Clinical Research Fellow - Institute of Inflammation and Ageing - Post 98990 -
Clinical Grade - (2200000R)
Institute of Inflammation and Ageing
Location: University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham UK
Grade - Clinical
Full Time FTC 01/04/2022 - 31/03/2024
OH/DBS Checks Required
2 Posts available
Closing date: 3rd February 2022
We are seeking to recruit a Clinical Research Fellow in Rheumatology to work
within the Rheumatology Research Group (RRG) and the NIHR Birmingham
Biomedical Research Centre at the University of Birmingham.
This post is part of the £7m A-TAP (Arthritis therapy Acceleration
Programme) initiative, which brings together multiple trusts, the
Universities of Birmingham and Oxford, and industry partners to advance
detection of biomarkers and trial new therapies under collaborative
agreements. You will assist in the day-to-day execution of various clinical
studies in Rheumatology currently recruiting through the A-TAP. These include
observational cohort studies and early phase clinical trials of new therapies,
and provide opportunities for training in musculoskeletal ultrasound and
interventional procedures. As a Clinical Research Fellow you will participate
in ongoing A-TAP research with a focus on supporting Rheumatology, as well as
working within the multidisciplinary team to deliver the strategic aims of the
group and the delivery of the trial portfolio of studies according to time and
target. You will also be involved in the writing and submission of grant
applications related to your particular area of research and you will write
research papers for submission to peer-reviewed journals and abstracts for
submission to national and international conferences.
The primary purpose of the A-TAP collaboration is to provide a translational
vehicle to help identify the right drug at the right dose for the right
disease. It complements ongoing international studies in stratified medicine,
which aim to identify the right drug for the right patient. A-TAP provides the
missing “mechanistic” link to ensure that excellent basic science observations
are “accelerated” into early phase experimental therapy for patients. A-TAP is
the first cross-disease, cross-tissue consortium that uses pathology-based
outcome measures, innovative trial design and Bayesian statistics to match the
right patients to the best treatment option based on their individual profile
of inflammation and not just disease symptoms. A-TAP, through its innovative
approach of operating across different types of immune-mediated inflammatory
disease with a focus on tissue biology enables the de-risking of drug
development and speeding up the delivery of new medicines.
A-TAP is delivered through its alliance of academic and NHS partners comprised
of the University of Birmingham (UOB) and the University of Oxford
(Oxford) and seven NHS partners. These are Oxford University Hospitals NHS
Foundation Trust (OUH), University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust
(UHB), Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust (SWBH), Dudley
Group of Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (Dudley), University Hospitals
Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW), Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust (Walsall)
and the Modality Partnership (Primary Care).
The Research Unit: The Rheumatology Research Group (RRG) sits within the
Institute of Inflammation and Ageing, one of seven research institutes in the
College of Medical and Dental Sciences at the University of Birmingham. The
RRG is a multidisciplinary team of academic and clinical rheumatologists,
biological and social scientists, general practitioners, allied health
professionals and patient representatives. Truly collaborative on a global
scale, the world-leading RRG research focusses on understanding the
epidemiology, mechanisms and pathobiology of three major autoimmune rheumatic
diseases; Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), Systemic Lupus Erythromatosus (SLE)
and Sjogren's Syndrome (SS). The RRG currently has over £10 million of live
funding, from Arthritis Research UK, the Medical Research Council, the
Wellcome Trust, NIHR, European Commission and several hospital trusts and
industry. The vast range of RRG fundamental science expertise includes stromal
cell and immune pathobiology, metabolomics in rheumatic disease and developing
animal models of rheumatic disease.
Clinical Research: The clinical skills of the RRG are closely linked to
its translational science: For instance, developing skills in musculoskeletal
ultrasound is necessary to undertake training in ultrasound guided biopsy
which in turn is required for innovative tissue-based science examining
pathological mechanisms of disease in our observational cohorts and response
to therapy in new trial designs. Work is supervised by eight clinical
academics alongside three clinical lecturers and multiple fellows, who have
the opportunity to undertake postgraduate MD or PhD degrees. Clinical
facilities are located within the research unit itself via the Inflammation
Research Facility (a spoke of the hub NIHR Clinical Research Facility) which
is staffed by six clinical trials nurses and multiple support staff dedicated
to observational and trials work in inflammatory disease. The unit features
six consulting rooms, a three bedded day unit and ultrasound suite. This
facility ensures excellent support and training for clinical fellows alongside
continuity of patient care. Support for fellows is underpinned by dedicated
monthly clinical research meetings and ultrasound training sessions run by
Prof Karim Raza and Dr Andrew Filer.
Our key observational disease cohorts through which internationally known
research is conducted are the Birmingham Early Arthritis cohort (BEACON:
Total >900 subjects in the current dataset, recruitment 150 per year) and the
Sjogren's syndrome OASIS cohort: Total >300 subjects, current recruitment 50
per year. We also run a dedicated clinic for checkpoint inhibitor induced
arthritis and sicca syndromes.
The group has significant expertise and is able to provide training
opportunities in musculoskeletal ultrasound, ultrasound guided synovial
biopsy, salivary gland biopsy, clinical trial design, pathological effects of
biological disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs and the psychology of
chronic autoimmune disease. Interested fellows are also welcome to express
interest and become involved in the high quality laboratory based research
undertaken in the Institute. The RRG is linked to busy regional NHS Trusts NHS
clinical units including within the Queen Elizabeth Hospital itself
(University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHBFT)), Sandwell
and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust (SWBH), Birmingham Women's &
Children's Hospitals (BWCH) and the Modality musculoskeletal primary care
unit. Fellows can take advantage of diverse opportunities for experience
linked to these units.
Broad aims of the post
To contribute to the achievement of the Institute's research strategy by
undertaking specified research activities within rheumatology pathogenesis
To contribute to the management of and recruitment to early phase trials
in arthritis and Sjögren's disease
To assist with research in patients recruited to the Birmingham Early
Arthritis (BEACON) and OASIS Cohorts.
To undertake clinical work by attending up to one clinical session per
week to develop and maintain clinical skills.
To become proficient in the conduct of clinical trials and to share with
other BRC fellows the day to day management of early phase trials in
arthritis undertaken by the Centre.
To ensure that, once recruited, patients are followed up at appropriate
intervals and clinical samples are processed and despatched to the
relevant laboratories according to Standard Operating Procedures.
To work closely with laboratory technicians, post-doctoral scientists and
trial co-ordinators to establish and undertake laboratory research to
support the BRC-related projects and the RRG.
To discuss research data and devise appropriate plans for data analysis in
conjunction with experienced colleagues and bio-statisticians.
To assist with trial set-up and obtaining necessary local and national
approvals (ethics, MHRA) and contribute to site file and data management
under guidance of the trials coordinators and lead investigators.
To work closely with and support the Inflammation Research Facility and
the Clinical Research Facility, including following necessary approval
To prioritise tasks within an agreed work schedule to ensure that projects
are delivered in timely fashion accordance to the milestones in the BRC.
To suggest and contribute to the development of research techniques,
models and methods in collaboration with colleagues.
To contribute to writing bids for future research grants.
To disseminate research findings using appropriate and effective media
such as publication, research seminars etc.
To provide guidance to other staff and students.
To contribute to the production of research reports and publications in
high impact-factor journals
To plan and develop research contributions to subject area using
methodologies, critical evaluations, interpretations, analyses and other
To contribute to events celebrating the public engagement of
Keep up to date with recent literature and advances in the field.
To engage in continuous professional development.
To undertake clinical work under an NHS honorary contract.
To contribute to the enhancement of the University's international profile
in line with the University's Strategic Plan.
Knowledge, Skills, Qualifications and Experience Required
Candidates should be registered with the GMC with a License to Practice.
Medical degree with preferred MRCP or equivalent. Applications for out of
programme experience from enthusiastic pre-MRCP core trainees will also be
considered (see below).
We will accept applications for out of programme experience from
enthusiastic post foundation year CT or ST1,2 (or IMT1, 2 and 3)
trainees. At least 4 months' experience in Clinical Rheumatology is
Preference may be given to Rheumatology Specialist applicants on the
Specialty Training Programme for Rheumatology at ST3 level or above.
Core clinical skills, including phlebotomy.
Preferred: previous undergraduate experience of research via scholarship,
funded holiday project or intercalated degree.
Desirable: Clinical research experience within Rheumatology
Desirable: basic experience of musculoskeletal ultrasound, however
training can also be provided.
Analytical and problem solving capability
Ability to communicate complex information with clarity, both verbally and
Strong interpersonal skills, ability to get on well with colleagues.
Ability to work both independently and as part of a team
Ability to work towards departmental and Institute objectives.
Excellent IT skills
Informal enquires to Andrew Filer (A.Filer@bham.ac.uk)
The University is committed to safeguarding and we promote safe recruitment
practice, therefore all associated pre-employment checks will be undertaken
before any appointment is confirmed. Due to the nature of the work undertaken
in this role all successful applicants will be subject to a satisfactory
Occupational Health and/or DBS clearance prior to appointment.
The University is committed to safeguarding and we promote safe working
practice, therefore all occupational health checks required for this role will
be taken once individuals are appointed. Due to the nature of the work
undertaken in this role all successful applicants will be required to complete
an Occupational Health assessment once in post.
Further particulars can be found
https:// www. download.bham.ac.uk/vacancies/jd/MDSFPs.pdf
Valuing excellence, sustaining investment
We value diversity and inclusion at the University of Birmingham and
welcome applications from all sections of the community and are open to
discussions around all forms of flexible working
: Academic Clinical
: Inflammation and Ageing
: 13.01.2022, 9:59:41 PM
Grade (for job description): Clinical teaching and research academics below
the level of consultant
Salary (Pay Basis)
Advert Close Date
: 04.02.2022, 6:59:00 AM
Fixed Term Contract End Date 31.03.2024