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What happens next? An exploration of trajectories and decision making after hospital discharge

Edinburgh Centre for Research on the Experience of Dementia

Edinburgh United Kingdom Adult Nursing Community Nursing Epidemiology Other Other Social Work

About the Project

The Advanced Care Research Centre at the University of Edinburgh is a new £20m interdisciplinary research collaboration aiming to transform later life with person centred integrated care

The vision of the ACRC is to play a vital role in addressing the Grand Challenge of ageing by transformational research that will support the functional ability of people in later life so they can contribute to their own welfare for longer. With fresh and diverse thinking across interdisciplinary perspectives our academy students will work to creatively embed deep understanding, data science, artificial intelligence, assistive technologies and robotics into systems of health and social care supporting the independence, dignity and quality-of-life of people living in their own homes and in supported care environments.

The ACRC Academy will equip future leaders to drive society’s response to the challenges of later life care provision; a problem which is growing in scale, complexity and urgency. Our alumni will become leaders in across a diverse range of pioneering and influential roles in the public, private and third sectors.


The decision to move to care home is life changing for the older person and their family. Hospital admission may precipitate discussion about moving to a care home but many older people return to their own home, hoping to thrive with additional support or with the comforts of a familiar setting. This project offers you the opportunity to explore what happens next.


While decision making about discharge to care home from hospital has been the focus of previous research, this doctoral project will explore the complexity of deciding about future care arrangements from home. This could include consideration of different influences on decision making including inequalities, social networks and support structures. This qualitative study will involve older people, family members and multidisciplinary professionals to understand this complex decision-making landscape. There is opportunity for interested applicants to shape the project, engaging with innovative qualitative approaches, creative data collection methods or taking a mixed methods approach using data to identify specific populations of older people.


With the recent focus on care homes over the course of the pandemic, understanding the processes involved in transition to care home are of great significance to health and social care professionals. This project offers an opportunity to explore decision making from an interdisciplinary perspective, working with a team of practitioner academics from nursing, geriatric medical and social work backgrounds. To take this exciting interdisciplinary project forward we are seeking to engage a student with practice experience from any health and social care discipline.

Funding Notes

PhD's are fully funded with an above industry stipend for the full 4 year period.

The call is open to candidates of any nationality but funded places for overseas nationals will be strictly limited to 3 international students who can apply for the highly competitive ACRC Global Scholarship.

Application forms are now available here:
View Website

Find more information on how to apply on the How to Apply section of our website:
View Website


Video PhD Introduction 1:

Video PhD Introduction 2:

Video PhD Introduction 3:

ACRC Academy Video:

For further information or to discuss any aspect of the project, please contact Dr Sarah Rhynas,

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