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Obstacles and facilitators of educational attainment of children with Cerebral Palsy. A data linkage study.

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  • Full or part time
    Dr O Perra
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About This PhD Project

Project Description


Dr Oliver Perra and Dr Dermot O’Reilly

Cerebral Palsy (CP) is an umbrella term that covers conditions which affect a child’s ability to control her movements due to problems with development or injuries to the immature brain. Although CP affects around 2 per 1,000 live births across Europe, CP is regarded as one of the main causes of physical disability in childhood. Children with CP vary in the severity of their impairment and in the extent of associated impairments (e.g. intellectual impairments). However, the factors that may prevent CP children from attaining appropriate educational qualifications have not yet been adequately investigated.

This study aims to fill this gap in the literature by linking surveillance data on CP from the Northern Ireland Cerebral Palsy Register to administrative data on educational attainment and other school- and area-level administrative data. In particular, this study aims to investigate:

(a) Differences in educational attainment between children with CP and matched comparisons from the general population; (b) Individual-level factors that may explain differences in educational attainment of CP children: e.g. the contribution of severity of motor impairment and other factors such as intellectual impairments; (c) The contribution to educational attainment disparities of other individual-level factors (e.g. distance from educational institutions), and factors at the school- or area-level (e.g. neighbourhood deprivation).

Essential Criteria: The successful candidate is expected to have obtained at least a 2:1 degree in Nursing, Psychology, Biomedical Sciences or related disciplines. The successful candidate should also demonstrate a good grounding in quantitative research methods and statistical data analyses. The project will involve working on large datasets and applying sophisticated statistical analysis techniques, therefore applicants will be expected to demonstrate their potential to become proficient in these areas.

To be eligible for consideration for a studentship candidates must have been ordinarily resident in the UK or European Economic Area (EEA) since September 2013 (with no immigration restrictions). The successful applicant will receive a three year studentship which will cover UK/EU tuition fees and a stipend to cover living expenses. The studentship should preferably start on 01 October 2016.

If you wish to be considered for a studentship, please complete the following two steps:

- Email an up to date CV and a covering letter explaining why you want to undertake a PhD in the School of Nursing and Midwifery to Amber Mulholland at [Email Address Removed].

- Complete the online application by clicking here for the QUB Postgraduate Applications Portal.

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