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Proactive and Integrated Management and Empowerment in Parkinson’s Disease

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Monday, April 01, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About This PhD Project

Project Description

PhD opportunity - A collaborative healthcare innovation project in the Netherlands and the UK

This is an exciting opportunity for a clinical trainee with expertise in ageing and movement disorders to influence the design and implementation of a major project funded by the Gatsby Foundation. The project seeks to improve the way in which care is structured for people with Parkinson’s and has the potential to be translated to other conditions in the long term.
The candidate will be highly motivated, ideally with an established interest in academic medicine and have flair to work autonomously under the supervision of Prof Yoav Ben-Shlomo and Dr Emily Henderson.


There is growing recognition that our current healthcare system is not designed optimally to meet the needs of patients with a chronic neurological disease. Consequently, many patients experience unnecessary disability and a poor quality of life, while society is faced with rapidly rising (yet partially avoidable) medical costs.

We propose to develop and evaluate a new model of proactive and integrated care, allowing us to address both the patients’ needs and the significant societal challenges. This model will capitalise on the rich experience and infrastructure that is already present in both the UK and the Netherlands. By combining the best of both worlds, supplemented with new opportunities offered by technological developments, we will synthesise an optimised model of integrated care. This model will be designed specifically for people with Parkinson’s disease. We anticipate that positive findings could be adopted more widely and used in other disease areas.

PhD project details

This PhD studentship is funded for 3 years. It is anticipated that the first year of the project will be spent reviewing the literature, establishing the infrastructure and delineating the processes for the new service model. The successful candidate will have a major leadership role in the implementation and delivery of the intervention. PRIME-PD is a collaborative project with Prof Bas Bloem and Marten Munneke based at the Radbound University Nijmegen Medical Centre in the Netherlands and there will be opportunity for travel and ongoing collaborative working between the two teams.

University of Bristol, Bristol Medical School

Bristol Medical School is the largest and one of the most diverse Schools in the University of Bristol, with approximately 930 members of staff and over 220 postgraduate doctoral research students. The Head of School is Professor Sarah Purdy. The Medical School has two departments: Population Health Sciences and Translational Health Sciences. The School is a leading centre for research and teaching across these areas. Research in the School is collaborative and multi-disciplinary, with staff coming from a wide range of academic disciplines and clinical specialties.

In addition to Specialist Research Institutes (Bristol Population Health Science Institute and Bristol Heart Institute), major research strengths are reflected in our contributions to two other University’s research networks (Neuroscience; and Infection, Immunity and Cancer) where we also have world-class groups. Specific research strengths include Regenerative Medicine, Metabolism, Renal and Musculoskeletal Medicine.

The 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) confirmed the University of Bristol’s position as a leading centre for health research. In Population Health Sciences 50% of our research was rated as 4* (world leading), and 86% as 4* or 3* (world leading or internationally excellent). 100% of our research impact case studies were rated as world-leading, as was 100% of our research environment. This recognition of our outstanding impact and research environment reflects our engagement with patients, the public and policy makers and our commitment to training, staff development, multi-disciplinary research and collaboration. In the areas of Clinical Medicine and Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience returns from staff in the Medical School also had approximately 80% in the world leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*) categories.

We have built up extensive collaborations throughout the University including those with the pre-clinical biological sciences, the Dental and Veterinary Schools, the School of Social Policy, and basic scientists across many Schools and Faculties. Furthermore, we have good links with other Universities and with the NHS, which have resulted in successful applications for National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and other funding.

Within the Medical School are several major research centres, groups and programmes. More details can be found on the Medical School research website.

How to apply

Application: Apply online using the University of Bristol PhD application system. Select the “Faculty of Health Sciences` and “Population Health Sciences” PhD programme and state in the application that you are applying for funding from the “PRIME-PD PhD programme”. Please ensure you have read our admissions statement before making an application.

Applicants should have a degree in medicine and with an interest in ageing and movement disorders. Relevant expertise in this field is essential. Salary range £31,217 - £49,086 (commensurate to clinical salary). Interested and suitably qualified candidates should make informal contact with Dr Emily Henderson () before 1st April 2019. The intended start date for the project is autumn 2019, but there is flexibility.

Selection process: Shortlisted applicants will be invited for interview in May/June 2019. The successful candidate will be offered a studentship to start in autumn 2019.

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