The Integrate/ENT-UK/RCS Research Fellowship

Trainee-led research collaborative research organisations are now ubiquitous. They provide the opportunity for individuals to unite in the pursuit of a common research goal.  Working together allows a team to exploit the strengths of its members so that all can contribute in different ways to achieve their combined aim.  Single site small-scale studies can be developed into large-scale multi-centred trials, realising the huge potential of junior doctors as a resource for innovation, project development and data collection.  The opportunities afforded by collaborative research are huge, yet historically ENT were lagging behind a number of our counterparts in other surgical specialty.

INTEGRATE was formed in 2015 with the expressed aims to generate, develop and promote regular, trainee-led, collaborative research of national importance within ENT, whilst supporting the creation and maintenance of regional trainee collaboratives.  Since its genesis, progress has gathered at pace both in terms of the trainee collaboration infrastructure within the specialty and also in the production of published work. We now have the opportunity to leap ahead by becoming the first specialty to offer a dedicated research fellowship with the objective of advancing trainee collaborative research.

We are delighted to have received the support and funding of the Royal College of Surgeons and ENTUK who will administer the selection process and supervise the subsequent fellowship.  It is envisaged that his two-year fully-funded post will be combined with a higher research degree, with the successful candidate having the opportunity to pursue an MD based upon advancing of the INTEGRATE infrastructure and delivering ongoing trainee collaborative research endeavours across the subspecialties. The fellowship will cover salary, on-costs and limited expenses. There may be the possibility of extending the post to 3 years if desired, and with sufficient funds secured, to allow the completion of a PhD.

An exciting element of the fellowship will be the privilege of working with Prof Vinidh Paleri in the delivery of the prestigious MOSES study evaluating the role of tongue base mucosectomy and step serial sectioning in the diagnostic paradigm for unknown squamous cancers.  For 2018, the fellow post will involve 0.6 FTE working as a research associate at the Institute of Cancer Research in London, and 0.4 FTE delivering the INTEGRATE program of research and audit.

The Fellow will take on a dedicated, full-time, research role, becoming a central organisational hub for INTEGRATE. The Fellow must therefore be highly motivated and be able to demonstrate management and research experience. Applicants must be a Fellow or a Member of The Royal College of Surgeons of England at the time of taking up the post, and must possess a ENT National Training Number.  They must engage with a University or other higher education establishment in the UK and approach an appropriate University affiliated academic supervisor, with a view to beginning an MD or other higher degree upon commencing the Fellowship. The Fellow must arrange a period out of training for research (OOPR) with their deanery.

The application process for the INTEGRATE Fellow is separate to the other positions, with appointment by an independent panel of academic ENT surgeons. Candidates may be asked for references, and shortlisted individuals will be invited to interview. Candidates are encouraged to apply for other posts within INTEGRATE, to be taken up if unsuccessful obtaining the fellowship. Interested individuals desiring further details should contact Rich Williams in the first instance: richard.williams8@nhs.net.

The closing date for applications is 19 August 2018 with a selection event in September 2018, to which shortlisted candidates will be invited to interview. The post should be taken up in October 2018.