Understanding perspectives of prehabilitation in underserved cancer populations: A qualitative study to inform service design and delivery.

   Faculty of Biological Sciences

  , Dr Carole Burnett, Dr Kevin Franks  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

The School of Biomedical Sciences invites applications from prospective postgraduate researchers who wish to commence study for a PhD in the academic year 2024/25.

We especially welcome applications that connect to the School's core research areas related to the field of sport and exercise sciences including but not limited to areas including exercise and cancer, psychosocial health and well-being, and physical activity and public health. 

This study aims to address the underutilisation of prehabiliation (physical activity, psychological support, nutrition advice) as a supplementary therapy for cancer management among underserved populations. Despite the well-known benefits of prehabilitation during cancer treatment, the lack of engagement with and access to services and resources among underserved, ethnically diverse cancer populations remains a barrier. The aims of this study are twofold. First, to identify barriers and facilitators to prehabilitation among underserved, ethnically diverse cancer patients. Second, to develop, implement, and evaluate a resource to support cancer patients with engagement in prehabiliation. The study will follow the Medical Research Council guidelines for developing and evaluating complex interventions. It includes in-depth interviews with patients, an evidence synthesis of the literature, engagement with expert stakeholders, and the development of a paper-based and/or digital prehabilitation resource. A feasibility study will also be conducted to evaluate the acceptability and impact of the developed resource on patients’ engagement with physical activity, psychological support, and nutrition/dietetic services. The proposed study has the potential to enhance the provision of cancer care in Yorkshire and bring about significant improvements in improving access to prehabilitation support services during treatment for cancer.


Applicants to research degree programmes should normally have at least a first class or an upper second class British Bachelors Honours degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate discipline.

Applicants whose first language is not English must provide evidence that their English language is sufficient to meet the specific demands of their study. The Faculty of Biological Sciences minimum requirements in IELTS and TOEFL tests are:

  • British Council IELTS - score of 6.0 overall, with no element less than 5.5
  • TOEFL iBT - overall score of 87 with the listening and reading element no less than 20, writing element no less than 21 and the speaking element no less than 22. 

How to apply

To apply for this project applicants should complete an online application form and attach the following documentation to support their application. 

  • a full academic CV
  • degree certificate and transcripts of marks
  • Evidence that you meet the University's minimum English language requirements (if applicable)
  • Evidence of funding

To help us identify that you are applying for this project please ensure you provide the following information on your application form;

  • Select PhD in Biological Sciences as your programme of study
  • Give the full project title and name the supervisors listed in this advert

For information about the application process please contact the Faculty Admissions Team:


Biological Sciences (4) Medicine (26) Psychology (31) Sport & Exercise Science (33)

Funding Notes

This project is open to applicants who have the funding to support their own studies or who have a sponsor who will cover these costs.

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