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TDDT Research Centre studentship – The impact of clinical practice in the application of topical products on drug absorption, treatment and product safety

Centre for Research in Topical Drug Delivery and Toxicology

About the Project

About the Research Centre

The Centre for Research in Topical Drug Delivery and Toxicology (TDDT) at The University of Hertfordshire brings together multidisciplinary expertise in biological, physical, analytical and toxicological science to address key challenges in the development of topical medicines and understanding exposure to toxic materials and its mitigation.

About the Project

Adherence to topical therapy is paramount for treatment success. For many topical products, successful treatment requires patients, or carers, to consistently apply products according to clinical guidance whilst modulating the treatment in response to changes in the skin condition. However, variations in product application, potentially arising from inconsistent patient education and training, may lead to treatment failure or overexposure to topical products and an increase in side effects. The impact of application variables on treatment success has yet to be elucidated. The potential for topical products to be unintentionally transferred from the application site to other individuals also poses a safety concern and there is limited knowledge of the extent of secondary exposure that may occur under normal conditions.

This collaborative PhD project will address the current gap in clinical knowledge of the optimum application protocols to maximise treatment success and alleviate safety concerns (including cross contamination) for topical products.

The project will employ in vitro and in vivo models to evaluate the potential impact of application variables (e.g. application pressure, application of multiple products, cross contamination of products) on the treatment and safety aspects of topical products. The successful candidate will gain experience in a range of experimental methodologies, including the design of in vivo clinical studies, the conduct of biophysical and pharmacokinetic assessments and mechanistic evaluations of pharmaceutical formulation design. Ultimately, the project seeks to inform the development of conclusive clinical guidance for healthcare bodies, patients and carers on the application of topical medicinal products.


Dr Mubinah Beebeejaun, Dr William McAuley, Dr Michael Cook, Prof. Robert Chilcott


Applicants must hold, or be about to attain, a first class or upper second-class (2:1) Honours degree or equivalent from a recognised institution, in the area of biological or chemical science, a related subject such as pharmacy or pharmaceutical science, or Master’s degree in a relevant subject.

Candidates with an enthusiasm for collaborative research and excellent problem solving skills are encouraged to apply

Start date and duration: February 2021. Three year studentship.

Application process

Informal enquiries are welcome and should be addressed to Dr Beebeejaun ().
To apply for the studentship please complete the application form ( and email it with supporting evidence and a copy of your CV to: . You should provide the title of the PhD project in the subject line of the email.

The closing date for applications is the 18th December 2020.

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to an online interview in early January 2021. If you have not received a reply within 3 weeks of the deadline, you have unfortunately been unsuccessful on this occasion.

Funding Notes

The award includes cover for UK tuition fees and subject to eligibility a stipend at UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) recommended rates. For 2020 – 2021 this is set at £15,285, subject to eligibility.

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