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Personalised care for women of advanced maternal age, from preconception to postnatal care.

   Faculty of Health & Social Sciences

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  Prof V Hundley  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health at Bournemouth University (BU) working in partnership with University Hospitals Dorset (UHD) is offering a fully funded PhD Studentship. The project is part of a programme of work between UHD and BU to strengthen research expertise in Dorset. The successful applicant will spend three days a week (60% time) working on his/her clinical doctorate (PhDs) and two days (40% time) within the clinical area.

You will work with experts in maternal health, sociology and communication to address the challenge of risk communication, a key recommendation from the MBRRACE-UK Saving Lives, Improving Mothers' Care Report 2021. The project will explore a personalised approach to risk communication and develop a bespoke tool to support women of Advanced Maternal Age (AMA) to make informed choices about their care.

Patient Public Involvement and Engagement (PPIE) will be a key part of this research and a PPIE group will be established early in the studentship to shape the project design. A mixed-methods approach will be used.

Phase 1: Systematic review of the literature on the perceptions of women of AMA and partners regarding risk.

Phase 2: Qualitative interviews with women, partners and health care providers to identify and understand barriers to engagement and perceptions of current interventions and pathways of care. Three groups of women will be purposively approached - women of AMA who (a) have given birth within the last year, (b) are currently pregnant or (c) are planning to become pregnant.

Phase 3: Based on findings of phases 1 and 2, a personalised ‘AMA Risk Tool’ will be co-designed with women of AMA. The bespoke tool (app or social media intervention) will provide evidence-based support to enable women of AMA to make informed choices about their care.

Phase 4: Focus groups with women of AMA will test and validate the feasibility and acceptability of the tool.

You will work with clinical support to ensure that the tool is embedded in practice and can be disseminated more widely through midwifery and health networks.

This is an exciting opportunity and will enable an ambitious midwife to combine clinical practice with a research role, working across the University and UHD. You will work with academic and clinical supervisors in a tri-partite arrangement and will have access to a wide range of resources to support the project. Formal training in research skills, such as interviewing and focus groups, will be provided with personal development through academic supervisors. You will be part of a large body of doctoral students in the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, with access to postgraduate lectures and support sessions. In the clinical area, you will supported by a clinical research supervisor (Dr Vinayakarao) and the UHD midwifery team. UHD midwifery provides excellent support and structure for midwives. You will be an integral part of the midwifery team. The team are committed to offering exceptional learning opportunities in order to provide the best care to pregnant women.


Applications are made via Bournemouth University’s website by clicking ’institution website’ button. If you have an enquiry about this project please contact us via the ’Email institution’ button, however your application will only be processed once you have submitted an application form as opposed to emailing your CV to us. 

To apply for this particular studentship you must be registered as a midwife with the UK Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Candidates for a PhD Studentship should demonstrate outstanding qualities and be motivated to complete a PhD in 4 years and must demonstrate: 

  • Outstanding academic potential as measured normally by either a 1st class honours degree (or equivalent Grade Point Average (GPA) or a Master’s degree with distinction or equivalent 
  • An IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 minimum (with a minimum 6.0 in each component, or equivalent) for candidates for whom English is not their first language and this must be evidenced at point of application. 

Funding Notes

For a Studentship: Funded candidates will receive a maintenance grant of £15,921 per year to contribute towards living expenses during the course of your research, as well as a fee waiver for 48 months.
Funded Studentships are open to both UK/EU and International students unless otherwise specified.
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