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Social network assessment tools: understanding and valuing their place in health and social care research and economic evaluation (WHITTYJMEDU20ARCHEP)

Faculty of Medicine and Health Science

About the Project

We are pleased to invite applications for a fully funded PhD studentship in the Health Economics and Prioritisation Theme of the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) East of England ( The studentship is jointly funded by the ARC (50%) and Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences University of East Anglia (UEA, 50%) and will be based at UEA.

The studentship is offered for an outstanding early stage researcher to conduct research relevant to health economics and prioritisation in health and social care. Crossing health and social science disciplines this PhD will critically evaluate the utility of a social network tool, exploring and developing the use of social network tools within health and social care economic evaluations. Understanding social networks is important if we are to understand the ways in which older people remain socially connected within their communities. The evaluation of health and social care interventions needs to consider their impact on social networks as part of their economic benefit.

The project is aligned with our core area of work in “Innovative methods” in which we aim to develop and apply innovative methods relating to economic evaluation and preference-based outcome valuation in health and social care. The studentship will provide comprehensive research training in a range of research methods used to value outcomes, such as discrete choice experiments. A background in health economics and outcomes research and/or previous experience with the collection of data via surveys and/or the management and analysis of quantitative data sets would be an advantage.

The ARC and UEA offer a supportive environment for PhD students, with opportunity to participate in workshops, conferences and seminar events. Regular Postgraduate workshops host a range of experts and speakers.

Contact Professor Jennifer Whitty for further information: +44 (0)1603 593536

*The information provided here will be advertised without editing. It is your responsibility to ensure that this information is correct.

For more information on the supervisor for this project, please go here
This PhD project.
Start Date: February 2021
Full time study Length of studentship: 3 Years (Funded Period)

Funding Notes

This PhD project is in an ARC EoE HEP Theme / Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences competition for funded studentships. There are 2 studentships available (each being funded 50% by ARC and 50% by UEA FMH). These studentships are funded for 3 years and comprise of Home/EU fees and a stipend of £15,245 per annum. Overseas applicants may apply but are required to fund the difference between home/EU and overseas tuition fees (in 2020-21 the international fee is £15,700 for non-lab based projects but fees are subject to an annual increase).


i) Charlesworth, G, Tzimoula, X, Higgs, P, Poland, F. Social networks, befriending and support for family carers of people with dementia. Quality in Ageing and Older Adults 2007; 8(2):37-44, DOI: 10.1108/14717794200700011
ii) Wilson, E, Thalanany, M, Shepstone, L, Charlesworth, G, Poland, F, Harvey, I, Price, D, Reynolds, S, Mugford, M. Befriending carers of people with dementia: a cost utility analysis. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry 2008; 24(6):610-623, DOI: 10.1002/gps.2164
iii) Weale, A, Kieslich, K, Littlejohns, P, Tugendhaft, A, Tumilty, E, Weerasuriya, K, Whitty, JA. Introduction: Priority Setting, Equitable Access and Public Involvement in Health Care. Journal of Health Organization and Management 2016; 30(5): 736-750.
iv) Whitty JA, Ratcliffe J, Chen G, Scuffham PA. Australian Public Preferences for the Funding of New Health Technologies: A Comparison of Discrete Choice and Profile Case Best Worst Scaling Methods. Med Dec Making 2014; 34(5):638-654, DOI: 10.1177/0272989X14526640
v) McMillan SS, Kelly F, Sav A, Kendall E, King MA, Whitty JA, Wheeler AJ. Using the nominal group technique: How to analyse across multiple groups. Health Services and Outcomes Research Methodology 2014; 14:92-108

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