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PenCLAHRC PhDs

PenCLAHRC has a number of PhD studentships linked to project and priority areas. As well as the scientific quality of the proposal and strength of the supervisory team, projects are selected on the basis of the following additional criteria:

  • Congruence with PenCLAHRC aims
  • Link to existing PenCLAHRC projects or themes
  • Likelihood of health impact

This is an important area of capacity development to ensure the continued availability of trained research staff in the longer term. PenCLAHRC staff are active as supervisors for other projects across our two University partners.

PhD Opportunities 2019

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) for the South West Peninsula at the University of Exeter’s College of Medicine and Health and the Faculty of Health: Medicine, Dentistry and Human Sciences, University of Plymouth is inviting applications for fully-funded PhD studentships to commence in October 2019. For eligible students the studentship will cover UK/EU tuition fees plus an annual tax-free stipend of at least £15,009 for 3 years full-time, or pro rata for part-time study.  

Further information on all of these studentships is provided below:

Project: Non-pharmacological interventions for dementia behaviours: developing and evaluating a ‘living’ evidence and gap map, Institute of Health Research – PhD (Funded)

This studentship is in partnership with the EPPI-Centre, University College London. 

Location: Evidence Synthesis & Modelling for Health Improvement, College of Medicine and Health at the St Luke’s Campus in Exeter
Supervisors: Associate Professor Jo Thompson CoonDr Dylan KnealeDr Noreen OrrMorwenna Rogers
Project Description:

Dementia currently affects around 650,000 people across the UK. Furthermore, 24.6 million people in the UK (38% of the population) know a family member or close friend living with dementia. The current financial cost of dementia in the UK is £26 billion/year including informal, social and healthcare costs. With no effective medications to cure or modify the underlying disease processes, managing the behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia, often with non-pharmacological interventions, has become a focus of dementia care. Numerous reports in the dementia field have highlighted a persistent gap between currently provided dementia care and what, based on research evidence, should be provided to improve outcomes. However, almost 100,000 dementia-related research articles were indexed in MEDLINE (the main biomedical bibliographic database) in the last decade presenting an overwhelming task for consumers wishing to make evidence-based decisions. 

Evidence and gap maps are an emerging state-of-the-art tool used to present selected key characteristics of an entire evidence base in useful, accessible and visually engaging formats. It is clear that for evidence maps to be useful the information they contain needs to be easy to access and regularly updated. 

This studentship involves developing new methods to ensure that evidence influences decision-making for one of the most pressing challenges resulting from an ageing population. This PhD will address two key research questions:

  • How can we best visualize the evidence (and gaps in the evidence) on the effectiveness and acceptability of non-pharmacological interventions for dementia to enable clinicians, policy makers, commissioners and families to use it effectively?
     
  • How can we best maintain the currency of content in an evidence and gap map of the effectiveness and acceptability of non-pharmacological interventions for dementia?

The student will use established systematic review methods to identify, appraise and summarise the body of evidence and will explore, develop and implement methods to identify gaps, visualise the evidence for different audiences and semi-automate the update of the evidence within the maps. There will also be the opportunity to hone in on part of the map to examine an  identified evidence gap using complex synthesis methods.

The successful candidate will not only be part of the University of Exeter and NIHR CLAHRC South West Peninsula communities but will become a member of the NIHR Academy. They will have access to supervision and mentoring as well as local and national training and development opportunities.

This award provides annual funding to cover UK/EU tuition fees and a tax-free stipend. For students who pay UK/EU tuition fees the award will cover the tuition fees in full, plus at least £15,009 per year tax-free stipend. Students who pay international tuition fees are eligible to apply, but should note that the award will only provide payment for part of the international tuition fee.  

The studentship will be awarded on the basis of merit for 3 years of full-time study to commence in October 2019.

Entry Requirements:

This PhD studentship is designed for a candidate with a passion for using evidence to improve decision-making and applying this to improving dementia outcomes.

Applicants for this studentship must have obtained, or be about to obtain, a First or Upper Second Class UK Honours degree, or the equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK, in an appropriate area of science or technology. 

If English is not your first language you will need to have achieved at least 7.0 in IELTS and no less than 6.0 in any section by the start of the project. Alternative tests may be acceptable -
see http://www.exeter.ac.uk/postgraduate/apply/english/

APPLY NOW

In the application process you will be asked to upload several documents: 

  • CV
     
  • Letter of application (outlining your academic interests, prior research experience and reasons for wishing to undertake the project)
     
  • Transcript(s) giving full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained (this should be an interim transcript if you are still studying)
     
  • Names of two referees familiar with your academic work. You are not required to obtain references yourself. We will request references directly from your referees if you are shortlisted
     
  • If you are not a national of a majority English-speaking country you will need to submit evidence of your proficiency in English

The closing date for applications is midnight on 16th September 2019. Interviews will be held on the University of Exeter St Luke’s Campus, date to be confirmed.

If you have any general enquiries about the application process please email stemm-pgr-admissions@exeter.ac.uk or phone +44 (0)1392 722730 or +44 (0)1392 725150.  Project-specific queries should be directed to the main supervisor professor Jo Thompson-Coon J.Thompson-Coon@exeter.ac.uk

 

 

PhD projects in second round of PenCLAHRC (2014 - 2018)

There were 11 PhD studentships funded in the second round of PenCLAHRC, with at least two studentships in each of our research themes. An additional four studentships are funded as part of our NIHR Research Capacity in Dementia Care Pilot Programme (RCDCP), which are fellowships for nurses and allied health professionals.

Further information on all of these studentships is provided below:

Theme: Evidence for Policy and Practice

Student:

Rebecca Hardwick

Supervisor:

Professor Ken Stein

Start/Finish:

Sep 2014 - Aug 2017

Project:

Research use and knowledge mobilisation in third sector organisations involved in health care provision

Student:

Hannah Flynn

Supervisor:

Professor Bridie Kent

Start/Finish:

Jan 2015 - Dec 2017

Project:

NICE Disinvestment

 

Theme: Diagnostics and Stratified Medicine

Student:

Harriet Hunt

Supervisor:

Professor Chris Hyde

Start/Finish:

Sep 2014 - Aug 2017

Project:

Optimizing cognitive assessment in primary care to support a more effective route to dementia diagnosis

Student:

Chun Lap Pang

Supervisor:

Dr Carl Roobottom

Start/Finish:

Apr 2015 - Feb 2018

Project:

Using new low dose CT cardiac imaging techniques to help define pre-operative risk of silent MI in surgery

 

Theme: Person Centred Care

Student:

Agnes Weyinmi-Demeyin

Supervisor:

Professor Nicky Britten

Start/Finish:

August 2015

Project:

N of 1 trials and the individualization of drug treatments

Student:

Dan Marshall

Supervisor:

Professor Jonathan Pinkney

Start/Finish:

Jan 2015 - Dec 2017

Project:

A prospective mixed method study of person-centred care in a community weight management programme

 

Theme: Healthy People, Healthy Environments

Student:

Linda Solbrig

Supervisor:

Professor Jackie Andrade

Start/Finish:

Jan 2015 - Dec 2017

Project:

Functional Imagery training as a personalized e-health intervention for weight loss

Student:

Ross Watkins

Supervisor:

Dr Mark Tarrant

Start/Finish:

Apr 2015 - Dec 2017

Project:

Mealtime interventions and the health, quality of life and well-being of older people in residential care

Student:

Viktorija Kesaite

Supervisor:

Professor Colin Green

Start/Finish:

2016/2019

Project:

An economic perspective on childhood obesity: exploring the causes and consequences of childhood obesity

 

Theme: Mental Health and Dementia

Student:

Amy Backhouse

Supervisor:

Professor Chris Dickens

Start/Finish:

Dec 2014 - Nov 2017

Project:

Living well with dementia: a PhD programme to develop a complex intervention that integrates healthcare for people with dementia

Student:

Sonam Zamir

Supervisor:

Professor Ray Jones

Start/Finish:

Apr 2015 - Dec 2017

Project:

Exploring the use of video calls to help prevent loneliness and reduce the risk or impact of dementia

 

NIHR Research Capacity in Dementia Care Programme (RCDCP) PhD fellowships (for nurses and allied health professionals)

Students were recruited to these fellowships in early 2015:

Student:

Lisa Burrows

Supervisor:

Professor Bridie Kent

Project:

More than tea and cake: A realist evaluation of memory cafes in Cornwall

Student:

Louise Mole

Supervisor:

Mary Hickson

Project:

The nutritional care of people living with dementia at home

Student:

Chloe Wood

Supervisor:

Dr Jo Thompson Coon

Project:

Developing a nursing intervention, using the concept of Amalgamation of Marginal Gains, to improve fundamental nursing care for people living with dementia

Student:

Abi Hall

Supervisor:

Dr Vicki Goodwin

Project:

Physiotherapy for people with dementia

 

PhD projects from PenCLAHRC pilot phase (2008 - 2013)

Student:

Alexandros Georgiadis

Project:

Offenders with Common Mental Health Problems: a multi-dimensional and multi-perspective study

Student:

Claire Parker

Project:

Supporting KIds, avoiding Problems (SKIP)

Student:

Katie Reeves

Project:

Development and Well-Being Assessment (DAWBA)

Student:

Lucy Perry

Project:

Timely Identification of Dementia in Social Networks (TIDeS)

Student:

Dr Ilianna Lourida

Project:

Lifestyle factors, metabolic dysfunction and dementia

Student:

Dr Krystal Warmoth

Project:

Understanding frailty and facilitating positive life-stage transition

Student:

Dr Kath Maguire

Project:

Public and Patient Involvement in Theory and in Practice

Student:

Dr Jessica Bollen

Project:

Developing a Stroke Rehabilitation Exercise Adherence Measure: StREAM

Student:

Megan MacMillan

Project:

Promoting Positive Peer Attitudes Towards Childhood Disability

Student:

Dr Bogdan Grigore

Project:

An Evaluation of Methods of Eliciting Expert Opinion in Health Technology Assessment

Upcoming Events

Sep
03

PPI Advice Clinic

South Cloisters, St Luke's Campus, University of Exeter

Patient and Public Involvement Advice Clinics Held every month 30 minutes between 12pm-1pm Whatever your query, from finding...
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Sep
12

Searching and Review Clinic

South Cloisters 2.35, St Luke's Campus

These clinics have been set up to help the PenCLAHRC Evidence Synthesis Team to manage and respond...
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Calendar

News

Fully Funded Dementia Research PhD Studentship Opportunity

18 July 2019

The University of Exeter is fast becoming recognised for world-class dementia research. As a global top 100...
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2019 PhD Studentships Announced

10 May 2019

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Collaboration for Leadership in Allied Health Research and Care...
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Family praise for project to reduce loneliness in care homes

06 November 2017

A family whose mother could not speak or hear has praised a project which helped...
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News

Research Projects

Understanding stakeholders’ perspectives on implementing deprescribing in care homes (STOPPING)

Theme: Person-Centred Care

We have been awarded funding from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to develop...
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SAMueL – Stroke Audit Machine Learning

Theme: PenCHORD

This study aims to develop a tool for doctors to help them review and improve...
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Research Projects