Clinical Research Fellow (Rheumatology)

King's College London

The successful candidate will conduct a programme of original research in rheumatology care quality assessment leading to applications for further funding, publications and a PhD degree. The research fellow will work within the Centre for Rheumatic Disease research group based at the King’s College Hospital (Denmark Hill) site. They will design and complete research into current and future systems of care as well as into methods of analysing and measuring those systems. This will involve conducting systematic reviews, working with stakeholders in rheumatology service improvement nationally to make changes to national audit processes and evaluate these, and using data processing and analytical skills to evaluate the role of routinely collected data in improving the assessment of healthcare quality. They will develop the necessary coding skills to be able to use applications such as Stata and to securely access routinely collected healthcare data. Knowledge and implementation of the legal basis of data management and processing will be essential to this. 

The project will require close collaboration with the British Society of Rheumatology Quality Improvement team responsible for the National Early Inflammatory Arthritis Audit. The research fellow will be required to travel to rheumatology departments in England and Wales to facilitate engagement with quality improvement processes. 

The research fellow will have responsibility for overseeing junior clinical fellows and medical students during projects with the research group, providing formal and informal training. In addition they will be expected to contribute to the provision of medical student teaching.  

The successful applicant will also play an active role in delivering clinical care, reviewing their own patients in 1-2 rheumatology clinics per week at King’s College Hospital and making treatment decisions under appropriate consultant supervision. They will assist in the running of clinical trials delivered by the department, acting as sub-investigator and providing medical cover as part of a multidisciplinary team for clinical research studies, delivering those studies safely, on time and to target, complying with the regulatory requirements. 

This post will be offered on an  a fixed-term contract for 30 months  

This is a full-time post

•        Review and synthesise relevant literature in the field, and to collaboratively develop a research programme in discussion with supervisors and colleagues 

•        Coordinate work for each element of the agreed project, supervising junior colleagues when required 

•        To stay up to date with relevant training including GCP, information governance and mandatory clinical training, adhering to agreed standards for each 

•        Seek out and participate in training to deepen knowledge of research design, statistics and quality improvement processes. 

•        Securely collect and analyse data from routinely collected health data sources, for the purposes of assessing care quality. 

•        Write project progress reports in a timely manner 

•        Write up and submit for publication the results of the conducted research. 

•        Submit funding applications related to the project where required. 

•        Attend and present work at relevant national and international conferences 

•        Collaborate with colleagues within and outside the Centre of Rheumatic Disease to bring new approaches and ideas to project work 

•        Build relationships within rheumatology QI networks to facilitate the extension and promotion of the National Early Inflammatory Arthritis Audit 

•        Maintain and develop skills in clinical rheumatology by participating in weekly clinics and continuing clinical professional development. 

•        Assist in the training of medical students and junior doctors in rheumatology, general medicine and research processes. 

•        Oversee the management of patients within clinical trials run from the department, answering queries from trial monitors and colleagues  

•        Engage as appropriate with all aspects of the development and conduct of research studies, including advising on planned clinical research activity and recruiting and following up participants on active trials.  

•        Ensure all study activity is conducted in accordance with Good Clinical Practice 

•        Maintain accurate records of all clinical and trial work 

•        Adhere to KCL policies and procedures, published on HR webpages 

•        Occasionally work irregular hours when unavoidable e.g. to review patients within clinical trials. 

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.

The candidate should be a medical graduate (MBBS or equivalent) with at least five years’
(?too many) postgraduate experience including completion of Core Medical Training/Internal Medicine Training or similar internal medicine programme. They should have prior research experience in the form of an intercalated BSc or equivalent degree. 

Successful candidates must have experience of quality improvement work within the NHS, and an understanding of the methodologies that underpin effective QI processes. 

Applicants should have a basic understanding of medical statistics and clinical research design methods, an ideally be GCP trained. They must be capable of working equally well in an independent, self-driven manner and as part of a multidisciplinary team, have strong organisational and time-management skills and be competent in the use of a range of commonly-used IT applications including Microsoft Office, and ideally statistics packages such as Stata or programming languages such as Python. 

Essential criteria

1.      MBBS or equivalent medical degree 

2.      Intercalated BSc 

3.      Completion of UK CMT/IMT or equivalent 

4.      Working knowledge of medical statistical methods and clinical research design 

5.      Excellent IT skills 

6.      Strong organisational capabilities 

7.      An ability and willingness to work flexibly and in multidisciplinary teams 

8.      Previous experience of clinical audit and understanding of QI methodology 

9.      Prior clinical experience in rheumatology 

10.   Motivation to pursue rheumatology research interests 

11.   An empathetic, patient-centred approach to clinical care 

Desirable criteria

1.      GCP training 

2.      Familiarity with statistical analysis software/ programming languages 

3.      Previous experience working on clinical trials

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