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Preventing short-sightedness in urban populations in India (GCRF)

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, January 31, 2020
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Myopia (short-sightedness) has become an important public health concern worldwide with its rapid increase in the prevalence in the last few decades and being associated with sight-threatening ocular diseases/complications in later life. It is estimated that about 5 billion people will be affected by myopia worldwide by the year 2050, with 1 billion myopes at risk of having myopia related complications. Its effect on individual and society is enormous, including direct costs such as spectacles, contact lenses, refractive surgery, and indirect costs due to debilitating pathologic myopia.

Although East Asian regions are most affected by myopia with its prevalence as high as 80% in teenagers, a combination of rapid development in digital technology, the indoor-centric life style factors such as intense near work to strive for academic excellence and limited time in outdoor environment due to various reasons may result in an epidemic of high myopia in UK and India similar to what has happened in China or Singapore. With the prevalence of myopia in India gradually increasing (4-9% in early 2000 to about 35% in 2015 among urban school children), the situation demands action to understand the interaction of various risk factors in development and progression of myopia before the prevalence of myopia in UK/India surges to the uncontrollable levels seen in East Asia.

The proposed study aims to decode the science behind myopia development and progression by capturing the data in a holistic approach with following specific objectives:
a) Educate and create awareness about myopia among children and adults.
b) Create a large data base from diverse population groups to elucidate risk factors.
c) Investigate the interaction of various documented risk factors with myopia development and progression.

The student will have an opportunity to work in Physiological Optics labs in Manchester and the Myopia lab along with the engineering group at the L V Prasad Eye Institute, India.

Entry Requirements
Candidates are expected to hold (or be about to obtain) an Upper Second class Honours degree (or equivalent) in a related area / subject.

If you are interested in this project, please make direct contact with the Principal Supervisor to arrange to discuss the project further as soon as possible. You MUST also submit an online application form - choose PhD Optometry. Full details on how to apply can be found on the GCRF website

Funding Notes

The GCRF PhD studentship programme is a 4 year programme with integrated teaching certificate. There are up to 12 studentships available. Applicants can apply to one project which will start in either April or September 2020.

Funding for the programme will include tuition fees, an annual stipend at the minimum Research Councils UK rate (around £15,000 for 2019/20), a research training grant, training allowance and travel allowance.

As an equal opportunities institution we welcome applicants from all sections of the community regardless of gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation and transgender status. All appointments are made on merit.

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