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What kind of information do people with MS want about pregnancy, how do they get their information, and how should information be communicated?

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Thursday, January 02, 2020
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Applications are invited from graduates with a BSc (First or Upper Second) or MSc (Distinction), or equivalent, to work within the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine. This 3 year studentship will commence in Spring 2020 and will be based at the Charterhouse Square Campus. This is an exciting opportunity for a graduate from disciplines related to epidemiology, statistics, and behavioural sciences.


People with MS currently face complex decisions around family planning, and many women with MS report feeling isolated when making these. The number of disease modifying therapies in MS has rapidly increased, yet there is limited information about the safety of these in pregnancy. Current information for people with MS considering pregnancy is limited.

We have received funding to set up an MS pregnancy register. This PhD proposal integrates with the development of this research tool, and allows the candidate to develop their own skills and interests within this field of work. IT would be suitable for an individual with a background in either quantitative or qualitative work, although some qualitative skills will be required.

Programme of work

1. Review of the existing resources for people with MS considering pregnancy. This will include a review of the existing scientific evidence, current clinical practice (and possible sources of variation in this), and ongoing research projects
2. Use of data from healthcare records to examine patterns and behaviours of people with MS with regard to DMT, supplementation and birth choices who are pregnant
3. Qualitative research with people with MS to examine where they get their information from, and what kind of information and/or resources they might want
4. Qualitative research with healthcare professionals (MS nurses and MS neurologists, obstetricians and midwives) to fully understand the interactions that these healthcare professionals have with people with MS considering pregnancy
5. Development of appropriate resources informed by the above work, and research-based testing of any resources developed.
The successful candidate would also be expected to interact with the development and running of the UK MS pregnancy register.

Informal enquiries can be made to via email: Ruth Dobson

Your application should consist of a CV and contact details of two academic referees. You must also include a personal statement (1,000 words maximum) describing your suitability for the selected project including how your research experience and interests relate to the project.

Please submit your application to: Patrick Mullan ().

Funding Notes

This 3 year PhD studentship is funded by the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine and comes with a tax-free stipend of £21,000. It is open to UK Nationals, EEA/Swiss migrant workers and non-UK nationals with indefinite leave to remain in the UK who will have three years ordinary residence in the EU prior to the start of the studentship. University tuition fees (at UK/EU levels) will be met by the Institute.

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