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EPSRC DTP CASE studentship in Modelling the Reconfiguration of Acute and Community Health Services


   Cardiff School of Mathematics

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  Prof P Harper, Dr D Gartner, Dr Geraint Palmer  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Cardiff United Kingdom Mathematical Modelling Operational Research Mathematics

About the Project

EPSRC 4-year Enhanced CASE PhD Studentship in Operational Research

Modelling the Reconfiguration of Acute and Community Health Services

School of Mathematics, Cardiff University, and Cardiff and Vale University Health Board

Supervisors: Prof Paul Harper, Dr Daniel Gartner and Dr Geraint Palmer (Cardiff University)

Prof Jonathon Gray (Cardiff and Vale University Health Board)

Cardiff and Vale University Health Board (CVUHB) is one of the largest NHS organisations in Europe, providing health and wellbeing services to a population of around 500,000 with a workforce of over 14,500 staff and an annual budget of £1.4 billion.

This fully funded 4-year PhD studentship (with an annual enhanced stipend of circa £18,500, fees and RTSG for 4 years) will play a pivotal role in supporting CVUHB’s “Shaping Our Future Wellbeing”, an ambitious 10-year, system-wide plan that is set to transform their services for the better. At the heart of the plan is the desire to achieve joined-up care based upon a ‘home first’ approach, empowering Cardiff and Vale citizens to feel responsible for their own health, and thus avoiding harm, waste and variation in services to make them more efficient and sustainable for the future.

 Operational Research (OR) approaches have been successfully applied to a range of health and wellbeing services, and this PhD studentship is an exciting opportunity to develop novel system-wide OR models and approaches to help create a lasting impact that will deliver outcomes that really matter to patients and the public.

 As part of the 10-year plan, CVUHB need to move a range of services across the region, within existing community settings or by creating new hubs. This has major implications on the way the healthcare system will function, how capacity is planned, how pathways are structured, and transport and logistics operate.  Modelling how the dynamics of the healthcare system will change is a fundamental step to realising the strategy and will be the focus of this innovative and impactful PhD. Specifically, you will:

 ·      Assess the population health needs by carrying out an analysis on how these are met and what is required to ensure the healthcare system meets them in the future;

·      Build stochastic OR decision-support tools that model patient flows and service design both dynamically and geospatially;

·      Use the developed models to perform cost-benefit evaluations and to make recommendations on how to optimally configure services.

You will become part of an internationally-leading healthcare OR group, working with and supported by a large team of staff, fellow research students and our NHS partners. Our research has led to significant impact that has been recognised by several major awards including a Times Higher Educational Award for “Outstanding Contribution to Innovation and Technology”. The focus of the PhD also has natural synergies with the wider data science community across Cardiff University, so as well as joining a large team in the OR Group in the School of Mathematics, you will benefit from being a member of the Data innovation Research Institute (DIRI) community, of which the primary academic supervisor, Professor Harper, is co-Director. We are also highly connected to international research groups in our field, so you will benefit from dialogue with our international visiting partners, including opportunities to present at leading global conferences. 

 You will have access to the necessary data, resources and supervisory support in both the University and Health Board, ensuring that your research is both academically rigorous and has the potential to make significant real-world impact.  We anticipate that you will spend typically one day per week at CVUHB as part of your research and meetings with health board staff, and certainly at minimum three months in total over the duration of the PhD on CVUHB premises, as per CASE award requirements. Within CVUHB, you will report directly to Professor Jonathon Gray, Director of Innovation and Improvement, and spend time with his team in the innovation and improvement division and meeting with other colleagues, including clinicians, supporting the “Shaping Our Future Wellbeing” programme.  

How to apply:

Applicants should apply through the Cardiff University online application portal. Applicants should select Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics, with a start date of Oct 2021. In the research proposal section of your application, please specify the project title “Modelling the Reconfiguration of Acute and Community Health Services” and supervisor “Professor Paul Harper”. In the funding section, please specify that you are applying for advertised funding from EPRSC DTP.

Please include

• a personal statement

• two references

• Current academic transcripts

Academic criteria: A 2:1 Honours undergraduate degree or a master's degree in Mathematical Science / Operational Research or a related subject.  

Applicants for whom English is not their first language must demonstrate proficiency by obtaining an IELTS score of at least 6.5 overall, with a minimum of 6.0 in each skills component (or equivalent qualification).


Funding Notes

In response to the new UKRI eligibility criteria, Cardiff University is pleased to announce that it will be offering International fee discounts for successful UKRI applicants. This approach ensures that students regardless of nationality or financial means will be able to apply for our UKRI studentships. Successful applicants will receive a fully-funded studentship and will not be charged the international fee difference. Up to 30% of our EPSRC DTP funded studentships are available to international applicants.
The studentship includes fees, enhanced stipend and RTSG for 4 years.