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  Adults with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA): the impact of a long-term chronic disease on ongoing arthritis, quality of life, and mental health

   Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

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  Dr Lianne Kearsley-Fleet, Prof K Hyrich, Dr Jennifer Humphreys  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

Understanding how juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), the most common chronic inflammatory musculoskeletal disease in children and young people, affects later adult-life has been prioritised by individuals living with JIA/families, European arthritis organisations, and charities. Currently, lack of information on what happens to children with JIA as they become adults is a huge source of anxiety for young people and their families.

The aim of this PhD is to investigate outcomes of adults with JIA with respect to ongoing arthritis, functional ability and quality of life, and mental health. In addition to searching the literature, this PhD will use data from existing UK national JIA prospective cohort studies, linked with NHS England datasets to:

(i) Calculate the proportion of adults continuing to visit rheumatology and/or ophthalmology clinics, describing patterns of disease activity over time, and identifying factors associated with need for long-term treatment.

(ii) Identify the impact of a long-term chronic disease on quality of life and functional ability in adults with JIA.

(iii) Identify the impact on mental health in adults with JIA.

The PhD student will join a thriving research environment within the Centre for Musculoskeletal Research, where the teaching and learning group has developed a set of core competencies for PhD students to ensure that as early career researchers, they are provided the necessary scientific and methodological training to become independent researchers. In addition to UoM provided courses on skills such as reviewing literature, writing a systematic review, time management during a PhD, presentation skills, and thesis writing, the Centre provides topic specific training. These include weekly scientific seminars, internal courses in epidemiology, biostatistics, and statistical software, as well as peer reviewing journal clubs. These courses will be particularly important for the advanced statistical techniques needed for this project, such as regression modelling, trajectory modelling, and multiple imputation.


Applicants 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 epidemiology, science, statistics, mathematic or a relevant subject area. A Masters degree in epidemiology/statistics and or experience in data analysis is desirable.

Before you Apply 

Applicants must make direct contact with preferred supervisors before applying. It is your responsibility to make arrangements to meet with potential supervisors, prior to submitting a formal online application.  

How to Apply 

For information on how to apply for this project, please visit the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health Doctoral Academy website ( Informal enquiries may be made directly to the primary supervisor. On the online application form select the appropriate subject title - PhD Epidemiology.

Your application form must be accompanied by a number of supporting documents by the advertised deadlines. Without all the required documents submitted at the time of application, your application will not be processed and we cannot accept responsibility for late or missed deadlines. Incomplete applications will not be considered. If you have any queries regarding making an application please contact our admissions team [Email Address Removed]

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion  

Equality, diversity and inclusion is fundamental to the success of The University of Manchester, and is at the heart of all of our activities. The full Equality, diversity and inclusion statement can be found on the website  

Biological Sciences (4) Computer Science (8) Mathematics (25) Medicine (26)

Funding Notes

Studentship fully funded by Versus Arthritis for a duration of four years to commence in April 2024 and covers UK tuition fees and an annual stipend. This is open to Home applicants only.