Education and Research


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Education and Research

  1. 1. UCL Institute of Neurology Queen Square UCL Institute of Neurology The Institute of Neurology is a specialist postgraduate institute of UCL. The Institute is closely associated in its work with the National Hospital for Neurology & Neurosurgery, University College London Hospitals' NHS Foundation Trust, and in combination they form a national and international centre at Queen Square for teaching, training and research in neurology and allied clinical and basic neurosciences. The Institute of Neurology is a member of the newly formed Faculty of Biomedical Sciences at UCL, and has nine academic departments. Seven encompass clinical and basic research within each theme: Neurodegenerative Disease; Molecular Neuroscience; Clinical and Experimental Epilepsy; Motor Neuroscience and Movement Disorders; Imaging Neuroscience; Brain Repair and Rehabilitation; and Neuroinflammation. The remaining two are the Reta Lila Weston Institute of Neurological Studies and the Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Royal Free Campus, both of which are now fully merged with the Institute. In parallel there are currently six divisions representing professional affiliations: Clinical Neurology; Neurosurgery; Neurophysiology; Neuropathology; Neuropsychiatry and Neuropsychology; and Neuroradiology and Neurophysics. The Institute employs a total of around 425 staff, occupies some 6,451 sq m of laboratory and office space in five buildings, and has a current annual turnover of £30m. The Institute receives over £19.1m per annum in grants for research from the principal medical charities concerned with neurological diseases, and from government agencies such as the Medical Research Council. Approximately 19% of the Institute's funding is obtained from the Higher Education Funding Council for England which has awarded high ratings for the Institute in each of the national Research Assessment Exercises since 1986. The Institute currently holds over 250 active grants, supporting research into the causes and treatment of a wide range of neurological diseases, including movement disorders, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, brain cancer, stroke and brain injury, muscle and nerve disorders, cognitive dysfunction and dementia, and the work of the Institute's clinical academic staff is closely integrated with the Hospital's care of patients. Generous support for research at the Institute of Neurology is provided by the medical charities and especially by the charity, The Brain Research Trust The Institute was awarded a Grade 5*A rating (the highest possible rating) in the 2001 Exercise, a measure of its national and international standing. In the calendar year 2005 Institute staff published 584 peer-reviewed papers, 74 chapters and 10 books. Thirty-six papers were published in the top 50 of all scientific journals, including Science, Nature, Neuron, Cell and New England Journal of Medicine. Eight of the thirty most highly cited UK neuroscientists are at the Institute of Neurology, and there are seven Fellows of the Royal Society at Queen Square. A number of important research centres are based at the Institute of Neurology. These include: • Wellcome Centre for Neuroimaging • MRC Prion Unit • MRC Centre for Neuromuscular Disease • Dementia Research Centre • Department of Health Dementias and Neurodegenerative Diseases Research Network (DENDRON) We share many research programmes with the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, the Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit, the Reta Lila Weston Institute, the Royal Free Department of Clinical Neuroscience, the High Field Imaging Laboratory (Department of Engineering and Medical Physics), and also the neuroscience research groups based in our sister Institutes (Institute of Child Health and Institute of Ophthalmology).
  2. 2. The Institute of Neurology plays a major role in postgraduate teaching and training. There are over 125 graduate students at Queen Square. The Institute runs a number of graduate teaching programmes, including Master’s degrees in Clinical Neuroscience, Clinical Neurology and Advanced Neuroimaging. It is also making a major contribution to the new London-Paris MSc in Mind and Brain. We attract excellent graduate students of the highest quality through UCL-wide PhD programmes, including the Wellcome 4-year PhD in Neuroscience Institute staff contribute to undergraduate teaching of clinical neurology for the Medical School. Full details of the Institute’s research and teaching activity can be found on the Institute of Neurology website at Job Description Department Molecular Neuroscience Post Title Clinical Research Nurse Project Title Phase III double–blind, randomised, placebo-controlled study of the efficacy, safety and tolerability of Idebenone in the treatment of Friedreich’s ataxia patients” Hours 36.5 hrs per week Responsible to Professor Nick Wood, Head of Department of Molecular Neuroscience, IoN Professor William McKenna, Heart Hospital/Great Ormond Street Hospital Dr. Paola Giunti, Senior Clinical Researcher, IoN Accountable to Dr. Paola Giunti Salary UCL Grade 7 The Department of Molecular Neuroscience has been established over many years as a world class unit with an experienced research and service team. The clinical expertise at NHNN is of the highest standard with large collections of clinically well characterised families with a wide variety of neurological conditions. The laboratory is fully equipped with automated DNA extractors, PCR robot, 12 PCR machines, WAVE machine, 3100 and 3730XL ABI sequencers, hot lab and tissue culture facilities. Prof. Nicholas Wood (Head of Department) has established a research group with considerable expertise in genetic linkage and disease gene identification. Families with Parkinson’s disease, dystonia, epilepsy and spinocerebellar ataxia have all been linked to previously unidentified genetic loci and, over the last years, two Parkinson’s disease genes (PARK6 and PARK8) and one autosomal dominant spinocerebellar ataxia, SCA 11, have been identified in his laboratory. There is also expertise in animal genetics with the recent identification of the gene responsible for the (MF) sensory neuropathy rat. Prof. Wood is the consultant neurologist at NHNN’s Neurogenetics clinic who sees many rare conditions including Friedreich’s ataxia. Dr Paola Giunti has been pursuing research into the mechanisms that underlie neuronal degeneration in the central and peripheral nervous system. She has a long standing interest in the genetics of neurological disorders, in particular cerebellar ataxia and other movement disorders, and has established the first Ataxia Centre in the UK at NHNN.
  3. 3. Prof Wood is the Principal Investigator, and Dr Giunti the internal investigator, for a phase III double-blind randomised placebo-controlled study of the efficacy, safety and tolerability of Idebenone in the treatment of Friedreich’s ataxia patients. This multicentric European trial is sponsored by Santhera Pharmaceuticals. The Ataxia Centre sees more then fifty patients with Friedreich’s ataxia per year, and this will be the main source of patients to recruit for the trial. Overview of the Role Job Summary/ Statement The purpose of this post is to organise the Idebenone trial at the IoN/NHNN. The trial has been designed to evaluate the activity and safety of this drug in Friedreich’s patients. The Clinical Research Nurse will liaise with administration/Prof. Wood’s secretary and Dr. Giunti. S/he will: • work closely with Prof. Wood and Dr. Giunti, and lay patients’ organizations like Ataxia UK, in order to recruit patients • organise and co-ordinate patient visits and follow-up appointments at NHNN and GOSH for neurological and cardiac assessments respectively. The latter will involve close liaison and communication with Prof Mc Kenna’s team, which is based at the Heart Hospital (UCLH) but operates at GOSH • be responsible for sending all samples from patients to the sponsor following the procedure stated in the protocol and using material agreed with the sponsor. The appointee will need to be able to work independently with IT packages such as databases or Excel. The specific duties include: • daily communication with the multidisciplinary research team (consultant neurologists and cardiologists, laboratory staff, medical secretaries, NHNN Pharmacy staff and sponsor team) to ensure a co-ordinated approach to patient care and timely research data collection • daily communication by telephone and face-to-face with Friedreich’s patients/their relatives or carers. The main role is to assist the Internal investigator by obtaining informed consent, answering any queries, and ensuring patient’s full understanding before consent is given • booking trial follow-up visits at NHNN, requiring tightly co-ordinated appointments with Prof. McKenna’s cardiac team at GOSH, and arranging transport and hotel accommodation in London for patients’ relatives if required • maintaining an Excel spreadsheet of patient follow-up schedules on daily/weekly basis • communication via e-mail/phone with Prof. McKenna’s team at the Heart Hospital and scheduling visits to GOSH for patients • in collaboration with the research team, assist internal investigator in making decisions about the suitability of patients for recruitment to the trial based on preset criteria • assist internal investigator with accurate completion of trial case report forms • assist in ensuring that the project meets research governance and good clinical practice guidelines • assist in taking recordings of some standardised neurological assessments carried out by the internal investigator (neurological examination, ICARS, FARS Rating) and other parameters, such as body weight, height, heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate • collect data on the cardiac screening consisting of ECG, Echocardiogram, Color Doppler Myocardial Imaging, cardiac MRI, modified exercise test • develop working partnerships with special interest groups such as Ataxia UK Education and Research
  4. 4. • Identify and agree objectives for own professional development which reflect the needs of the trials • Maintain and develop own knowledge skills within the speciality through a planned approach to continuing professional development • Reflect on own practice through clinical supervision / mentorship and to develop skills as a clinical supervisor / mentor to others • Support colleagues in the development of knowledge and skills through acting as an assessor, teacher and facilitation • Maintain own and others’ awareness of relevant research evidence relating to speciality and participate in applying this to practice • Contribute to the development of local evidence based standards, policies and guidelines related to the speciality • Collaborate with other members of the healthcare team in relevant research and audit activities related to the speciality • Identify areas of risk and poor quality, and addresses these through appropriate governance structures and forums. Consultation and Collaboration • Develop and maintain others’ awareness of own role within the speciality and wider organisation, maintaining mechanisms for contact and referral. • Participate in implementing national standards and frameworks at a local level within the speciality. • Provide specialist advice and support to colleagues within the organisation • Maintain involvement and active input to multi disciplinary meetings and appropriate local bodies/forums to contribute to practice and service development • Disseminate appropriate information to others in the speciality and wider organisation. • Maintain mechanisms to support patient involvement and feedback related to the speciality. Leadership • Participate in developing the trial and collaborate with the multi-disciplinary team to achieve this. • Maintain appropriate channels and styles of communication to meet the needs of patients, relatives and carers, managers, peers and other professions / agencies. • Use effective prioritisation, problem solving and delegation skills to manage time effectively. • Develop and maintain a peer network of support, information and learning with other nurse specialists at a local and national level. General The postholder will: • attend staff meetings and training as required; • carry out any other duties as are within the scope, spirit and purpose of the job as requested by the Principal Investigators; • actively follow and promote UCL policies including Equal Opportunities and Race Equality policies; • maintain an awareness and observation of Fire and Health & Safety Regulations. This job description reflects the present requirements of the post, and as duties and responsibilities change/develop, the job description will be reviewed and be subject to amendment in consultation with the post holder.
  5. 5. Person Specification Education Essential • Registered Nurse – Part 1,2 or relevant section of the register • At least three years previous experience at Band 6 • Teaching / assessment programme or willingness to complete Desirable • Previous experience in neurology, and palliative care • Relevant specialist post graduate programme • Completed / completing Degree in nursing Skills, Knowledge & Experience Essential • Demonstrate evidence of professional development in line with KSF and maintain an updated portfolio • Demonstrate previous experience of formal & informal teaching of patients & staff • Demonstrate reflective practice • Experience of applying evidence-based practice to clinical practice • Experience in acting as a clinical supervisor and mentor to others • Ability to promote, monitor and maintain health, safety and security of self and others, and best practice in health, safety and security • Demonstrate awareness of research and evidence-based practice • Ability to help initiate, sustain and evaluate change • Demonstrate understanding of principles of Clinical Governance, e.g. Risk Management, audit and quality • Respect the privacy and dignity of the individual • Understand the implications of equal opportunities in practice • Ability to prioritise own work load • Ability to act on own initiative and problem-solve utilising resources available • Ability to work across organisational and professional boundaries • Demonstrate a desire to work in this clinical area. • Demonstrate commitment to providing safe, effective and timely-patient-centred care in accordance with NMC code of Conduct and Trust core standards • Good IT skills Communication Essential • Awareness of the importance of working as part of a multidisciplinary team • Understanding of good practice in Customer Care • Excellent oral and written communication and interpersonal skills • Able to demonstrate empathy with patients and carers Appointment The post, which is available immediately, is funded by Santhera for 1 year in the first instance, with possibility of renewal. Starting salary will be on the UCL Grade 7 scale in the range £27,466 - £33,780 per annum plus £2,649 per annum London Weighting, superannuable. The post will be offered subject to a probationary period of nine months, satisfactory references, and satisfactory health clearance by the Occupational Health Department.
  6. 6. Annual Leave: 33 days per annum. Hours of work: 36.5 hours per week Applications (Covering letter and CV, with names and contact details of 3 referees ideally including email addresses, plus 1 copy of the UCL Declaration and Equal Opportunities forms - see below) should be sent to: Mr C Dennis Personnel Officer Institute of Neurology Queen Square London WC1N 3BG Fax: 020 7278 5069 Email: Informal visits are welcomed; please contact Prof Wood’s secretary on 0845 155 5000, ext 4255 or email: Closing date for applications is 5pm, 23 September 2008. Please note: Where applicants are short listed for formal interview, references will normally be taken up prior to interview. Applicants who do not wish any referees to be so contacted should make this explicitly clear beside the referees’ contact details. We are unfortunately unable to reply to those applicants who have not been shortlisted and invited for interview. However, we would like to thank all candidates for their applications and for their interest in the Institute of Neurology. Please contact us on 020 7676 2191 if you wish to check the progress of your individual application.
  7. 7. UCL To be completed by all those submitting a CV in application for a post with UCL. Our equal opportunities policy includes the provision that in recruitment, the only consideration must be that the individual meets or is likely to meet the genuine requirements of the job. No one will be discriminated against on the basis of gender, age, race, colour, ethnic origin, physical disability, marital status, sexual orientation, caring or parental responsibilities, or belief on any matters including religion and politics. Please complete this form in black ink/biro or by typing or an audio cassette. Application for the position of: Department: Institute of Neurology Ref No or Job Code: Surname: Title: Other Name(s): Preferred Forename: Address: Telephone numbers and email address at which we may contact you Work tel: Home tel: Email: Do you require permission/a Certificate of Sponsorship to take up employment in the UK? Yes/No (Immigration Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 and UK Border Agency Immigration rules – see Border Agency website I confirm that I will provide the relevant documentation should I be invited to interview. Do you need to register under the Home Office EU Accession State Worker Registration Scheme? (For further information, see: orker_registration.html) Yes/No Have you any unspent criminal convictions in line with the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (see information overleaf)? If so, please specify below or on a separate sheet. Appointment to certain posts, as stated in the advertisement and job pack, is subject to a criminal record check. By signing the Declaration you accept that the organisation will seek information from the Criminal Records Bureau and any associated special lists, where we have stated it is necessary to do so. If employed, how many days sick leave have you had in the last 24 months? Are you are 64 or over? Yes/No It is UCL policy that staff normally retire on the 31st July following their 65th birthday. In line with this UCL will not normally employ someone who is within six months of that date. (See for more information) Do you have a Personal Relationship with any member of staff/student at UCL? Yes/No (See for more details) If so, please give details: To the best of my knowledge the answers given to the questions contained above and all statements made are true and accurate. I understand that any falsification may be considered sufficient cause for rejection or, if employed, dismissal. I give my consent to UCL to process sensitive data for the purposes of personnel administration. My consent is conditional upon UCL complying with the obligations and duties under the Data Protection Act 1998. Signature of applicant: Date:
  8. 8. REHABILITATION OF OFFENDERS ACT 1974 The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 is intended to ensure that a person convicted of a criminal offence (whether in Great Britain or abroad), not involving a sentence of more than 2.5 years’ imprisonment who has not since re-offended for a specified period of time (a rehabilitation period) related to the severity of their sentence is treated as if the offence, conviction and sentence had never occurred. Sentences of more than 2.5 years put an individual concerned outside the scope of the Act. Such convictions can never therefore become spent. (Exceptions) (Amendment) order 1986 Exempted professions NOT covered by The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 are:- • Medical practitioner • Barrister (in England and Wales), advocate (in Scotland), solicitor • Chartered accountant, certified accountant • Dentist, dental hygienist, dental auxiliary • Veterinary surgeon • Nurse, midwife • Ophthalmic optician, dispensing optician • Pharmaceutical chemist • Registered teacher (in Scotland) • Any profession to which the Professions Supplementary to Medicine Act 1960 applies and which is undertaken following registration under the Act.
  9. 9. CONFIDENTIAL STAFF EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES CLASSIFICATION FORM Surname:       First Name(s):       Date of Birth:       Department:       University College London has a commitment to ensuring that staff are appointed and promoted on the basis of merit, regardless of ethnic origin, sex or disability, sexual orientation, race, colour, nationality (within current legislation), marital status, caring or parental responsibilities, age, or beliefs on matters such as religion and politics. Monitoring enables us to see what is happening in practice, to assess the impact of our equal opportunities policy and its implementation, and to set any targets for improvements, and measure progress. To enable us to do this, and to make the exercise successful, we rely on all staff to supply the following details, which will be treated in the strictest confidence. Thank you for your co-operation. Choose the appropriate box Ethnic Group White – British White – Irish White – Other Mixed Race - White & Black Caribbean Mixed Race - White & Black African Mixed Race - White & Asian Mixed Race - Other Asian/Asian British-Indian Asian/Asian British-Pakistani Asian/Asian British-Bangladeshi Asian/Asian British-Other Black/Black British-Caribbean Black/Black British-African Black/Black British-Other Chinese Any Other Information refused Sex Male Female Nationality       Are you disabled or do you have any condition that may require adjustments to your work or working environment? (Examples of a ‘condition’ may include impairment of senses, co-ordination, memory, mobility, learning, health or wellbeing.) Yes No (If you have ticked yes, you will be contacted by UCL’s Occupational Health Service to assess your requirements and to advise your manager of any reasonable adjustments that are needed) I do consider myself to have a disability, but I do not wish this information to be shared with anyone else. Yes No
  10. 10. (If you have ticked yes, but require reasonable adjustments in the future, it is your responsibility to inform UCL through your manager)