Research Assistant/Associate in Haptics and Medical Simulation

London (Central), London (Greater)
£34,397-£39,135, Full time, fixed term, plus benefits
19 Mar 2019
11 Apr 2019
Contract Type

Job summary

Applications are invited for a Researcher in Haptics and Medical Simulation position in the Simulation and Modelling in Medicine and Surgery research group within the Division of Surgery. The Division is a world leader in simulation research with strong links to engineering, computing and related disciplines within and outside Imperial.

This is an exciting opportunity to join a multidisciplinary team of researchers using Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and haptics to develop simulator prototypes and simulation tools for training, assessment and patient engagement ( Led by Professor Fernando Bello, the team consists of computer scientists, clinicians, engineers, prosthetics experts and educationalists.

Funded by the Imperial Health Charity (, the project aims to develop and validate a haptics and VR simulation platform for training and assessing the core skills necessary to safely and adequately conduct Vaginal Examinations (VEs) of pregnant women. It will consist of three phases: Analysis and Design, Simulation Platform Development, and Validation. A detailed task analysis of VE on a modified benchtop model and physical measurements of forces and trajectories of the examining fingers will advance our understanding of VE, the learning process, and inform simulator platform design. Development will include a modified haptic interface set up and a virtual pelvic anatomy simulation environment supporting the VE. Validation consisting of small pilot studies, questionnaires and interviews will be iterative throughout the project to inform development and refinement. A more formal and larger study looking into training and assessment effectiveness will be conducted towards the end of the project.

Duties and responsibilities

Research Duties:

  • To plan and carry out research and development under the guidance of the Head of Group, in accordance with the project aims and in close collaboration with project partners
  • To assist and contribute to each of the project phases: Analysis and Design, Simulation Platform Development, and Validation
  • To lead on the haptic interface design and development, as well as on the pelvic anatomy simulation environment
  • To design, plan and conduct rigorous, systematic validation of the simulator prototype
  • To adequately liaise with both clinical and non-clinical collaborators participating in the project
  • To work closely with other researchers in the SiMMS Group and more widely within the Centre for Engagement and Simulation Science
  • To write progress reports and assist in the preparation of results for publication and dissemination via presentations and peer-reviewed journals
  • To assist in the presentation of research findings to colleagues and at workshops / conferences as adequate
  • To maintain accurate and complete records of all research & development work and findings
  • To develop contacts and research collaborations within the College and the wider community
  • To participate in Group / Centre research meetings and internal seminars
  • To comply with the College, Division, and Unit safety practices and to attend courses on safety when appropriate
  • To assist in the development of research proposals and funding bids
  • Any other duties as may be deemed reasonable by Head of group as well as Head of Division/Department/Section

For appointment at the Research Associate Level:

  • To publish in high quality journals and to present data at national and international meetings
  • To assist with the day-to-day supervision of undergraduate (BSc) and postgraduate (MSc) student projects

Essential requirements

The post requires design, engineering and programming abilities, as well as good communication and interpersonal skills. The ideal candidate will be educated to postgraduate degree level (MSc for appointment as Research Assistant or PhD for Research Associate) in a relevant scientific or engineering discipline (e.g. Mechanical / Electronic Engineering, Mechatronics / Robotics, Computing / Computer Science), have practical experience in the design and construction of haptics and / or robotics / mechatronics systems, good programming skills (C/C++/C#) and a solid foundation in maths and physics.

Further information

The post is full time for a fixed term until 30 September 2020 in the first instance and based at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital within the Imperial College Centre for Engagement and Simulation Science.

Informal enquiries can be made by contacting Professor Fernando Bello (