Current Studentships

Keele University studentships, when available, are funded internally or from external sponsors such as research councils or from industry. If you are interested in any of the studentships available you can apply online.

Research Topic Law Graduate Teaching Assistantship
Reference number: HumSS/02
Abstract

We have the following exciting opportunity to study full-time for a PhD, while undertaking teaching and pastoral responsibilities within the School of Law.

You will join a School with a strong track record of research excellence. This excellence was recognised most recently in REF 2014 with 26% of all research submitted viewed as world-leading, placing us within the top 22 Law Schools for world-leading research (65% world-leading or internationally excellent). The areas of research strength within the School of Law are: Healthcare Law and Bioethics; International and European Law; Professions, Practice and Legal Education; Private Law: Theory and Practice; and Social Justice and Human Rights. Supervision can be available from across any of the School’s areas of research strength.

The post is for a maximum of 180 hours per annum. This will normally involve contributing to no more than 6 hours per week of teaching. The post will commence on 1 October 2015 and can only be held in conjunction with full-time PhD study.

Applicants are strongly advised to discuss their interests with a relevant prospective supervisor.  Please contact Helen Farrell for advice on the most appropriate contact point: socialsciences.phd@keele.ac.uk  tel. +44 (0)1782 733641.

All applicants need to apply online via Keele’s application system, using the link below.  You will also need to provide:

Enquiries about the role are welcomed and should be directed to the Postgraduate Director for Law, Professor Alex Sharpe at a.sharpe@keele.ac.uk

Enquiries about the application process should be directed to the Postgraduate Administrator, Helen Farrell at socialsciences.phd@keele.ac.uk or 01782 733641.

 

Details See Advert and details and Supplementary Information
Duration 01/10/2015 full time (3 years)
Fees Tuition fees of £4,096 will be waived as part of the GTA
Stipend £2,052 per annum a stipend of £12,005. The total package (including Home/EU fees) is worth £18,153.
Closing date Monday 25th May 2015 at 5pm - Interviews are expected to be held week commencing 1st June 2015.

Apply online here


Research Topic The internet as a source of health information and support for older people with depression
Reference number: RPCH2015/01
Abstract

Depression affects approximately one in five people over the age of 65years. People with depression are commonly managed in primary care, and in the UK, depressive symptoms are the third most common reason to consult a GP.  Depression in older people is under-detected, under-managed and inadequately treated. Older people may not present with symptoms which they would label as a mood disorder, may not accept the label  ‘depression’, and may not find psychological treatments offered acceptable.  Such patients may obtain advice and support from the internet. 

The internet provides new opportunities both for publishing information about diseases and to enable patients and others to discuss conditions collaboratively.  It is also an agent of change in patient/clinician dynamics. This is particularly so for those with chronic or recurring conditions such as depression. There is a tension between the internet as disseminator of medically mandated 'useful' information, and a disseminator of less useful or harmful information.  It is important to examine which sites people use and why, and what influence this has on their view of and satisfaction with their disease and treatment. 

This work will add to the growing mental health programme in the RI.

Details See Advert and details and Supplementary Information
Duration 28/09/2015 full time (3 years) or part time (6 years)
Fees Fees provided at EU rates only, Non-EU students would be required to pay the additional overseas fees themselves. Fees will only be paid for three years full time or six years part time
Stipend Stipend paid at current Research Council rate, for three years full time or six years part time.
Closing date 26th April 2015

Apply online here


Research Topic Clinical trials of complex interventions for low back pain: shifting the paradigm from single to multi-domain outcome measures
Reference number: RPCH2015/02
Abstract

The aim is to determine whether future randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of complex interventions for low back pain (LBP) in primary care should consider moving from the current modus operandi of using single domain primary outcome measures (e.g. pain severity or physical function) to using multi-domain measures that better reflect the range of outcomes targeted. The plan integrates research and methodological expertise of staff in the RI’s musculoskeletal (MSK) Health and Pain research theme, across two research groups (Spinal Pain and MSK Services and Outcomes). LBP is one of the most common health problems worldwide. Most primary care treatments have, at best, small average effects. A key problem could be the traditional focus on single domain primary outcome measures in RCTs, despite most treatment options being ‘complex’ in nature (i.e. comprising multiple interacting components with multiple treatment targets). We hypothesize that a move to using multi-domain primary outcome measures which more accurately reflect the broader range of targets, and effects, of complex interventions would change the way the international community view the effectiveness of treatments, potentially leading to a change in paradigm. Findings will increase understanding of the different treatment targets and effects of complex interventions and determine whether RCTs in the future should shift to multi-domain primary outcome measures.  

Details See Advert and details and Supplementary Information
Duration 28/09/2015 full time (3 years) or part time (6 years)
Fees Fees provided at EU rates only, Non-EU students would be required to pay the additional overseas fees themselves. Fees will only be paid for three years full time or six years part time
Stipend Stipend paid at current Research Council rate, for three years
Closing date 26th April 2015

Apply online here


Research Topic Enhancing quality care for older adults with osteoarthritis: a knowledge mobilisation case study and recommendations for primary care
Reference number: RPCH2015/03
Abstract

The Centre is committed to supporting and growing capacity for knowledge mobilisation research and evidence into primary care practice. The supervisors will provide a dynamic, supportive, academic environment for the candidate, with expanding links to primary care. Cross-regional support includes partnership with Warwick’s School of Management to offer professional, educational and methodological support to the candidate.

This PhD proposal will ensure that our research findings influence delivery of primary care and improve quality care for patients with osteoarthritis (OA). This proposal will take lessons learnt from a large programme of OA research, the MOSAICS study (Managing Osteoarthritis in Consultations), the JIGSAW project (Joint Implementation of GuidelineS for osteoArthritis in the West Midlands) and will develop a case study which will then form the basis of recommendations for implementation in primary care.

Details See Advert and details and Supplementary Information
Duration 28/09/2015 full time (3 years) or part time (6 years)
Fees Fees provided at EU rates only, Non-EU students would be required to pay the additional overseas fees themselves. Fees will only be paid for three years full time or six years part time
Stipend Stipend paid at current Research Council rate, for three years full time or six years part time.
Closing date 26th April 2015

Apply online here


Research Topic What are the most responsive outcome measures for older people with musculoskeletal problems?
Reference number: RPCH2015/04
Abstract

The Institute for Primary Care and Health Sciences (iPCHS) is the largest and most successful Research Institute at Keele (http://www.keele.ac.uk/pchs/). It is dedicated to undertake research that will improve the quality and content of primary care for arthritis, chronic musculoskeletal pain and associated comorbidities.  It hosts the Arthritis Research UK Primary Care Centre-of-Excellence, is a current member of the NIHR School for Primary Care Research and holds the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Pioneering the early prevention and treatment of chronic pain.  91% of Keele’s research in Primary Care has been judged world leading or internationally excellent (Ref 2014) 

The aim of this PhD is to identify instruments that are responsive to change in older adults with musculoskeletal conditions. With an ageing population, the impact from musculoskeletal problems is likely to escalate over time, particularly for primary care where patients are largely managed. Outcomes in RCTs tend to be selected from core outcome sets (often for each condition there is an agreed set of outcomes that should be measured and reported, as a minimum, in all clinical trials). However it is unclear whether the instruments used to measure these outcomes are responsive to change in older adults. The findings of this project will contribute to the development of centre studies in older adults. The Centre has a large number of datasets available, which ensures that secondary data analysis is feasible and will allow fulfilment of the PhD aims. 

Objectives & Methods:

i) To review the literature to a) identify and compare the responsiveness of commonly used outcome measures, and b) determine which measures have been tested for responsiveness.

ii) To conduct a series of secondary analysis of existing datasets at Keele to compare the responsiveness of outcome measures available in older people.

iii) To identify if the responsiveness of important primary outcomes can be improved and whether different outcomes are needed for different common musculoskeletal conditions. 

It is essential that applicants have: 

  • Minimum 2:1 class honours degree in a relevant health-related discipline  
  • Excellent writing skills at a level required for publication in peer reviewed academic journals, or potential to attain this level
  • Familiarity with computers, and conducting literature searches/ reviews
  • Experience of managing datasets, applied statistical analysis and in using computer statistical software (e.g. SPSS, Stata)
  • Ability, willingness and motivation to undertake advanced research study at PhD level
  • Excellent communication, presentation and interpersonal skills
  • Evidence of an interest in research
  • Commitment to own personal development
  • Evidence of independent thought and planning
  • Evidence of organisational ability
  • Able to work flexibly, manage deadlines and manage own workload
  • Ability to adopt a logical, scientific and questioning approach to research data
  • Commitment to the application of principles of research governance and ethics 

It is also desirable that applicants have: 

  • Masters degree in a relevant discipline
  • Evidence of ability to write reports or papers for publication
  • Experience of analysing quantitative data
  • Experience of statistics and measurement theory
  • Understanding and/or experience of research in musculoskeletal disorders / primary care.
  • Ability to work effectively within a multi-disciplinary team
  • Enthusiasm and motivation to ensure progress 

If shortlisted, interviews will take place on 19 May 2015.

Details See Advert and details and Supplementary Information
Duration 28/09/2015 full time (3 years) or part time (6 years)
Fees Fees provided at EU rates only, Non-EU students would be required to pay the additional overseas fees themselves. Fees will only be paid for three years full time or six years part time
Stipend Stipend paid at current Research Council rate, for three years full time or six years part time
Closing date 26th April 2015

Apply online here


Research Topic Understanding the social construction of gout: a qualitative study
Reference number: RPCH2015/05
Abstract

The proposed project forms part of a new programme of work, based at the Arthritis Research UK Primary Care Centre, investigating the diagnosis, management and prognosis of Common Inflammatory Conditions in Primary Care. Gout is one of the most common inflammatory arthropathies. It is also one of the best understood rheumatological conditions with a range of effective treatments available. However these treatments are often not prescribed or are not used effectively by patients. 

Despite evidence suggesting that gout is not (solely) a disease of rich, middle-class and clever men, current popular understanding still draws on this aspect to frame understanding. Lay understanding are wide and varied, and can influence people's experience of a condition, for example, whether someone will visit their GP if they have symptoms. 

This PhD will explore the media presentation of gout and the impact it has had on people's views and experience of the condition, both sufferers and non-sufferers, using media analysis and focus group interviews. 

Details See Advert and details and Supplementary Information
Duration 28/09/2015 full time (3 years) or part time (6 years)
Fees Fees provided at EU rates only, Non-EU students would be required to pay the additional oversees fees themselves. Fees will only be paid for three years full time or six years part time
Stipend Stipend paid at current Research Council rate, for three years full time or six years part time
Closing date 26th April 2015

Apply online here


Research Topic Benchmarking physiotherapy services
Reference number: RCPCH2015/06
Abstract

The aim of this PhD is to develop methods to enable the future benchmarking of musculoskeletal physiotherapy services using routine patient reported outcome measure (PROM) data and standardised information about the related costs. At present, data describing the variability of clinical outcomes and costs among primary care musculoskeletal services is lacking. To enable future fair comparisons, research is needed to develop methods to enable the standardisation of information to calculate the costs of services and to calculate PROMs change scores with appropriate adjustment for case-mix. This PhD will run alongside two current projects in the Centre led by Jonathan Hill to validate the MSK-PROM (n=425) in 5 regional physiotherapy services (already completed) and to validate the M-PROM (n=200) in 4 regional physiotherapy services (currently in progress).

 

The aim of this PhD is to develop methods to enable the future benchmarking of musculoskeletal physiotherapy services using routine patient reported outcome measure (PROM) data and standardised information about the related costs. At present, data describing the variability of clinical outcomes and costs among primary care musculoskeletal services is lacking. To enable future fair comparisons, research is needed to develop methods to enable the standardisation of information to calculate the costs of services and to calculate PROMs change scores with appropriate adjustment for case-mix. This PhD will run alongside two current projects in the Centre led by Jonathan Hill to validate the MSK-PROM (n=425) in 5 regional physiotherapy services (already completed) and to validate the M-PROM (n=200) in 4 regional physiotherapy services (currently in progress).

Objectives & methods:

  • To review the literature to a) identify statistical methods used to case-mix adjust PROMs scores, and b) to examine musculoskeletal health economic-related studies to identify potential ‘resource use’ variables (such as staff type and grade) for costing primary care musculoskeletal services.
  • To conduct an expert consensus process to prioritise ‘resource use’ variables and build a framework for future cost-consequences analyses of MSK services. This will be achieved using a nominal group technique (31) within two expert consensus workshops to prioritise ‘resource use’ variables and build a cost-consequence analysis framework for future comparisons of primary care musculoskeletal services. Potential variables to collect from services and patients from the systematic search will be discussed with experts (n=20) including health economists from the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy Health Informatics Team, local commissioners known to Keele, and regional musculoskeletal physiotherapy service managers. Barriers to data collection (informatics issues, data collection methods, reporting consistency and validity etc.) will also be considered to ensure that a pragmatic list of variables is identified. These methods will then be employed alongside the M-PROM data collection to ensure service cost data is also collected.
  • To conduct a secondary analysis of existing MSK-PROM and future planned M-PROM datasets to describe performance variation in clinical outcomes across services, and examine the effect of alternative case-mix adjustment methods on identifying performance outliers.

To pilot a cost-consequences analysis of different physiotherapy musculoskeletal services to inform future national primary care musculoskeletal physiotherapy benchmarking. This study will provide a test-case example by collecting service cost data alongside the M-PROM validation study data collection. A cost-consequence analysis (32) will be conducted based on the methods established in the systematic review, for example by calculating EQ-5D-5L and M-PROM mean change scores and proportions achieving MIC thresholds, and using appropriate case-mix adjustment and cost data. This pilot will therefore describe the variance in service outcomes and costs across the region and investigate whether this method is capable of identifying performance outliers prior to future national studies. Lessons learnt from this study will be used to inform plans for a future national PROMs study of primary care musculoskeletal services, thereby helping to drive up national standards of care.

 

If shortlisted, interviews will take place on 19 May 2015.

Details See Advert and details and Supplementary Information
Duration 28/09/2015 full time (3 years) or part time (6 years)
Fees Feeds provided at EU rates only, Non-EU students would be required to pay the additional overseas fees themselves. Fees will only be paid for three years full time or six years part time
Stipend Stipend paid at current Research Council rate, for three years full time or six years part time.
Closing date 26th April 2015

Apply online here


Research Topic Development and evaluation of meta-analysis for prognosis studies
Reference number: RPCH2015/07
Abstract

This is a methodology project, focussing on the development of statistical methods for meta-analysis. The broad clinical portfolio is 'prognosis', and a key focus will be on the development and validation of prognostic models for individual risk prediction, and the identification of prognostic factors. Evidence synthesis of published results and individual participant data (IPD) will be considered. Alongside methodology development, there will be a variety of applications including cancer, heart disease, and musculoskeletal pain. The project fits within the Prognosis ad Consultation Epidemiology (PACE) theme, and will be supervised by Prof Richard Riley and Prof Danielle van der Windt, who are experts in meta-analysis and the prognosis field. 

Details See Advert and details and Supplementary Information
Duration 28/09/2015 full time (3 years) or part time (6 years)
Fees Fees provided at EU rates only, Non-EU students would be required to pay the additional overseas fees themselves. Fees will only be paid for three years full time or six years part time
Stipend Stipend paid at current Research Council rate, for three years full time or six years part time.
Closing date 26th April 2015

Apply online here


Research Topic Vulnerability in loneliness - adapting the Adult Attitude to Grief (AAG) scale
Reference number: RPCH2015/08
Abstract

Loneliness can have a deleterious effect on health, similar in magnitude to that of smoking or obesity, and lonely people are more likely to visit their GP and to use Accident and Emergency services. The scales that are used to measure loneliness at the moment have been criticised as not giving the sort of information that is useful in order to identify the best way of helping vulnerable people, in particular idenifying whether or not a person is vulnerable in their loneliness. The Adult Attitude to Grief scale (AAG) has been developed for use in loss and bereavement, but it is the ways that we repond or cope that suggest whether or not a person is vulnerable. It is important to know whether or not a person is vulnerable, rather than simply whether or not they are lonely, because intervening with those people who don't need help can make things worse. It is also important that we tailor help to meet the needs of individuals as well as prioritise help for those most in need. Practitioners and service providers find the AAG useful both in working with individuals and in designing their services to make sure that those most in need get the support they require. 

This study will do 2 things; 1) map out in detail the strengths and limitations of tools currently used in loneliness research and practice; 2) explore if the AAG can be adapted for use in loneliness 

Details See Advert and details and Supplementary Information
Duration 28/09/2015
Fees Fees provided at EU rates only, Non-EU students would be required to pay the additional overseas feeds themselves. Fees will only be paid for three years full time or six years part time.
Stipend Stipend paid at current Research Council rate, for three years full time or six years part time.
Closing date 26th April 2015

Apply online here


Research Topic Biological availability of aluminium in infant formulas
Reference number: FNS GS 2015-01
Abstract

Recent research in our group (http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2431/10/63 and http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2431/13/162) has highlighted the high levels of aluminium which are present in infant formulas. The assumption is that these products are contaminated with aluminium since the manufacturers claim that no aluminium is added voluntarily.

In this project a student will investigate the biological availability of aluminium in infant formulas both; (i) in a clinical trial to determine how such products contribute towards the body burden of aluminium in infants and (ii) in benchtop experiments to study aluminium absorption in a model of the gastrointestinal system.

Please visit our website for information about our group.

Details See Advert and details and Supplementary Information
Duration 3 Years
Fees 3 years fees.
Stipend Fully funded for 3 years. 3 years stipend at Research Council rates, currently £13,863 per annum.
Closing date Friday May 29th 2015

Apply online here


Research Topic Modelling, characterisation and optimisation of Deep Geothermal Energy in the Cheshire Basin
Reference number: FNS GS 2015-02
Abstract

It is estimated that geothermal reserves in the Cheshire Basin hold around 4.6M GWh of energy, more than six times the national heat demand of Britain.  Current estimates of the thermal gradient in the basin predict temperatures of up to 100OC at depths of 4-5Km, making it ideal as a Deep Geothermal Energy (DGE) resource.  The basin is characterised by permeable Permo-Triassic sandstones overlying Carboniferous sandstones, siltstones and coal measures.  The complexity of these deeper formations makes it difficult to accurately predict the thermal and hydro/petrophysical properties of the geothermal reservoir at depth and, therefore, the capacity of the basin as a sustainable energy resource.   This NERC-funded, Industrial CASE PhD studentship (based at Keele University with Cheshire East Council as the industrial partner) will attempt to evaluate, characterise and optimise the delivery of deep geothermal energy as heat to homes and business in the Cheshire region. 

The successful candidate will integrate seismic, sedimentological, hydrological, structural and petrophysical data to assess/simulate the transfer of heat energy from the deep geothermal reservoir, through the hydrological pathways exploited by the DGE borehole, to potential customers as energy through a heat exchange system.  The ultimate goal of the project is to create a realistic, accurate, flexible ‘multi-physics’ geothermal model that can be used to predict, optimise and probabilistically characterise the energy return of the DGE system. This model will help inform and optimise the design of further DGE opportunities for Cheshire East Council in the future. 

The student will achieve a high level of independent competence in a range of techniques and skills, including petrophysical analysis, reservoir modelling and flow simulation. The studentship will also include a significant placement programme working directly with the Major Projects team at Cheshire East Council, Cheshire, UK

Details See Advert and details and Supplementary Information
Duration 4 years
Fees All fees paid at current NERC rates, for four years only
Stipend Stipend paid at current Research Council rate, for four years full time plus £1000 per year additional stipend from CASE partner. Year 1 stipend £14,057 + £1000. Training support fund allowance
Closing date June 1st 2015 in the first instance. Closing date will be extended until late summer if no suitable candidate is appointed.

Apply online here