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Governance for Trusted Integrated Care Infrastructure

   School of Social and Political Science

  Prof Robin Williams, Prof Stuart Anderson, Dr Kathrin Cresswell  Friday, February 03, 2023  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The Advanced Care Research Centre (ACRC) is a new, multi-disciplinary, £20M research centre at the University of Edinburgh. The ACRC will lead society’s response to the grand challenge of an ageing population that is growing in size, longevity and needs through the pursuit of research intended to deliver “high‐quality data‐driven, personalised and affordable care to support the independence, dignity and quality‐of‐life of people living in their own homes and in supported care environments”.

This project sits within the ACRC Academy , a dedicated Centre for Doctoral Training, co-located with the ACRC, whose students will deliver key aspects of the ACRC research agenda through a new doctoral-level research and training programme that will also equip them for careers across a wide range of pioneering and influential leadership roles in the public, private and third sectors.

The PhD with Integrated Study in Advanced Care is a novel, structured, thematic, cohort-based, programme of 48 months duration. Each PhD research project within the Academy has been devised by a supervisory team comprising academic staff from at least two of the three colleges within the University of Edinburgh. Each annual cohort of around twelve will include students with disciplinary backgrounds spanning from engineering and data science to humanities, social science, business and commerce, social work, medicine and related health and care professions. This unique level of diversity is a key attribute of our programme.



To develop and assess new approaches to the governance of data infrastructures providing personal data stores that can transcend organisation and system boundaries in health and social care. 


  • To survey approaches to data infrastructure governance in health and care. 
  • To develop approaches to the assessment of the adequacy of data structure governance approaches. 
  • To propose new approaches to data infrastructure governance of personal data stores that support the delivery of new models of integrated care.  
  • To assess the adequacy of the proposed approaches to governance and exemplify the use of the approaches in case studies. 


New models of integrated care are a key output of the Advanced Care Research Centre. To adopt such person-centred models of care will require a transformation in the data infrastructure supporting care delivery. One strong candidate infrastructure is Personal Data Stores (PODS). PODS can afford the delivery of integrated care by allowing data to “move” with the person through different health and care contexts. Deployment of such infrastructures at scale faces many political, institutional, and organisational challenges. Among these, effective governance will be critical to build trust in the approach and to afford deployment of integrated care. This project will explore the governance challenge and propose new approaches to infrastructure governance that can afford trusted, resilient, and reliable support for integrated care.

It will be pursued in cooperation with The UKRI Trustworthy Autonomous Systems Governance Node led from University of Edinburgh and a group working on the evaluation of digital health systems. 


We are looking for a candidate with an interest in undertaking interdisciplinary research at the interface between social science and data sciences informatics. In that sense we are pleased to consider students with a first degree in either area. We are not only looking for applicants with prior experience.

We are specifically looking for applicants who will view their cutting-edge PhD research project in the context of the overall vision of the ACRC, who are keen to contribute to tackling a societal grand challenge and who can add unique value to – and derive great benefit from – training in a cohort comprising colleagues with a very diverse range of disciplines and backgrounds. We advise prospective candidates to engage in dialogue with the named project supervisor and/or the Director of the Academy prior to submitting an application. 

You must read How to apply prior to application

Please Apply here

Funding Notes

PhDs are funded with an enhanced stipend for the full 4 year period.
The call is open to candidates of any nationality but funded places for overseas nationals will be strictly limited to 4 international students who can apply for the highly competitive ACRC Global Scholarship.
It is essential to read the How to Apply section of our website before you apply:
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Please apply here:
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