Research Assistant in Qualitative Mental Health Research

RMIT University College of Design and Social Context

Research Assistant - Qualitative mental health research

Job no: 590982

Work type: Part time - Fixed term/Contract

Categories: Research, Global, Urban & Social Studies

Part-time, 20-month fixed-term contract based at RMIT City Campus

Excellent professional development opportunity utilizing your exceptional research, project management and knowledge translation skills and in-depth knowledge in the area/s of health sociology, mental health research, medical humanities, and/or qualitative health experiences research

Be part of an interdisciplinary team working on a new nationally funded, joint RMIT-Charles Sturt University project in partnership with Equally Well and Healthtalk Australia exploring the physical health of people with lived experience of complex mental health conditions and developing digital health resources (funded by the National Mental Health Commission, Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, and NSW Mental Health Commission)
Report to Professor, Social & Global Studies Centre

Remuneration at Academic Level A6 ($87,171) + 17% superannuation

About us

RMIT is a multi-sector university of technology, design and enterprise with more than 91,000 students and 11,000 staff globally. RMIT offers postgraduate, undergraduate, vocational education and online programs to provide students with a variety of work-relevant pathways.

Our purpose is to offer life-changing experiences for our students, and to help shape the world with research, innovation, teaching and industry engagement. With strong industry connections forged over 130 years, collaboration with industry remains integral to RMIT’s leadership in education, applied and innovative research, and to the development of highly skilled, globally focused graduates.


Our Values inspire us, wherever we are in the world, and guide how we live and work together.

Imagination. Agility. Courage. Passion. Impact. Inclusion.

What unites us is our purpose and our values; they are at the heart of who we are, what we stand for, how we make decisions and connect with each other.

Our people make everything at the University possible. We encourage new approaches to work and learning, stimulating change to drive positive impact. RMIT exists to create transformative experiences for our students, getting them ready for life and work. You will be a part of a productive and collaborative team, who values working relationships and outcomes through open and inclusive planning, continuous information sharing and transparent work practices.

About the College

The College of Design and Social Context encompasses RMIT University's renowed art, architecture, design, built environment, communication, and social science disciplines. The college has 24,500 students and over 1,000 staff located in 8 schools.

The College's academic programs are generally market leaders and in high demand. Based on a strong foundation of practise led, industry partnered teaching and research, we aim to deliver skilled graduates with a deep sense of purpose, and high impact research and innovation.

Further information on College of Design and Social Context in this link.

School of Global, Urban and Social Studies (GUSS)

Located in the heart of Melbourne on RMIT’s City Campus, the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies is one of RMIT’s largest schools. The School’s vision is to contribute to a just and sustainable world, and to deliver education, training and research in four areas of focus:

  • Criminology, legal and justice studies
  • Global studies, languages, translating and interpreting
  • Social work, youth work and social policy
  • Sustainability and urban planning

We provide academic programs in Higher Education in these four main areas. We are a strongly research active school with research centres of national and international reputation - the Centre for Urban Research and the Social and Global Studies Centre.

More information on School of Global, Urban and Social Studies in this link.

About You & the Role

In this role, you will be responsible for:

  • Conducting narrative interviews with participants with lived experiences of complex mental and physical health conditions, including recruiting participants, interviewing, data analysis, and producing digital resource content under the supervision and support of the ‘Research Buddy’, CIs and Project Advisory Group.
  • Actively participating in training in narrative research in experiences of health & illness and in the production of digital resource content.
  • Taking a leading role in project management and administration
  • Producing high quality research/scholarly activities independently and as a member of a team through publishing peer-reviewed articles and presenting impactful research outputs at conferences and research forums.
  • Collaborating with the Lived Experience Research Assistant in promoting strong engagement with lived experience outlined within the project aims as well as nurturing strong relationships with the research team, Project Advisory Group and project partners (funding bodies, Equally Well and Healthtalk Australia).

You will have:

  • A proven track record of published research work including publications, conference contributions and/or technical reports in the field of social sciences and/or mental health, particularly social research in mental health.
  • Demonstrated ability to work efficiently both as a member of a research team and independently when required, and to build effective networks with colleagues, project team leaders, and industry partners to meet project outcomes and milestones.
  • Prior qualitative research skills with at least two years’ experience conducting qualitative academic research projects.
  • Strong organizational and time-management skills to meet demand of workloads and competing priorities
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills (both written and verbal) and compassion and understanding of what lived experience of mental health conditions and/or distress and or/social adversity may involve


Mandatory: PhD qualified in an area of the social sciences and humanities (sociology, social anthropology, cultural studies & social psychology). A PhD with a mental health focus will be highly regarded.

Preferred: Experience in co-design and/or participatory action research approaches and the ability to generate funding for projects through effective liaison with industry and government are desirable. Candidates with lived experience of a mental health condition are encouraged to apply.

Note: Appointment to this position is subject to passing a Working with Children check.

Bring your whole self to work

We are better for our diversity. When we listen to those who are different to us, or challenge us, we grow stronger together. When we feel like we belong, we can achieve so much more. We respect each other, embrace our differences and build a sense of belonging in our team and beyond.

We are proud that our dedication to diversity has been recognized by a broad spectrum of external organizations. Visit our Linkedin Life pages to learn more and see some of our most recent wins.

To Apply

Please submit your updated resume and cover letter outlining your experience & achievements by clicking on the ‘Apply now’ link. Please note that a separate response to Key Selection Criteria as stated on the Position Description is required. For any enquiries regarding this role, please contact either:

Dr Kate Johnston-Ataata (Project ‘Research Buddy’) or

Professor Renata Kokanović (Project Co-Lead)

Download File PD - 590982 - Research Assistant - Qualitative Mental Health Research.pdf

We are also happy to make adjustments to the recruitment process for your accessibility requirements. Please contact us via your preferred type of communication: email or call Kassie on +61399252442 with your request(s).

Applications close Wednesday 21 October 2020.

RMIT is an equal opportunity employer committed to being a child safe organisation. We are dedicated to attracting, retaining and developing our people regardless of gender identity, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability and age. Applications are encouraged from all sectors of the community and we strongly encourage applications from the Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander community.

Please note that whilst we still accept applications from any persons interested in our roles, due to the impacts of COVID-19, we are currently prioritising applications from those with current working rights in Australia and who are not affected by travel restrictions. Please see the latest updates to Australia’s immigration and border arrangements during the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak:

Application close: 21 Oct 2020 11:55 PM AUS Eastern Daylight Time