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Exploring the epidemiology and care of complex wounds in lower and middle income countries

Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

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Prof Jo Dumville , Prof N Cullum Applications accepted all year round

About the Project

Complex wounds cannot be closed, for example by sutures, staples or glue, but are left open to heal. These open wounds, which include leg, pressure and foot ulcers, can be painful, at risk of infection and limit people’s health-related quality of life.

There is little robust epidemiological data describing the number of people with complex wounds and how this varies internationally. Such prevalence data, alongside information on how patients and their wounds are cared for, can provide insights into unmet population need; guide service planning and delivery and identify areas where implementation or further research is required.

This PhD project is aimed at students with strong links to health systems in a low or middle income country e.g. potential candidates may be health professionals in a relevant country working in a wound care-related field.

This proposed PhD will draw from our previous related work1-4 to address the following questions:

1. How common are complex wounds in a specific lower or middle income country?
2. What are the current care pathways for people with different types of complex wounds in this country?
3. What treatments are those with complex wounds receiving?
4. What are the barriers and facilitators to delivery of complex wound care in this location?
5. What are the local priory areas for future implication and research?

The PhD student will be part of the Wounds Research Group at the University of Manchester. They will be supervised by Professor Jo Dumville and Professor Dame Nicky Cullum.

Entry Requirements
Candidates are expected to hold (or be about to obtain) a minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in a related area / subject and ideally a further postgraduate qualification at Masters level (MRes or MSc) in health research, epidemiology, public health or a related subject.

For international students we also offer a unique 4 year PhD programme that gives you the opportunity to undertake an accredited Teaching Certificate whilst carrying out an independent research project across a range of biological, medical and health sciences. For more information please visit

For information on how to apply for this project, please visit the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health Doctoral Academy website ( Informal enquiries may be made directly to the primary supervisor. On the online application form select PhD Epidemiology.

Funding Notes

Applications are invited from self-funded students. This project has a Band 1 fee. Details of our different fee bands can be found on our website (

As an equal opportunities institution we welcome applicants from all sections of the community regardless of gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation and transgender status. All appointments are made on merit.


1. Cullum N, Buckley H, Dumville J, Hall J, Lamb K, Madden M Morley R, O’Meara S, Goncalves PS, Soares M, Stubbs N. Wounds research for patient benefit: a 5-year programme of research. Southampton (UK): NIHR Journals Library; 2016.

2. Gray TA, Rhodes S, Atkinson RA, Rothwell K, Wilson P, Dumville JC, Cullum NA. Opportunities for better value wound care: a multiservice, cross-sectional survey of complex wounds and their care in a UK community population. BMJ Open. 2018 22;8(3):e019440.

3. Christie J, Gray TA, Dumville JC, Cullum NA. Do systematic reviews address community healthcare professionals' wound care uncertainties? Results from evidence mapping in wound care. PLoS One. 2018 Jan 10;13(1):e0190045.

4. Gray TA, Dumville JC, Christie J, Cullum NA. Rapid research and implementation priority setting for wound care uncertainties. PLoS One. 2017 5;12(12):e0188958.

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