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(NIHR) Epidemiology of coeliac disease and inflammatory bowel disease and economic burden of delayed diagnosis in primary care in England

   Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

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  Prof E Kontopantelis, Dr Salwa Zghebi, Dr Luke Munford, Dr Rosa Parisi, Dr Rathi Ravindrarajah  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Coeliac disease and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are among the most common chronic autoimmune conditions affecting the gastrointestinal system in the UK. The two main forms of IBD are Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC). However, contemporary UK epidemiological estimates of these conditions are lacking. Furthermore, given the similarity of symptoms, some people with coeliac disease or IBD are often misdiagnosed which delays people with these conditions being referred and timely managed. Delays in the diagnosis of these diseases (reportedly up to 13 years) are a source of significant morbidity and for the national economy.

This proposed PhD programme aims to use data from the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) to:

 i) estimate the annual overall and age/sex stratified incidence, prevalence, and mortality rates of coeliac disease, CD, and UC;

ii) identify people with these conditions previously misdiagnosed or treated for irritable bowel syndrome and how many cases were missed and what is the delay to make it to the primary care record;

iii) provide an economic evaluation of the delayed diagnoses on NHS resources; and iv) compare the primary care record histories of patients who develop one of these conditions versus age-sex matched controls to establish whether these routine data can help in early diagnosis. The programme will aim to seek input from patients and carers, mainly for aim ii.

Entry Requirements

Applicants should have obtained at least an Upper Second class honours degree (or equivalent) in statistics, or a degree with a strong quantitative component.

A master's degree with relevant training in research methods is desirable but not essential; equivalent research experience will be considered.

Applicants interested in this project may wish to contact the Primary Supervisor to discuss any specific details of the project.

How To Apply

To be considered for this Studentship you MUST submit a formal online application form - full details on how to apply can be found on https://www.bmh.manchester.ac.uk/study/research/apply/

Please select 'Primary Care and Health Services Research' under academic programme when completing your online application. 

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Equality, diversity and inclusion is fundamental to the success of The University of Manchester, and is at the heart of all of our activities. The full Equality, diversity and inclusion statement can be found on the website https://www.bmh.manchester.ac.uk/study/research/apply/equality-diversity-inclusion/

Funding Notes

Studentship funding is for a duration of 3 years to commence in September 2022 and covers UKRI equivalent fees and stipend (£16,062 per annum 22/23)
Funding will cover UK tuition fees and stipend only. The University of Manchester aims to support the most outstanding applicants from outside the UK. We are able to offer a scholarship that will enable a full studentship to be awarded to international applicants. This full studentship will only be awarded to exceptional quality candidates, due to the competitive nature of this funding.


1) Incidence and prevalence of celiac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis in the UK over two decades: population-based study. The American journal of gastroenterology vol. 109,5 (2014): 757-68. doi:10.1038/ajg.2014.55
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