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Mental Health Network Manager vacancy

Mental Health Network Manager vacancy

7th November 2016

We are inviting people to apply for the role of Network Manager for the Scottish Mental Health Research Network (SMHRN).

Job purpose

The overall remit of this position is to manage, develop, promote and facilitate the Scottish Mental Health Research Network.  The post-holder will be the first point of contact for investigators in Scotland seeking advice and support on issues such as protocol development, trial design and execution, and data management in the area of mental health (broadly defined).  They will also provide leadership and strategic direction to medical, nursing and data management staff within the network.  There will also be an aspect associated with the processes to increase patient recruitment.

Main responsibilities

  • Research network leadership and operational planning:
  1. Deliver objectives set out by the CSO
  2. Provide leadership for the network team
  3. Engage with the management group and all academic and clinical staff
  4. Develop the patient involvement programme for the network
  • Communications and information management
  • Financial management:
  1. Manage the network budget
  2. Liaise with commercial companies about the financial arrangements for trials
  • Human Resource management:
  1. Manage the recruitment of staff
  • Research Governance
  1. Work with the NHS R&D offices
  2. Understand and ensure compliance with research ethics framework
  • Training:
  1. To ensure all staff have appropriate levels of training
  2. Source external training for staff

Planning and organisation

The successful applicant will be involved in the planning of the Networks activities, in particular contributing to the proactive development and management of the Network.  This includes planning and organising his or her own work schedule to achieve the aims of the Network, liaising directly with clinical trials unit staff and investigators to develop trial protocols and manage trials, and setting up systems to permit, log, act on and communicate trials service queries.  Within particular trials, the postholder will be responsible for setting up and maintaining systems to ensure that the trial management requirements of the trial are achieved according to protocol and deadlines.  The applicant will also maintain an overview of all network activity and developments.

Problem solving

The postholder will have both a support and a monitoring role for the Network, ensuring that all trials and studies are designed and conducted according to best practice. This will involve determining how best to attract potential investigators to the network, and develop creative solutions to trial design issues and practical problems of execution in the broad domain of psychiatry, psychology and neuroscience.  The postholder will advise investigators in responding to criticisms from grant funding bodies, ethics committees and journals.

Decision making

The postholder will be expected to play a key role in deciding how and to what extent eligibly funded studies should be supported by the Network, and which investigators should receive Network study and trials development support. This includes providing high level management advice at all stages for the studies adopted and taking responsibility for their scientific integrity. The postholder will advise investigators in responding to criticisms from grant funding bodies, ethics committees and journals.

Key contacts / relationships

Network Director (Professor Lawrie), Network statistician (Professor Steff Lewis), Network Associate Director for Operations, Network Board, academic and clinical members of the Network, Network staff, Clinical Trials Units throughout Scotland, other Scottish and UK clinical research networks, University and NHS administration.

Knowledge, skills and experience

  • Educated to degree level with relevant work experience, preferably including management experience
  • Evidence of continuing professional development, including post-graduate certification in clinical and/or managerial subject
  • Experience and proven ability to lead, develop and motivate staff in a research setting
  • Extensive knowledge of mental health services
  • Experience of planning, developing and implementing organisational strategies across multiple organisations
  • Ability to manage change in a complex environment and to achieve results through other people
  • Proven experience of budget management
  • Extensive knowledge of Network research portfolio as well as mental health research activity across Scotland
  • Previous experience of working in the field of clinical trials/studies, knowledge of mental health issues, medical terminology
  • Comprehensive understanding of the Good Clinical Practice and European Union Directive for the conduct of clinical trials, the NHS Research Governance Framework and any other UK legislation / policies impacting on research
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills are required as the postholder will be responsible for communicating and working collaboratively with research staff, clinicians and other professionals around the UK who are involved in clinical trials
  • Strong professional, interpersonal, influencing and negotiation skills are required to ensure achievement of SMHRN objectives through the involvement and participation of individuals from various NHS, academic and charitable organisations as well as senior executives from the Scottish Government
  • The postholder must be highly skilled in organising and co-ordinating, have effective listening skills and the ability to manage a complex, detail-orientated organisation
  • The postholder must be able to work independently, and display judgement and ability to make and implement decisions
  • High level of IT skills in Mirosoft Word, Access, Excel, Powerpoint and Outlook, as well as ability to competently search the internet for research-related information


The Scottish Mental Health Research Network has an annual budget of around £0.5 million. It aims to link the four Scottish Medical Schools and all Mental Health researchers in NHS Scotland. Its targets are:

  • To increase the quality of mental health research in Scotland
  • Connect all mental health researchers throughout Scotland
  • Support and facilitate mental health research in Scotland

Job context and other relevant information

The SMHRN is housed in and will have close working relationships with the University of Edinburgh Psychiatry Department and will benefit from the established infrastructure. The postholder will be based in the Kennedy Tower within the grounds of the Royal Edinburgh Hospital.

If you are interested in the applying for the role, please contact Holly Redpath on


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