Anglia Ruskin University ARU Featured PhD Programmes
Anglia Ruskin University ARU Featured PhD Programmes

Developing a core outcome set for clinical research on interventions for dysarthria (speech impairments) after stroke and other non-progressive brain injuries.

Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

Dr Claire Mitchell , , Dr Jamie Kirkham Applications accepted all year round Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

This project provides an opportunity for an international, multidisciplinary collaboration between the University of Manchester, UK and the University of Queensland, Australia. The main aim is to develop a core outcome set to guide clinical intervention research for people with impaired speech after stroke or other non-progressive brain injuries.


Dysarthria, an impairment of the neuromuscular control for speech affecting the clarity and intelligibility of speech production, is widely recognised as a consequence of stroke and other brain injuries. Dysarthria includes a wide severity range after stroke with some patients having no useful speech, unintelligible to the listener, while at the milder end there may be lapses in speech accuracy, but speech is generally intelligible. There is significant evidence that, regardless of severity, communication impairment after brain injury can have a devastating effect on an individual’s self-identity, psychological well-being and social interaction. Ultimately, dysarthria is a long-term communication disability which impacts on an individual’s ability to convey a sense of self and maintain social interaction at previous levels having a detrimental impact on wellbeing and quality of life.


There are ethical concerns around the use of inadequate outcome measures in research leading to wasted resources and missed opportunities to provide evidence-based care. This means it is essential that we develop consensus on what aspects of speech recovery should be measured in clinical practice and for clinical research. This should include patient reported measures and clinically meaningful measures for patients and clinicians. This consensus will include involvement of key stakeholders which includes, those with or who have had dysarthria, those working clinically with those affected and researchers. The Delphi process is a well-established way of gaining consensus agreement between a wide range of people and has been extensively used when agreeing core outcome sets, see e.g. for people with aphasia. Public and patient involvement (PPI) will be an essential part of this work and we expect a good understanding of the need for PPI and how this works in health research

The ideal candidate will have research experience with evidence of having planned and written a research project. You will preferably have a background in psychology or speech and language therapy. You will be eligible for entry into a PhD programme, please check entry requirements. Students should determine their eligibility for entry into a Doctor of Philosophy program at The University of Queensland: ) and The University of Manchester:

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 PhD Psychology

For international students we also offer a unique 4 year PhD programme that gives you the opportunity to undertake an accredited Teaching Certificate whilst carrying out an independent research project across a range of biological, medical and health sciences. For more information please visit

Funding Notes

Applications are invited from self-funded students. This project has a Band 1 fee. Details of our different fee bands can be found on our website (View Website). For information on how to apply for this project, please visit the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health Doctoral Academy website (View Website).
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 View Website

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