PhD Studentship, School of Health and Social Care

Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Sep 19, 2019
End of advertisement period
Nov 29, 2019
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Application closing date: 29/11/2019
Package: available from March 2020, for 3 years

Job description

An exciting opportunity has arisen for postgraduate research studentships within the School of Health and Social Care, located within the Sighthill Campus. The School offers an exceptional cross-disciplinary environment and experience and is seeking high calibre student with a strong academic background in a relevant discipline.

Edinburgh Napier University is one of the largest providers of nursing and midwifery education in Scotland; with a further significant profile across the wide UK and a strong transnational education portfolio. We have a unique provision as we are the only providers of all four fields of nursing education (adult, mental health, learning disabilities and child health) and midwifery at pre-registration level. We are an ambitious school with a clear vision; to have a positive impact on society.

The research projects are as follows:

Project 1

Project title:

Standardisation and validation of the International Trauma Interview (ITI).

Supervisor Names:

Professor Thanos Karatzias, Associate Professor Paul Hutton (Edinburgh Napier University) and Dr Phil Hyland (Maynooth University, Ireland).

Project description:

Released in 2018, the ICD-11 includes a new definition of PTSD, comprised of six symptoms, and a new diagnosis of 'Complex PTSD' (CPTSD), comprised of 12 symptoms. Our international group has standardised the only self-report measure of ICD-11 PTSD and CPTSD, the International Trauma Questionnaire (Cloitre et al., 2018), which is now used in more than 30 countries in the world. There is now a pressing need to standardise the International Trauma Interview, a clinical assessment tool which can be used to confirm diagnosis. Clinical interviews are the gold standard of assessment of mental health disorders. The instrument has been already developed but no systematic work is currently taking place on its validation in the UK. The aim of the proposed PhD work will be to provide initial validation data on the ITI in the UK. The supervisory team has already secured training in Cardiff University on the training of the ITI administration. They have also secured access to clinical populations for data collection in NHS Lothian Rivers Centre for Traumatic Stress and general adult mental health services.

Project 2

Project title:

Developing a tool to assess the biopsychosocial needs of patients surviving critical illness.

Supervisor Names:

Dr Pam Ramsay, Professor Brian Williams and Dr Claire Kydonaki (Edinburgh Napier University)

Project description:

Every year in the UK, over 120,000 people survive a life-threatening illness that required admission to an Intensive Care Unit (ICU). There is an increased prevalence of pre-existing multi-morbidity in this patient group and survival, for many, is associated with long-term, and potentially life-changing, physical and psychosocial issues known as Post Intensive Care Syndrome. The follow-up and support of these patients is widely recommended, and their needs are increasingly well understood through an expanding qualitative literature. However, there are currently no standardised tools to assess patients' wide-ranging health and social support needs (Blackwood et al, 2019). We propose to develop an ICU-specific adaptation of an existing, well-validated tool to address this gap; the Patient Centred Assessment Measure or PCAM (Pratt et al, 2015), to deliver "PCAM-ICU". The aim of this PhD will be to develop and/or pilot the PCAM-ICU in a small number of ICU patients. The supervisory team have strong academic links with the developers of PCAM at Stirling University and have strong clinical links, for access to ICU patients across Scotland. ICU-specific knowledge or expertise is not a prerequisite for application. 

Project 3

Project title:

Ensuring culturally competent care for South Asian children and young people with life-shortening conditions and palliative care needs


Dr Cari Malcolm (Director of Studies) and Associate Professor Nicola Ring, Edinburgh Napier University, School of Health and Social Care. An external supervisor with expertise in the field is also expected to join the supervisory team.

Project description:

Children and young people of South Asian ethnicity living in Scotland and the wider UK have a significantly higher prevalence of life-shortening conditions (LSCs) than other ethnic groups (Fraser et al. 2015; Fraser et al. 2012), yet they are less likely to access palliative care services (Gaveras et al. 2014; Markham et al. 2014). Historically, hospice services were developed and shaped by a western perspective, and there is a need to ensure that such services are relevant to the needs of all communities - this is in line with Scottish Government and health policy. There is an urgent requirement to involve South Asian families in developing an evidence base on which to deliver palliative and supportive care services that are culturally competent for them, addressing their unique health, social, and religious needs. The aim of the proposed PhD work will be to explore the palliative care experiences of South Asian families living in Scotland with a child or young person who has a LSC and to examine ways in which these families could be better supported to access palliative care services that meet their cultural needs. Findings would also identify how hospice services could better prepare to provide culturally competent care to this population. This study topic area has the support of Children's Hospices Across Scotland (CHAS) and the project would be conducted in partnership with them.

The candidates

Successful candidates should hold a good degree / honours degree in a relevant discipline (for example nursing, sports science, social science, AHP), and will be enrolled as a full-time postgraduate student at Edinburgh Napier University. The candidates will join an international team of researchers from health and social care and academia.

The studentship

The post will have an annual stipend, currently GBP 14,772.00 and registration fees will be paid in full for UK / EU students. A small budget for consumables for the project will be provided in addition to research and skills training. The studentship is available from March 2020 for three years (subject to satisfactory progression)

Additional information

Application closing date: Friday 29th November  2019 (midnight GMT)
Interviews will be held on Wednesday 15th January 2020

The recruitment contact for these studentships is:

Wendy Cairney 

phone: 0131 455 2651

email: w.cairney@napier.ac.uk

To apply please use our online application system