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Surgery Subspecialty Lead (West of England)

Vacancy details

Closing date: 31 March 2024

Please note this is a rolling advert that will be updated regularly to reflect current vacancies.

We are looking for subspecialty leads in a number of surgical specialties. The subspecialty leads work with the Local Clinical Research Network’s (LCRN) Local Specialty Research Lead and Research Delivery Manager (RDM) to have oversight of the local portfolio of research, as well as linking in with their peers nationally to ensure this is done within the context of the national research landscape. Subspecialty leads are invited to join lunchtime national meetings on a rotational basis, with approximately 3 meetings per specialty per year.

We currently have vacancies for:

  • Cardiothoracic Surgery
  • Colorectal Surgery
  • Endocrine Surgery
  • General Surgery
  • Head and Neck Surgery
  • Hepatobiliary Surgery
  • Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Paediatric Surgery
  • Plastic and hand Surgery
  • Transplantation Surgery

To find out more about the roles please contact Claire Matthews (Assistant RDM) or Kathryn McCarthy (Local Specialty Research Lead).

Applications can be made by sending an expression of interest outlining your suitability for the role along with your CV to Claire Matthews.


The studies comprising the NIHR Clinical Research Network's (LCRN) portfolio have been assigned to 30 Specialties each of which is led by a National Specialty Lead and each of the 15 LCRNs have appointed a Local Clinical Specialty Lead for most, if not all of the 30 Specialties. The Local Clinical Specialty Leads work with the relevant LCRN Divisional Clinical Leads and LCRN Clinical Director to develop local communities of practice, engaging with clinical researchers working in their specialty across the LCRN to promote the delivery of the local research portfolio, improve patient access to research and act as local champions for their specialty.

Given that surgery encompasses a wide range of somewhat disparate specialties, it is challenging for a single LCRN Surgery Lead to effectively engage with the various surgical communities within their LCRN. LCRNs are therefore identifying Surgery Subspecialty Leads to support the LCRN Surgery Lead and act as "champions", encouraging their colleagues to undertake research and to enter patients into portfolio studies in their respective areas.

The surgical research portfolio encompasses many of the CRN’s 30 specialties which are being led nationally and locally by their own Specialty Leads and who have already established their communities of practice which include the surgeons working in these areas. It is therefore important to emphasise that the identification of Surgery Subspecialty Leads should not lead to the creation of parallel structures within the LCRN but, on the contrary, these appointments should be used as an opportunity to strengthen the links to other Specialties. It is therefore envisaged that the Surgery Subspecialty Lead could be an individual who is already effectively undertaking this role as the lead for another Specialty, Cancer Subspecialty, or indeed by the LCRN’s Surgery Lead themselves.

Aims and Activities

The principal aim of this role is to ensure that the LCRN has an active and successful portfolio of research within the surgical subspecialty area, meeting the priorities and needs of the local population and contributing to the national research agenda. This will include a balanced portfolio of research studies accessible to patients presenting at different locations.

To achieve this, the Role-holder will:

  • Promote surgical research among colleagues and at regional meetings and educational events.
  • Encourage colleagues to participate in research relevant to their patient populations.
  • Work with the LCRN team, clinical colleagues, Clinical Trials Units (especially if there is a Surgical Trials Centre within the LCRN) and patient/public representatives to achieve a well-balanced subspecialty portfolio. This involves selecting suitable studies from the national portfolio to open in the LCRN, taking into account local priorities, treatment pathways, skills and opportunities.
  • Advise the LCRN Team on opening new sites and promote collaboration between clinical teams to ensure that patients can be referred between organisations so that as many as possible of the patients within the LCRN may be invited to participate in clinical research.
  • Oversee the performance of the studies in the local subspecialty portfolio and help to address and overcome challenges and problems with study set-up and delivery.
  • Contribute to national planning and feasibility assessments for study delivery.
  • Lead and encourage the development of locally designed studies and work with local Surgical Trainee Collaboratives.
  • Horizon-scan the portfolio and liaise with the local Surgical Trials Centre (if there is one) and the National Surgical Specialty Leads based at the Royal College of Surgeons to gain intelligence about future studies and highlight areas of clinical need and research opportunities.

Expectations of the Role

This role is ideally suited to enthusiastic and motivated individuals who are passionate about the importance of clinical research and offers excellent opportunities for networking and personal development.

Locally, the Surgery Subspecialty Lead will work closely with the LCRN’s Surgery Lead, Leads for other associated Specialties, the relevant Research Delivery Managers, the Chief Operating Officer, Clinical Director and other members of the LCRN team to review the portfolio of studies in the surgical subspecialty and their performance and to discuss opportunities for expanding the portfolio and increasing recruitment.

The Surgery Subspecialty Lead will interact with Subspecialty Leads in neighbouring Networks to plan cross-Network delivery of studies for rare populations of patients or for studies with complex interventions.

Nationally, the Surgery Subspecialty Lead will be invited to attend national meetings of the relevant Subspecialty Leads and other relevant stakeholders including the Royal Colleges of Surgeons.

Support for the Role

The Surgery Subspecialty Lead will be provided with regular reports on the performance of their local portfolio by the LCRN.

Local and national travel expenses associated with undertaking the role may be reimbursed by the LCRN*

It is not possible to provide the Surgery Subspecialty Lead with personal (PA) support.

*Please discuss travel arrangements/requirements with your Local Clinical Research Network team prior to booking, thank you