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PhD Studentship - Care homes and digital technology: Using data to enhance health, wellbeing and care

Population and Health Sciences Institute

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Prof B Hanratty No more applications being accepted Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Number of awards:

Start date and duration:
September 2020 for 3 years full time.

Care home residents are some of the most complex, and vulnerable NHS patients, but research on their health and wellbeing has been limited by the dearth of routinely available data. In the North East, great progress has been made in digital collection of information in care homes to link to other health and social care data sources.

This PhD will use statistical methods and other quantitative approaches to explore the potential of digital technologies to facilitate data collection and analyses to optimise the health and care of residents. Analysis of routine (real world) data on care home residents will be used to answer questions of local relevance, that are also of national importance, providing decision support for best practice and guiding policy change. Questions could include, for example – how do health care inputs and resident outcomes vary with socioeconomic background, and what is the role of digital connectivity? Or, what pattern of community nursing support is needed to optimise resident outcomes, and does digital connectivity make a difference? There will be a strong focus on socioeconomic inequalities and the consequences of COVID-19 for the sector. This work will align with ongoing work in the region, to digitally connect care homes with health and social care data, and a national study to develop a minimum dataset for care homes.

The successful candidate will have a strong interest in both developing skills in quantitative analysis and applying them to challenges identified in health and social care.

Newcastle University. (

Name of supervisor(s):
Professor Barbara Hanratty (, Newcastle University and Professor Camila Caiado, Durham University.

Eligibility Criteria:
The successful applicant will have, or expect to obtain an upper second class or above in a health or social care related degree with a substantial quantitative component, or a cognate discipline, e.g. statistics and data science. A Masters degree (Merit or above) or research experience is desirable but not essential.

If your first language is not English you need an overall IELTS score of 6.5 (at least 5.5 in all sub-skills) or equivalent language qualification.

Non-UK candidates should contact [Email Address Removed] regarding eligibility and fees.

How to apply:
You must apply through the University’s online postgraduate application system by creating an account. To do this please select ‘How to Apply’ and choose the ‘Apply now’ button. (

All relevant fields should be completed, but fields marked with a red asterisk must be completed. The following information will help us to process your application. You should:

click on programme of study
insert 8300F in the programme code section and click search
select Programme name ‘PhD in the Faculty of Medical Sciences (full time) – Health Services Research’
insert PH007 in the studentship/partnership reference field
attach a covering letter and CV. The covering letter must state the title of the studentship. Please quote reference code PH007 and state how your interests and experience relate to the proposed project
attach degree transcripts* and certificates and, if English is not your first language, a copy of your English language qualification.
*You will not be able to submit your application until you have submitted your degree transcript/s.

For further information please email Anosua Mitra, Research Administrator. ([Email Address Removed])

Funding Notes

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses at UKRI rate. Successful non-EU international students will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees. A research training support grant of £5000 per year is available to cover research costs and local/national/international travel (conferences and exchanges).

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