PhD Studentship in the Epidemiology of the Treatment of Hypertension in People with Dementia

University of Nottingham - School of Medicine - Division of Epidemiology and Public Health

Applications are invited for a 3 year, full time studentship starting in January 2017, funded by the Alzheimer’s Society, to use electronic primary care data to study the treatment and outcomes of hypertension in people with dementia. An annual stipend (£14,296 in 2016/17) plus Home/EU tuition fees (£4,121) is available.

While the benefits of medication against high blood pressure have been established in many large clinical trials, this has never been investigated for people with dementia who have been consistently excluded from these trials. The risk of harmful side effects, such as falls or effects resulting from taking many medications is larger in people with dementia than those without dementia. This PhD will form part of a programme of research at the University of Nottingham, the Hypertension in Dementia (HIND) project, aiming to advance knowledge of the benefits and risks of anti-hypertensive treatments in people with dementia and ultimately to provide better information for doctors and patients to make decisions on the best approach to treatment in these individuals to ensure the benefits outweigh the risks.

This PhD will involve the use of large electronic health databases such as electronic primary care data and Hospital Episodes Statistics, to describe how doctors are currently treating hypertension in patients with dementia and to estimate a range of health outcomes and adverse events in those on and off treatment. The successful candidate will test some pre-specified hypotheses, but also have some freedom to direct their studies within this broad area.

The student will benefit from training and support available from within the Division of Epidemiology and Public Health as well as the Division of Ageing and Rehabilitation, including access to many relevant postgraduate modules, seminar series and journal clubs.

The supervisors will be Professor Sarah Lewis (Medical Statistics), Professor John Gladman (Professor of Medicines of Older People), and Dr Veronika van der Wardt (lead for the HIND project). The successful candidate will be based within the Division of Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Nottingham.

Informal enquiries should be addressed to Professor Sarah Lewis (

Applying for the Studentship

Students should have, or expect to obtain a first-class or 2.1 honours degree in a relevant subject such as biomedical sciences, statistics or mathematics. Research experience or a Masters degree in a related area such as epidemiology, medical statistics or public health will be highly advantageous.

The project will primarily require quantitative research skills and an interest in developing these further. Due to funding restrictions, the studentship will only fully fund Home/EU candidates and will be available from January 2017 for three years. Please note the latest this studentship can start is April 2017.

International (non Home/EU) students will be considered only if they can produce official confirmation of funds available to cover the difference in fees.

To apply, please send the following information to by the closing date.

  1. A Personal Statement (1000 words) indicating how your experience to date prepares you to undertake PhD level research.
  2. A current academic CV.
  3. Names and contact details of two academic referees.

The closing date for applications is Monday 31 October 2016. Applications submitted after this date will not be considered. Interview date to be confirmed.

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Midlands of England