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Lead Nurse, Midwife or Allied Health Professional Role Description (West of England)


Time commitment: 0.2 or 0.4 wte

Tenure: 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024

Employed by: Your current employing organisation with reimbursement of time and travel expenses enabled through the CRN.

Remuneration: Pro-rata based on existing salary with your current employer. We envisage that the postholder will be working at Agenda for Change Band 8b to 9, or equivalent.

Accountable to: LCRN Clinical Director

Application deadline: By 10am, 7 February 2023
Interviews will take place on 23 February

This new, senior appointment will play an important leadership role in the ongoing engagement, development and oversight of the nursing, midwifery and allied health professions (NMAHPs) research workforce across the West of England. The post-holder will form part of the CRN West of England’s clinical leadership and be a key voice for nurses, midwives and AHPs.

Working closely with the CRN’s Senior Leadership Team and Workforce Development Leads, the role will provide leadership, advice and support to ensure a strategic focus to grow, sustain and develop the current and future workforce, and in particular to support growth in research delivery career pathways. The nursing and midwifery professions make up the largest proportion (55%) of the CRN West of England research delivery workforce, and this community is a particular focus for the work.

The role will also work closely with the national NIHR Nursing and Midwifery Office, supporting in the ongoing delivery of the national NMAHP workforce strategy and NIHR Nursing and Midwifery Plan, as well as providing a vital link between the local, geographically-based research delivery networks (LCRNs), regional NHS England nursing and midwifery leads, and the national NIHR Nursing and Midwifery Office.

How to apply

Please submit your CV, a letter of support from your directorate/line manager, and a letter of expression of interest outlining how you meet the role specification to

About the Clinical Research Network

National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR)

Our mission is to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research.

Funded by the Department of Health and Social Care, the NIHR is a large, multi-faceted and nationally distributed organisation. Together, the NIHR people, programmes, centres of excellence, and systems represent the most integrated health research system in the world.

Clinical Research Network (CRN)

The NIHR Clinical Research Network supports patients, the public and health and care organisations across England to participate in high-quality research, thereby advancing knowledge and improving care.

The CRN is comprised of 15 Local Clinical Research Networks and 31 Specialties who coordinate and support the delivery of highquality research both by geography and therapy area. National leadership and coordination is provided through the CRN Coordinating Centre.

The CRN enables high-quality health and care research in England by meeting the costs of additional staff, facilities, equipment and support services so that research is not subsidised with funding provided for health and care treatments and service. The CRN also provides a range of resources and activities designed to support health and care organisations, staff, patients and service users to be research active. These include specialist training, information systems to manage and report research, patient and public involvement opportunities and engagement initiatives, and communications expertise.

Delivering studies ‘to plan’ - meaning within the planned timescale and with the right number of participants to make the results meaningful - is of critical importance, which is why the CRN provides the Study Support Service. This helps researchers and the life sciences industry plan, set up and deliver high-quality research in both the NHS and across the wider health and social care environment.

CRN West of England

The CRN West of England (CRN WE) is hosted by University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust (UHBW), and coordinates and supports health and care research across the West of England: Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset; Bath and North East Somerset; northern Wiltshire and Swindon; and Gloucestershire. We facilitate commerical and non-commerical research across a broad range of settings, including acute, community and mental health NHS trusts, GP practices, local authorities, care homes, hospices, and schools.

2021/22 in the CRN West of England
  • 84,691participants taking part in health and care research
  • 598 studies
  • 271 research-active sites
  • 800+ research staff funded or part-funded
Our research portfolio cover thirty-one specialties
  • Ageing
  • Anaesthesia, Perioperative Medicine and Pain Management
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Children and Young People
  • Critical Care
  • Dementias and Neurodegeneration
  • Dermatology
  • Diabetes
  • Ear, Nose and Throat
  • Gastroenterology
  • Genomics and Rare Diseases
  • Haematology
  • Health Services Research
  • Infection
  • Kidney and Urinary Tract Disorders
  • Liver
  • Mental Health
  • Metabolic and Endocrine Disorders
  • Musculoskeletal Disorders
  • Neurological Disorders
  • Ophthalmology
  • Oral and Dental Health
  • Primary Care
  • Public Health and Prevention
  • Reproductive Health
  • Respiratory Disorders
  • Social Care
  • Stroke
  • Surgery
  • Trauma and Emergency Care

Main duties and responsibilities

The post-holder will support the LCRN in its pursuit of its core objectives, with particular reference to the annual High Level Objectives.

As Lead for Nurses, Midwives and AHPs, this will involve advising on and fulfilling local and national objectives relating to the NMAHP workforce, facilitated through effective engagement with local clinical and research colleagues, LCRN and regional NMAHP leadership and the national NIHR Nursing and Midwifery Office.

Developing and supporting the NMAHP research workforce

Working closely with the LCRN Workforce Development Leads, play a key role in developing the capability of the NMAHP workforce and supporting individuals in their career progression and development.

This includes:

  • Enabling career pathways to support movement between supporting, delivering and leading research.
  • Developing approaches to engage with Early Career Researchers, including mentorship programmes as appropriate, and working closely with local NMAHP Chief Investigators and other relevant stakeholders.
  • Supporting nurses, midwives and AHPs who support, deliver or lead research to develop their research careers.
  • Collaborating with key regional stakeholders and Higher Education Institutions, ensuring that LCRN NMAHP strategies align to regional strengths.
  • Identifying local strengths, capacity and capability for the continued development of the workforce, working with HEIs to build
    on local strengths, interests and priorities to develop a future workforce.

Working closely with Research Delivery Managers and the Continuous Improvement Lead, support NMAHPs working in research delivery by:

  • Linking with networks of research active NMAHPs involved in supporting, delivering and leading research.
  • Supporting local lead research nurses, midwives and AHPs to identify and make improvements in research delivery, and share
    examples of best practice and learning.
  • Utilising relationships and networks to assist and/or influence successful research delivery within the CRN’s Partner Organisations.

Embedding research in NMAHP practice

Supported by the CRN Management Team, develop capacity for research delivery, integrating and embedding research within the NMAHP workforce.

This includes:

  • Proactively promoting engagement and awareness of research within the professions.
  • Engaging with NMAHP research delivery staff to identify and support effective integration of research roles in clinical practice.
  • Engaging with and developing relationships with local and regional NMAHP senior leaders across the West of England, including Chief Nurses, NHSE Senior Nurse Leaders and HEE Profession Leads.
  • Working with local HEIs to promote research delivery as a career pathway with UG NMAHP students.
  • Collaborating to support the delivery of the Chief Nursing Officer for England’s strategic plan for research, the HEE AHP strategy and the NIHR Nursing and Midwifery Plan 2022-2024 where these intersect with NIHR activities.
  • Identifying and embracing opportunities to embed research within NMAHP-specific plans that are developing across the region.
  • Identifying opportunities for research nursing, midwifery and AHP roles in community and social care settings.
  • Working with NIHR Nursing Fellows, 70@70 Alumni and members of other NIHR leadership programmes to support the promotion of research delivery and academic career pathways.

Working with local leadership

  • Provide profession-specific leadership, advice and accountability to the LCRN Senior Leadership and Management Teams including contributing to the development of CRN annual plans.
  • Champion and promote NIHR CRN activity and the aims, objectives and successes of the NIHR throughout the West of England
    and represent the CRN at local, regional and national meetings.
  • Network and collaborate with senior NMAHP leaders across the CRN’s Partner Organisations, Integrated Care Systems, NHS England and Health Education England, advocating and championing for research delivery and the NMAHP research workforce.
  • Draw on effective partnerships with local NIHR infrastructure and system research organisations as appropriate, such as the
    Academic Health Science Network and NIHR Applied Research Collaboration.

Working with the NIHR Nursing and Midwifery Office

  • Provide local intelligence to the national network, contributing examples of good practice and positive impact within the region.
  • Champion and provide feedback on national initiatives and programmes.
  • Be an active member of the NIHR Nursing and Midwifery Office, attending and contributing to national meetings and projects.
  • Undertake additional duties as requested by the NIHR CRN Coordinating Centre and NIHR Nursing and Midwifery Office, including being part of working groups to deliver the NMAHP plan.

Person specification

The CRN Lead Nurse, Midwife or Allied Health Professional must be facilitative, able to work flexibly and effectively in a developing organisation, and to motivate and support others to deliver measurable results that make the NIHR CRN vision a reality. It is essential that candidates demonstrate their achievements, ability and expertise against the following criteria.

Understanding and appreciating health and care research:

  • A strong commitment to bringing benefits to patients and the public through the delivery of excellent people-focussed health and care research within the NHS and other health and care settings.
  • A strong commitment to inclusion and to the pursuit of equity of access to research for local populations and health and care organisations.
  • While not essential, exprience of research delivery in the NHS and/or other health and care settings would be desirable.

Engaging and facilitating collaboration between colleagues:

  • A motivational leader with well-developed interpersonal skills and the ability to work with stakeholders at all levels.
  • An effective facilitator who is able to bring colleagues together to work in a collegiate way for the overall benefit of the local community in which they work.
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills with the enthusiasm to act as a “champion” for health and care research.
  • The influencing skills to achieve results through other people.

Collaborating at a senior level across the health and care system:

The ability to contribute constructively in meetings and appreciate both national and local aspects with a willingness to lead initiatives at both these levels.

  • An understanding of partnership working, including at Integrated Care System level, and appreciation of the diversity of health and care providers and settings.
  • The ability to build and maintain relationships at senior levels, engaging with and contributing to discussions with board level colleagues across the health and care sector.

It is important that our leadership represents the diversity of regions, communities, professions and specialisms that we serve.

The NIHR is committed to equality, diversity and inclusion in terms of the people who lead, deliver and are involved in our research.

If you are curious about this role - even if you don’t meet all of the criteria - we’d love to hear from you and would welcome an informal discussion about your interest and ideas.

Email us at and we will connect you with an appropriate member of our team.