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Carer recruitment to trials of healthcare interventions for people with stroke or mental health conditions: when is this useful and how representative are findings?

This project is no longer listed on and may not be available.

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  • Full or part time
    Dr Chris Sutton
    Prof A Vail
    Dr S Peters
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

The Studentship is funded through the MRC-NIHR Trials Methodology Research Partnership (TMRP) which brings together a number of national and international networks, institutions and partners undertaking clinical trials and trials methodology research. Its overall aim is to improve patient care by improving the way in which the healthcare evidence base is developed.

The TMRP’s PhD programme presents a unique opportunity to undertake training and research in major areas where clinical trials need to be improved to help increase the health of society.

In addition to the condition impacting on a person experiencing a stroke or with a mental health condition, it will often impact on those living with or caring for the person, commonly known as the ‘carer’. However, when investigating the impact of interventions directed at the ‘patient’ participant on their outcomes, it is commonplace also to include an assessment of the impact on their carer. In such cases, not all participants will nominate a carer and not all nominated carers will agree to participate. This project will compare and contrast trials in different disciplines (e.g. stroke and mental health research) when trialists include carer responses, considering the validity of conclusions about carer outcomes and making recommendations about the inclusion of carer outcomes.

Entry Requirements
Applicants are expected to hold, or about to obtain, a minimum upper second class undergraduate degree (or equivalent) in a quantitative subject relevant to the chosen project title. A Masters degree in a relevant subject and/or experience in statistics or clinical trial design is desirable. Some knowledge or experience and an interest in mixed methods would also be desirable. If you are interested, please make direct contact with the Supervisor to discuss the project. You MUST also submit an online application form - choose PhD Biostatistics.

Further details on the TRMP and funded projects can be found here

Funding Notes

This project forms one of two potential studies funded through the TMRP. Studentship funding is for a duration of three years to commence in September 2019 and covers UK/EU tuition fees and a UKRI stipend (£15,009 per annum 2019/20). Due to funding restrictions the studentship is open to UK and EU nationals with 3 years residency in the UK.

As an equal opportunities institution we welcome applicants from all sections of the community regardless of gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation and transgender status. All appointments are made on merit.


1. Luker J, Murray C, Lynch E, Bernhardsson S, Shannon M, Bernhardt J. Carers’ experiences, needs, and preferences during inpatient stroke rehabilitation: a systematic review of qualitative studies, Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2017;98:1852-62
2. Bower P, Brueton V, Gamble C, et al. Interventions to improve recruitment and retention in clinical trials: a survey and workshop to assess current practice and future priorities. Trials. 2014; 15: 399.

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