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Lung Cancer Clinical Research Fellow

North Bristol NHS Trust
£43,923 to £55,329 per annum
Closing date
12 Mar 2024

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This post offers an exciting opportunity for a three-year (or pro-rata less than full time equivalent) research placement to undertake a PhD in lung cancer. The post would be suited to a Respiratory Trainee (ST3+) as out-of-programme experience for research (OOPR) during specialist training, or as a post-CCT fellowship.

The post will be based within the internationally-renowned Academic Respiratory Unit at North Bristol NHS Trust, with an honorary contract with University of Bristol. The Academic Respiratory Unit includes specialist teams researching pleural disease, thoracic malignancy, airways disease, respiratory infection and interstitial lung disease. The regional lung cancer screening/ Targeted Lung Health Check service is led from North Bristol.

The post will provide training in research methods, alongside research supervision to support the successful completion of a PhD. The focus of the PhD will be the early diagnosis of lung cancer, and will entail analyses of existing datasets from a multi-centre randomised clinical trial (ASPECT), national primary care records (CPRD), and lung cancer screening services Clinical work will be undertaken in a supernumerary capacity, for educational and development purposes, and is likely to include the weekly lung cancer 2WW clinic, lung cancer MDT meeting and optional experience within the Targeted Lung Health Check programme.

Main duties of the job

  • Develop research skills around data analysis and interpretation
  • Lead on 3+ research studies exploring pathways to early diagnosis in lung cancer using existing datasets
  • Attend and present at academic conferences and educational meetings, nationally and internationally
  • Write scientific manuscripts for publication in peer-reviewed journals
  • Obtain a PhD in Respiratory Medicine through University of Bristol
  • Attend lung cancer 2WW clinic and MDT
  • Contribute to teaching, audit, and quality improvement within the lung cancer service
  • There are no on-call duties or out-of-hours work associated with the post.

About us

North Bristol NHS Trust is the largest Trust in the South West region and one of the largest trusts in the country. Last year the Trust treated over 100,000 inpatients, over 35,000 outpatients, 90,000 emergency department patients and helped deliver over 6,000 babies. It employs more than 9,500 staff, has approximately 1,050 inpatient beds and income in excess of �540 million.

The Trust provides Medical, Surgical, Neonatal and Maternity Care for its local population of approximately a million people in Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset. The Trust also provides regional services in Neurosciences, Orthopaedics, Pathology, Plastic Surgery and Burns, Renal Medicine and Transplant and Urology and is the Major Trauma Centre for the West Country.

The health service in Bristol, North Somerset, and South Gloucestershire is being remodelled to concentrate on acute facilities and where appropriate to provide more care close to patient homes through a network community hospitals and facilities. The Trust recently moved the majority of its acute services to the Brunel Building, regarded as one of the best hospital facilities in Europe, on the Southmead Hospital Site. At Southmead Hospital, we also have our excellent maternity and women's health services, the Bristol Breast Care Centre and the Trust's Severn Pathology service.

Job description

Job responsibilities

Job description

The post will provide 36 months of dedicated research time, with the aim of achieving a PhD in the early diagnosis of lung cancer within the Bristol Academic Respiratory Unit (ARU). This role would be suited to a Respiratory Trainee (ST3+) with an interest in pneumonia and lung cancer, and will be undertaken as an out-of-programme research (OOPR) placement during specialist training or as post-CCT experience. The post is based at Southmead Hospital, North Bristol NHS Trust.

The post will be based within the highly regarded Academic Respiratory Unit at North Bristol NHS trust. The research unit has led some of the most impactful trials in respiratory disease. You will be supervised by clinical lead Professor Nick Maskell, Dr Anna Bibby and Dr David Arnold. Prof Maskell heads the ARU and is leading the ASPECT trial - the largest trial in patients hospitalised with pneumonia. Dr Bibby is Lung Cancer Lead for North Bristol NHS Trust and Clinical Director for the regional Targeted Lung Health Check project, which aims to invite 350,000 people to undergo lung cancer screening in the next 6 years. Dr Arnold is an NIHR Academic Clinical Lecturer, is co-leading the ASPECT trial, and is principal investigator for a study addressing the optimal follow-up of patients with pneumonia (a key project within this post).


Evaluating the use of the follow-up chest x-ray to detect lung cancer in patients with pneumonia . This is a 3-year NIHR funded project assessing the prevalence of lung cancer in pneumonia survivors and the clinical efficacy of the 6-8 week follow-up chest radiograph. The project has two main workstreams. The first will involve the use of a large primary care database (the CPRD) to ascertain the true prevalence of lung cancer in pneumonia survivors. The second will involve an observational study embedded within an active randomised trial (ASPECT trial) to establish the clinical utility of the 6-8 week chest radiograph to detect lung cancer following pneumonia.

Exploring opportunities to diagnose lung cancer earlier . This project will link in with local and regional lung cancer and primary care datasets to explore (i) whether the targeted lung health check programme could reduce the number of emergency presentations with lung cancer (known to be associated with poorer prognosis) and (ii) whether there were diagnostic opportunities earlier in the symptom pathway for emergency and routine lung cancer diagnoses.

Research Support

The post holder will be an integral member of the ARU with access to formal and informal research training. The post holder will have an honorary contract with Bristol University which will allow them to access further research training and register for a PhD. Whilst this is designed as a primarily research role there will be the opportunity to enhance clinical skills through engagement with the lung cancer teams. The clinical work will involve supporting the lung cancer 2WW clinic and lung cancer MDT.

North Bristol Respiratory Department

The respiratory medicine department consists of a cohesive team of 16 consultants as well as specialist nurses, physiotherapists, physiologists, pharmacists and administrative support. There is a large establishment of Specialist Respiratory Nurses and Physiotherapists both working within the department and in the community.

The respiratory department provides tertiary outpatient services for Interstitial Lung disease/Connective tissue disease-ILD (via the Bristol ILD service), pleural disease (with medical thoracoscopy, IPC service and pleural HOT clinic on site), severe asthma and EBUS-TBNA (for patients with unexplained mediastinal adenopathy), as well as comprehensive clinic services for lung cancer (including a regional Targeted Lung Health Check), complex airways disease, lung infection (including NTM) and bronchiectasis. It serves a population of 580,000, making the Respiratory department the largest in the southwest region and one of the largest in the country.

Inpatients are cared for in 50 beds across two respiratory wards, including 8 high dependency beds, supporting non-invasive ventilation and high flow nasal oxygen. We offer daily multidisciplinary support to the acute medical unit ensuring access to early specialist respiratory input. The department operates an early discharge scheme for COPD and a pulmonary rehabilitation programme, together with oxygen clinic and an innovative rapid access admission avoidance (HOT) clinic as well as a pleural HOT clinic.

There are a range of educational opportunities available including a weekly departmental teaching programme, X-ray meetings and multidisciplinary team meetings for lung cancer, interstitial lung disease, pleural medicine and severe asthma. The Department of Medicine operates an active postgraduate programme with weekly journal clubs and grand rounds.

Southmead Hospital is a fantastic place to develop professionally and we hope that you enjoy working at North Bristol Trust. Many trainees have found their time here very fulfilling and enjoyable many coming back to pursue or extend research or educational fellowships allowing them to pursue their interests at a higher level.

University of Bristols Academic Respiratory Unit (ARU)

The successful candidate will become an honorary staff member at the University, and PhD registration will be through the University. The Academic Respiratory Unit is led by Professor Nick Maskell, and is based at the Learning and Research Building at Southmead Hospital. The ARU designs, leads and delivers research into a wide range of respiratory conditions, with a particular focus on clinical translational studies, lifecourse epidemiology and multi-centre randomised trials. The unit has particular interests in pleural disease, lung cancer, airways diseases, interstitial lung disease, pneumonia.

The successful candidate will benefit from becoming an associate member of the Universitys Clinical Academic Training School and post-graduate training school. This offers formal and informal educational meetings for post-graduate students, annual showcase events, journal club and social events.

Person Specification

Qualifications And Registration


  • MBBS or equivalent
  • Full registration with the GMC.
  • Advanced Life support (ALS) accreditation
  • MRCP (or equivalent)


  • Higher academic qualification (e.g. MD or MSc).

Training And Experience


  • Recent experience and familiarity of UK hospital systems and practices (or equivalent).
  • Minimum of 4 years postgraduate experience, including evidence of achieving foundation and core medical training competencies.
  • Recent experience of general medical posts.

Further Training, Management


  • Evidence of recent CME/ reasonable training progression at this stage of career.

Audit, Research, Teaching, Publications


  • Experience in audit project and written up
  • Proven teaching ability.


  • Proven track record in research.
  • Evidence of relevant publications in peer reviewed journals.
  • Demonstration of involvement in clinical directorate management.

Personal Requirements


  • Good written communication skills.
  • Evidence of the ability to communicate with patients, colleagues and staff at all levels.

Employer details

Employer name

North Bristol NHS Trust


North Bristol NHS Trust (Southmead Hospital)


BS10 5NB

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