ACF Neurology Research Theme 2018.

Neurology ST3 (1 post) – research theme Dementia

The University of Sheffield, in partnership with Health Education England Yorkshire and the Humber and the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, has developed an exciting pathway of academic clinical training opportunities.

Applications are now invited for an Academic Clinical Fellowship in Neurology at ST3 level. This new post has been created as part of the Health Education England (HEE)/National Institution for Health Research Trainee Coordinating Centre (NIHRTCC) programme of Integrated Academic Training and offers candidates a comprehensive experience of clinical academic medicine working alongside internationally renowned clinicians and researchers.

We are seeking highly motivated, enthusiastic individuals with the potential to excel in both their clinical and academic training and who have the ambition to be the next generation of academic clinicians.

This Academic Clinical Fellowship (ACF) programme in Neurology will be run by the University of Sheffield, the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and Health Education England Yorkshire and the Humber.

Academic Clinical Fellowships (ACFs) are 3 year fixed-term national training posts.  They attract an NTN(A) and trainees undertake 75 % clinical and 25% academic training over the term of the post. They are employed by the NHS Trust and have an honorary contract with the University at whose Medical School their academic research is supported.

ACF trainees also undertake a Research Training Programme provided by the University for which funding is provided by NIHR.  They also are eligible for a £1,000 bursary per year to support research training activity (e.g to attend academic conferences).

ACF trainees would also normally complete and submit an external funding application for a research fellowship to enable them to complete a higher degree (PhD or research MD) following the completion of their ACF fixed-term post, which would be completed as Out-of-Programme-Research (OOPR).

All Academic Clinical Fellowships are run-through posts, regardless of specialty, with the exception of ‘Medical Education’ ACFs.  A trainee entering ACF at ST1 or ST2 in a specialty with a Core Training period would therefore be guaranteed continued training to CCT in the eventual specialty, as long as they progress satisfactorily through both their academic and clinical training. Run-through status is withdrawn if ACFs do not complete the academic component.

This post is offered under NIHR’s theme of Dementia. Sheffield Institute of Translational Neuroscience (SITraN) is an international centre of excellence for basic and applied research in neurodegenerative disease (Motor Neuron Disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Progressive Muscular Atrophy). SITraN has expertise in gene expression profiling, bioinformatics and modelling of biological processes. Sheffield has recently been awarded NIHR funding (£4M) to create a Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) in Translational Neuroscience. This will further increase research capacity, with dementia a key theme of the BRC. The BRC includes an MRI-PET facility which will enable in depth characterisation with amyloid PET and new ligands of patients both in terms of natural history of disease but also the response to new therapies.

The Dementia group is led by Professor Annalena Venneri and Dr Daniel Blackburn. They have interests and expertise in the neuropsychological aspects of dementia, developing cell models of Alzheimer’s disease, improving screening and diagnosis of dementia, functional imaging and phase 1 clinical studies in dementia. The closely aligned neuropathology group (Professors Ince & Wharton, Drs Simpson & Heath) have interests in the pathological basis of dementia, including both neurodegenerative and vascular aetiologies. Focus has been on the collaborative MRC-funded Cognitive Function and Ageing Study ( neuropathology cohort, which allows a unique population perspective to be taken leading to high impact papers in the LancetNEJM and PLoS Medicine. In addition to histopathological approaches, high-throughput gene expression analysis is used to investigate changes in specific cell types. This has led to further functional investigations in cell models and to a successful Alzheimer’s Society-funded Fellow. The appointment of Professor Winston Hide, an expert in computational biology recruited from Harvard, has further strengthened our ability to carry out sophisticated gene expression analyses and modelling.

The full Job Description for this post is available to download from the right of this page.

Please note:  All applicants who do not already hold a National Training Number (NTN) or Deanery Reference Number (DRN) in the GMC specialty to which they are applying for  will be required to undertake the national clinical recruitment process and attend an assessment/interview for that GMC specialty as appropriate.

NIHR have produced some Frequently Asked Questions for applicants. You are advised to read this document in full before submitting your application.

Further sources of information

Recruitment Timeline

The recruitment process for this Academic Clinical Fellow post will follow the timeline below:*



Applications Open 10:00 on 9th October 2017      
Application Deadline 16:00 on 6th November 2017
Longlisting From 8th November 2017


Initial Offers Released           From 8th January 2018
Holding Deadline 13:00 on 15th January 2018 

*Please note that all dates are indicative and subject to change


Applications will only be accepted through the Oriel online application system.

For guidance on creating an account, registering and submitting your application using the system please refer to the Oriel Applicant User Guide which can be downloaded from the Oriel Resource Bank.

Application Deadline

The deadline for submitting applications is 16:00 on 6th November 2017. After this time no applications will be accepted. There will be no exceptions to this deadline. You are advised to complete and submit your application ahead of the deadline to allow for any unforeseen problems.

Eligibility & Longlisting

Applicants for this post will be required to meet the relevant Clinical eligibility criteria for the appropriate specialty and level listed at:-

AND the Academic eligibility criteria listed at:

It is an applicant’s responsibility to demonstrate that they meet the eligibility criteria. All applications will be assessed against the eligibility criteria during longlisting. Any applications which do not meet the eligibility criteria will be longlisted out of the process and will not progress to the next stage.

For more information about eligibility please refer to the Applicant Handbookand the NIHR website.

Please note: By allowing applicants to progress to the interview stage, Health Education England working across Yorkshire and the Humber DOES NOT accept or confirm that applicants meet all eligibility requirements. This includes immigration status, evidence of achievement of core competencies or equivalent, and requisite length of time in training as per the national person specification. This list is not exhaustive, and is applicable to all eligibility criteria.

Applicants may still be withdrawn from the application process at any stage, including after the interviews have taken place, if the evidence pertaining to an eligibility criterion is found to be unsatisfactory by Health Education England working across Yorkshire and the Humber.


Shortlisting will take place following the completion of longlisting. Where possible we aim to give applicants at least one week's notice to attend an interview. However, unforseen delays in shortlisting mean this is not always possible.


Interview Dates and Venue

The interviews for this post will take place on either the 11th or 19th December 2017 at Don Valley House, Sheffield.

View the interviews page for further information about the venue and for directions.

Documents Required at Interview

There are a number of documents that you are required to bring with you to interview.

Please bring the following original documents:

  • Photo identification (passport or driving licence including paper part) AND 1 COPY
  • Evidence of your current immigration status AND 1 COPY
  • Evidence of your GMC registration and Licence to Practise AND 1 COPY
  • Your primary medical degree certificate AND 1 COPY
  • Your postgraduate degree certificates (if applicable) AND 1 COPY
  • Evidence of your Foundation and/or Core Competences as detailed in your application form AND 1 COPY
  • Evidence of your English Language competency as detailed in your application form AND 1 COPY
  • 3 original reference forms in sealed envelopes from referees who have supervised your clinical/academic training within the past three years. At least one of your referees must be an academic referee. References must be completed on the standard template which is available to download on the right of this page.

These documents will be checked against a checklist and the photocopies will be retained on your recruitment file. If you are appointed to a training post, these documents will be transferred to your trainee file.

Interview Format

The interviews will consist of a single panel interview with both academic and clinical components. The interview panel will be made up of academic and clinical panel members.

The panel may wish to review your portfolio so you should bring this with you to the interview.

Travel and Subsistence Expenses

Applicants attending interviews are entitled to a travel and subsistence allowance. A claim form can be downloaded from the section on the right of this page. You are advised to read the guidance document in full before incurring any expenses.

Claim forms must be received within three months of your interview date. Claim forms received after three months will not be processed. Receipts must be attached for all travel and subsistence claimed except mileage.


All recruitment offices will be using Oriel to make offers to Academic Clinical Fellow training posts in 2018. Oriel can be accessed at 

Please refer to the Oriel Applicant User Guide which can be downloaded from the Oriel Resource Bank for further information about receiving and responding to offers.

Receiving and Responding to Offers

If you are offered a post you will have 48 hours from the time of your offer, including weekends and bank holidays, to decide whether to accept, reject or hold it. You must respond to the offer through the UK Offers System. No other form of response will be accepted.


Any offer made through this recruitment process is an offer of an allocation to a training programme; it is not an offer of employment. Offers of employment can only be by an employing organisation following completion of satisfactory pre-employment checks.


Holding Offers

You may hold your offer until 13:00 on 15th January 2018 if you are waiting for an offer from another recruitment process. During this time you may continue to receive offers from other recruitment processes.

You can only hold one offer at a time. If you hold your offer, any other held offers will be rejected. If you hold your offer and subsequently hold an offer from another recruitment process, your original held offer will be rejected.

Before the holding deadline (13:00 on 15th January 2018) you must confirm whether you wish to accept or reject the offer. If no action is taken by the hold deadline, the held offer will expire and will be REJECTED.