UCL Institute of Neurology
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 http://www.brt.org.uk
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 http://www.fil.ion.ucl.ac.uk/
• MRC Prion Unit
• MRC Centre for Neuromuscular Disease http://www.ucl.ac.uk/neuromuscular/
• Dementia Research Centre http://www.dementia.ion.ucl.ac.uk/
• Department of Health Dementias and Neurodegenerative Diseases Research Network
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).
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
http://www.physiol.ucl.ac.uk/neurosciencephd/. 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 http://www.ion.ucl.ac.uk
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
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
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.
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
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
• 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
• 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
• Identify and agree objectives for own professional development which reflect the needs of the
• 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
• 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.
• Participate in developing the trial and collaborate with the multi-disciplinary team to achieve
• 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.
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
• 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.
• 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
• Previous experience in neurology, and palliative care
• Relevant specialist post graduate programme
• Completed / completing Degree in nursing
Skills, Knowledge & Experience
• Demonstrate evidence of professional development in line with KSF and maintain an updated
• 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
• 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
• 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
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.
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
Institute of Neurology
Fax: 020 7278 5069
Informal visits are welcomed; please contact Prof Wood’s secretary on 0845 155 5000, ext 4255 or
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.
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
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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
Application for the position of:
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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
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(Exceptions) (Amendment) order 1986
Exempted professions NOT covered by The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 are:-
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Surname: First Name(s):
Date of Birth:
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
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Choose the appropriate box
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