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Assessing the costs and benefits of innovative low vision aids

   School of Psychology and Sport Science

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  Dr Keziah Latham  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

About Anglia Ruskin University:

Anglia Ruskin is a vibrant workplace and our University is recognised both nationally and internationally. We have ambitious plans for the future and we are determined that our students and staff will realise their full potential. Our main campuses in the cities of Cambridge, Chelmsford, London and Peterborough have been transformed with major capital investment. With an annual turnover of over £200m, we are a major force for higher education and one of the largest universities in the East of England.

About the position:

This position is funded by The Macular Society, and the successful applicant will be known as ‘The Macular Society PhD student’.

Low vision aids (LVAs) are a key way to provide rehabilitation to people with macular disease, allowing people to retain the ability to undertake daily tasks and to maintain independence. New wearable electronic LVAs show great promise as an enablement strategy, with the potential to supplement or even replace conventional optical LVAs. However, they are expensive to purchase, and potential users would benefit greatly from being able to make an informed choice as to whether they are likely to benefit them. The Macular Society PhD student will work on an evaluation of head mounted electronic LVAs to determine how helpful they are when performing everyday tasks, whether they affect a person’s quality of life, and whether they are cost-effective.

As part of this PhD studentship, you will have the opportunity to undertake a multi-method programme of research using both quantitative and qualitative methods. The project will commence with a literature review and qualitative interview study, followed by a trial comparing the quality of life and cost-effectiveness benefits of wearable low vision aids to standard low vision care and to smart devices. Regular reports will be made to the Macular Society and its supporters on the progress of the project.

The successful applicant will benefit from strong supervisory and peer support and will be part of a wider project team based at Anglia Ruskin University, University College London and Moorfields Eye Hospital, which may require occasional travel. This project sits within the School of Psychology and Sports Science. The supervisory team is led by Dr Keziah Latham (Anglia Ruskin University), who offers expertise in low vision, visual function assessment, and questionnaire evaluation. Other members of the supervisory team include Dr Jane Macnaughton (Anglia Ruskin University), and Dr Michael Crossland (Moorfields Eye Hospital).

About the Studentship:

A three-year studentship is offered, intended to start in January 2022, providing a tax-free stipend of £15,285 per annum plus tuition fees at the UK rate. Due to funding restrictions, this studentship is only available as a full-time position and to UK candidates. 

Project location: Cambridge campus (or elsewhere if participant recruitment and clinical assessment are possible). Prospective candidates who would not be Cambridge based are encouraged to contact the principal supervisor prior to application (contact details below).

This studentship is funded by the Macular Society ( Candidates for this PhD Studentship must demonstrate outstanding qualities and be motivated to complete a PhD within 3 years.


Applicants must be able to demonstrate interest and / or experience in low vision. They should have a minimum of a 2.1 Honours degree in a relevant discipline, and / or a relevant level 7 (or equivalent) qualification (e.g. Masters degree, GOC registered optometrist). An IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 minimum (or equivalent) is essential for candidates for whom English is not their first language.

It is strongly desirable that candidates are clinically qualified to provide low vision assessments.

In addition to satisfying basic entry criteria, the University will look closely at the qualities, skills and background of each candidate and what they can bring to their chosen research project in order to ensure successful and timely completion.

How to apply:

To apply, please complete the application form available from the following website: Complete the variant of the form for full-time study with a start date of 18 January 2022.

Please ensure the reference ‘PSS Studentship: Assessing the costs and benefits of innovative low vision aids. Macular Society Studentship’ is clearly stated on the application form, under the title ‘Outline of your proposed research’. Within this section of the application form, applicants should include a 500-word outline of the skills that they would bring to this research project.

Interested applicants should direct initial queries about the project to the principal supervisor, Dr Keziah Latham, Associate Professor in Vision & Hearing Sciences via email: [Email Address Removed]. For enquiries regarding the process and eligibility please contact [Email Address Removed].

Interviews are scheduled to take place on Wednesday 29th September


We value diversity at Anglia Ruskin University and welcome applications from all sections of the community.

Funding Notes

Bursary of £15,285 per annum and a full fee-waiver for UK tuition fees.
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