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Using non-speculum sampling approaches to reduce inequalities in participation in cervical screening

This project is no longer listed on and may not be available.

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  • Full or part time
    Dr J Waller
    Dr A Lim
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

We have two studentships available across a possible four projects, which includes this project. The other three are available to view on Find a PHD or at

The introduction of HPV primary screening to the NHS Cervical Screening Programme raises the possibility of using self-collected samples, or clinician collected samples taken without a speculum, for HPV testing. These sampling methods have the potential to overcome a number of barriers to standard screening. These include practical barriers such as accessing primary care and finding time for a screening appointment, emotional barriers such as embarrassment or fear of discomfort and physical barriers for women with disabilities. Some of these barriers are experienced disproportionately by older women (for whom a speculum examination can be more uncomfortable) and marginalised/vulnerable groups, such as women with learning difficulties or transgender men.

This PhD project would use mixed methods including both qualitative (e.g. interview-based) and quantitative studies. It would explore the potential for non-speculum sampling methods to increase the accessibility and acceptability of cervical screening, focusing on one or more specific population sub-groups where significant barriers to screening currently exist.

Funding Notes

£21,000 annually. The Studentship is open to UK & EU candidates.

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