Research Assistant (Fixed Term) University of Nottingham Department of Epidemiology & Public Health United Kingdom

Research Assistant (Fixed Term)

Closing Date
Monday, 13th May 2019
Job Type
Epidemiology & Public Health
£27025 to £29515 per annum (pro-rata if applicable) depending on skills and experience. Salary progression beyond this scale is subject to performance.

Prisoners experience huge health inequalities, and their exceptionally high smoking prevalence (five times the national average) contributes significantly to their high mortality. Since the introduction of smoke-free polices across Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) in England and Wales, prisoners are now obliged to abstain from smoking while held in prison. This represents a unique opportunity to promote lifelong cessation in this highly disadvantaged and marginalised group. However, evidence suggests most prisoners intend to resume smoking as soon as possible after release. A systematic review of prison smoke-free polices worldwide concluded that there was a need for new research to identify effective strategies to reduce relapse in these individuals. 


The primary objective of this study will be to develop and pilot test the feasibility and acceptability of an intervention to help prevent prisoners relapse to smoking after release. The study will work in accordance with the Medical Research Council (MRC) framework for developing and evaluating complex interventions. The Preventing Relapse tO Smoking among PrisonErs after Release (PROSPER) study consists of three key Phases:


1. Document the support provided to manage nicotine addiction during imprisonment and in the periods immediately before and after release; establish the extent to which prisoners intentionally resume or unintentionally relapse to smoking after release; and obtain views on how relapse might be prevented. 


2. Drawing on current literature and findings from Phase 1, develop and design an prototype intervention to prevent smoking relapse after release. 


3. To pilot the designed prototype intervention and conduct a process evaluation to inform the development of further work in this area. 


The research will be carried out in three prisons in the East Midlands. The main duties will include recruitment of participants (HMPPS staff members and prisoners), data collection, data analysis, assist with intervention development and refining related intervention materials/resources, co-facilitate Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) groups, contribute to the ethical application for the pilot intervention, and preparation of manuscripts for peer-review publication. As main responsibility of the job is to travel to prison sites throughout the East Midlands, driving licence is essential. 


This is a full time or part time (minimum 29 hours per week), fixed term post until 31 August 2021. 


Informal enquiries may be addressed to Dr. Leah Jayes, tel: 0115 823 1367 or email Please note that applications sent directly to this email address will not be accepted.


Our University has always been a supportive, inclusive, caring and positive community. We warmly welcome those of different cultures, ethnicities and beliefs – indeed this very diversity is vital to our success, it is fundamental to our values and enriches life on campus. We welcome applications from UK, Europe and from across the globe. For more information on the support we offer our international colleagues, visit;

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