised by Dr Gerald Burgess, author of the SPANS and lecturer in clinical psychology at the University of Leicester, with additional support from Louise Crossley-Zels, trainee clinical psychologist at the University of Leicester. Dr Burgess will be available to support VRAs throughout the project via email, telephone and Skype.

Benefits to VRAs
You will gain training and experience in a REC-approved study, involving clinically-related contact in older adult neuropsychology and psychometric testing. You will be supplied with all necessary materials and provided with a SPANS kit, which you may keep for future use or donate to your local service (if that service is qualified to use it) once the study is complete. You will be paid a nominal sum of £10 per SPANS administration as some compensation toward your time and any costs you may incur.

If you are interested in applying for a DClinPsy course, taking part in this study qualifies as relevant/applicable voluntary work experience, supervised by a chartered clinical psychologist. It is anticipated that you will record a total of approximately 200 hours (equivalent to 1 month + 1 week) which could be added to a DClinPsy application. The experience gained would be particularly relevant for anyone wishing to work in older adult neuropsychology. If you wish to conduct more than 18+2 norming studies to gain additional hours, this is permissible. You will be part of a team, network with like-minded individuals, and be in contact with trainee and qualified clinical psychologists, and other assistants. Your name will be acknowledged in any publications resulting from this study, including the SPANS supplementary manual published by Hogrefe Ltd, and any scholarly publications that result from this research.

Person specification
Essential criteria

 Completed a BPS-accredited (GBC granting) undergraduate degree in psychology
 Proficient in English, especially oral communication
 Self-starter, independent, conscientious, good communication skills
 Organised, good record keeping, clerically able, good time management
 Aptitude for understanding psychometrics and measurement, and learning to administer and score tests
 Willing to initiate contact with organisations, gate-keepers, and/or community-dwelling (potential) participants
 Able to build rapport with older people, put them at ease, deal effectively and sensitively with issues of ageing
 Able to cope with unexpected and challenging situations or behaviours, to ease concerns of those who may find the cognitive/academic activities stressful, and/or to ask older adults about their capabilities which may be limited
 Willing and able to keep in regular touch, as agreed, with members of the research group
 Commitment to adhering to lone working policy
 Familiarity with Microsoft Office
 Willing to obtain Good Clinical Practice (GCP) certificate (if not already in possession, and if not, guidance will be provided on how to obtain)
Desirable criteria
 Undertaking or completed postgraduate degree in psychology and/or neuroscience related field
 Intention to apply for a DClinPsy course
 Interest in neuropsychology
 Interest in older adult psychology
 Relevant experience with older adults, neuropsychology, and/or psychometric testing
 Already have or be willing to obtain current DBS/CRB report
 In possession of personal/professional indemnity insurance
 Already have or be willing to obtain a Good Clinical Practice certificate

Further information
For further information, email Dr Gerald Burgess, gb222@leicester.ac.uk
To apply
If you would like to apply, please send
 your current CV highlighting relevant qualifications and experience
 a one-page letter that addresses the person specification
 evidence of GBC (e.g. transcript from BPS-accredited university or letter from BPS)
to Dr Gerald Burgess, gb222@leicester.ac.uk

The closing date for applications is Wednesday, 24th of January 2018.
You will receive an acknowledgement of your application via email, but it may not be possible to let you know if you are not selected for interview. We do apologise for any inconvenience caused by this.
Thank you for your interest.

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