Cicely Saunders International PhD Training Fellow

London (Central), London (Greater) (GB)
£37,314 - £43,165 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance depending on whether applicant is
08 Feb 2023
End of advertisement period
28 Feb 2023
Academic Discipline
Clinical, Pre-clinical & Health
Job Type
Research Related
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Job description

We are delighted to invite applications for three new PhD training fellowships at the Cicely Saunders Institute, King’s College London as part of an exciting new initiative to build capacity in palliative and end of life care, supported by Cicely Saunders International and Dementia Research UK.     


These three-year PhD Training Fellowship awards will enable three talented individuals to complete substantial research related to palliative care, rehabilitation, health economics or health policy. The post-holders will also work closely with colleagues and other PhD students within the Cicely Saunders Institute of Palliative Care, Policy and Rehabilitation located at the King’s College London Denmark Hill Campus and benefit from experienced mentors and colleagues at the Cicely Saunders Institute, and the vibrant programmes of research and education. 


One fellowship is focused on understanding and comparing the profiles of care needs and costs of people with dementia, cancer and other conditions, who need palliative and end-of-life care in different environments, such as inpatient or home (funded by Dementia Research UK). 


Two fellowships, funded by Cicely Saunders International, are part of the ongoing BUILDPall capacity building project. Awardees will join the dynamic BUILDPall programme which is taking forward the aspirations of Cicely Saunders International’s influential report “ You Matter Because You Are You- an action plan for better palliative care”. The BUILDPall fellowships are designed to build capacity and evidence to deliver on the plan. 


Successful candidates will have the opportunity to work with and learn from world renowned researchers and clinicians to establish themselves as promising leaders within the field of palliative and end-of-life care. Their outputs will benefit the care of people affected by life limiting illness, and the clinicians who care for them.  King’s College London was ranked first overall, and for outputs, impact and environment, in the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (Applied Health Unit), which included assessment of its development of early career research students and staff.  


The awardees will develop a diverse set of research skills, including qualitative and quantitative methods, and gain experience in research of national and international significance. With the guidance and mentorship of experienced researchers, they will lead the design, implementation, and dissemination of a research study related to palliative care, rehabilitation, or health policy. They will be active in supporting ongoing research at the Cicely Saunders Institute, training others and spreading knowledge with current and future leaders in the field. Additionally, the post-holders will have the opportunity to undertake leadership training alongside their research, to ensure that they will be well equipped to lead clinical academic and academic palliative care for the future. We welcome applicants undergoing clinical training. 


We are seeking innovative, well-organised, dynamic and promising individuals who are motivated to further develop their career and benefit patient care through research into palliative and end-of-life care.  


The fellowship supports salary, PhD fees (UK level), and research expenses. 


This post will be offered on a fixed term contract for 3 years 


This is a full-time post - 100% full time equivalent.


Key responsibilities

•         With the guidance and mentorship of experienced researchers, lead the design, implementation, and dissemination of a research study as agreed with supervisors. Our key interests are below, but we welcome discussion of other ideas:  

•         Understanding care needs and costs of people with dementia, cancer and other conditions in different settings  

•         Better self-symptom management, such as of breathlessness or fatigue 

•         Patient/carer focused outcome measurement to ensure standards of care 

•         Economic evaluation of different interventions, and models of care and support 

•         Development and evaluation of virtual palliative and end-of-life care, including telehealth 

•         Long COVID, its impact on palliative care and care integration with rehabilitation  

•         Health concerns of older people, particularly those with dementia 

•         Other topics related to palliative care, end-of-life care, rehabilitation, or health policy 

•         Use of routine data/ “big data” 

•        Undertake outlined research meeting key deadlines and criteria for progression and leadership skills training 

•         Disseminating research findings and contributing to research impact 

•         Help achieve the aims of Build-Pall and Cicely Saunders Institute research programmes by supporting the delivery, analysis, and dissemination of ongoing work 

•         Actively working with Cicely Saunders International and key team members, and ensuring this is reflected in presentations and meetings 


The above list of responsibilities may not be exhaustive, and the post holder will be required to undertake such tasks and responsibilities as may reasonably be expected within the scope and grading of the post.


Skills, knowledge, and experience  

Essential criteria

1.       A minimum Upper Second-Class degree in health or social sciences, medicine, or related relevant areas 

2.       A commitment to the advancement of palliative and end-of-life care through high-quality research 

3.       Excellent research related computing skills – competent in word processing, familiar with reference management databases, and the foundational competencies to enable the transfer of these skills to packages to support qualitative (e.g., NVivo) and quantitative analysis (e.g. SPSS, STATA, R) 

4.       An ability to work well as part of team, including with other researchers, students, clinical staff, patients and family members 

5.       An ability to work to deadlines and manage and prioritize workloads appropriately 

6.       Flexibility and adaptability 

7.       An ability to grasp new information and learn new skills quickly 

8.       A willingness to travel when required for the project, for example to attend national and international conferences 

9.       Strong numeracy (required only for Dementia Research UK role) 

10.   Strong communication skills, written and verbal, as evidenced by reports, documents, presentations, with ability to adapt to different audiences 

11.   Commitment to develop self and others  


Desirable criteria

1.       For clinicians, a healthcare professional qualification, including clinical registration with the appropriate body 

2.       Relevant MSc or equivalent or evidence in research training 

3.       Proven research experience – conducting research studies either independently or as part of a team at any stage, from protocol development to funding application to dissemination, including qualitative and quantitative research methods 

4.       Evidence of completion of research, audit or other projects to a good standard.

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