Preparatory Clinical Research Training Fellowships


The NIHR Maudsley Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) is now advertising fellowships (up to 4 posts are available) for (i) clinical trainees (CT2 – ST6) and (ii) nurses, allied health professionals and clinical psychologists (bands 6 – 8A top) who are committed to developing a translational research career in the UK in the areas of mental health, clinical neuroscience or the interface between physical and mental health. 

The application deadline is Monday 13 May 2024 (23:59 BST) with interviews planned for the week commencing 17 June 2024 (day to be confirmed).  The link to apply will be posted on this web page during the next 2-3 weeks.

Potential applicants should read the full Pre-application guidance below and start preparing their application now.

Preparatory Fellowships are aimed at clinical trainees, nurses, allied health professionals and clinical psychologists who do not hold a doctoral research degree.

The Fellowships are designed to provide the time, resources and support to help bridge the gap between current training/employment and further professional and career development in research.  The Fellow will be expected to plan, prepare and submit an application to an external funding body for a doctoral research training fellowship, Eg. NIHR Doctoral Fellowship or HEE/NIHR Doctoral Clinical and Practitioner Academic Fellowship (DCAF) Scheme. 

The successful candidates will each be offered training and support from a senior research supervisor who will normally take an interest in their development after the placement and guide them through to the next stage of their research career.  The expected outcome is the successful application for an external doctoral research fellowship.

The posts are funded by the NIHR Maudsley BRC at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and King's College London, and the appointees will work closely with lead investigators from that group, thus acquiring skills according to their interests.  The post holder will benefit from expert supervision and access to resources and infrastructure across the organisation.

Up to four posts are available and we invite applications from candidates who wish to work in any area of the NIHR Maudsley BRC’s research activity

The post holders will be employed by King’s College London on a fixed term contract for a maximum of 12 months (minimum 6 months). The posts are full-time for 40 hours per week (clinical trainees) or 37.5 hours per week (nurses, allied health professionals and clinical psychologists).  Applications for part-time hours will be considered for a minimum of 40% FTE.

We encourage applications from candidates who wish to work on a project based in the NIHR-Wellcome King’s Clinical Research Facility (CRF).  In collaboration with the Centre for Neuroscience Imaging there are ongoing projects that use state-of-the-art neuroimaging, including neurogenetics, neurophysiological approaches to measuring brain responses and pharmacological approaches to exploring new treatments and treatment mechanisms for mental health and neurological conditions.  

Proposed projects must fit the remit of the NIHR Maudsley BRC’s research priorities focused around whole person care, translational informatics, precision psychiatry and novel therapeutics.

Projects must also fit at least one of the NIHR Maudsley BRC’s research themes

Details about the departments at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) and the research taking place in each department can be found on the King’s College London website: https://www.kcl.ac.uk/ioppn

Further information about the work of individual researchers can be found in the King’s College London Research Portal

The exact location of each post will depend on the particular project and supervisory team that the successful candidate has applied to work with.

Key responsibilities

  • To acquire and refine skills in translational and experimental medicine, particularly in the context of patients with mental health disorders.
  • To develop and undertake training and research in an innovative, original research programme in the field of mental health, drawn up between the post-holder and their supervisors(s), which supports the translational and experimental medicine remit of the NIHR Maudsley BRC, the NIHR-Wellcome King’s CRF (where applicable) and the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King’s College London.
  • To successfully compete for external research grant funding to support continued research training and academic career development.
  • To publish the findings of research in high quality journals in a timely way with a commitment to open research practices
  • To present research findings at appropriate national and international meetings and conferences.
  • To support and guide colleagues in understanding specialist knowledge and skills and contribute to collaborative, interdisciplinary research programmes across the NIHR Maudsley BRC and IoPPN at King’s College London.
  • To carry out other duties appropriate to the grade and role.

Decision making, planning & problem solving:

  • To develop skills in decision making, planning and problem solving relevant to translational and experimental medicine, particularly in the context of patients with mental health disorders.
  • Lead the planning, prioritisation and organisation of work of self and others within the team.
  • Develop and deliver an excellent research project, identify research funding opportunities and contribute key knowledge and skills to existing and new interdisciplinary research programmes.

Communications and Working Relationships:

  • To communicate effectively with supervisors.
  • To communicate effectively with other research staff, patients and students across King’s Health Partners.
  • To communicate research findings at national and international conferences and meetings.
  • To develop a collaborative network locally, nationally and internationally to support the research programme.

Service delivery:

  • To be defined by the scope of the post holder’s selected research project.
  • To support colleagues in the NIHR Maudsley BRC and the host research team at King’s College London in delivering high quality, translational and experimental medicine research.
  • To support the reporting of research activity, outputs and impacts from the NIHR Maudsley BRC and the host research team at the IoPPN, King’s College London to fulfil annual reporting requirements to the National Institute for Health Research and the Department of Health.
  • To ensure that appropriate acknowledgement is included in any peer-review publications arising from the research undertaken during the Fellowship.

Analysis & research:

  • Perform detailed analysis and manipulation of research data, highlighting and prioritising research deliverables.
  • Research, collate, organise and edit material for inclusion in reports and other documents.
  • Undertake excellent research leading to publication in high quality, high impact peer reviewed journals.
  • To successfully compete for external research grant funding to support development of the post-holder’s research programme.

Team work, teaching & learning support:

  • To work as part of a team across the NIHR Maudsley BRC, the NIHR-Wellcome King’s CRF (where applicable), the IoPPN at King’s College London and any other host organisations, contributing to research meetings and presentations.
  • To provide support, or technical advice, training, or demonstrations in the use of specialised equipment as appropriate.

The above list of responsibilities may not be exhaustive, and the post holder will be required to undertake such tasks and responsibilities as may reasonably be expected within the scope and grading of the post.

Essential criteria

  1. Clinical trainees: MBBS or equivalent qualification with distinction/honours
    Nurses & AHPs:  BSc 2.1 or 1st and appropriate qualification for full NMC or HCPC registration
  2. Clinical trainees: Membership of GMC or Membership of the relevant Royal College or equivalent qualification (in accordance with Royal College guidelines)
    Nurses & AHPs:  Registration with NMC and/or HCPC
  3. Ability to communicate to a wide range of people at various levels
  4. Ability to prioritise a varied workload and work under pressure to meet deadlines whilst maintaining a high level of quality
  5. Ability to manage the day-to-day running of a research project, working effectively both independently and as part of a team
  6. Demonstrated track record of research in a relevant subject area with evidence of knowledge of basic research methodologies
  7. Ambition and commitment to further developing an academic research career
  8. Project proposal indicates clear involvement of service users at various stages
  9. Clear plan for development of a project that can be taken forwards for a PhD or other external career development award
  10. Time plan includes details of all relevant training that is expected to take place during the fellowship
  11. Plan includes a realistic timeframe for appropriate external fellowship applications to be submitted

Desirable criteria

  1. Intercalated BSc or an MSc
  2. Research publications in peer-reviewed journals
  3. A commitment to open, transparent, accessible and reproducible research

These posts are suitable for

 i.  clinical trainees (CT2 – ST6)

ii.  nurses, allied health professionals and clinical psychologists (bands 6 – 8A top)

who are committed to developing a translational research career in the UK in the areas of mental health, clinical neuroscience or the interface between physical & mental health. 

Eligibility

  1. Applicants must hold registration with the NMC, the HCPC, the GMC or Membership of the relevant Royal College or equivalent qualification (in accordance with Royal College guidelines).
  2. Applicants must have at least 12 months’ experience of practice with a UK healthcare provider in the health or care profession for which they hold the required registration.
  3. Applicants must hold a current contract of employment with a provider of healthcare services in the UK.  Fixed term contracts are acceptable.  Honorary contracts or bank work cannot be accepted.
  4. Applicants must not already hold a doctoral research degree.

Salary:  The appointment will be made, dependent on current profession and grade, within either the Doctors in Training scale £43,923 - £63,152 per annum plus £2,162 London Weighting Allowance per annum (dependent upon current profession and grade) and Flexible Pay Premium (where applicable), or  NHS Agenda for Change £42,471 - £65,095, inclusive of Inner High Cost Area Supplement.

Non-pay costs: Funding is available to support the fellow with the cost of additional training, presenting at conferences and reasonable project costs:

  • Funding is available to support presentation at a maximum of two conferences, one of which may be outside the UK. The funding will cover conference registration; travel; accommodation and poster printing costs.
  • Funding cannot be used to purchase computer equipment; this includes desktop computers, laptops; tablets; mobile/smart phone devices.
  • Funding cannot be used to purchase office stationery.

The post holders will be employed by King’s College London on a fixed term contract for a maximum of 12 months (minimum 6 months). The posts are full-time for 40 hours per week (clinical trainees) or 37.5 hours per week (nurses, allied health professionals and clinical psychologists).  Applications for part-time hours will be considered for a minimum of 40% FTE.

Before applying, potential applicants must approach supervisors to discuss projects that can be taken forward for the fellowship and developed further for a full clinical research training fellowship application. Applicants can propose their own project or develop one suggested by their prospective supervisor.

Project supervisors must be employed by King's College London and based in one of the departments at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN).

Projects must fit the remit of the NIHR Maudsley BRC’s research priorities focused around whole person care, translational informatics, precision psychiatry and novel therapeutics.

Projects must also fit at least one of the NIHR Maudsley BRC’s research themes

Details about the departments at the IoPPN and the research taking place in each department can be found on the King’s College London website: https://www.kcl.ac.uk/ioppn (schools and departments are listed at the bottom of the IoPPN page).

Further information about the work of individual researchers can be found in the King’s College London Research Portal 

All applications must be submitted via the King’s College London on-line application system. The link to apply will be posted on this web page during the next 2-3 weeks.

Prospective applicants should read the full Pre-application guidance below as this provides information about the documentation that will be required when submitting an application for one of these fellowships.

Prospective applicants should read 'The application process' section above.

In addition to the on-line form, applications must include the following 5 documents in the order given:

  1. Covering letter (2 pages) to include:
    • Planned start date and duration for the fellowship if awarded (NB: the Fellowship duration must be for a minimum of 6 months and maximum of 12 months)
    • An explanation of how you would use this opportunity to prepare for the next stage of your research career
    • Explanation of choice of host research department and project supervisor
    • Information about existing or planned future fellowship or other funding applications
    • The covering letter should also clearly explain, with evidence, how you meet the essential criteria listed in the person specification.

  2. CV, including the DOI of any publications.  Publications that have been submitted or that are in preparation should be listed separately.  Please explain, in a few lines, your contribution to the paper and the work reported.

  3. Letter of support from proposed project supervisor.

  4. Outline of the proposed research fellowship (4 pages). To include:
    • The primary research question being addressed and aims
    • Details of the project, including methods
    • Resources required for the project and evidence that you will have access to these
    • Relevant training plans for the period of the fellowship
    • Details of how you will involve patients and/or carers in the planning and delivery of your research
    • Your plans for disseminating your research to patients and the public
    • Timeline including your research, training and further funding applications.
    • Budget for non-pay costs including training and reasonable project costs*. All expenditure must be in accordance with King’s College London Finance regulations.

Funding is available to support presentation at a maximum of two conferences, one of which may be outside the UK in accordance with UK Government travel advice. The funding will cover conference registration; travel; accommodation and poster printing costs.  Subsistence costs will not be covered by this funding.

* Funding cannot be used to purchase computer equipment; this includes desktop computers, laptops; tablets; mobile/smart phone devices.

* Funding cannot be used to purchase office stationery.

  1. Completed Appendix A indicating NIHR Maudsley BRC research themes and priorities the project will meet   Please see template for Appendix A

Please note:  Applications received without the above specified documents will not be sent forward for shortlisting.

 

The application deadline is Monday 13 May 2024 (23:59 BST). 

Interviews are planned to be held via MS Teams during the week of 17 June 2024 (day to be confirmed)

 

Further Information

If you have questions please email us: maudsley.brc@kcl.ac.uk

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