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Accelerating the implementation of innovations in NHS organizations by learning from other sites

City eHealth Research Centre

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Prof H Scarbrough No more applications being accepted Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

This studentship is co-funded by the Centre for Healthcare Innovation Research (CHIR) at City, University of London and the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) North Thames.

Centre for Healthcare Innovation Research
CHIR is an interdisciplinary research Centre aiming to explore the challenges of embedding health and social care innovations sustainably and at scale. It was established in January 2019, bringing together expertise from two highly ranked Schools in City: Cass Business School and the School of Health Sciences (SHS). For more information please click here (

NIHR ARC North Thames
NIHR ARC North Thames is a research partnership committed to identifying the health and care problems that most concern everyone in our region and beyond, designing innovative research in response to those needs and then quickly putting the findings into practice. Led by Professor Rosalind Raine (UCL), the ARC is a collaboration of 50+ partners, including leading universities, NHS trusts, local authorities, clinical commissioning groups, UCLPartners, industry and organisations representing patients and the public. The following studentship is available in the innovation and implementation science theme.

Project Description
The PhD study focusses on the ways in which the speed and effectiveness of the implementation of innovations in NHS organizations may be enhanced by learning from the experience of other sites. Implementation processes for innovation typically involve overcoming ‘knowledge barriers’ , including between the local knowledge of the implementing organization and the know-how of innovators. Forms of social learning have been identified as a vital element in achieving successful implementation outcomes. This study will explore the possible value of vicarious learning from other implementation sites for implementing organizations.
A qualitative multi-site approach is involved, encompassing sender and receiver organizations engaged in implementing the same or similar innovation. Through the use of qualitative research techniques, including the integration of interview data, documentation and metrics on implementation progress, the study will identify the value of various aspects of vicarious learning, including; the relative value of transferring tacit know-how versus explicit knowledge in the implementation process; the implications of innovation adaptations; and the usefulness of different means of capturing, codifying and exchanging knowledge.

Training opportunities
In addition to PhD training opportunities at their host institution, all ARC PhD students will benefit from training provided by the ARC Academy. This brings together PhD students from across the ARC, to create a community of students training in applied health research. The Academy will equip students with the skills needed to work at the interface of academia and health services.
Our doctoral programme focuses on practical aspects of applied health research, e.g. the skills required to undertake research in healthcare and public health settings, engaging patients/public in research, how to navigate ethical/research governance approval systems. We also aim to give students an understanding of how their work fits into NHS structures and applied public health environments. PhD students will be expected to attend and present at scientific meetings aimed at disseminating the findings of ARC research.

Candidates should hold a Master’s in a relevant discipline (or complete their Master’s by September 2020) and have a minimum of a 2:1 or equivalent in their first degree. Applicants should preferably have knowledge of the UK health and care system. All applicants require excellent written and verbal communication skills and should be willing to work collaboratively in multi-disciplinary and multi-professional teams.
Due to funding restrictions, applicants must be UK/EU nationals. Please see UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA - for criteria.

How to apply
Your application should consist of:
• A CV (qualifications, work experience, publications, presentations and prizes) & contact details of two academic referees.
• A personal statement (300 words) describing your suitability for the proposed project including how your research experience, skills and interests relate to the topic.
• A 1-page proposal of how you would develop the PhD project that you are applying for.
Please send to: [Email Address Removed]
• For informal inquiries, please contact Prof Harry Scarbrough ([Email Address Removed]) or Dr Charitini Stavropoulou ([Email Address Removed])

Deadline: June 5th, 2020
Interview: w/c June 22nd
Duration: 3 years, commencing September 2020

Funding Notes

Stipend £17984 p.a. and waiver of PhD fees

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