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Exploring the use of meta-analysis of existing trial data to inform the design of future trials: Application to the use of biologic agents for Alzheimer’s disease

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  • Full or part time
    Prof A Sutton
    Prof N Cooper
    Dr T Quinn
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is the nation’s largest funder of health and care research and provides the people, facilities and technology that enables research to thrive. NIHR Applied Research Collaborations (ARCs) support applied health and care research that responds to, and meets, the needs of local populations and local health and care systems. The NIHR ARC East Midlands (EM) is one of 15 ARCs across England, part of a £135 million investment by the NIHR to improve the health and care of patients and the public.

The clinical themes ARC EM focuses on include: (i) Building Community Resilience and Enabling Independence; (ii) Mental Health and Wellbeing; (iii) Managing Multimorbidity. There are also three-cutting themes: (i) Translating and Implementing Sustainable Service Improvement; (ii) Ethnicity and Health Inequalities; (iii) Data2Health (Health Data Science).

The Data2Health theme will focus on methodological translation – ensuring that appropriate, innovative and fully evaluated methods are used to inform the design and analysis of ARC EM research studies. It will also ensure maximal use of existing large-scale linked data resources to address important questions for patients, the public and care services, both locally and nationally.

This PhD studentship will undertake a PhD project aligned to the aims of the Data2Health theme. Applicants should select one or more of the following projects when applying. Applicants are encouraged to contact the lead supervisor for more information on the projects.
This project will involve exploring the existing methods for using the synthesis of previous trial evidence to inform sample size and other features of future trials in biologics for Alzheimer’s disease with the aim of minimising research wastage. It will then extend existing methods and, where necessary, develop new methods, as required, by the clinical area (for example to accommodate the use of different continuous outcomes etc). Finally creating a web-app to implement the methods and data used to allow others to explore the potential implications of alternative trial designs in Alzheimer’s disease using an intuitive interface (using the Shiny package for R).

Entry requirements
Essential: UK Bachelor’s degree with at least 2:1 in a relevant subject (such as Maths or Statistics) or overseas equivalent.

Desirable: MSc Medical Statistics or similar postgraduate degree

University of Leicester English language requirements apply (where applicable).

How to apply
For further details, please see - https://le.ac.uk/study/research-degrees/funded-opportunities/hs-nihr-arc-east-midlands-2020

Funding Notes

Funded by NIHR ARC East Midlands.

This 3 year Studentship provides:

UK/EU tuition fee waiver

Stipend at UKRI rates (£15,285 for 2020/21)



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