First listed on: 06 December 2023

Research Assistant - Musculoskeletal Research 


About UQ

As part of the UQ community, you'll have the opportunity to work alongside the brightest minds, who have joined us from all over the world.

Everyone here has a role to play. As a member of our professional staff cohort, you will be actively involved in working towards our vision of a better world. By supporting the academic endeavour across teaching, research, and the student life, you'll have the opportunity to contribute to activities that have a lasting impact on our community.

Join a community where excellence is at the core of our culture, contributions are valued and a range of benefits and rewards are available, such as:

  • 26 weeks paid parental leave or 14 weeks paid primary caregiver leave
  • 17% superannuation contributions
  • 17.5% annual leave loading
  • Health and wellness discounts - fitness passport access, free yearly flu vaccinations, discounted health insurance, and access to our Employee Assistance Program for staff and their immediate family
  • On campus childcare options
  • Cheap parking (from just $5 a day)

About This Opportunity

We are seeking a highly motivated Research Assistant to join our internationally renowned School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences to work alongside some of the country's leading researchers in health sciences.

In this role you will work on a grant funded by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study the bio-psycho-social and behavioural causes of back pain "flares".

The project will assess risk factors for back pain flares (a meaningful increase in symptoms) through:

(1) an innovative study of a diverse array of candidate biological/behavioural, psychological, social and environmental factors in the "real world" using advanced wearable and online technologies in a large cohort, and

(2) intensive and detailed physiological and biomechanical measures from a subset of participants (who experience a flare-up of their back pain frequently) to identify the underlying mechanisms.

New understanding of what and how factors drive flares of back pain will provide foundational knowledge for new approaches to targeted management strategies on a case-by-case basis.

As a Research Assistant, you will work with the project investigators to support the day-to-day activities of the project and contribute to a range of tasks associated with the conduct of the study, including setup, recruitment/retention of study participants, data collection, data management and data analysis.

Key responsibilities will include:

  • Assist with the maintenance of data collection and management systems, such as REDCap, LabFront (website interface) and LifeData (smartphone app-based questionnaire tool).
  • Oversee participant recruitment, engagement and follow-up.
  • Coordinate aspects of data/sample collection, including human blood, saliva, inertial measurement, unit/biomechanical data, electroencephalography (EEG) data and a range of physiological data from wearable devices. This will include local travel to collect samples/measures within the participant's own home and may occur outside normal work hours including weekends.
  • Process and prepare biological samples (e.g., blood and saliva) for analysis. This may occur outside normal work hours including weekends.
  • Oversee and maintain the study database and prepare data for analysis.
  • Assist with drafting research documentation, including ethics, manuscripts and funding applications.
  • Assist with preparing reports, graphs, figures, and presentations on research outcomes.

This is a part-time (60%), fixed-term position for one (1) year.

At HEW level 5, the full-time equivalent base salary will be in the range $74,378 - $82,842, plus a generous super allowance of up to 17%. The total FTE package will be up to $87,022 - $96,925 annually. As this role is covered by an Enterprise Agreement, you will also receive regular remuneration increases - at least once a year.

About You

  • Completion of a degree in physiotherapy, human movement or a related health discipline, and relevant experience in musculoskeletal research.
  • Experience in contributing to human research projects including administration, preparation of ethics documents and data management.
  • Strong skills and a general knowledge in human movement and physiological research procedures.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to work flexibly, collaboratively and independently, and liaise with other team members and students regularly through formal and informal meetings.
  • A demonstrated high level of self-motivation and ability to work with limited guidance, both alone and as a member of a team.
  • Access to a vehicle for travelling to collect samples/measures from participants in their own home.
  • Experience collecting and managing human blood and saliva samples is desirable.

In addition, the following mandatory requirements apply:

  • Work Rights: You must have unrestricted work rights in Australia for the duration of this appointment to apply. Visa sponsorship is not available for this appointment.
  • Mandatory Immunisations: It is a condition of employment for this role that you will be required to provide evidence of immunisation against certain vaccine preventable diseases.


For more information about this opportunity, please contact Dr David Klyne (Senior Research Fellow, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences) at For application queries, please contact stating the job reference number (below) in the subject line.

Want to Apply?

All applicants must upload the following documents in order for your application to be considered:

  • Cover letter addressing the 'About You' section
  • Resume

Other Information

At UQ we know that our greatest strengths come from our diverse mix of colleagues, this is reflected in our ongoing commitment to creating an environment focused on equity, diversity and inclusion. We ensure that we are always attracting, retaining and promoting colleagues who are representative of the diversity in the broader community, whether that be gender identityLGBTQIA+cultural and/or linguisticAboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples, or people with a disability. Accessibility requirements and/or adjustments can be directed to

If you are a current employee (including casual staff and HDR scholars) or hold an unpaid/affiliate appointment, please login to your staff Workday account and visit the internal careers board to apply for this opportunity. Please do NOT apply via the external job board.

Applications close Tuesday 19 December 2023 at 11.00pm AEST (Job Reference Number: R-33111).


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