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Senior Clinical Research Fellow - Epilepsy

Cardiff and Vale University Health Board
£35,408 to £55,674 a year per annum
Closing date
17 Feb 2023

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Hospital, Neurology
Career Level
Contract Type
Fixed Contract
Full Time

Job Details

This is an exciting opportunity for an enthusiastic clinical research fellow to work on an MRC funded project at Cardiff University's BRAIN Unit under the supervision of Professor Gray. Professor Gray as Cardiff University's Professor of Functional Neurosurgery is the academic lead in neurosurgery in Wales with principal interest in basic and clinical stem cell research related to patients with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy, gene and cell-based therapies for neurological disease, and neuro-oncology.

The post is for 18 months and is available to start as soon as possible.

65 million people have epilepsy, including 600,000 in the UK. To give the best treatment for seizures (disturbances in the brain's electrical activity), it is important to understand their cause, which may be genetic, metabolic, or related to brain injury or abnormal brain structure. As part of the diagnosis, a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan is often performed. A key challenge here is sensitivity, i.e., brain abnormalities may be small and/or subtle in their morphology and missed on conventional MRI. Even if abnormal tissue is detected, it is impossible to say whether there are differences in cell size/shape/density. Currently such information can only be obtained by cutting out the tissue and examining it through a microscope.

Main duties of the job

The Clinical Research Fellowship will be based within the Department of Neurosurgery at the University Hospital of Wales (UHW). For the research aspect of this post the appointee will be located at UHW and CUBRIC, home to one of Europe's most powerful brain scanners, depending upon the needs of your research project and as guided by your supervisor. For the clinical duties, you will be located at the UHW neurosurgery department.

Duties and Responsibilities of the Post

The Clinical Research Fellow will be required to undertake an original piece of research in neurosciences mainly focused on using advanced microstructural MRI imaging to identify abnormalities in patients undergoing evaluation for epilepsy surgery, under the supervision of Professor William Gray, with Prof Khalid Hamandi and Prof Derek Jones. It is possible for this work to become part of a submission for a higher degree (PhD) to Cardiff University dependent on acquiring further funding.

About us

Cardiff and Vale University Health Board is one of the largest Integrated Health Boards in the UK, employing over 15,000 staff, providing over 100 specialist services. Working across 6 hospital sites, we have a diverse range of career opportunities to offer. Serving around 500,000 people living in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan, we are focussed on the health and care needs of our local population whilst working with our partners to develop regional services.

Our mission is Caring for People, Keeping People Well, and ourvision is that every person's chance of leading a healthy life should be equal. As an organisation we are unashamedly ambitious for our population's health, rising to the challenges of today and tomorrow through our 10-year strategy, Shaping our Future Wellbeing. We are contributing to a healthier Wales with great emphasis placed on innovation and improvement, learning from around the world and leading the way in clinical research. Partnership working is strong at Cardiff and Vale, and we work closely with our staff and our community.

Cardiff, the thriving Welsh capital, is a fantastic city to live and work in with an abundance of sports, arts and cultural attractions. Situated to the west of Cardiff, the Vale of Glamorgan offers a combination of beautiful Welsh countryside and a dramatic natural coastline. Whether city life or rural living, Cardiffand the Vale offers the best of both worlds.

Job description
Job responsibilities

Further details can be found in the further particulars and job description forms attached to this post.

Key Responsibilities


  • Conduct experimental work based on the research objectives and proposals using advanced microstructural MR imaging to identify potentially epileptogenic cortex which is invisible to standard Clinical MRI.
  • Maintain accurate and complete records of all findings
  • Write or contribute to publications or disseminate research findings using other appropriate media.
  • Make presentations at conferences or exhibit work at other appropriate events.
  • Support the set-up, development and execution of clinical trials if appropriate.
  • Support the delivery of the various internal/external audits. 


  • To be part of a Neurosurgery Department evaluating patients for epilepsy surgery
  • To gain experience in ward management and neurosurgical operative experience.
  • To share daily care of the inpatients; participate in fixed commitments in theatre and clinics as needed to support the research objectives
  • This Clinical Research Fellowship does not involve on-call work or banding. 


  • Contribute to teaching activities of the department.
  • Supervise/ help junior students within the research group. 


  • Identify sources of funding and contribute to the process of securing funds.
  • To liaise, as appropriate, with other research groups 

Person Specification

  • Effective communication skills - Verbal and written
  • Up to date with current medical practices
  • Experience in lumbar puncture


  • Audit
  • Teaching
  • Independently competent at lumbar puncture


  • MBBS or equivalent
  • Good Clinical Practice Certificate (GCP) or agreement to attend next available course


  • Completed MRCP or equivalent
  • Intercalated Degree
  • MSc or PHD
  • oAcademic Excellence (Publications, Prizes, merits, distinctions


  • Core medical training or equivalent


  • Neurology ST3 experience
  • Previous Neurology experience, any CT level.
  • Experience with clinical trials or research
  • Laboratory sample processing


  • Motivated and efficient
  • Able to relate to patients, staff and medical colleagues
  • Flexible, caring and hardworking
  • Ability to work as part of a team 

BMJ Ref: BMJ-110130/001-MP019.23




Cardiff and Vale University Health Board is one of the largest NHS organisations in Europe. We employ approximately 14,500 staff, and spend around £1.4 billion every year on providing health and wellbeing services to a population of around 472,400 people living in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan. We also serve a wider population across South and Mid Wales for a range of specialties. 

Our vision is to create a community where healthy life choice does not depend on who you are or where you live.

We are a teaching Health Board with close links to the university sector, and together we are training the next generation of healthcare professionals, while working on research that will hopefully unlock the cures for today’s illnesses.

Our Services

The only tertiary centre for Wales offering a range of services for the whole nation including the only Children’s Hospital in Wales, Organ Donation and Transplant, Neuroscience, Genomics, Precision Medicine and Advanced Therapies, and more.

Public Health

Improving the health of our population and reducing inequalities. Providing preventative health care information and advice including access to health and well-being services.

Primary, Community and Intermediate Care

Offering first line health services at GP surgeries, dentists, optomtetrist and a range of therapy and community based services accessible as close to home as possible.

Acute and Tertiary Care

Providing unscheduled or emergency care. Elective care and specialist services to a wider population across Wales, including dignostics and theraputic services.

Corporate Services

Providing the support services required to run an integrated health system across Cardiff and Wales ensuring patient safety, governance, quality assurance, performance and excellent delivery of all services.

Our Structure

  • Our organisation is structured and designed into seven Clinical Boards which cover our four main service areas and much more. They are:
  • Children and Women’s Clinical Board
  • Clinical Diagnostics and Therapeutics
  • Medicine Clinical Board
  • Mental Health Clinical Board
  • Specialist Services Clinical Board
  • Surgery Clinical Board
  • Primary, Community and Intermediate Care Clinical Board

The Clinical Boards were created in June 2013 and have been successful in providing strong leadership in clinical areas and have resulted in the acceleration of operational decision making, greatly enhancing the outcomes for patients in their care. The Boards are held to account via the Executive Directors and a process of scrutiny is ensured through monthly performance boards and a robust authorisation process.  

A Great Place to Live and Work

Cardiff really is a city of contrasts. A castle with 1900 years of history stands alongside a modern shopping centre and a spectacular Civic Centre surrounded by acres of parkland.

The Cardiff Bay development has created eight miles of waterfront with a range of new apartments, bars and restaurants.

For those seeking more culture there is easy access to the National Museum and Gallery Cardiff, the Museum of Welsh Life and the Wales Millennium Centre, home of the Welsh National Opera.

Situated to the west of Cardiff, the Vale of Glamorgan offers a mixture of gentle rolling hills, charming towns and villages, and a dramatic natural coastline which includes part of the Glamorgan Heritage Coast.

Surrounded by areas of outstanding natural beauty, with the Brecon Beacons National Park, Swansea Gower Peninsula and the picturesque Vale of Glamorgan all nearby, Cardiff really does have it all.

Housing is reasonably priced, and our schools offer a high standard of education and facilities.

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