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PhD Studentship in Depression and Diabetes Multimorbidity in South Asia

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, April 17, 2020
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

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 for 3 years. The successful candidate will be part of the Mental Health and Addiction research group and will be supervised by senior academics from the ‘Diabetes and Depression Multimorbidity (DiaDem)’ research programme. The programme is funded by a NIHR Research and Innovation for Global Health Transformation award.

Proposals should complement the DiaDeM programme, a brief synopsis of which is given below.

Healthcare systems in low- and middle-income countries face the rapid growth of mental and physical multimorbidity. People with long-term physical health conditions, such as diabetes, have a 2-3 fold increased risk of depression. Diabetes is rapidly increasing, particularly in South Asia, and depression in type 2 diabetes represents the largest combined mental and non-communicable disease burden. Depression comorbid with diabetes significantly worsens outcomes for both conditions. A joint approach to care is needed using a scalable intervention to recognise and treat depression, integrated with diabetes care. “Behavioural Activation” (BA) is a relatively simple, effective and culturally portable psychological therapy for depression, which can be delivered by non-specialists.

The DiaDeM programme
The aim of this 4-year programme is to develop and test a culturally appropriate approach to the recognition and treatment of depression in people with diabetes in Bangladesh and Pakistan, based on BA.

Interviews, literature review, consensus development and co-design will be used to adapt BA for delivery alongside diabetes care in Bangladesh and Pakistan. Decision modelling and value of information analysis will be used to inform the design of a trial of DiaDeM.
A feasibility trial followed by a definitive multi-centre pragmatic randomised controlled trial will be conducted comparing DiaDeM with optimised usual care for people with depression and type 2 diabetes to test clinical and cost-effectiveness. A mixed methods process evaluation will aid understanding of the causal mechanisms, implementation and scale-up. Community and public involvement will be embedded throughout the programme.

We will also build capability in applied multimorbidity research and policymaking through experiential learning, doctoral fellowships, bespoke training and ‘Research-Policy Forums’.

The successful PhD student will have the opportunity, depending on their area of interest, to gain experience in applied health research, including: multimorbidity, intervention development, behaviour change, systematic reviews, qualitative research, economic modelling, community and public involvement and randomised controlled trials. Students will also benefit from being based in a lively and supportive research and learning environment.

Essential and desirable requirements
Applicants will need to hold, or expect to gain, at least an upper second class honours (2:1) degree or equivalent. A Masters degree in a health/medical sciences related subjects is highly desirable, or alternatively, research experience in a relevant subject.

Applicants are required to submit a short research proposal (max 500 words) outlining their ideas in an area related to the DiaDeM programme. Applicants will not be considered if a proposal for study is not submitted. Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact Dr Najma Siddiqi 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.

Funding Notes

Scholarships are offered on a full-time basis. The studentships provide a tax free stipend per annum in line with RCUK standard rates (£15,285 for 2020/21), plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate (£4,407), and research expenses of £2,250 over the duration of the PhD.

Related Subjects

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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