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Supporting Healthcare Decision Modelling with Natural Language Processing

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  • Full or part time
    Dr Stevenson
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round

Project Description

Applications are invited for a PhD scholarship in "Supporting Healthcare Decision Modelling with Natural Language Processing" at the University of Sheffield.

The position will be based in Sheffield University’s Computer Science Department and jointly supervised by Dr. Mark Stevenson (Computer Science), Professor Jim Chilcott (School of Health and Related Research) and Dr. Suzy Paisley (School of Health and Related Research).

About the project:
Health policy makers are often faced with difficult and complex questions, e.g. "What are the benefits of minimum alcohol pricing?" and "Should beta-blockers be given to heart attack survivors?" Healthcare decision modelling answers these questions by identifying and synthesising relevant evidence to structure decision problems and create models that can be used to inform decision makers. However, creating these models is a complex problem and made difficult by the amount of potentially relevant information available.

The project will apply Natural Language Processing to the problem of healthcare decision modelling by developing tools that support modellers to (1) identify relevant evidence, (2) make sense of that information and (3) derive models from it. It will apply state-of-the-art approaches from Computer Science (e.g. topic models, visualisation and Information Extraction) in collaboration with healthcare decision modellers.

Prior experience:
Candidates must have a good first degree in Computer Science, or closely related subject, and have excellent programming skills. Some prior experience of natural language processing, particularly biomedical text processing, is highly desirable. Previous experience of carrying out research would be a distinct advantage.

Applications can be made by following the University of Sheffield’s standard process, details of which are available here: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/dcs/resdegrees

Applications should list Dr. Mark Stevenson as the potential supervisor and choose the option "University of Sheffield Project studentship" when asked how you will fund the PhD.

Applications should also be clearly marked as being for the scholarship in "Supporting Healthcare Decision Modelling with Natural Language Processing"

Funding Notes

The scholarship includes home/EU fees for 3.5 years; an annual RCUK stipend (£14,553 for 2017/8) and a Research Training and Support Grant of £1000 per annum.

Please note that only UK/EU students are eligible for this scholarship and that any such students who have not been resident in the UK for the three years prior to their start date will be eligible for a Fees award only.

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