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, Thursday, October 01, 2020 Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

This research aims to use the concept of social capital as a starting point to draw on and make original contributions to current patient involvement and public engagement literature and academic practices. The research will primarily use mixed-method qualitative research focussing on the public engagement and patient involvement programmes delivered within BartsMS, a clinical academic group based at the Royal London Hospital and Blizard Institute, QMUL. BartsMS has an active public engagement and patient involvement portfolio, taking in a variety of successful resources which have evolved over the past 10 years. Using a framework built around social capital, this research will study the value and impact of these resources, both to people with multiple sclerosis and to researchers. Some further questions this research will address:

● How do different engagement levels impact on the sense of wider community, and what implications this has?
● Why do people take part in public engagement and patient involvement initiatives, and does this promote health, or feed into health inequalities?
● Why do some people not engage with these initiatives, and is this linked to their social capital, or other socioeconomic or ethnic drivers?

The ultimate aim of this studentship is to produce frameworks, knowledge or outputs to improve the healthcare of people with MS.

The student will be based within The Preventive Neurology Unit (PNU) within the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine at QMUL. One particular area of focus within the PNU is Multiple Sclerosis, a long term illness with no cure. The PNU works closely with BartsMS.

The researcher will be expected to register for a PhD, and complete relevant doctoral research training. This will include the development of protocols and application(s) for ethical approval, and conducting qualitative research, analysis and publication. The outputs from this project will both inform future engagement and involvement initiatives, and also be used to create a framework to evaluate the success of these initiatives.

Potential candidates should have completed a Master’s degree in related fields of sociology, anthropology or medical science.
Informal enquiries should be addressed to Alison Thomson at

Details about the institute can be found at

The closing date for the applications is 01/10/2020

The Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry holds a Silver Athena SWAN Award. We are committed to the equality of opportunities and to advancing women’s careers. We have policies to support staff returning from long-term absence, for flexible arrangements for staff with parental responsibilities and for childcare support. As part of the School’s commitment to the Athena SWAN principles we strongly encourage applications from women.

Valuing Diversity and Committed to Equality

How to apply
Your application should consist of a CV and contact details of two academic referees. You must also include a personal statement (1,000 words maximum) describing your suitability for the project including how your research experience and interests relate to the project.

Please submit your application to: Patrick Mullan ().

Funding Notes

This is a 3-year, full-time post with funding to cover research expenses including PPI costs and conference travel/attendance and 3-year stipend of £21,000. University tuition fees (at UK/EU level) will also be met.

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