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NHS hospital trusts readiness towards resilience automatization using digital technologies - A collaborative PhD project with Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust


   School of Engineering and the Built Environment

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  Dr Federica Pascale  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

About Anglia Ruskin University:

ARU is an innovative global university with 39,400 students from 185 countries. We've once again been named as one of the top 350 institutions in the world in The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2022 – and one of the top 40 universities in the UK.

We have ambitious plans for the future, and we are determined that our students and staff will realise their full potential. Our main campuses in the cities of Cambridge, Chelmsford, London and Peterborough have been transformed with major capital investment. With a worth of secured research grants of nearly £3.5 million and £8.8 million of external income generated, we are a major force for higher education and one of the largest universities in the East of England.

About Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust:

Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust (MSE NHS FT) is a fully established, merged organisation which includes three large acute hospitals in Basildon, Chelmsford, and Southend. It also provides services at other hospitals sites in Braintree, Maldon, and Orsett, serving a population of 1.2 million in central and south Essex. It has a growing reputation as a centre of research excellence and supports innovation through our MSE Innovation Programme.

About the position:

The health shock caused by Covid-19 highlighted the various latent fragilities of healthcare service. NHS Trusts are not prepared to deal with disasters due to dated and inappropriate design, inadequately maintained infrastructure and weak resilience strategies including business continuity plans. These vulnerabilities led to 2.7 million fewer elective procedures, 18.66 million fewer outpatient attendances and increased waiting times. However, this has also provided an opportunity to trial new ways of working and the crumbling of previous barriers towards the use at larger scale of technologies and caused a massive acceleration in the use of virtual infrastructures. The NHS Long Term Plan underpins the importance of technology in the future NHS; and sets critical priorities that will support digital transformation. The availability of digital tools to monitor resilience, predict operation, and provide real-time information will change the way NHS hospitals operate. However, it is not clear how hospitals view such transformation, let alone the capacity of the infrastructure to deal with the significant amount of data transfers.

This project aims to determine the readiness of NHS Trusts to automatize resilience to multi-hazard through use of digital technologies. It will capitalise the knowledge developed during Covid-19 pandemic to identify opportunities and weaknesses associated with the implementation of digital technologies within NHS hospitals to generate new evidence that will enhance resilience of healthcare service to disasters.

The successful applicant will benefit from strong and multidisciplinary supervisory team support. The supervisory team is led by Dr Federica Pascale - ARU (School of Engineering and the Built Environment, who offers over ten years’ international research experience in community and healthcare resilience. She is an investigator on LIQUEFACT and TURNkey. Other members of the supervisory team include Dr Nebil Achour - ARU (School of Allied Health), Associate Professor in Disaster Mitigation and Course Leader of the MSc Healthcare Management. He has a 20-year international and impact focused research experience and expertise in disaster mitigation with focus on resilience of healthcare to major disasters. Prof Keith Jones - ARU is a world leading expert in building maintenance and facilities management, built asset management and disaster risk management. Led two major Horizon 2020 (~15M) on disaster risk reduction and research projects on Resilience to Extreme Weather Events.

The student will be based at the School of Engineering and the Built Environment (EBE). EBE is home to the Future Cities Research Network (FCRN). The network seeks to better understand the challenges faced by the built environment and develop innovative solutions that support the transformation of the built environment to address societal challenges of the 21st century. The School has been successful in securing a number of externally funded projects, with two very large H2020 projects (LIQUEFACT ~£5m and TURNkey £8M), led by Professor Keith Jones.

The student will also benefit from the collaboration with the MSE NHS FT, which will enable the student to conduct impactful research by collaboration with a strategic and complex organization. MSE NHS FT also provide an external advisor at Director level, and support through the MSEFT Strategy Unit, as well as advice from the Trust’s Research and Development office.

About the Studentship:

Project location: Chelmsford campus.

Candidates for this PhD Studentship must demonstrate outstanding qualities and be motivated to complete a PhD within 3 years. 

Qualifications:

Applicants should have a minimum of a 2.1 Honours degree in a relevant discipline and/or a relevant level 7 (or equivalent) qualification (e.g., Masters degree). An IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 minimum (or equivalent) is essential for candidates for whom English is not their first language.

In addition to satisfying basic entry criteria, the University will look closely at the qualities, skills, and background of each candidate and what they can bring to their chosen research project in order to ensure successful and timely completion.

How to apply:

To apply, please complete the application form available from the following website: https://aru.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/built-environment.  

Please ensure the reference ‘PhD Studentship: NHS hospital trusts readiness towards resilience automatization using digital technologies - A collaborative PhD project with Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust’ is clearly stated on the application form, under the title ‘Outline of your proposed research’. Within this section of the application form, applicants should include a 500-word outline of the skills that they would bring to this research project.

Interested applicants should direct initial queries about the project to Dr Federica Pascale via email: [Email Address Removed]. For enquiries regarding the process and eligibility please contact [Email Address Removed].

Please feel free to read the T&Cs before applying.

We value diversity at Anglia Ruskin University and welcome applications from all sections of the community.


Funding Notes

A 3-year studentship is offered, intended to start in September, providing a tax-free stipend of £16,062 per annum plus tuition fees at the UK rate. Due to funding restrictions, this studentship is only available as a full-time position and to UK candidates.

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