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Elphinstone Scholarship - Student wellbeing: what does this really mean?


   School of Medicine, Medical Sciences & Nutrition

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  Dr Kim Walker, Prof Jennifer Cleland, Dr Amudha Poobalan  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

This Ph.D is a qualitative case study to explore what is important for students wellbeing and to investigate this through wider aspects and contexts, ie culture, societal, psychological, physical and educational. The student will be based in the internationally renowned Centre for Healthcare Education Research and Innovation (CHERI), University of Aberdeen, which has a worldwide reputation for medical education pedagogic research and capacity building in collaboration with Nanyang Technological University (NTU) Singapore where some data collection will take place. 

Since the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been increased emphasis on wellbeing and resilience. However, many of the implemented interventions are based on what the organisation thinks people want rather than informed by an evidence base. Recent work in CHERI has shown that this is true for doctors who wish to be heard, valued and supported rather than being sent on mandatory wellbeing courses and training. However, there is little research on well-being of medical students but what there is hints at the same patterns. For example, medical students who attend institution-organised wellness programmes do not have better wellbeing compared to those who do not attend. The factors which seem to make a difference are simple (e.g., free time, student-initiated activities). 

This Ph.D. will investigate student’s wellbeing needs, to inform organisational interventions to support medical student wellbeing wants and needs.

This is a two-site study, Aberdeen, UK, and Singapore, two very different contexts in terms of culture, societal expectations and norms, the organisation of medical education and training, educational expectations, understandings of wellbeing, etc. These contrasting cases will provide insight into the issue of student wellbeing and ultimately inform the development of global policy, practice and future research on this topic. There will be multiple forms of data collection including document analysis, semi structured interviews, and data collection possibly using visual data  Relevant training will be provided in critical analysis, scientific writing, qualitative research methods supported by an experienced medical education team of supervisors.  The student would also actively participate in activities based in the University that would benefit their career, e.g., journals clubs, teaching. In addition, the student will be supported to attend relevant conferences and networking events.

The supervisory team have extensive experience in this area and will provide all necessary support including regular meetings, feedback on progress and opportunities to develop the student’s career in medical education. The student is expected to publish during the time of the Ph.D.

Informal enquiries are encouraged, please contact the lead supervisor, Dr Kim Walker ([Email Address Removed]) for further information.

Essential background of student:

Applicants should hold a 1st Class UK Honours degree (or international equivalent) in a relevant subject. Those with a 2:1 UK Honours degree (or international equivalent) may be considered, provided they have (or are expected to achieve) a Distinction or Commendation at Master’s level.

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APPLICATION PROCEDURE:

Please note: The funding for this project covers tuition fees and research costs only, no stipend or living costs are provided.

  • Formal applications can be completed online: https://www.abdn.ac.uk/pgap/login.php
  • You should apply for Medical Sciences (PhD) to ensure your application is passed to the correct team.
  • Please clearly note the name of the lead supervisor and project title on the application form. If you do not mention the project title and the supervisor on your application it will not be considered for the studentship.
  • Please include a personal statement, an up-to-date copy of your academic CV, and relevant educational certificates and transcripts (Undergraduate and postgraduate (if applicable)).
  • Please note: you DO NOT need to provide a research proposal with this application
  • CV's submitted directly through a FindAPhD enquiry WILL NOT be considered.
  • General application enquiries can be made to [Email Address Removed] 

Funding Notes

This 36 Month project is funded by a prestigious University of Aberdeen Elphinstone Scholarship. This opportunity is open to UK and International students and includes funding to cover tuition fees and research costs only. No stipend or living costs are provided.
Funding for international students does not cover visa costs (either for yourself or for accompanying family members), immigration health surcharge or any other additional costs associated with relocation to the UK.
The expected start date is February 2023.
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