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PhD Studentship in development and evaluation of a study within a trial to improve recruitment and retention

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, February 28, 2020
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Recruitment and retention in randomised controlled trials (RCTs) present a huge challenge to researchers. Typically, 50% of RCTs fail to recruit on time and to target, which results in trials being under-powered or requiring an extension. Furthermore, poor recruitment often means participants are not representative of the community from which they are drawn. Once participants are recruited, retention is crucial to avoid select bias and loss of statistical power.

At the York Trials Unit’s Trial Forge Studies Within A Trial (SWATs) Centre, we have launched a programme of SWATs to test out interventions to improve recruitment and reduce retention. One of particular interest is the role of ‘nudge’ type interventions to improve recruitment and retention. In this PhD, the candidate will adopt the ‘MRC complex interventions framework’ to develop and evaluate a ‘nudge’ intervention aimed at improving recruitment and retention. This will adopt a multi-phased, mixed methods approach. The PhD will comprise of the following:

1. A systematic review to identify nudge interventions that could be applied to improve recruitment and retention;
2. Modification of the identified interventions, using qualitative methods, to make them applicable to a health context; and
3. Testing the interventions in at least two SWATs in ongoing RCTs at York or in a collaborating clinical trials unit.

Consequently, for this PhD the student will gain experience of: systematic reviews, qualitative research, and randomised controlled trials. The student will also benefit from being based in a lively and supportive research and learning environment.

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 RCUK standard rates (£15,009 for 2019/20), plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate, 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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