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NIHR ARC East of England- Inclusive Involvement in Research for Practice-Led Health and Social Care Theme (IIRP) (POLANDFU20ARCIIRP)

Project Description

PhD research proposals must align with NIHR ARC East of England (EoE) Inclusive Involvement in Research for Practice-Led Health and Social Care (IIRP) Theme (aims These seek to build public- and community-inclusive understandings of research decision-making in health and social care in providing high quality evidence on relevant methods and activities. Core work areas include:
• Innovative inclusive methods: developing, sharing and applying these in co-producing research, from priority-setting to dissemination
• Implementation: building shared understandings and collaborative health and social care “communities of practice” to inform equity in decision-making, to embed inclusive research practices.
Your studentship project should build and evaluate novel, critical uses of locally-focused research data; working with ARC EoE research themes ( ) to extend research projects’ scope to support community and volunteer involvement in evaluating research, services, inform local decision-making, vital to confront global challenges to equitable, sustainable support.
Research topics fitting within these areas or broader ARC IIRP Theme area will be considered, and prioritised if they also:
- Develop links between IIRP Theme and one or more other ARC Themes(s);
- Involve Great Yarmouth and Waveney, one of ARC EoE’s four ‘populations in focus’, (others: Peterborough and Fenland, Stevenage and Thurrock, where communities experience inequalities of income, health or access to applied research to address these.


For more information on the project’s supervisor, please visit:
Type of programme: PhD
Start date of project: October 2020.
Mode of study: full time.
Studentship length: 3 years. (3 year studentships have a (non-funded) 1 year ‘registration only’ period).
Location: UEA.


a) acceptable first degree in: Health sciences, sociology, social policy, social anthropology, psychology.

b) standard minimum entry requirement is 2:1.


• Applicants may contact Professor Fiona Poland IIRP Theme Co-Lead (, Tel: 01603 593630) to discuss their plans.
• Submit applications via UEA application site by 5th June 2020
With your application please upload your: (i) Letter outlining your suitability, why you are interested in a PhD in this area, (background and research interests). (ii) CV. (iii) Academic transcripts. (iv) Two academic referees’ details.
Shortlisted candidates will be invited to interview, June 2020.
Please quote reference POLANDF_U20ARCIIRP on your application and any related correspondence.

Funding Notes

This PhD project is a fully funded studentship, funded jointly by UEA and the UEA and NIHR ARC. These studentships are funded for 3 years and comprise of Home/EU fees, a stipend of £15,285.

Only UK/EU level University fees are covered; applicants subject to other fee levels will need to secure additional funding to cover these.


i) Poland, F., Charlesworth, G., Leung, P., & Birt, L. (2019). Embedding patient and public involvement: managing tacit and explicit expectations. Health Expectations, 22(6), 1231-1239.

ii) Keenan, J., Poland, F., Boote, J., Howe, A., Wythe, H., Varley, A., ... Wellings, A. (2019). ‘We’re passengers sailing in the same ship, but we have our own berths to sleep in’: Evaluating patient and public involvement within a regional research programme: An action research project informed by Normalisation Process Theory. PLoS One, 14, [0215953].

iii) Wilson, P., Mathie, E., Poland, F., Keenan, J., Howe, A., …Goodman, C. How embedded is public involvement in mainstream health research in England a decade after policy implementation? A realist evaluation. Journal of Health Services Research and Policy, 23(2): 98-106

iv) Backhouse, T., Kenkmann, A., Lane, K., Penhale, B., Poland, F., & Killett, A. (2016). Older care-home residents as collaborators or advisors in research: a systematic review. Age and Ageing. 10.1093/ageing/afv201

v) Smith, D. H., Stebbins, R. A., Grotz, J. eds (2016) The Palgrave Handbook of Volunteering, Civic Participation, and Nonprofit Associations, Palgrave, Basingstoke.

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