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VC International Scholarship in Empowering Older Adults with Multimorbidity through Technology Design to Support Preventive and Self-care Management Practices in Bangladesh (eligibility criteria apply)

  • Full or part time
    Dr N Verdezoto Dias
  • Application Deadline
    Monday, June 01, 2020
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Project Highlights:
• Understand the socio-cultural, environmental and infrastructural challenges that influence multimorbidity and evolve the current use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to enhance care for older adults
• Apply co-design methods and prototyping techniques with community stakeholders (families, caregivers, etc.) to explore, create and evaluate innovative socio-technical prototypes to address the uncovered challenges
• Provide a conceptual framework for design-evaluation of digital health interventions in Bangladesh based on existing theoretical frameworks and design guidelines.

Multimorbidity is a global health problem affecting more than a fifth of the world’s population, in particular older adults in developing countries. Multimorbidity is often defined as the presence of two or more long-term chronic conditions, impacting not only the individual’s quality of life but also the caregiver’s health and wellbeing. In Bangladesh, there is a high prevalence of multimorbidity challenging the healthcare system that is designed to manage single diseases and its fragmented nature does not facilitate the appropriate care of people living with multimorbidity. In fact, there is limited research studying the prevalence of multimorbidity in older adults and the associated risk factors as well as the effectiveness of healthcare services in Bangladesh.

Human-Computer Interaction research has explored many opportunities to support the selfcare of chronic conditions through technology. However, most of the existing technologies have been designed to target one particular condition and implemented in developed countries. Rather than focusing on the medical aspects, there is a need to further understand older adult’s practices and experiences in the global south.

This PhD project will investigate the socio-cultural, environmental and infrastructural challenges that influence multimorbidity as well as to design and create innovative approaches, strategies and health interventions (technological-based or not) that can enhance older adults and caregiver’s health and wellbeing in Bangladesh. The project will involve observational and/or user studies (e.g., interviews and focus groups) as well as community engagement through different co-design methods and workshops to design, implement and evaluate socio-technical prototypes that can address the identified needs and challenges in relation to preventive and self-care management practices in Bangladesh.

This is a cross-college and interdisciplinary project proposal and the student will benefit from co-supervision and collaboration with a multidisciplinary group of researchers from Cardiff University (CU) and North South University (NSU) in Bangladesh. The student will join the Complex System Research Group and the Human-Centered Computing Research Priority Area at the School of Computer Science and Informatics at CU. The student will benefit from the new multidisciplinary Centre for Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Human-Machine Systems (IROHMS) that join research expertise from CU’s Schools of Engineering, Computer Science and Informatics and Psychology. The clinical facing research content and expertise in Geriatric Medicine will be provided by the Division of Population Medicine at CU. There will be also opportunities to connect to the Ageing Science and Older People Network at CU. At NSU, the student will benefit from access to user-centred design research group, its close interaction to local communities in Bangladesh and collaborative support from the research team working on visualization and statistical analysis on user data. The student will also benefit from the wider network of each of the supervisors within and beyond the UK and Bangladesh.

Supervisory Team Names and Email Address (3 persons max):
Dr Nervo Verdezoto –
Lecturer, School of Computer Science and Informatics, Cardiff University, UK
Dr Nova Ahmed -
Associate Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, North South University, Bangladesh
Dr Jonathan Hewitt -
Clinical Senior Lecturer in Geriatric Medicine, School of Medicine, Cardiff University, UK

Duration: 3 years, subject to satisfactory progress
Start: 1 October 2020

2:1 or above Honours undergraduate or a master’s degree, in computing or related subject. Applicants for whom English is not their first language must demonstrate proficiency by obtaining IELTS at least 6.5 overall, with minimum 6.0 in each component.

Visit the website to apply for qualification Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science & Informatics, mode of study Full-time, with start date 1 October 2020. In the research proposal section, specify the project title and supervisors. In the funding section, enter " VC International Scholarship".

Funding Notes

Scholarship covers:
- overseas tuition fees;
- annual stipend (£15,285 for 2020/21);
- research consumables, training, conference travel.
Students earn additional income supporting teaching.

Applicants must:
- be nationals of (or permanently domiciled in) the world’s Least Developed and Other Low Income Countries based on the DAC list of ODA Recipients 2020. See
View Website
- meet the academic criteria;
- be liable to pay overseas tuition fees;
- not have been awarded another scholarship covering both tuition fees and stipend.
If you have either a tuition-fee only or stipend only award, you are eligible but will not receive double-funding.

How good is research at Cardiff University in Computer Science and Informatics?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 13.73

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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