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Measuring Capability for the Economic Evaluation of End-Of-Life Care for Children and Young People

Project Description

We are offering an exciting 3 year PhD opportunity for candidates interested in developing outcome measures for use in health economic evaluations. The successful candidate will benefit from a supervisory team with expertise in health economics and qualitative research, and a research training environment in Population Health Sciences at the University of Bristol.
This studentship is ideal for a talented graduate in a relevant economics, social science or health discipline wishing to develop strong interdisciplinary skills at the interface of qualitative research, health economics and palliative care for children and young people. You will be based in the Health Economics at Bristol (HEB) team within Population Health Sciences at the University of Bristol, a leading centre for excellence in population health science. HEB is based in 1-5 Whiteladies Road, with the building space shared with the Centre for Academic Child Health. The successful candidate will have access to an excellent training portfolio of short courses and transferable skills training and be part of a cross-disciplinary cohort of PhD students. There is also funding available for attending national conferences to present the research findings from this PhD.

The successful applicant will be supervised by a team including Professor Joanna Coast, Dr Samantha Husbands and Dr Paul Mitchell


This PhD opportunity is part of a larger Wellcome Trust Investigator Award looking at measuring capability across the life course, led by Joanna Coast. Professor Coast and her collaborators have been instrumental in the development of alternative outcome measures for use in the economic assessment of health and care. Focusing on people’s capabilities instead of their health status has been argued to offer a broader assessment of the benefits individuals obtain across different health and social care interventions. There are currently ICECAP capability measures developed for adults, older people, and adults near the end of life. There are currently no existing ICECAP measures in children and young people.

The primary goal of the doctoral project will be to explore how end-of-life should be assessed for children. The ICECAP Supportive Care Measure (ICECAP-SCM) was developed for adults and it may be necessary to adapt the measure for this life stage when it is experienced in the very young. Think-aloud work with the existing measure and subsequent in-depth interviews will be used to explore the appropriateness of the measure for this group in terms of the conceptual attributes and the wording with which they are conveyed, and to consider any necessary adaptations. There will be scope for the student to define the precise nature of the work within these confines.

This PhD could be taken in a number of directions within the constraint of capabilities in children and young people at the end of life. Possible directions include:
(i) The conceptual and theoretical issues with using an end of life measure for children in an economic evaluation
(ii) The valuation of a capability measure for children and young people for use in economic evaluation
(iii) Assessment of feasibility, validity, reliability, sensitivity to change, of an ICECAP measure for children at the end of life

How to apply

Applications must be completed online at, choosing “ Faculty of Health Sciences” and the “Population Health Sciences” PhD programme, and entering “Wellcome Trust Investigator Award PhD” as the fee payer. A Research statement/proposal is not required for the first stage of the application.

When submitting your application please provide just your CV and a covering letter stating your interest, relevant experience and/or qualifications for undertaking this PhD. Shortlisted candidates will then be asked to develop a PhD proposal for this project, in consultation with the PhD supervisors, prior to interview.

Funding Notes

This studentship is a 3-year award. £19,919 (Year 1), £21,542 (Year 2), £23,298 (Year 3).

If you are interested, please contact one of us by email (; ; ) to arrange an informal discussion.

Funding is available for UK/EU/Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs) applicants.

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