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Medical Research Foundation National PhD Training Programme in Antimicrobial Resistance Research: Effects of COVID-19 on antibiotic prescribing, healthcare use and E. coli resistance

School of Medicine

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Dr Charis Marwick , Prof P Donnan , Dr Ben Parcell No more applications being accepted Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is an increasing public health threat and antibiotic use in humans is a major contributing factor. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in rapid wide-ranging changes to healthcare delivery and understanding the impact of these changes on antibiotic use and on AMR in E. coli infections could inform future policy and practice.

The aim is to quantify the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on population antibiotic use across a complete geographical region of the UK (approximately 0.8 million people) and investigate the impact of these changes on resistance among E. coli urine and bloodstream infections and the impact of COVID-19 and antibiotic use, separately, on admissions to hospital with bacterial infections, using statistical modelling of healthcare data.

This project initially involves analysis of time series data on antibiotic prescribing within the region using Joinpoint regression models. This modelling will define the timing of any significant changes in antibiotic prescribing trends relevant to the timing of the COVID-19 outbreak in this region. The hypothesis is that these empirically identified time points where antibiotic use changed will be associated with changes in AMR and in healthcare use related to bacterial infections. The impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on hospital admissions and other unscheduled care use with bacterial infections, and on healthcare associated E.coli bloodstream infections, will also be examined. Analysis of the impact on these outcomes will use segmented regression analysis of interrupted time series data.

This project will appeal to students with cross-disciplinary interests in infectious diseases, statistics, health informatics, epidemiology and clinical microbiology. Applicants should have a Masters level qualification and evidence of research experience (e.g. through a Masters degree project).

Potential applicants interested in further information are encouraged to contact Dr Charis Marwick at [Email Address Removed]

For more information on the benefits of joining the Medical Research Foundation National PhD Training Programme in Antimicrobial Resistance Research, please click here: https://amrtraining.ac.uk/

To apply, please send a cover letter, curriculum vitae and two references to: [Email Address Removed]

Please state clearly in your cover letter that you are applying for a Medical Research Foundation National PhD Training Programme in AMR Research funded project. Eligibility criteria and more information about postgraduate study at the University of Dundee are available here: https://www.dundee.ac.uk/study/pgr/and the UCAS online application (which the successful candidate will be required to complete after interview and offer of the studentship) is available here: https://digital.ucas.com/courses/details?coursePrimaryId=5d877d14-7f62-43a9-9ed4-eeda86bfabe3&academicYearId=2020

Funding Notes

This is a 4-year PhD studentship funded jointly by the Medical Research Foundation and the University of Dundee. The studentship covers:
• Annual tuition fees paid at the Home/EU rate
• Stipend at MRC ’plus’ rate £17,500 (2020-21) rising to £19,000 (tax free)
• Yearly travel allowance/Research costs/Interdisciplinary 3-month research project/placement allowance

Applicants must ensure that they meet the eligibility requirements of the University of Dundee. To qualify for ‘home’ tuition fee status, you must be a UK or EU citizen who has been resident for 3 years prior to commencement.

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