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Clinical Informatics PhD: Capturing, aligning and harnessing the potential of electronic patient reported outcomes alongside routine clinical care at Great Ormond Street Hospital

   UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health

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  Dr Gwyneth Davies, Prof Neil Sebire, Prof Mario Cortina Borja  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

A 3-year PhD Studentship funded by Great Ormond Street Children’s Charity is available in the Population, Policy and Practice Research and Teaching Department, UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health (GOS ICH). The studentship will commence in October 2022 under the supervision of Dr Gwyneth Davies, Prof Neil Sebire and Prof Mario Cortina Borja.

Great Ormond Street Hospital has invested in an electronic infrastructure to support clinical care and research. This includes the Epic electronic health record (EHR) system and the Digital Research Environment (DRE). These create opportunities to investigate the added value of incorporating patient reported outcome measures (PROMs) into routine care and clinical research, and the development of data processing pipelines for analytics. The outputs have the potential to improve quality of clinical care and facilitate the adoption of clinical trials using routinely captured data. The latter has an increasing focus on PROMs yet at present these are not routinely collected at scale.

The aim of this PhD studentship is to investigate the processes involving selection, integration and processing of electronically captured patient reported outcomes into EHR at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH). This includes developing data pipelines, data visualisation and summary statistics for clinicians and patients/families, the feasibility of data collection and curation, and the potential value for standard care and clinical research.

The studentship will equip the student with skills in applied clinical informatics research, with exposure to a range of research methodologies which are both quantitative and qualitative in nature. The student will also acquire valuable generic skills, e.g. training in peer-review and writing academic reports and papers, and experience in attending international conferences and actively participating in professional societies.

The research will initially focus on specific disease areas within paediatric respiratory medicine; however, the approach and methodology will support scalability across different conditions and settings.

The student will join and contribute to groups such as the UCL GOS ICH Child Health Informatics Group as well as being fully integrated with the team at GOSH DRIVE. In addition, the student will be supported to explore opportunities within clinical informatics for their own academic career post-PhD. The student will be supported by a supervisory team with expertise in clinical informatics, statistics and data science, direct clinical experience of the Epic EHR system, care of children with chronic respiratory diseases, and awareness of the governance structures and considerations for the project. The primary supervisor (GD) will ensure that in addition to regular PhD meetings, the student is encouraged to actively participate in relevant activities at ICH the GOSH DRIVE unit (e.g., the bi-weekly 'DRE Analytics and Machine Learning Review' meetings), gaining feedback from a broader audience. They will also be encouraged to join the PPP early career researcher group, and ICH mentorship scheme.

Further details about the project can be found on the GOS ICH website.

The PhD student will be based in Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health at the University College London. The student will work at the GOSH DRIVE Unit (https://www.goshdrive.com/) within a team of Data Engineers and Data Scientists from the NHS, Academia, and Industry.

Personal Specification

Applicants should have a good first degree (UK 1st class or upper 2nd class honours degree or equivalent from abroad) and a Master’s degree (or equivalent work experience) in a relevant discipline by the time of registration.


This studentship covers the cost of tuition fees based on the UK (Home) rate. Non-UK students can apply but will have to personally fund the difference between the UK (Home) rate and the overseas rate where they are not eligible for UK fee status.

NB: You will be asked about your likely fee status at the interview so we would advise you to contact the UCL Graduate Admissions Office for advice should you be unsure whether or not you meet the eligibility criteria for Home fee status. Further information on Brexit and the definitions for fee status assessment can be found on the UCL website and also the UKCISA website (Higher Education: Definitions for fee status assessment).


To apply, please send a current CV including the contact details of two professional referees as well as a cover letter to [Email Address Removed]. Enquiries regarding the post can be made to Dr Gwyneth Davies, UKRI Future Leaders Fellow/Clinical Associate Professor and Honorary Consultant Paediatrician ([Email Address Removed]), or Dr Gemma Molyneux, Clinical Informatics Research Coordinator at GOSH ([Email Address Removed]).

Deadline for receipt of applications: Thursday 21st July 2022

Interview date: Monday 1st August 2022

Funding Notes

The student will receive a starting stipend of £17,983 per annum (including London weighting) as well as the cost of tuition fees based on UK fee status.
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