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Exploiting Developments in Digital Health to Improve Asthma Outcomes

   College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine

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  Prof A Sheikh, Dr C Simpson  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

The Farr Institute/Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research, at the University of Edinburgh.
Applications are invited for a 3-year PhD studentship within the Usher Institute of Population Health Sciences and Informatics ( at The University of Edinburgh.

Asthma is now one of the commonest long-term conditions in the UK (and indeed the world) and for which there are enormous opportunities to achieve rapid improvements in health outcomes. This PhD studentship will be focused on exploiting the considerable potential of digital innovation to improve delivery of asthma care and health outcomes. These could for example include ways of improving the convenience and efficiency of asthma reviews through remote and/or automated consultations, develop ways of using apps to promote adherence to preventer medications or use wearable sensors to allow earlier identification of and optimised treatment of asthma attacks. The scope is considerable (see: and we have therefore deliberately chosen not to be restrictive in the specification of this PhD. The work must, however, contribute to the overall goals of the Farr Institute and Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research, namely to use data to improve care provision and/or population health and reduce the risk of serious asthma attacks, hospitalisations and deaths.

This studentship has been made possible and will benefit greatly from the strong synergies between the Farr Institute and the Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research. You will join a collaborative team of academics and PhD students distributed throughout the UK working towards the common goal of exploiting the increasing informatics and data science capability to transform asthma care and outcomes.

Academically strong candidates with a background in informatics, computer science, psychology, health services research, machine learning, epidemiology and statistics are particularly encouraged to apply.

The successful candidate will be based in Usher Institute of Population Health Sciences and Informatics ( and will benefit greatly from the strong inter-disciplinary environment offered by the Farr Institute (, and the Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research (

Before making your application, you are encouraged to contact the PhD supervisors for informal enquiries and to discuss your research proposal.

1st Supervisor: Prof Aziz Sheikh [Email Address Removed]

2nd Supervisor: Dr Colin Simpson [Email Address Removed]

• Have or be predicted to obtain 2:1 or higher in a relevant undergraduate degree.
• Post-graduate degree in relevant field is desirable.
• An interest in, and ideally experience of, healthcare research.
• Applicants must meet the entry requirements (including English language proficiency) for acceptance onto one of the University of Edinburgh Usher Institute of Population Health Sciences and Informatics PhD programme in Medical informatics.

Details at:

Following interview, the selected candidate will need to apply and be accepted for a place on one of the Medical Informatics PhD programme.

Application procedure
Please provide in pdf format:
• CV
• Personal statement indicating how you meet the criteria for the chosen studentship and why you are applying to the Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research (maximum of 1 A4 side)
• Research proposal (maximum of 2 sides of A4, please include studentship project title and reference number)
• Degree certificate(s)
• Marks for your degree(s)
• 2 academic references

Email to: [Email Address Removed]

Funding Notes

This is an MRC funded award and will provide an annual stipend for three years of £14,296 per year (subject to confirmation), plus University fees for UK/ EU students.

There will in addition be funding towards research costs and conference/travel fees.
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