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FindAPhD Featured PhD Programmes
FindAPhD Featured PhD Programmes

Indicators of progress towards reducing cancer mortality through early diagnosis

Health Schools

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Prof P Sasieni , Dr J Waller Applications accepted all year round

About the Project

Applications are invited from graduates with a BSc (First or Upper Second) and MSc (merit/distinction), or equivalent, to work within the Cancer Prevention Group in the Comprehensive Cancer Centre at King’s College London. The studentship is available commencing either in October 2020 or January 2021 (for 3-4 years) and will be based at Guy's Campus. This is an exciting opportunity for graduates from disciplines related to epidemiology and statistics. There is no fixed deadline as the position will remain available until a suitable candidate is found. The next round of interviews will be held in mid-August 2020, followed by mid-September 2020.

Applicants may choose from 3 available topics:
(1) Develop new methodology for the analysis and reporting of meta-analyses in the presence of heterogeneity
(2) Indicators of progress towards reducing cancer mortality through early diagnosis
(3) “Txt-netting” – using text messages to safety-net patients with low risk cancer symptoms in GP primary care

Projects (1) and (2) will suit students looking to mix applied and methodological statistics. Project (3) will suit a student with an epidemiological background or a mixed-methods background with strong quantitative skills.

Project 2

The aim of this project is to develop new indicators that can be used to monitor progress in early cancer diagnosis. Such indicators should be available in a timely manner (so that they do not only relate to diagnoses made several years ago) and should be available both locally and nationally.

Additionally, one needs to consider the potential impact of over-diagnosis and lead time. The student will consider a variety of measures including:
• The proportion of patients who die in the same calendar year as they are diagnosed as a surrogate for 1-year relative survival. This measure should be available 12 months ahead of 1-year net survival. The same denominator could be used but expressed as a population rate – mortality with death occurring in same year as diagnosis.
• Age-standardised incidence of advanced cancer. To do this one would need to account for tumours with unrecorded stage.

There are also issues regarding direct or indirect standardisation (or something in between) to adjust for differences in age-distribution at a local level.

Informal enquiries can be made to via email: Caitlin Muller, [Email Address Removed].

How to apply
Your application must be submitted via the King’s online portal Search for “Cancer and Pharmaceutical Sciences MPhil/PhD”, and then enter the project title and reference number 2020/CPS/S46 (within the supporting statement section). Please do not send an application via email, applications will only be accepted via the King’s Apply portal.

It should consist of a CV and contact details of two academic referees. Academic transcripts must be submitted with the online admissions application. You must also include a personal statement (1,000 words maximum) describing your suitability for the selected project including how your research experience and interests relate to the project.

Funding Notes

This PhD studentship is funded by Cancer Research UK and comes with a tax-free stipend of £21,000. It is open to UK Nationals, EEA/Swiss migrant workers and non-UK nationals with indefinite leave to remain in the UK who will have three years ordinary residence in the EU prior to the start of the studentship. University tuition fees (at UK/EU levels) will be met by the Institute.
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