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Exploring spiritual needs and the use of a measure of spiritual wellbeing with people with BME heritage living with a terminal illness

About This PhD Project

Project Description

The Marie Curie Palliative Care Research Department (MCPCRD) at University College London (UCL) is seeking an outstanding, highly motivated, and enthusiastic candidate for this PhD scholarship. The successful candidate will undertake a PhD to explore spiritual needs and spiritual care for people from Black and minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds living with a terminal illness. The PhD will be supervised by Dr Vivat and colleagues at UCL and the Marie Curie Hospice, Hampstead.

Potential applicants should visit to read more about the MCPCRD, and to read about the Hampstead Hospice and Marie Curie more generally.


Only applicants eligible to pay fees at the UK/EU rate will be considered. Currently this means that you must be a national of a European Union (EU) country, or the relevant family member of an EU national, and have been ordinarily resident within the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland for the three year period before the first day of the first academic year of the programme.

NB: To be eligible for a full award (i.e. to receive stipend as well as fees), the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) require that you must:
• have ‘settled status’
• be ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK (meaning there are no restrictions on how long you can stay), and
• have been ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK for at least three years prior to the start of the grant.
This means that (apart from temporary or occasional absences), you must have been normally residing in the UK, and not wholly or mainly for the purpose of full-time education.
This does not apply to UK nationals and EU nationals who were ordinarily resident in the EU immediately before the period of full-time education.

Person specification

Essential criteria:
• Upper 2:1 (>=65 pass mark) or 1st class undergraduate degree in a health or social science discipline.
• Master's degree in research methodology, nursing, public health, sociology, psychology or similar discipline, or equivalent professional experience. The applicant should expect any postgraduate degree to be awarded prior to commencing the PhD.
• Evidence of experience or training in research methodology, if not apparent from the above.
• Evidence of excellent organisational, problem-solving and analytical skills.
• Data management skills.
• Willingness to travel within and possibly beyond London for research purposes.
• Ability to work independently as well as in a collaborative research team.

Desirable criteria:
• Fluency in one or more minority ethnic language/s spoken in the UK (for example, but not exclusively, Punjabi, Urdu, Bengali, Arabic, Cantonese, Mandarin, Gujarati, Hindi, Tamil…)
• Experience of working with/conducting research with health/social care service users.
• Research experience in a field relevant to the PhD studentship.
• Understanding of spiritual and other issues for people approaching the ends of their lives.
• Understanding of questionnaire development.
• Publications in peer-reviewed academic journals. Please briefly describe your contribution to any published work in your CV.
The post-holder will be expected to contribute to the wider activities and life of the MCPCRD and UCL, and to a lesser extent to activities other than research of the Marie Curie Hospice, Hampstead.

Application procedure

Please submit applications in the following format:
• A CV, including full details of all University course grades to date.
• Contact details for two academic or professional referees.
• A personal statement (750 words maximum) outlining (i) your suitability for the project with reference to the criteria above, (ii) what you hope to achieve from the PhD and (iii) your research experience to-date.
Please support your application by detailing modules or courses undertaken during your studies, research internships or employment, and any peer-reviewed, academic publications.
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Please send electronic applications to:
Contact name: Mrs Yana Kitova, Senior Departmental Administrator
Contact details:
Informal enquiries: ,

For full details about postgraduate study at UCL, and the graduate admission policy, visit

Further information on the eligibility criteria for full awards can be found on the UKCISA website:
On the ESRC website:

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