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Screening, prevention and Early detection (SPED) Sub Specialty Research Lead

Vacancy details

Closing date: 31 December 2098

Role Title:  Screening, prevention and Early detection (SPED) Sub Specialty Research Lead


Duration: Fixed term until the end of the current contract (31/03/2024)


Time Commitment: 0.5 of a PA (£6,000 per annum)


Accountable to:        COO

                                 Clinical Directors

                                 Cluster 1 Clinical Lead                                



Key Relationships:


  • SPED National Speciality lead
  • LCRN Cancer Speciality Research Leads
  • LCRN Research Delivery Manager (RDM) and Cluster Lead
  • LCRN Clinical Director and Co-Director
  • LCRN Clinical Leadership Group
  • R&D Directors and the clinical community at LCRN Partner Organisations
  • AHSN Senior Staff
  • CEOs, senior staff, R&D leads, research reads, nurses and managers within NHS organisations, universities, industry and other stakeholder organisations
  • LCRN Study Support Service and other cross-cutting functions including Communications, Workforce Development, Patient and Public Involvement & Engagement and Business Intelligence
  • LCRN Industry and Operations Manager
  • NIHR Clinical Research Network Coordinating Centre (CRNCC)





National NIHR and Clinical Research Network:

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is the nation’s largest funder of health and care research.  The NIHR:


  • Funds, supports and delivers high quality research that benefits the NHS, public health and social care
  • Engages and involves patients, carers and the public in order to improve the reach, quality and impact of research
  • Attracts, trains and supports the best researchers to tackle the complex health and care challenges of the future
  • Invests in world-class infrastructure and a skilled delivery workforce to translate discoveries into improved treatments and services
  • Partners with other public funders, charities and industry to maximise the value of research to patients and the economy


The NIHR was established in 2006 to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research, and is funded by the Department of Health and Social Care. The NIHR Clinical Research Network is led by a national Coordinating Centre and operates through 15 Local Clinical Research Networks (LCRNs) each supporting a national research portfolio for 30 clinical specialty areas.  These local research networks deliver performance across the locality and champion the role of research in healthcare at every level.  At a national level the leadership of each of the 30 specialties is provided by a NIHR CRN Coordinating Centre through five Specialty Cluster offices.


NIHR CRN South West Peninsula

The NIHR Clinical Research Network South West Peninsula (NIHR CRN SWP) is formed from partner organisations in South Somerset, Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly covering a population of approximately 2.2 million (Appendix one). All NHS Trusts are engaged with and recruiting to NIHR Portfolio research studies. Key relationships have been built with other providers of NHS care who are also embracing the opportunity to become involved with NIHR research. The region benefits from a ‘prime site’ relationship with IQVIA the largest international Contract Research Organisation (includes: Cornwall Foundation Trust, Devon Partnership Trust, Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust, University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust, Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust, Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust, Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, Torbay and South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Yeovil District Hospitals).


Role Information

Sub-Specialty Information

Oversight of the delivery of the national cancer research portfolio is managed through the Research Delivery Directorate and is broken down into thirteen areas overseen by an SSRL in support of the Research Speciality leads; Lung, Breast, Colorectal, Upper GI, Urology, Gynae, Head and neck, brain, palliative care, Children and young people, radiotherapy, sarcoma and skin.

The SPED role is a new strategic post which is likely to span several specialities / and subspecialty areas although it is likely to primarily sit with the cancer portfolio.


At a local level the LCRN has Cancer Research Specialty Leadership supported by an RDM and a Cluster Lead. The principal aim of the local Research Sub-Specialty Lead is to ensure that Clinical Research Network Southwest Peninsula (CRN SWP) have an active and successful portfolio of research within specific sub-specialty areas that meet the priorities and needs of the local population and contribute to the national research agenda. This includes ensuring a balanced portfolio of research studies suited to patients with different disease subtypes, presenting at different locations across the region. 


The post is only open to staff employed within the Southwest Peninsula region as defined by the NIHR boundary.  The successful applicant will remain employed by his/her present organisation, and the essential expectations of the role are to:


As part of the development of the SPED area the NIHR are looking to form a group of subspecialty leads to meet in a similar way to the existing national specialty, and disease subspecialty groups. This does, however differ somewhat as SPED is likely to span multiple clinical specialties and stakeholders, including cancer, gastroenterology, respiratory and many others.

The SPED Group will lead on the promotion and delivery of research involving cancer screening, prevention & early detection (SPED), including studies of large-scale molecular screening (genomic, proteomic and other technologies) and studies of SPED for cancer alongside non-cancer conditions.

We would be looking for an SSRL who has experience of developing/delivering research in any of the following areas; reducing national cancer mortality through prevention and earlier treatment, advancing the implementation of personalised modern therapies, and for linking clinical services with academic and industry innovation in modern technologies.


The SPED SSRL will share these aims and expectations:

The principal aim of the SSRL role is to ensure that Local Clinical Research Networks (LCRNs) have an active and successful portfolio of research within specific subspecialty areas that meet the priorities and needs of the local population and contribute to the national research agenda.


In summary, the essential expectations are to:

  • Review the relevant subspecialty portfolio with the LCRN Research Delivery Managers on a regular basis to identify opportunities for opening studies in the LCRN.
  • Attend up to 3 national subspecialty meetings each year organised by the NIHR CRN Specialty Cluster Office (meetings will be virtual initially).
  • Attend any local meetings as required.
  • Engage with local specialty trainee collaborative if applicable.
  • Engage with the LCRN’s Leadership team and keep the LCRN’s Cancer Specialty Lead abreast of developments.
  • Respond to the CRN’s Early Feedback/Expert Review requests in a timely manner
  • Proactively promote local clinical and other health research active engagement and awareness of research within the specialty


As this is a new post spanning several specialties there is a payment of 0.5 of a PA capped at £6000.  Reasonable travel expenses to meetings required on behalf of the LCRN will be funded.


The post will be fixed term until the end of the current contract on 31/03/2024.


Please direct any queries to Dr Mohini Varughese at

Or Jo Taylor at