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Activity-Based Enhancement of Quality of Life at Work for Formal Carers


School of Informatics

, Prof Catharine Ward Thompson , , Dr Lynda Webb Sunday, January 31, 2021 Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
Edinburgh United Kingdom Artificial Intelligence Built Environment Data Analysis Epidemiology Machine Learning Other Other Social Work Statistics

About the Project

The Advanced Care Research Centre at the University of Edinburgh is a new £20m interdisciplinary research collaboration aiming to transform later life with person centred integrated care

The vision of the ACRC is to play a vital role in addressing the Grand Challenge of ageing by transformational research that will support the functional ability of people in later life so they can contribute to their own welfare for longer. With fresh and diverse thinking across interdisciplinary perspectives our academy students will work to creatively embed deep understanding, data science, artificial intelligence, assistive technologies and robotics into systems of health and social care supporting the independence, dignity and quality-of-life of people living in their own homes and in supported care environments.

The ACRC Academy will equip future leaders to drive society’s response to the challenges of later life care provision; a problem which is growing in scale, complexity and urgency. Our alumni will become leaders in across a diverse range of pioneering and influential roles in the public, private and third sectors.

This project will focus on how physical activity (e.g., walking, bicycling) , particularly in the outdoor environment, can enhance the quality of life at work for carers in formal care settings. Blackwood Homes and Care will provide the formal care contexts and access to carers to recruit to the study. Co-design methods will be used to create, with carers, opportunities for physical activity related to care work, including travel to work. Sensors (e.g., wearables and static) will be deployed to generate data streams that can be correlated with qualitative and quantitative measures of wellbeing gained through surveys. This is a multidisciplinary project in a multidisciplinary research environment; applicants should have diverse skills and be excited by the prospect of multidisciplinary work.

The project will involve at least the following aspects: recruiting carers in Blackwood Homes and Care settings to the project; using co-design methods to create relevant opportunities for carers to engage in physical activity, predominantly outdoor, whether in travel to/from work, in their caring role, or in social activities with colleagues; gathering data on physical activities from wearable and other sensors, and interviews, surveys and focus groups; analysis and summarisation of data using statistical analytics and other methods. Thus applicants should be comfortable with both quantitative and qualitative methods, and enthusiasm to learn where needed. There is substantial room to tailor the project to the successful applicant’s interests and skills, and new ideas and research directions are positively welcomed.


Funding Notes

PhD's are fully funded with an above industry stipend for the full 4 year period.

The call is open to candidates of any nationality but funded places for overseas nationals will be strictly limited to 3 international students who can apply for the highly competitive ACRC Global Scholarship.

Application forms are now available here:
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Find more information on how to apply on the How to Apply section of our website:
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