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Diabetes and Serious Mental Illness in South Asians

   Department of Health Sciences

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  Prof S Gilbody  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

Department of Health Sciences at the University of York and Bradford District Care Trust PhD Studentship

Project: Diabetes and Serious Mental Illness in South Asians.

Funded jointly by the Department of Health Sciences and Bradford District Care Trust, this PhD studentship will focus on mental and physical health co-morbidity, specifically diabetes and serious mental illness (SMI) in South Asians.

South Asians comprise the largest ethnic minority group in the UK, with a significant South Asian community in Bradford, which has been described as having a ‘bi-ethnic population’. South Asians who live in the UK are up to six times more likely to have diabetes; to develop it 5 to 10 years earlier; and to have poorer health outcomes, even for the same indices for Body Mass Index and blood sugar control. People with a SMI also have a higher prevalence of diabetes (twice that of the general population); and poorer outcomes, for reasons that include lifestyle choices influenced by the illness and the metabolic and sedating side effects of psychotropic medication. The combination of South Asian origin, diabetes and SMI identifies a group highly vulnerable to diabetes-associated morbidity and mortality.

The objectives of this research will be to determine the impact of comorbid diabetes and SMI in South Asians on health outcomes and healthcare use, using a range of approaches including routinely collected data from health databases. In addition to understanding outcomes for this population, a further output from the work will be the design of a method that could be used to explore the impact of other mental and physical co-morbidities in minority populations.

The studentship offers opportunities for a candidate to develop a wide variety of methodological skills, and is open to students from a range of disciplinary backgrounds. The successful candidate will become an active member of the Mental Health and Addictions Research Group based in the Department of Health Sciences.

Supervisors: Professor Simon Gilbody and Dr Najma Siddiqi.

Process for application

Applications should be received no later than 4 September 2014 before 4.00pm. Applicants should have an upper second or first class honours degree or equivalent; a Masters-level qualification would be an advantage.

Applications should be made using the University of York on-line application process which can be accessed using the following link.

Applicants should state that they are applying for the York Health Sciences and Bradford District Care Trust PhD Studentship (Reference PHD-YORK/BRAD-2014)

Please also provide a curriculum vitae and two academic references. In addition, you should upload an outline of your intended approach to the area of research, noting the potential methods or approaches that could be used (up to 500 words in PDF format). If you have already published academic papers, one of these may also be uploaded.


Interviews are likely to take place in the week commencing 8 September 2014.

More information:

Funding Notes


The studentship is a 3-year studentships offering Annual Tuition Fees (£3,996 for 14/15 UK/EU rate) and an annual Maintenance Grant (£13,863 for 2014/15). Fees will increase annually in line with RCUK rates.

Overseas students will be expected to meet the cost of the difference between the UK/EU rate and the overseas rate (class-room based/lower rate); as a guide, information on 2014/15 rates is available at:

There are additional research expenses of £2,500 for this project.

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