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Research Studentships and Fees-only Bursaries starting February 2017

Five PhD Studentships in the School of Health and Community Studies

About the programme

Leeds Beckett’s School of Health and Community Studies are offering five doctoral studentships.  We are seeking highly motivated individuals who are seeking to take the next steps in research.  

Please see the attached ‘available PhD projects’ document for information on proposed PhD projects available.

For an informal discussion about the posts, please contact the named Director of Studies indicated alongside the available PhD project you are applying to. 
Studentship funding
This a three-year full-time funded doctoral studentship. The doctoral home/eu fees of £4,121 per annum will be paid in full by Leeds Beckett University. The successful candidate will be paid an annual stipend of £14,296 per annum (pro-rata into 12 monthly payments).  
Closing date and further information

The closing date is midnight on 04th December 2016.  Applicants need to send in the following:

Four PhD Studentships in the School of Clinical and Applied Sciences

About the programme

Our work is focussed on those aspects of the health sector that contribute to the health of the whole body. These disciplines include physiotherapy, sports therapy, nutrition and dietetics, occupational therapy, environmental health, health and safety, and biomedical sciences.

Our staff work across discipline boundaries to create a dynamic research community. The quality of our research in Biomedical Sciences, Musculoskeletal Health, Nutrition and Pain are strong, with our academic staff regularly publishing in respected peer-reviewed journals, including 'Nature' and ‘The Lancet’, and these are enriched by the work of leading research figures in our School.

The quality and diversity of our research work has recommended us to leading institutions who have commissioned our work, including the Ministry of Defence and NHS, and several members of the School regularly bring their expertise to the public domain through Radio and TV.

Please see the attached  'available PhD projects' document for information on proposed PhD projects available.

For an informal discussion about the posts, please contact the named Director of Studies indicated alongside the available PhD project you are applying to.

Studentship Funding
This a three-year full-time funded doctoral studentship. The doctoral home/eu fees of £4,121 per annum will be paid in full by Leeds Beckett University. The successful candidate will be paid an annual stipend of £14,296 per annum (pro-rata into 12 monthly payments).  
Closing date and further information

The closing date is midnight on 04th December 2016.  Applicants need to send in the following:

  • Research student application form
  • CV and Covering Letter explaining your reasons for applying for the chosen project 
  • Scanned certificates and transcripts
  • Scanned passport and UK visas if applicable

Three Doctoral Studentships in Psychology  

About the programme

Psychology is the largest subject group in the School of Social, Sciences at Leeds Beckett University. In recent years we have significantly developed our research programme, which is currently organised around three core areas: Cognition & Behaviour; Gender & Sexuality; Health Psychology. Each of these areas is led by a Professor and within each area there are several specialist research groups and associated PhD students. In the Cognition & Behaviour area, staff research a range of topics including memory, human movement, addiction, creativity and communication; in Gender & Sexuality, topics include sexual harassment, food, masculinity and sexual bullying; in Health Psychology, topics include chronic illness and quality of life, psychological interventions, health and safety at work, and body image. We are seeking to grow our PhD community further with three funded studentships in our core areas: ‘Cognition and Behaviour’, ‘Health Psychology’, ‘Gender & Sexuality’. Please see the attached ‘available PhD projectsdocument for information on proposed PhD projects available.

For an informal discussion about the posts, please contact the named Director of Studies indicated alongside the available PhD project you are applying to. For any further information please contact Prof. Brendan Gough, Director of Research, Psychology.

Studentship funding

This a three-year full-time funded doctoral studentship. The doctoral home/eu fees of £4,121 per annum will be paid in full by Leeds Beckett University. The successful candidate will be paid an annual stipend of £14,296 per annum (pro-rata into 12 monthly payments).  

Closing date and further information

The closing date is midnight on 04th December 2016.  Applicants need to send in the following:

Doctoral Studentship in Smart Online Monitoring of Nuclear Power Plants

Theme

Both existing and new design Nuclear Power Plants (NPP) strive to improve safety, maintain availability and reduce the cost of operation and maintenance. However, plant life extensions and power updates push the demand for the new tools of diagnosing the health of NPP.

A PhD student will be required to build a reliable monitoring tool used in the control room operator desk setting of nuclear plants. The aim is to employ computational intelligence methods to monitor accident progression, predict the onset and evolution of an accident, and support operators in their decision-making process using available information from the plant’s online monitoring database. The tool will improve safety, maintain plant availability and reduce accident handling costs in nuclear power plants.

Studentship funding

This a three-year full-time funded doctoral studentship. The doctoral home/eu fees of £4,121 per annum will be paid in full by Leeds Beckett University. The successful candidate will be paid an annual stipend of £14,296 per annum (pro-rata into 12 monthly payments).  

Closing date and further information

The closing date is midnight on 04th December 2016.   Applicants need to send in the following:

Candidates are encouraged to contact Professor Jiamei Deng to informally discuss their potential application or research ideas.

Two full time sponsored Masters by Research Studentships (In Association with AHRC Heritage Consortium, NECAH and Leeds Library

Studentship Information

As part of Leeds Beckett’s commitment to the AHRC Heritage Consortium we are pleased to offer two fully-funded MRes opportunities (fees and stipend at RCUK rates – approximately £14,500 p.a. at the time of writing) in Heritage-Related studies.

Heritage can be very widely understood, and as part of any application you would be expected to make a clear case for the particular focus of your study. These opportunities are available full-time from February 2017. Applicants are invited to contact Professor Ruth Robbins with any questions they have about the programme.

How to Apply

Application is via the research students’ application form available here and a separate proposal. The application form tests your qualifications and/or experience and collects other important information. Your proposal should ideally show the following information:

  • An understanding of key issues in heritage-related studies.
  • A clear statement of intention about your proposed area of study.
  • Some understanding of appropriate research methods via which you expect to carry out your study.

In preparing this statement you should also be able to show:

  • Some sense of why your study matters – what will it add to the field of heritage-related studies?
  • A clear understanding of the scope and scale of what is possible in a 12-month study period. 
Closing Date and Further Information

The closing date for this opportunity is 30 November 2016. If appropriate we reserve the right to interview prospective students. 

Eligibility

This opportunity is open only to UK and EU citizens. 

Three full-time PhD Studentship Bursaries in collaboration with Suffolk County Council, starting February 2017

About the programme

The University has recently won a major contract worth £18 million over five years, to deliver a new and highly innovative Integrated Healthy Lifestyles Service right across Suffolk County Council (some 730,000 people, in urban, rural and coastal communities). This is a major, long-term programme, with services being provided by Leeds Beckett in partnership with MoreLife, Quit 51 and Tobacco Free Futures. The new service was launched on 1st April 2016 right across the whole of Suffolk, a population of some 730,000 people.

We will be providing a range of services including:

  • Health promotion and messaging
  • Children, young people’s and adult weight management
  • Specialist behaviour change
  • Support to increase physical activity
  • Tobacco use prevention, harm reduction and cessation
  • NHS Health Checks outreach
  • Screening of high risk groups for cardiovascular risk factors

Through this programme, the University and its partners will be developing and delivering a wide range of activities and services, with a strong focus on learning and innovation throughout as we generating new material and lessons that we can then apply to strengthen the programme. We will be engaging with local authority, NHS, communities, voluntary sectors and businesses of all sizes. The programme will generate huge amounts of valuable data and other insights that can underpin research work, which in turn can inform the programme locally and for all local authorities nationally.

Because of the scale and importance of this major new contract, the University is offering three fully funded PhD studentships starting in February 2017. This is a great opportunity for the University and for the successful students to be part of this highly significant programme and to generate new learning and research which can really contribute to better ways of working, particularly as many more local authorities are looking to commission integrated services on this type of scale.

For further information please see: http://onelifesuffolk.co.uk/

Studentship information and application process

Each studentship will have a bursary of £14,296 per annum (pro-rata into 12 monthly payments) plus UK/EU Fees paid for a period of three years. Normally, candidates will be based in Leeds with a possible requirement to travel to Suffolk.

Overseas’ Applicants

Prospective students from outside of the UK and EU who wish to apply to study at Leeds Beckett University will be required to make up the difference - annually £7,448 - between the UK/EU fees to be paid by the University of £4,052 and overseas’ fees of £11,500. The fee difference must be paid prior to starting. 

We welcome PhD research proposals based on the research themes listed (please see below). All enquiries should be addressed to either Dr Stuart Flint or Dr Claire Griffiths in the first instance. 

Research Proposal

Applicants must submit a research proposal, developed from one of the research themes listed below.

  • Applicants are asked to complete the research student application form.
  • A Research Proposal.  The proposal of the research can be up to four A4 pages in length (with references as an addition to the 4 page proposal) using type Arial 12 point.
  • Applicants are asked to include at the start of the proposal the research theme and the research centre their proposal relates to.
  • Please scan in all certificates and transcripts for your qualifications.
  • Please scan in your passport and any visas for the UK if applicable.  

 The criteria listed below will be used in selecting those applicants who will be called for interview and those who will be successful in securing a PhD Studentship.

 a) Qualifications, expertise and experience relevant to undertaking study for a PhD.

b) Knowledge of the subject area that will ensure the development of a focussed line of enquiry.

c) Knowledge and understanding of research methods appropriate to undertaking a PhD in the area of research.

d) Clarity on the original contribution that the completed PhD will make to the body of knowledge.

e) Scale and scope of the proposed research in terms of delivery within the three year studentship.  

The closing date for applications is midnight 4th December 2016. 

Research Themes

Integration – Local authorities are increasingly moving to commissioning integrated lifestyles services – in other words, commissioning services including smoking, weight management, physical activity promotion and health checks as a package of interventions to ensure greater integration. It is believed a more holistic workforce with behaviour changes skills can more effectively support service users. However, there is little evidence of the impact of integrated services.  The research would evaluate the impacts of integrated services across Suffolk and be at the forefront of understanding how this important development in commissioning is working.

Digital tools – Digital tools that support dietary and physical activity behaviours are becoming increasingly used by the general public.  Many of these tools are not evaluated so it is unclear what tools work or in what circumstances, and for which groups of users. This research would evaluate the use of digital tools by service users in Suffolk, to get a stronger understanding of which tools could be promoted and what the benefits could be, for service users.

Environment – The influence of the environment is now recognised as important in the delivery of public health programmes.  Central to improving the prevention and treatment of obesity is to identify the actual role (over the assumed role) of the environment in which people live. This research theme can investigate any aspect of the environment, including, but not limited to:

  • Suffolk is a rural county, and this geography creates both opportunities and challenges in delivering effective public health programmes. 
  • Does an individual’s environment mediate the engagement and / or effectiveness of a public health programme
  • How do different populations engage with their local environment

Meeting the needs of overweight and obese people.  Despite evidence of the importance of meeting the needs of service users, most weight management programmes follow a “one size fits all” approach.  Little is understood about the impacts of client led interventions that offer a variety of pathway options.  Little is also understood about the cost effectiveness of such models.  With significant service user throughput expect in Suffolk weight management services there is an opportunity to explore different models of interventions to determine their efficacy and cost effectiveness.

Using Community Asset based models to promote health: Community asset based approaches continue to grow as part of public health programme plans, and the Suffolk model proposes a community asset based approach. However, little is understood about the strengths and challenges of such models.  This research would evaluate the use of a community asset based approach in Suffolk.   

Workplace health interventions: Much evidence including NICE guidance recognises that the workplace is recognised as a key location to promote health and wellbeing.  However, there is limited evaluation of workplace health programmes run as part of local public health programmes.  This research would evaluate the implementation of a range of workplace health interventions in Suffolk.

Irresponsibility or ignorance – the role of State and Commerce in the healthy eating debate(s): Businesses recognize their role and responsibility in the healthy eating debate.  They, like state actors, spend much time, effort and resource attempting to respond to the issue and to get their message across.  Frequently this fails, is confused or is perceived as distrustful and self-interested marketing of the corporate brand by consumers, government, the media and NGO groups. This research will explore the role of the state at both a national and local level on the debate as well as the important but often misdirected and misunderstood attempts by business to respond appropriately to government as well as consumer and pressure group demands and expectations for a ‘responsible’ approach.  The research may explore the efforts of business to respond to this agenda to build a framework of understanding from a local level and potentially in partnership with actors on the ground.  Processes of communication will be analysed and evaluated to support and build deeper and more meaningful engagement with stakeholders at all levels.

Smoking interventions during pregnancy: A recently published RCT provided Scottish evidence for using incentives for smoking cessation in pregnancy but recommended wider UK implementation and evaluation. Since 2010 several schemes in the North West of England have replicated these outcomes.  A 2012 Scheme supported 403 women to set a quit date - 69% were quit at 4-weeks and of those 71% were quit at delivery and 51% at 12-weeks post-partum.  There is a need to understand more about these interventions therefore an evaluation of this scheme in Suffolk presents opportunities for longer-term engagement of all those involved to fully understand the short, medium and long term benefits of the scheme e.g. the impact of social support on quitting outcomes, birth weights and wider community benefits.

Stigma: Stigma and discrimination is multifaceted and may impede access to care. Consequently, they have the potential to reduce the effectiveness of public health programmes. Understanding stigma and discrimination and the subsequent barriers to accessing public health programmes is therefore of paramount importance. Using a range of methods, this research would evaluate how stigma and discrimination impacts recruitment, engagement and adherence, as well as interventions to reduce stigma.

Recruitment and referral: a considerable challenge of public health interventions is achieving performance indicators in terms of referrals and adherence to the programme; as a result individuals are missing out. Understanding how to maximise referrals from a variety of sources, including GPs, self-referral, schools (including school nurses), hospitals, health visitors and engagement is essential to maximise the effectiveness of interventions (e.g. weight management, smoking cessation, physical activity). This research would investigate current referral and adherence data to OneLife Suffolk programmes and seek to understand the barriers and provide recommendations for future programmes.

For further details please contact:

Dr Stuart Flint

Dr Claire Griffiths