Don't miss our weekly PhD newsletter | Sign up now Don't miss our weekly PhD newsletter | Sign up now

  Working with people with eating disorders: The clinician experience

   Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience

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

Click here to search for PhD studentship opportunities
  Prof U Schmidt, Prof J Treasure  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Eating disorders (EDs) are common and severe disorders which are challenging to treat. Since the COVID pandemic, there has been a dramatic rise in new cases of anorexia nervosa and in parallel, a major lengthening of wait times for treatment. At the same time, NHS ED services have come under serious criticism for failing their patients due to poorly coordinated and delayed care. Thus, pressures on ED clinicians are growing massively, especially on those working in frontline community ED services. A training collaborative led by academics from KCL and Maudsley Learning has been commissioned by Health Education England (HEE) to train all adult ED community teams in England over 4 years (2021-2025; approx. 1100 clinicians). A unique element of the 8-day programme is its team focus, to foster the development of flourishing, reflective and ‘learning’ teams.

A small number of reviews and individual studies have qualitatively or quantitatively investigated clinicians’ views, work-related experiences and needs. However, these studies were done in pre-pandemic times and mostly outside the UK. The impact of major ongoing pressures on the clinical ED workforce in the NHS is poorly understood.

The overarching aim of this mixed methods project is to explore (a) the views and experiences, (b) the support and training needs of NHS ED clinicians in relation to working with this group of patients and (c) the challenges, rewards and well-being factors associated with this work within the NHS. The project will be embedded in the national whole team training programme and will use 3 cohorts of NHS clinicians participating in this. Qualitative (interviews, focus groups) and quantitative (cross-sectional and longitudinal surveys) methodologies will be used.

This studentship will be based in the vibrant clinical academic Eating Disorders Research Group, Department of Psychological Medicine, Division of Academic Psychiatry at the IoPPN. This is one of the largest and successful ED research groups in Europe.


This is a fully funded 3-year award, funded via money from Health Education England to Maudsley Learning

Entry requirements

Applicants should have a Bachelors degree with 2:1 honours. A 2:2 degree may be considered only where applicants also offer a Masters with Merit.

Further information

About the IoPPN (link to

Studying at the IoPPN (link to

MSc programmes at the IoPPN (link to

Research degrees at the IoPPN (link to

About the eating disorders group

About Maudsley Learning

How to apply

Applicants must complete and submit an online admissions application, via the admissions portal by midnight (23:59 GMT), Sunday 27th Feb 2022. 

The project reference is: US-IOPPN-ML-22

On the ‘Choosing a programme’ page, please select Psychological Medicine Research MPhil/PhD (Full-time).

In your application, you will be asked to include:

  •  Academic Transcripts – where applicable, academic transcripts must be submitted with the online admissions application
  • Details of your qualifications (you will need to attach copies)
  • Details of previous employment
  • A personal statement describing your interests and why you wish to apply for this project. Please include this as an attachment rather than using the text box.
  • Academic References – all admissions applications require one supporting reference. If the applicant is relying on his/her referees to submit a reference directly to the College after he/she has submitted his/her admissions application, then the applicant must ensure that their chosen referee is made aware of the funding deadline.

In the Funding section, please tick box 5 and include the following reference: US-IOPPN-ML-22

Please note there is no need to complete the Research Proposal section in your application as the project has already been set.

You are welcome to email (supervisor) for more information regarding the project and studentship.

If you have any queries regarding the application process, please contact the Education support team at ioppn.pgr(@) 

References must be received by the deadline for the applicant to be eligible.

Only shortlisted applicants will be contacted.

Closing Date




To start


Psychology (31)

Funding Notes

Fully funded for three years full time, Home tuitions fees (Overseas applicants can apply but need to be able to pay the difference in fees) plus a stipend.