Clinical Fellowship in Neurodegenerative Diseases
University of Edinburgh
United Kingdom

Clinical Fellowship in Neurodegenerative Diseases

Vacancy Ref: : 046036

Closing Date : 17-Dec-2018

Contact Person : Dr Suvankar Pal

Contact Number :

Contact Email :


Applications are invited for an exciting opportunity to pursue a clinical fellowship in neurodegenerative diseases within the UK National Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Research & Surveillance Unit (NCJDRSU) and Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences (CCBS,) University of Edinburgh.

The successful applicant will gain comprehensive training in the diagnosis and assessment of patients with a wide range of neurodegenerative disorders, including undertaking timely national clinical evaluations of patients with suspected prion disease referred to the NCJDRSU, and participating in a diverse range of clinics at the Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic (including specialist clinics for early onset cognitive disorders, motor neurone disease, Parkinson’s Disease, progressive multiple sclerosis and Huntington’s disease.) He/she will be encouraged to participate in surveillance, clinical audit, research and quality improvement exercises. Opportunities for pursuing a higher degree, and clinical trials experience are also available.

This position will suit individuals motivated to pursue higher specialist training in neurology, psychiatry, or medicine of the elderly, existing trainees from these specialities seeking out of programme experience, and trainees seeking post-CCT sub specialist experience before applying for consultant positions. The successful fellow will be supported and mentored towards successful career progression tailored to their individual ambitions. For appropriate candidates there is the possibility of extending the post and registering for a higher degree (PhD or MD.) Supervisors can be drawn from the world class Edinburgh Neuroscience community, including investigators leading programmes in the UK Dementia Research Institute, permitting projects to be individually designed to suit research interests and ambitions.

Applications are open to motivated individuals eligible for, or engaged in, speciality higher specialist training in the UK (including MRCP or equivalent) in any field related to clinical neurosciences, medicine of the elderly, or psychiatry. Candidates must demonstrate interest, awareness and empathy in the clinical evaluation of patients with common and rarer neurodegenerative disorders.
Prospective candidates should contact Dr Suvankar Pal, Consultant Neurologist (


1. Job Details
Job title: Clinical Fellow in Neurodegenerative Diseases (Registrar Grade)
School/Support Department: Clinical Sciences/Clinical Neurosciences (DCN)
Unit (if applicable): National CJD Research & Surveillance Unit (NCJDRSU)
Line manager: Dr Suvankar Pal, Consultant Neurologist (NCJDRSU)


2. Job Purpose
The clinical fellow will gain comprehensive training in the diagnosis and assessment of patients with a wide range of neurodegenerative disorders, including undertaking timely national clinical evaluations of patients with suspected prion disease referred to the NCJDRSU, and participating in a diverse range of clinics at the Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic, University of Edinburgh.

Working alongside a team of other clinicians, and under close supervision from consultant neurologists a the NCJDRSU, the Clinical Fellow will represent the NCJDRSU in providing specialist and timely assessments of suspect CJD cases referred cases from across the United Kingdom. Detailed clinical and epidemiological information will be gathered during assessments by following a standardised protocol. Relevant information will also be obtained from informant histories, close liaison with referring clinicians, review of medical records and investigation results. It is anticipated 50% of clinical time available during this post will be spent on CJD surveillance.

The Clinical Fellow will work alongside an inter-disciplinary team at the Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic including neurologists, psychiatrists, physicians, clinical geneticists, and clinical nurse specialists, in providing independent assessment and contributing to management, under close supervision, of patients with a range of neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal dementia, Parkinson’s disease, progressive multiple sclerosis, motor neurone disease, Huntington’s disease, progressive supranuclear palsy, corticobasal syndrome, multiple system atrophy, and posterior cortical atrophy. It is anticipated 50% of clinical time available during this post will be spent on clinical exposure to a range of conditions tailored to the training interests/requirements of the individual Clinical Fellow.

The post provides considerable opportunities to gain insight and understanding in principles of clinical epidemiology, the evaluation of novel molecular diagnostic tests, neuroimaging, genetics, neuropathology and other related disciplines. Clinical Fellows will be encouraged to participate in surveillance, clinical audit, research and quality improvement exercises. There is the possibility of extending the post and registering for a higher degree (PhD or MD). Opportunities for pursuing a higher degree, and clinical trials experience are also available.


3. Main Responsibilities
Clinical surveillance assessments of patients referred to the NCJDRSU with suspected prion disease 40%

Active participation in specialist neurodegenerative disorders clinics at the Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic (including clinics for patients with cognitive disorders, motor neurone disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Huntington’s disease, progressive multiple sclerosis). 40%

Contribution to clinical audit, quality improvement, teaching, and service development exercises. 10%

Participation in departmental academic meetings, seminars, journal clubs and laboratory meetings 10%


4. Planning and Organising
a. Planning CJD surveillance visits, in conjunction with local clinicians
b. Planning and organising time for patient assessments if specialist neurodegenerative disorders clinics.
c. Organisation and planning of individual personal workload, and travel arrangements


5. Problem Solving
a) Dealing with patients/relatives on sensitive and emotive issues
b) Dealing with anxious and busy clinicians.
c) Determine the most efficient ways to retrieve and analyse data
d) Liaison with coroners and funeral directors to minimise potential problems.
e) Advice on public health/infection control issues associated with prion disease.
f) Demonstrating sound judgement in assessing hazards and risks


6. Decision Making
Although responsible to, and directly supervised by senior staff, the post holder will be required to work autonomously for the most part, s/he will need to use own initiative and make independent and timely decisions and judgements, guided by broad policies and principles.


7. Key Contacts/Relationships
Managerially accountable to the Consultant Neurologist (NCJDRSU); key internal relationships include Consultants and Registrars within the NCJDRSU and Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic ; Senior Epidemiologist NCJDRSU, Consultant Neuropathologist. Key external relationships include patients and their relatives, professionals involved in the care of patients (e.g. Consultants, Nurse Specialists), Principal Investigators, R&D Managers, Study Steering Group members, staff from partner organisations (e.g. Public Health England, Health Protection Scotland) and funding bodies.


8. Knowledge, Skills and Experience Needed for the Job

A Medically qualified practitioner Essential
B MRCP/MRCPsych or equivalent Essential
C Time management skills, ability to prioritise Essential
D Ability to work independently Essential.
E Excellent inter-personal verbal and written communication skills;
ability to present complex issues to non-specialists, including patients and their families Essential


9. Dimensions
Frequent travel to hospitals throughout the entire UK, communication of emotive information to patients; provision of information and advice to clinical staff; medical notes review and assessment; post-mortem consent; attending meetings and conferences; teaching; training; audit, quality improvement exercises.


10. Job Context and any other relevant information
The range of duties involves liaising with a wide range of individuals, including clinicians, patients and managers. The candidate will need excellent verbal and written communication skills to carry out their work, willingness to travel extensively and ability to work alone. They will also have an anti-discriminatory attitude, ability to maintain confidentiality, and while self-motivated and working largely independently, to understand and acknowledge the need for support. A PVG Enhanced Disclosure check will also be undertaken.


Protection of Vulnerable Groups Scheme (PVG)

This post is subject to registration with the Protection of Vulnerable Groups scheme, for regulated work with children and/or vulnerable adults as appropriate. Employment in this post is conditional on the successful post holder being able to obtain/holding PVG scheme membership. The successful candidate will not be permitted to commence employment until this has been confirmed. Information provided will be kept confidential and individuals will not be discriminated against unnecessarily due to non relevant offending background.


If you require further information on the PVG scheme please visit:


NHS Honorary Contract

An Honorary NHS contract will be sought for the successful post holder. You therefore must be eligible to hold an honorary contract with NHS Lothian, and must also be registered with the General Medical Council if appropriate to the role.


It should be noted that the offer of appointment is subject to Occupational Health clearance prior to commencement of duty.


The role is grade AMN2 and attracts an annual salary of £33,131 to £49,091 for 40 hours each week. Salary will be determined on the basis of previous service in the NHS training grades. Normally you will be matched to your current incremental point or nearest equivalent.


Salary is paid monthly by direct transfer to your Bank or Building Society account, normally on the 28th of the month. Salaries for part-time staff are calculated on the full-time scales, pro-rata to the Standard Working Week.


Pension Scheme
This role is grade AMN2 and therefore the post holder is automatically included in membership of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), subject to the USS membership criteria, unless they indicate that they choose not to join the Scheme.


For further information please visit our pension’s website:


If you are currently a member of the NHS Pension Scheme and are employed in a clinical post it may be possible for you to remain a member of the NHS Pension Scheme.


Eligibility to Work

In accordance with the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 and Immigration Act 2016 the University of Edinburgh, as an employer, has a legal responsibility to prevent illegal working and therefore must check that all employees are entitled to work in the United Kingdom (UK).
To do so, the University of Edinburgh requires to see original documents evidencing right to work in the UK before commencement of employment and this is normally carried out at interview. Details will be provided in any letter of invitation to interview.


For further information on eligibility to work please visit our eligibility to work webpage


If you are from outside the EEA and not currently eligible to work in the UK, there are visa routes that may be available to you, for example:

  1. Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent): If you are an academic in the field of sciences; humanities; engineering; medicine; digital technology; or the arts, it may be possible for you to apply for a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa. This route requires you to apply to be endorsed as an internationally recognised leader or emerging leader in your particular field by a designated competent body (Arts Council England, British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering, Royal Society, Tech City UK). However, if you are applying for a senior academic role, e.g. Professor/Reader there is an accelerated route to endorsement. Further information can be found on the UKVI website
  2. Tier 2: The University is a UKVI licensed sponsor and is able to issue a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) to successful candidates who are offered highly skilled roles and meet the eligibility criteria. The CoS enables candidates to apply for a Tier 2 (general visa).


Further information about whether you require a visa and other visa routes can be found at:


Application Procedure

All applicants should apply online by clicking the “apply” button at the foot of this page. The application process is quick and easy to follow, and you will receive email confirmation of safe receipt of your application. The online system allows you to submit a CV and other attachments.


Closing date: 17th December 2018 at 5pm.


Interview date

You will be notified by email whether you have been shortlisted for interview or not.


The University reserves the right to vary the candidate information or make no appointment at all. Neither in part, nor in whole does this information form part of any contract between the University and any individual.


The Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences (http//

The Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences (CCBS; Director Professor Siddharthan Chandran), part of Edinburgh Medical School and Edinburgh Neuroscience, integrates laboratory and clinical research to study the causes, consequences and treatment of major brain disorders. Anchored in the Edinburgh Bioquarter at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, with bases at three other Edinburgh hospital sites, CCBS’ location links clinical and laboratory science with informatics and commerce to encourage the free-flowing exchange of ideas, the efficient use of clinical data and joint academic/health service delivery.


CCBS comprises 83 Principal Investigators—including 21 Personal Chairs. Of these, 70% are active NHS clinicians, which grounds the Centre’s research aims close to unmet clinical need and facilitates the translation of research findings into real-world impact. The 400+ members of CCBS conduct research of international recognition and reputation and publish approximately 300 papers a year. Major strengths include clinical trials and trial methodology, neuroimaging, neuropathology and regenerative neurology (including human stem cell research) in a wide range of conditions encompassing brain vascular disease/stroke, neurodegenerative disease, prion disease and psychiatric disorders. CCBS researchers attracted £42M in grant-funding over the last three years and collaborate widely, leading international clinical trials in stroke (e.g. IST-3) and dementia (e.g. EPAD) and playing a major role in the UK Dementia Research Institute at the University of Edinburgh. The National CJD Research and Surveillance Unit is a WHO Reference Centre for Human Prion Disease. The research generates significant and measurable impact in terms of patient health and wellbeing, NHS policy and economy, and public awareness.


CCBS currently has 89 postgraduate students, mostly PhDs. It is particularly strong in clinical PhD training, with a number of innovative schemes including Psy-STAR, Rowling Scholars and Princess Margaret Research Development Fellowships. The Edinburgh Imaging Academy is a flagship for e-learning MSc and CPD courses. The Centre also has a strong record of attracting philanthropic donations to establish specialist research hubs (Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic, Euan MacDonald Centre for MND Research, Centre for Dementia Prevention, Muir Maxwell Epilepsy Centre, Salvesen Mindroom Centre) that are maintained and expanded by community fundraising.

Deanery of Clinical Sciences (
The Deanery of Clinical Sciences (Head, Professor Hilary Critchley) has an international reputation in clinical based research through the combination of basic, clinical and translational science and epidemiological studies, and as a part of the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, offers unparalleled opportunities for ground-breaking interdisciplinary research in the bio-medical sciences.

The Deanery comprises 5 interdisciplinary Research Centres: the University of Edinburgh/BHF Centre for Cardiovascular Sciences (Director, Professor Brian Walker), the MRC Centre for Inflammation Research (Director, Professor Moira Whyte), the MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine (Director, Professor Stuart Forbes), the Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences (Director, Professor Siddharthan Chandran), the MRC Centre for Reproductive Health (Director, Professor Jeff Pollard); plus a Division of Health Sciences (Head, Professor Peter Hayes) incorporating 7 clinical specialties; and the Edinburgh Dental Institute (Director, Professor Angus Walls).
Clinical Sciences employs around 850 members of academic and support staff and has over 550 Honorary members who contribute significantly to teaching and research. The Deanery is a major contributor to the undergraduate MBChB curriculum and has approximately 1000 registered post graduate students studying a range of PhD, MD, taught and research MSc and on-line distance learning programmes. The Deanery can be found at the Little France site (Queen’s Medical Research Institute, Chancellor’s Building, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh the Scottish Centre for Regenerative Medicine in the Bioquarter), the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, the Lauriston Building, Lauriston Place, the Western General Hospital and the Royal Edinburgh Hospital.
In the most recent UK Research Assessment Exercise, Medicine was ranked in the top 5 for the whole of the UK.

The College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
The College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine The College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine traces its origins back nearly 500 years (Darwin, Simpson and Conan-Doyle were students here) and is internationally renowned for its research and teaching. Professor Moira Whyte is the Head of College, the only conjoint Medical and Veterinary Medical School in the UK. The College employs over 3000 academic and support staff. The College has two Schools, the Edinburgh Medical School comprising 3 Deaneries; Biomedical Sciences; Molecular Genetic and Population Health Sciences and Clinical Sciences and the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies.


The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies

Edinburgh Medical School: Biomedical Sciences

Edinburgh Medical School: Biomedical Sciences, Biomedical Teaching Organisation

Edinburgh Medical School: Molecular, Genetic and Population Health Sciences

Edinburgh Medical School: Clinical Sciences


The undergraduate medicine teaching programme in the College enjoys a high reputation nationally and internationally, with over 1,300 students enrolled on the MBChB and Intercalated courses and nearly 1000 on the Veterinary Sciences BVS and related programmes. In addition, approximately 2000 students are currently enrolled in the College’s taught and research post-graduate courses, including an extensive range of online distance learning diplomas and degrees. They are trained by over 1000 outstanding academic staff. Details of PhDs, research programmes and studentships are available through our interdisciplinary research institutes and centres.


The academic disciplines within Medicine are largely concentrated in the two teaching hospital campuses, the Royal Infirmary at Little France and the Western General Hospital. Both have extensive new infrastructure with major research institutes and state of the art research facilities on clinical sites. Edinburgh hosts a number of prestigious MRC and BHF Research Centres. The approach is interdisciplinary, with basic and clinical researchers working together at the laboratory bench and in our clinical research facilities to address major themes in basic, clinical and translational medicine.


The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies on the Easter Bush Campus houses outstanding teaching and clinical facilities as well as the splendid Roslin Institute, one of the world’s leading veterinary research centres. The College offers outstanding opportunities to address ‘One Health’ and Global Health problems of the highest international priority.


Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014


The College’s reputation as one of the world’s leading centres of medical and veterinary medical research has been reaffirmed by its UK REF2014 results. Medicine, the University’s largest submission, was ranked in the top 5 in the UK. Veterinary Medicine came 1st in the UK, and retained its position as the UK’s top Vet School. It made a joint submission with Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC). Neuroscience was ranked 3rd in the UK out of 82 submissions, representing a major advance. Overall, 84% of the College’s research activity was rated world leading or internationally excellent (3* and 4*). In terms of 'one medicine' research (human and animal medicine), the University of Edinburgh's research power (quality x volume) is the strongest in the UK.

The University of Edinburgh
For more than four centuries, our people and their achievements have rewritten history time and again. They’ve explored space, revolutionised surgery, published era-defining books, paved the way for life-saving medical breakthroughs and introduced to the world many inventions, discoveries and ideas from penicillin to Dolly the sheep. We have believed that anything is possible, we still do.
The latest Research Excellence Framework highlighted our place at the forefront of international research. This adds to our international reputation for the quality of our teaching and our student experience excellence. The University is proud of its success with online teaching initiatives, with 2550 students currently studying its online distance learning postgraduate programmes, and a total to date of more than 2 million enrolments for Edinburgh MOOCs.


As a member of staff, you will be part of one of the world's leading universities, with 20 Schools spread over 3 Colleges that offer more than 1600 undergraduate and 600 postgraduate programmes to over 35,000 students each year. Professional services are critical to this success as well as our world-class teaching, research and student facilities. In fact, we are one of the top employers in Edinburgh, with over 13,000 people spread across a wide range of academic and supporting roles.


As a world-changing, world-leading university, we offer an exciting, positive, creative, challenging and rewarding place to work. We give you support, nurture your talent, develop and reward success and integrate academic, professional and personal career goals, as well as give your career the benefit of a great and distinguished reputation. In addition, our employees benefit from a competitive reward package and a wide range of staff benefits, which include generous holiday entitlement, a defined benefits pension scheme, staff discounts and much more. Access our staff benefits page for further information and use our reward calculator to find out the total value of pay and benefits provided.


The University of Edinburgh holds a Silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of our commitment to advance gender equality in higher education. We are members of the Race Equality Charter and we are also Stonewall Scotland Diversity Champions, actively promoting LGBT equality. The University has a range of initiatives to support a family friendly working environment, including flexible working and childcare vouchers. See our University Initiatives website for further information.


University Family Friendly Initiatives

Equality Networks:

Staff Pride Network for LGBT+ colleagues and allies
Disabled Staff Network

The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in Scotland, with registration number SC005336.

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