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Research Associate

Curtin University of Technology - Perth, WA

Education, Childcare & Training
Source: uWorkin


Full Job Description
$71,230 - $ 75,205 (pro rata) plus 17% superannuation
18-month, fixed term contract - part time (0.4FTE)
Be part of a new and innovative project in a crucial area of research
Job Reference: 699845

Curtin Medical School

The Curtin Medical School is dedicated to leading the way in local and global innovations in medicine, laboratory medicine, medical radiation science, pharmacy and biomedical sciences. With the support of experienced, dedicated teaching staff and modern facilities, we help aspiring medical scientists develop the right knowledge, skills and attributes to excel in their professional or academic careers.

The Research

We investigate the role of the central nervous system in persistent painful conditions. In 2020 we were awarded a competitive grant by the Raine Medical Research Foundation to begin an exciting new project. This project will focus on chronic low back pain. While a lot of the research on pain is directed at pain intensity; that is, rating pain on a scale of one to ten, little is known about the spatial features of pain; that is, why pain often spreads. We aim to address the question of why pain spreads, and we will trial an innovative, safe and evidence-based training program to treat the spread of pain using tactile judgement tasks (judgements of touch on the skin). This project will also involve a thorough neuroimaging investigation into the brain pathways responsible for pain and touch. For this we will be using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and electroencephalography (EEG) to investigate participants’ brains before and after the training program. Participants in this trial will attend multiple study sessions, over a period of approximately two weeks (the training program involves several sessions per participant).

This research will significantly advance knowledge in chronic musculoskeletal pain and is critical to drive development of best practice in disorders we are currently not equipped to treat effectively.

The Role

As a Research Associate, you will work under the supervision of Dr Flavia Di Pietro and assist in the delivery of the research agenda and project outputs. The role is two days a week equivalent; we are open to work together with the candidate to devise a flexible working plan to suit the candidate, and importantly the scheduling of study sessions for the participants.

We are seeking an outstanding candidate who is interested in chronic pain, neuroscience and neuroimaging methods.

In this role you will…

Provide broad research support to the lead investigator.
Recruit trial participants through a range of sources and organise and manage multiple study sessions for participants.
Engage and collaborate with researchers, clinicians (eg physiotherapists), trial participants and other staff
Conduct study sessions with trial participants. This will involve travel to off-campus MRI, and conducting the training program (pain questionnaires and tactile training) on campus.
Assist with day-to-day administrative functions associated with the trial, including assistance with design, trial ethics, data management, and dissemination of findings.
Assist with the analysis of data based on the literature.
This part time opportunity (0.4 FTE) would be well suited to a part-time PhD candidate looking to advance their research skills and training.

Why choose Curtin?

Easily accessible location with great parking, bus station and end of trip facilities
Vibrant campus with an array of coffee shops and restaurants
A flexible benefits package with excellent superannuation provisions.
The University has recently been named as one of Australia’s Inclusive Employers for 2019-2020 by the Diversity Council of Australia (DCA)
For further information on Curtin and all of our employee benefits visit https://about.curtin.edu.au/jobs/

We are looking for someone with…

A Bachelor’s degree in Physiotherapy or a closely related discipline and progress towards a doctoral qualification.
An understanding of chronic pain, neuroscience and sensory processes
Demonstrated competency in a range of research techniques and methods.
The ability to manage, analyse and interpret data.
Demonstrated high level organisational skills.
Demonstrated high level communication and interpersonal skills.
Demonstrated ability to work and trouble-shoot independently.
The ability to manage, analyse and interpret data.
Ability to access transport - to travel to off-campus MRI.
Next steps

Please apply on-line with a cover letter and resume to enable us to assess your suitability for the role.

To view a copy of the role’s Position Description, please copy and paste the following link into your browser:


Applications close: Sunday 25 April 2021, 9:00PM AWST

Contact details

If you have a query in relation to the application process please contact our careers team on curtincareers@curtin.edu.au or call Tara Hallissey, Talent Acquisition Consultant on 08 9266 2563.

Inclusion and Diversity at Curtin

We are committed to ensuring that Curtin has an inclusive environment, free from harassment, in which all students, staff and the community feel respected, valued and welcome.

We encourage applications from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people with disability, women, and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and are committed to making reasonable adjustments to enable people with disability to participate fully in our recruitment, selection and appointment processes.

We have received recognition in this area:
Voted one of Australia’s Inclusive Employers for 2019-2020 (Diversity Council of Australia).
Have become one of the first Universities to receive accreditation for an Elevated Reconciliation Action Plan.
Achieved Athena Swan Bronze Accreditation (2018-2020).
Voted 16th best workplace for new dads in Australia (HBF - Direct Advice for Dads, 2019).

Curtin reserves the right at its sole discretion to withdraw from the recruitment process, not to make an appointment, or to appoint by invitation, at any time. We reserve the right to remove the advert earlier than the date on the advert.