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Understanding outcomes across and beyond childhood. A longitudinal follow-up of children from infancy to early adulthood first registered in the Congenital Heart Disease Intervention Programme (CHIP).

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  • Full or part time
    Dr CHRIS MCCUSKER
    Dr N Doherty
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Understanding outcomes across and beyond childhood. A longitudinal follow-up of children from infancy to early adulthood first registered in the Congenital Heart Disease Intervention Programme (CHIP).

This three-year fully funded PhD studentship provides an opportunity for outstanding graduates with an interest in clinical, health or neuropsychology. You will be part of an internationally recognized longitudinal research study follow-ing a group of patients with Congenital Heart Disease from childhood into adult-hood. Set against the backdrop of the successful All Island CHD Network this project is uniquely positioned to advance key research on a national and international stage.


The Project

University College Cork (UCC) has received funding from a Northern Ireland chari-ty, Children’s Heartbeat Trust for this study. Thus, whilst the project base will be in Belfast and data collection will be throughout Northern Ireland, the PhD degree will be obtained through UCC.

The proposed study will follow up a cohort of infants and children with congenital heart disease, first assessed in 2000-2004 (at 8 month-4yrs) and again in 2008-10 (at 8-12 yrs), into late teenage and early adulthood years. Its aim is to:

1. Chart outcomes (physical, medical, psychological, neuropsychological, educational and social) across childhood and into early adulthood;
2. Examine in a longitudinal design, what disease, surgical, child and family factors from infancy and childhood, either amplify risk or act as protective factors for health, well-being and adjustment across development and into adulthood;
3. To explore whether an early intervention programme, previously delivered to bolster family resilience, in infancy and early childhood, has longer term benefits from the children with congenital heart disease and their families.

Academic supervision from one of the project leads, Dr Chris McCusker at University College Cork, with clinical supervision for neuropsychological and clinical assessment provided by Dr Nicola Doherty in Belfast.

The Student

• The studentship is open to all applicants, although applicants from outside the EU/UK will be required to cover the annual difference between Home/EU and the overseas tuition fee rates.
• Candidates should have an excellent academic track record. Experience of applied research and an interest in clinical, health or neuropsychology are desirable.
• The student will be expected to contribute to the conceptualization and design of the project in an original way.
• Publication of research findings will be encouraged and supported.
• The student will be able to meet the mobility needs of the post
• The student will comply with all UK and EU legislation regarding data protection
• Candidate requirements: Minimum UK / ROI Upper Second Class Honours (or international equivalent) in Psychology. The degree should be accredited as conferring the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (British Psycho-logical Society) or Graduate Basis for Membership (Psychological Society Ire-land). Evidence of an IELTS score (taken within the last 2 years) of 7.0, with not less than 6.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University, is required if English is not the first language.
Funding: The studentship is funded by the Children’s Heartbeat Trust for three years and the successful candidate will receive university fees (at the Home/EU rate) plus an annual maintenance stipend of £14,777. Travel expenses and associ-ated costs incurred in the delivery of the project will be paid. Overseas applicants will be required to cover the annual difference between Home/EU and the overseas tuition fee rates.

Contacts: for further information please contact
Dr Chris McCusker [Email Address Removed] before making your application.


How to apply:
Please submit the following by email to Sarah Quinlan (CEO, Children’s Heartbeat Trust) [Email Address Removed]
(1) A letter of application (which includes why you are interested in this post and why you are a suitable candidate) together with your curriculum vitae.
(2) Taking into account the aims of the project as outlined above, please submit a brief project proposal (up to 2000 words) which includes:
• Title
• Abstract
• Background literature to the proposal and rationale for current study
• Primary and secondary research questions
• Proposed methodology
• Proposed analyses
• Dissemination and impact plan.

Funding Notes

Home/EU fees plus annual stipend (£14,777 p.a.) for three years



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