Weekly PhD Newsletter | SIGN UP NOW Weekly PhD Newsletter | SIGN UP NOW

Investigating the prevalence and impact of Military Sexual Trauma (MST) on UK women service personnel: implications for mental health, help-seeking and future design of support services

   Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience

This project is no longer listed on FindAPhD.com and may not be available.

Click here to search FindAPhD.com for PhD studentship opportunities
  Prof N Fear, Dr Marie-Louise Sharp  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Start date: October 2022

KCMHR and Combat Stress are seeking a PhD candidate. This studentship is a partnership between KCMHR, King’s College London and Combat Stress - the UK’s leading charity for veterans’ mental health. The PhD is funded by the London Interdisciplinary Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership (LISS-DTP)/ Economic Social Research Council (ESRC).


1 fully funded 3-year LISS-DTP CASE studentship (+3 Studentship) in Psychological Medicine at the King’s Centre of Military Health (KCMHR) in partnership with Combat Stress funded through LISS DTP/ESRC.


Very little is known in the UK about the experiences of women service personnel and veterans (those who have left military service) with regards to military sexual trauma (MST) (sexual harassment and/or assault that occurs in military service), or sexual harassment and assault that happens outside of the military, and the resulting impact on their mental health. Whilst sexual assault and harassment can happen to both men and women, US military research has found that women report this at far higher levels, experience significant barriers to seeking help and support, and have resulting long-term mental health problems such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Using data and recruitment from a UK cohort study in its 4th wave of data collection, that has assessed the health and wellbeing of UK Armed Forces who deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan since 2003, this project will use both quantitative surveys and qualitative interviews to assess the levels and experiences of UK women service personnel and veterans that report sexual harassment and/or sexual assault.

The PhD student would be joining the KCMHR team, based in the Psychological Medicine department at the IoPPN, KCL. The PhD project would be tied to and supported by the main KCMHR cohort study team leading the work on 4th wave of the cohort data collection which has been running since 2003 (https://www.kcl.ac.uk/kcmhr/research/kcmhr/healthstudy) .

The student would have development opportunities in ethics applications, for data collection from the main cohort study, and would have access to data from the previous three phases of the cohort study in 2004-2006, 2007-2009 and 2014-2016.

As a CASE LISS-DTP Studentship – the PhD student would also have a close partnership with the external partner, Combat Stress. This partnership would include PhD supervision and mentoring by Professor Murphy – Head of Research at Combat Stress, 13-week internship with Combat Stress to experience work on a research paper utilising Combat Stress client health data, shadowing of research therapist at Combat Stress, and facilitated links to Cobseo, UK Psychological Trauma Society and European Society for Traumatic Stress Studies.

As a CASE LISS-DTP Studentship the PhD student would also have access to additional training and funding opportunities – for more information see here https://liss-dtp.ac.uk/studentships/managing-your-liss-dtp-studentship/research-and-event-funding/

Entry requirements

Standard PhD entry requirements: Applicants should have a Bachelor’s degree with 2:1 honours (or Overseas equivalent). A 2:2 degree may be considered only where applicants also offer a Master’s with Merit.

Students should have/expect to have a Master’s Degree that meets LISS-DTP/ESRC core training requirements. We welcome applicants from a wide range of disciplines including epidemiology, psychology, psychiatric research and social sciences – please see approved Master’s courses here: https://liss-dtp.ac.uk/studentships/approved-masters-courses/

LISS-DTP/ESRC entry requirements: Candidates must have covered at least three of the four major ESRC core research methods areas - social theory, qualitative methods, quantitative methods, and research design – in level 7 (Master’s) modules. In some cases, we can consider professional experience, but this is in conjunction with a master’s degree rather than a substitute. You can see more details regarding these ESRC’s core research training areas on the following link https://liss-dtp.ac.uk/studentships/core-training-requirements/

Award types & eligibility

The award pays tuition fees up to the value of the full-time home UKRI rate for PhD degrees. Please note both UK home students and international students are eligible for this studentship, however LISS DTP will only award up to 3 International CASE Studentship Awards (30% of LISS-DTP total CASE Studentships for 2022 Entry).

How to apply

Applicants must complete and submit an online admissions application, via the admissions portal by midnight (23:59 GMT), Sunday 6th March 2022. 

On the ‘Choosing a programme’ page, please select Psychological Medicine Research MPhil/PhD (Full-time).

In your application, you will be asked to include:

  • A personal statement (max. two pages) Please include this as an attachment rather than using the text box. It should outline:
  1. Why you are interested in the studentship
  2. How you meet the entry requirements (both standard PhD and LISS-DTP core training requirements)
  3. How you meet any of the desired/person criteria
  4. Any other relevant skills/experience
  5. Any ideas or proposals you have for developing/executing the specified project

In the Funding section, please tick box 5 and include the following reference: MLS-KCMHR-LISSDTPMST-22

If you have any queries regarding the application process, please contact the Education support team at [Email Address Removed]. 

The successful candidate will be asked to submit a project approval form (with support from supervisors) to the IoPPN for a 1st June 2022 deadline to meet the studentship start date.

For full studentship details please see the KCL webpage: https://www.kcl.ac.uk/ioppn/study/research-funding/mls-kcmhr-lissdtpmst-22

Search Suggestions
Search suggestions

Based on your current searches we recommend the following search filters.

PhD saved successfully
View saved PhDs