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Adaptation and testing of the Your Covid Recovery© programme to address ethnicity, language and digital divide health inequalities.

   Department of Health Sciences

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  Dr Linzy Houchen-Wolloff , Dr N Bateman, Dr Jennifer Creese  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

Proposed start date: 1 October 2023

A high proportion of individuals experience persistent COVID symptoms after their acute COVID infection [described as “Long COVID” (1)]. These symptoms have a profound effect on the individual’s quality of life as they impair their ability to perform activities of daily living. To support people throughout their COVID recovery, the Your COVID Recovery® programme was developed (2). In addition to traditional face-to-face rehabilitation, this programme includes a digital rehabilitation programme, paper-based rehabilitation manual, and an open access website with information on how to relieve and manage COVID symptoms. To date, over 2300 patients have enrolled onto the digital rehabilitation programme in the UK. However, despite minority ethnic groups being disproportionally affected by COVID, 88% of individuals using the digital rehabilitation programme self-report as White British (2). The aim of this project is to increase minority ethnic group participation in the Your COVID Recovery programme by designing a new culturally appropriate version. This may include the web, paper-based or face-to-face platforms to offer a menu of choices for patients. This programme will then be implemented in an underrepresented/ minority ethnic group to determine if it effectively improves COVID symptoms, exercise tolerance and health-related quality of life.    

Entry requirements:

Applicants are required to hold/or expect to obtain a UK Bachelor Degree 2:1 or better in a relevant subject. 

The University of Leicester English language requirements apply where applicable.

This programme is open to:

  • allied health professionals
  • nurses
  • midwives
  • junior doctors
  • general practitioners

Fellows recruited to the programme must be practicing healthcare professionals and be registered with a national professional regulatory body (e.g. the General Medical Council, Health and Care Professions Council) in the UK/Republic of Ireland.

Medical graduates must be registered on a UK/Republic of Ireland specialist training programme or must be a registered GP.

All fellows must have completed their undergraduate degree and be registered with the relevant professional body.

Application advice:

Application help:

To apply, please go to:

With your application, please include:

  • Full up to date CV
  • Personal statement of 700 words (for detailed instructions on what we will be looking for in your personal statement and your CV, please review the guidance here:
  • Degree Certificates and Transcripts of study already completed and if possible transcript to date of study currently being undertaken
  • Evidence of English language proficiency if applicable
  • In the reference section please enter the contact details of your two academic referees in the boxes provided or upload letters of reference if already available.

In the funding section please specify that you wish to be considered for Wellcome Trust LHII DTP

In the proposal section please provide the name of at least one or at most two of the projects you are interested in (please indicate title and name of supervisor). The first project you list will be taken to be your preferred choice.

Upload the Widening Participation form (found on the above link) to the proposal section

Project / Funding Enquiries to: [Email Address Removed]

Application enquiries to [Email Address Removed]

Funding Notes

Students on this programme will be supported by a generous funding package. This will include:
• Postgraduate research fee waiver at standard College of Life Sciences UK rates for three years of the PhD
• Wellcome Trust stipend covering your salary for all three years of the PhD
• Research grant for training, research and travel costs


1. Evans RA, McAuley H, Harrison EM et al on behalf of the PHOSP-COVID Collaborative Group (2021). Physical, cognitive, and mental health impacts of COVID-19 after hospitalisation (PHOSP-COVID): a UK multicentre, prospective cohort study. Lancet Respir Med. Oct 7: S2213-2600(21)00383-0.
2. Lloyd-Evans PHI, Baldwin MM, Daynes E on behalf of the Your COVID Recovery® Development Group, et al. Early experiences of the Your COVID Recovery® digital programme for individuals with long COVIDBMJ Open Respiratory Research 2022;9:e001237. doi: 10.1136/bmjresp-2022-001237.
3. Pan D, Sze S, Martin CA, et al. Covid-19 and ethnicity: we must seek to understand the drivers of higher transmission. BMJ. 2021 Nov 5;375:n2709.#
4. Yates T, Zaccardi F, Islam N, et al. Obesity, Ethnicity, and Risk of Critical Care, Mechanical Ventilation, and Mortality in Patients Admitted to Hospital with COVID-19: Analysis of the ISARIC CCP-UK Cohort. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2021 Jul;29(7):1223-1230.
5. Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland (LLR) CCGs Combined Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Annual Report 2020-21. June 2021. Available here:
6. Razieh C, Zaccardi F, Islam N, et al. Ethnic minorities and COVID-19: examining whether excess risk is mediated through deprivation. Eur J Public Health. 2021 Jul 13;31(3):630-634.
7. Equality Act 2010. Available here:
8. Minkler M. Using Participatory Action Research to build Healthy Communities. Public Health Rep. 2000 Mar-Jun;115(2-3):191-7.
9. Légaré F, Politi MC, Drolet R, et al and SDM-CPD Team. Training health professionals in shared decision-making: an international environmental scan. Patient Educ Couns. 2012 Aug;88(2):159-69.
10. Huang L, Yao Q, Gu X et al. (2021) 1-year outcomes in hospital survivors with COVID-19: a longitudinal cohort study. Lancet. 2021 Aug 28;398(10302):747-758.
11. Evans RA, Leavy OC, Richardson M et al on behalf of the PHOSP-COVID Collaborative Group (2021) Clinical characteristics with inflammation profiling of Long-COVID and association with one-year recovery following hospitalisation in the UK: a prospective observational study. Pre-print medRxiv 2021.12.13.21267471.
12. GOV.UK Healthcare in the UK. Patients admitted to hospital. Available from: areaType=overview&areaName=United%20Kingdom
13. Daynes E, Gerlis C, Chaplin E, et al. Early experiences of rehabilitation for individuals post-COVID to improve fatigue, breathlessness exercise capacity and cognition - A cohort study. Chron Respir Dis. 2021 Jan-Dec;18:14799731211015691.
14. Philip KE, Cartwright LL, Westlake D, et al. Music and dance in respiratory disease management in Uganda: a qualitative study of patient and healthcare professional perspectives. BMJ Open. 2021 Sep 23;11(9):e053189.
15. Sahasrabudhe SD, Orme MW, Jones AV, et al. Potential for integrating yoga within pulmonary rehabilitation and recommendations of reporting framework. BMJ Open Respir Res. 2021Nov;8(1):e000966.
16. Taalaibekova A, Oleinik A, Magdieva K et al. (2021). The Development of Support for People Following COVID-19 Infection in Kyrgyzstan: Survey Study of Patients and Clinical Workers. Pre-print: 10.21203/
17. Short Report on Long COVID 22.7.2021 This report is provided at the request of SAGE and includes information from ongoing studies investigating long COVID including the COVID-19 Longitudinal Health and Wellbeing National Core Study-CONVALESCENCE Study, REACT-2, PHOSP-COVID, ONS’s COVID-19 Infection Survey (CIS) and the COVID Symptom Study App. Available from:
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