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Psychology Doctoral Research Studentship - Exploring shared risk factors and causal mechanisms between substance misuse and psychosis (2023)


   School of Psychology

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  Dr Raquel Nogueira-Arjona  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

A significant body of literature evidences frequent comorbidity between substance misuse and psychosis. Both problems typically develop early and tremendously impact the quality of life and health of those who suffer from them. The nature of the relationship between substance misuse and psychosis seems to be intricate and interdependent. For example, research shows that prior cannabis use increases the incidence and poor prognosis of first-episode psychosis. On the other hand, many individuals with psychosis frequently misuse substances such as nicotine, cocaine and cannabis. In general, those who present co-occurring misuse experience poorer functioning, higher symptom severity and a greater risk of relapse. Thus, clarifying the links between addictions and psychosis would have a tremendous impact in terms of prevention and treatment effectiveness.

This PhD fellowship will explore the critical topic of shared risk factors and causal mechanisms between substance misuse and psychosis. By determining shared risk factors, we can effectively develop screening strategies to identify high-risk individuals earlier. In addition, we can recognise highly relevant therapeutic targets by exploring shared causal mechanisms and establishing more effective individually-tailored intervention strategies.

The PhD student will be co-supervised by Dr Raquel Nogueira-Arjona, a clinical psychologist and expert on addictions and comorbid problems, and Professor Kathy Greenwood, a clinical psychologist and renowned expert on psychosis. In addition, the PhD student will be able to interact with dynamic Sussex research communities such as 1) the Sussex Addiction Research & Intervention Centre, bringing together an interdisciplinary cohort of researchers focussed on addictions, and 2) the Sussex Psychosis Research Interest Group, a vibrant group of clinical and academic researchers interested in psychosis.

Keywords: Clinical Psychology, Health Psychology, Psychotherapy

Doctoral Tutor role

You will also be expected to take up Doctoral Tutoring during your 6 semesters (3 years) of funding. This work is paid at Grade 5.1 (currently £13.88 per hour), and covers contact time, preparation and marking. You will be expected to work approximately 165 hours per year, dependent on modules selected and availability.

Doctoral Tutors will be encouraged to study for a formal teaching accreditation (Associate of the Higher Education Academy), including enrolling on a ‘starting to teach’ module in the first term. Candidates who demonstrate interest in and suitability for the Doctoral Tutor role will be preferred. 

Eligibility

  • This award will pay fees at the Home or International rate (as required by the applicant's fee status). International students must move to Sussex for the duration of the PhD and will not be permitted to register as Distance Learners. The studentship does not include additional funding towards the costs of visas or travel to the UK for international students.
  • Candidates must have, or expect to obtain, a First or a high Upper Second Class Honours undergraduate degree, or equivalent qualification, and/or a Merit (an average of 60% overall) in a Master’s degree in Psychology or other relevant discipline.
  • The University of Sussex believes that the diversity of its staff and student community is fundamental to creative thinking, pedagogic innovation, intellectual challenge, and the interdisciplinary approach to research and learning. We celebrate and promote diversity, equality and inclusion amongst our staff and students. As such, we welcome applications from all, regardless of personal characteristics or background. 

How to apply

  • Please read the full advert, our Psychology PhD FAQS and our Prospectus before you start your application.
  • Please submit your application online for 'PhD in Psychology' for entry in September 2023.
  • In the 'Supervisor suggested by applicant' section of your application, put 'Raquel Nogueira Arjona'.
  • In the 'Proposed source of funding' section of your application, please put 'Psychology Doctoral Research Studentship - Nogueira Arjona'. 

Timetable

Deadline: Wednesday 18 January 2023 (23:59 GMT)

Interviews (on Zoom): February 2023


Funding Notes

What you get
- A stipend for 3 years (rising in line with UKRI studentship rates, currently £17,668 p.a.) to cover living costs.
- Home fees or International fees and research/training costs are also covered for 3 years.
- You will also be expected to take up Doctoral Tutoring during your 6 semesters (3 years) of funding. This work is paid at Grade 5.1 (currently £13.88 per hour), and covers contact time, preparation and marking. You will be expected to work approximately 165 hours per year, dependent on modules selected and availability.

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