Antimicrobial Stewardship and the role of the nurse within the hospital setting: The need to speak up. (Ref: SHLS22103)

   School of Health and Life Sciences

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  Dr Val Ness, Dr Mark Molesworth  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project


Antimicrobial resistance is a public health priority with human, financial and social costs. Although Antimicrobial Stewardship (AMS) has typically been the role of doctors or pharmacists, nurses have a key role in the preservation of antibiotics as one of the main deliverers of patient care. If their contribution to AMS was increased, the potential benefits could be significant. 

However, in order to make a difference, nurses have to be confident to raise their concerns. A recent literature review by Davey and Aveyard (2022) recommended that nurses be able to speak up when they see poor antibiotic practice and encourage stewardship behaviour. However, research indicates that nurses can be hesitant to speak up and also that antibiotic prescribing behaviour is influenced by hospital culture and psychosocial determinants.

Interventions have been developed to increase speaking-up behaviour amongst healthcare professionals but a recent systematic narrative review found that these interventions bore inconclusive results with the authors highlighting complex, emergency and contextual issues (Jones et al. 2021). Therefore this PhD should use appropriate theory to underpin the exploration of nurses’ speaking up behaviour, and to support the development of an intervention.


To explore the influences on nurses’ speaking up behaviour and identify an intervention to increase this behaviour in relation to AMS.


The successful applicant will hold the minimum of a first degree (2:1 or above). Previous experience of intervention development/implementation science research methodology is desirable.

 Candidates are requested to submit a more detailed research proposal (of a maximum of 2000 words) on the project area as part of their application. 

Research Strategy and Research Profile

Glasgow Caledonian University’s research is framed around the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. We address the Goals via three societal challenge areas of Inclusive Societies, Healthy Lives and Sustainable Environments. This project is part of the research activity of the Research Group – Safeguarding Health through Infection Prevention (SHIP) research group

How to Apply

This project is available as a 3 years full-time or 6 years part-time PhD study programme. 

Candidates are encouraged to contact the research supervisors for the project before applying. 

Please note that emails to the supervisory team or enquires submitted via this project advert do not constitute formal applications; applicants should apply using our Application Process page, choosing Nursing and their preferred intake date.  

Please send any other enquires regarding your application to: [Email Address Removed]

Nursing & Health (27) Psychology (31)

Funding Notes

Applicants are expected to find external funding sources to cover the tuition fees and living expenses. Alumni and International students new to GCU who are self-funding are eligible for fee discounts.
Find out more on our our Fees and Funding and Research Scholarships and Studentships webpages.