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The role of hormones in functioning among women with ADHD


   School of Biological and Behavioural Sciences

  Dr Jessica Agnew-Blais, Dr S Iliodromiti  Tuesday, February 28, 2023  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

  • Supervisors: Dr Jessica Agnew-Blais and Dr Stamantina Iliodromiti
  • Funding: SBBS Start-up Studentship
  • Deadline: 28th February 2023

The following fully-funded PhD studentship is available in the School of Biological and Behavioural Sciences with an expected start date of Sept 2023.

Research environment

Our PhD students become part of Queen Mary’s Doctoral College which provides training and development opportunities, advice on funding, and financial support for research. Our students also have access to a Researcher Development Programme designed to help recognise and develop key skills and attributes needed to effectively manage research, and to prepare and plan for the next stages of their career.

The Department of Psychology, SBBS, and Queen Mary, provide a environment for high quality training. Within Psychology, knowledge exchange and collaboration is supported via initiatives for all students and staff. Psychology organises weekly Departmental seminars where external speakers, staff, and students present their work to undergraduate and postgraduate students and staff. Supervisors hold regular lab meeting with PhD students and postdocs as formal space for mentoring (e.g., students learn to design, execute, and troubleshoot projects) and to encourage informal mentoring between students. PhD students are given the opportunity to co-supervise undergraduate projects aligned with their own research to develop management skills. Within SBBS, there is a 100% 4-year completion rate for PhD students, reflecting the emphasis on milestones and training support for students. 

Training and development

Our PhD students become part of Queen Mary’s Doctoral College which provides training and development opportunities, advice on funding, and financial support for research. Our students also have access to a Researcher Development Programme designed to help recognise and develop key skills and attributes needed to effectively manage research, and to prepare and plan for the next stages of their career. The Department of Psychology, SBBS, and Queen Mary, provide a environment for high quality training.

Within Psychology, knowledge exchange and collaboration is supported via initiatives for all students and staff. Psychology organises weekly Departmental seminars where external speakers, staff, and students present their work to undergraduate and postgraduate students and staff. Supervisors hold regular lab meeting with PhD students and postdocs as formal space for mentoring (e.g., students learn to design, execute, and troubleshoot projects) and to encourage informal mentoring between students. PhD students are given the opportunity to co-supervise undergraduate projects aligned with their own research to develop management skills. Within SBBS, there is a 100% 4-year completion rate for PhD students, reflecting the emphasis on milestones and training support for students. 

Project description

ADHD was once thought of as a childhood disorder predominantly affecting boys; therefore, ADHD among girls and, to an even greater extent, among adult women, has been neglected. Little is known about female-specific factors that may influence functioning among women with ADHD, for example hormonal changes that characterise puberty, the menstrual cycle, pregnancy/perinatal period and menopause. Research finds that estrogen can affect dopamine availability in the brain, and ADHD has been linked to dopamine dysfunction, thus there a strong biological rationale for a potential association between times of hormonal change and ADHD symptoms/impairment. There is significant clinical impact that could arise from this project: while many women anecdotally report associations with hormonal fluctuations and ADHD symptoms, almost no research as addressed these questions.

This project will address this research question using both secondary data analysis and new data collection. This PhD studentship will include a project collecting data on ADHD symptoms and related functioning among women with ADHD over the menstrual cycle, as well as secondary data analyses using already existing cohort data to investigate ADHD symptoms in puberty and during menopause. This studentship collaborates across different QMUL areas including the School of Biological and Behavioural Sciences and the Wolfson Institute of Population Health. 

Funding

The studentship is funded by Queen Mary and will cover home tuition fees, and provide an annual tax-free maintenance allowance for 3 years at the UKRI rate (£19,668 in 2022/23).

For international students interested in applying, please note that this studentship only covers home tuition fees and students will need to cover the difference in fees between the home and overseas basic rate. Tuition fee rates for 2023-24 are to be confirmed. Details on current (2022-23) tuition fee rates can be found at: https://www.qmul.ac.uk/postgraduate/research/funding_phd/tuition-fees/ 

Eligibility and applying

Applications are invited from outstanding candidates with or expecting to receive a first or upper-second class honours degree (and a masters degree is desirable bit not essential) in an area relevant to the project including Psychology, Statistics, Psychiatry or Epidemiology. Applications should have some experience with quantitative data analysis. Applicants must be eligible for UK home fees. 

Applicants from outside of the UK are required to provide evidence of their English language ability. Please see our English language requirements page for details: https://www.qmul.ac.uk/international-students/englishlanguagerequirements/postgraduateresearch/

Informal enquiries about the project can be sent to Jessica Agnew-Blais at . Formal applications must be submitted through our online form by 28th February 2023.

The School of Biological and Behavioural Sciences is committed to promoting diversity in science; we have been awarded an Athena Swan Silver Award. We positively welcome applications from underrepresented groups.

http://hr.qmul.ac.uk/equality/ 

https://www.qmul.ac.uk/sbbs/about-us/athenaswan/ 

Apply Online


Funding Notes

The studentship is funded by Queen Mary and will cover home tuition fees, and provide an annual tax-free maintenance allowance for 3 years at the UKRI rate (£19,668 in 2022/23).
For international students interested in applying, please note that this studentship only covers home tuition fees and students will need to cover the difference in fees between the home and overseas basic rate. Tuition fee rates for 2023-24 are to be confirmed. Details on current (2022-23) tuition fee rates can be found at: View Website
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