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Call for expressions of interest: Leadership positions in cancer genomic data for research in Wales

The Wales Cancer Research Centre (WCRC) is seeking expressions of interest for two part-time positions for a fixed term, to lead collaborative activity in Wales that drives progress on making cancer genomic data available for research.

Positions available:

– Position 1: CReSt Senior Clinical Lead for cancer genomics research
Clinician/clinical academic/Honorary Clinician or Honorary clinical academicworking in cancer who has an interest in and or experience of research and the clinical genomics service (1 day per week, Grade D6)

– Position 2: CReSt academic lead for cancer genomics research
Technical/scientific expert with a specialist knowledge of utilising genomic data and an understanding of the information governance challenges associated with genomic data sharing (up to 2 days per week, Cardiff University Grade 8 or equivalent in other organisations). 

Both posts are part-time, fixed-term to the end of 31st March 2025 and available from 1st September 2023.  

Secondment opportunity welcome – please note for Cardiff University members of staff or for members of other organisations interested in this post on a secondment basis, permission will need to be sought from your current Line Manager before applying.

WCRC funding for these positions is available until the end of March 2025; the exact end date of the positions may be sooner depending on the grade/band of the individual, in order to match the funds available. 

Background to the positions

CReSt, the first Wales-wide strategy for cancer research, was launched in 2022. Its key aim is to build capacity and critical mass of research around six themes, to strengthen and focus the base of research in Wales. Large, well curated data sets are a key underpinning resource that will support research to happen in all themes.There are many stakeholders already working in this area, some with a cancer focus and others with a pan-disease remit; coordination will be essential to ensure data sets are available and being used in research. 

The Genomics Delivery Plan for Wales was also published in 2022, setting out ambitions to significantly increase the amount of whole genome sequencing andgenomic testing profiles being undertaken in a service setting. This data represents a major research opportunity and a structured forward plan for research investment is going to be essential, as will a ‘Once for Wales’ approach to enable research collaboration and data linkage to occur in an efficient manner. The solution will need to enable transparency and standardisation of access alongside data security for NHS genomic data in a model that satisfies researchers, health professionals and patients about how that data is accessed and used for cancer research. 

These part-time positions are based within WCRC and funded by Health and Care Research Wales, to catalyse implementation of CReSt by ‘unlocking’ data in a way that enables future cancer research. The appointed individuals will take a leading role in co-ordinating, influencing, connecting and facilitating a systems approach to use of patient and population data, in particular genomic data collected in a service setting. 

Expected activities, outputs and outcomes

The appointed individuals will work with each other, and liaise closely withstakeholders including the Wales Cancer Research Centre, All-Wales Medical Genomics Service, Genomic Partnership Wales, the Welsh Government digital lead, Wales Gene Park, the Cancer Trusted Research Environment project, the Secure Anonymised Information Linkage databank and other stakeholders. 

Position holders will work closely with stakeholders to determine the route and governance framework by which genomic data can flow to researchers in Wales, andensure the needs of cancer researchers are represented in the development of implementation plans for the Genomic Delivery Plan. 

At the conclusion of the funding, position holders will be expected to be able to demonstrate that they have achieved:

• Clarity on the barriers and potential solutions around NHS cancer genomic data from patients in Wales being made accessible for research

• Clear and productive lines of dialogue between senior representatives in the cancer research community and in organisations in Wales with a genomic data remit

• A consolidation of links with genomic data initiatives elsewhere in the UK, and clarity on where/how Wales can benefit from these connections.

Position holders will be expected to be part of the leadership team of the WCRC’s Cancer Data Group, which is being set up at present and the group will have administrative support from the WCRC team. They will also meet approximatelymonthly with a member of WCRC/CReSt leadership, to provide oversight from a wider CReSt viewpoint; and will contribute updates to WCRC’s quarterly and end of year reporting to the funder and attend twice-yearly WCRC/CReSt Steering Committee meetings on request. 

Application process

Should you wish to apply for Posts 1 or 2, please submit a statement of interest describing your suitability for the role (statement of no more than 500 words) together with your CV to no later than 12.00 noon on Monday 30 October 2023.  Please clearly indicate which post(s) you are interested in. 

For informal enquiries about the posts, please contact Professor Mererid Evans by email at