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PhD Studentship in Applied Health Research: Exploring the role and impact of volunteers in early interventions

Project Description

The Department of Health Sciences, University of York, is inviting applications for a fully funded PhD studentship, available on a full-time basis to start in October 2020, on a collaborative research project within the Early Years and Prevention theme of the newly awarded Yorkshire and Humber Applied Research Centre (YHARC), funded by the National Institute for Health Research.

This PhD studentship will be embedded within YHARC, within the Early Life and Prevention theme, led by Professor Kate Pickett (University of York) and Dr Rosie McEachan (Bradford Institute for Health Research). The Early Life theme will co-produce interventions to improve quality of life and mental wellbeing in families, improve child development, reduce childhood obesity, and reduce costly and painful dental caries.

Research questions could be developed to explore: the different ways in which volunteers are utilised to promote access to, or support delivery of, interventions for women who are pregnant or who have very young children; the impact of volunteer-led interventions for families and volunteers themselves; the impact of volunteer-led interventions on the (local) public purse. Candidates are welcome to develop alternative/additional questions related to the use of volunteer-led interventions in the early years.

Existing interventions (and data where feasible) delivered in Bradford (for example via the Bradford Better Start project) and the wider Yorkshire and Humber region could be explored with regard to how volunteers are being applied, whether interventions are being delivered with fidelity, and how beneficial these interventions may be with regards to outcomes, satisfaction and costs, using mixed method approaches.

Candidates with a suitable background, an interest in child and family health, and with experience of (or potential to develop) advanced qualitative and quantitative skills are encouraged to apply.

Essential and desirable requirements
Applicants will need to hold, at least an upper second class honours (2:1) degree or equivalent in a relevant subject (e.g. psychology, sociology, applied health research or related subjects). A postgraduate degree in research methods or equivalent experience is desirable.
Applicants may be required to travel within the Yorkshire and Humber region in order to complete their research (Bradford is likely to be a key study site).

Applicants are required to submit a short research proposal (max 500 words) outlining how they would approach developing a research proposal in the area outlined above. Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact Professor Tracey Bywater or Dr Sarah Blower to discuss proposal ideas before applying (contact details under Informal Enquiries below).

For students whose first language is not English there is a minimum requirement of an IELTS score of at least 6.5 in each component of the test and an overall score of at least 7.

Process for Application
Applications should be received no later than 29th May 2020. Applications will not be considered for the studentship after this date.
Applications should be made using the Department of Health Sciences on-line application process which can be accessed using the following link.

When completing the electronic form, applicants will need to state that they are applying for the advertised studentship and include ref: PHD2020YHARC under the ‘How studies will be funded’ section, in order to be considered for the scholarship.
Shortlisting: Shortlisting will take place as soon as possible after the closing date and shortlisted applicants will be notified promptly.
Start date: October 2020

Individuals with the strongest academic record, relevant experience, and research proposal ideas will be shortlisted and invited to interview 23rd June 2020. Interviews will be conducted face-to-face at the University of York or via Skype or similar communication tools, for non-UK based applicants. Interviewees will be expected to give a ten-minute presentation on their ideas/proposal for this PhD, and to undertake a written task fifteen minutes prior to the interview. Further details will be given if selected for interview.

Funding Notes

The scholarship is open to UK/EU citizens on a full-time basis. The studentship provides a tax free stipend per annum for UK/EU citizens in line with UKRI standard rates (currently £15,009 for 2018/19), plus annual tuition fees at the UK/EU rate, and £2250 total research costs. Prospective students from elsewhere may also apply, though would be expected to provide evidence of the ability to fund the difference in tuition fees applicable to UK/EU and international (non-EU) students respectively.

How good is research at University of York in Public Health, Health Services and Primary Care?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 52.74

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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