School of Nursing and Midwifery

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  Dr Áine Aventin  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The project aims to develop a trauma-informed relationships and sexuality education intervention for adolescents in Southern Africa. It will involve a needs assessment based on a systematic review, secondary analysis of survey data collected as part of the Thabo feasibility trial, and primary qualitative research in South Africa and Lesotho.


Sexual and reproductive health (SRH) education often does not accommodate the needs of adolescents who have experienced childhood maltreatment and complex developmental trauma. The content of classroom-based interventions often ignores the particular needs of this population and neglects the possibility of promoting sexual wellbeing and resilience among this population.


To address this gap, this study aims to develop a trauma-informed SRH intervention which considers the needs of adolescents with trauma histories in Southern Africa.


Convene a project advisory group of key stakeholders to advise on needs assessment and engage in co-creation of an intervention.

Conduct a needs assessment and intervention mapping exercise to develop a trauma-informed SRH intervention for adolescents in South Africa and Lesotho.


Systematic review of the literature on the trauma experiences of adolescents in Southern Africa and existing trauma-informed SRH interventions.

Secondary analysis of survey data collected from adolescents in South Africa and Lesotho as part of the Thabo feasibility trial.

Primary research involving focus groups with key stakeholders in South Africa and Lesotho.

Expected outcomes

Publications including a systematic review and findings from the needs assessment.

A prototype SRH intervention to be evaluated as part of a future randomised trial.

How to Apply

Complete the online application via the Direct Access Portal. Applicants must supply a cover letter (2 pages max) detailing your interest and experience applicable to this PhD and you should attach this when prompted to upload a proposal.

Closing date: 2 February 2024

Anticipated interview date: 6 March 2024

Start date: 16 September 2024

For further information please contact Dr Áine Aventin at [Email Address Removed]


Funding Information

The School of Nursing and Midwifery at Queen’s University Belfast is offering one Department for the Economy (DfE) studentship which is open to INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS ONLY for September 2024 entry. The studentship will cover tuition fees and stipend. The current studentship for 23/24 academic year is £18,622 but the amount for the academic year 24/25 is to be confirmed. More information on DfE studentships can be found here.

Please note that this is a competitive award – there are 8 advertised projects for 1 International DfE Award

Applications are also considered throughout the year from applicants who have secured external funding or are willing to self-fund the project.

Essential criteria

IELTS (or equivalent) of 7.0, and a 2.1 class honours degree (or equivalent).

Experience of empirical data collection and analysis.

Desirable criteria

A 1st class honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject.

Biological Sciences (4) Education (11) Psychology (31)

 About the Project