PhD Studentship: Developing an integrated biosocial model of research in pulmonary arterial hypertension

University of Sheffield - Department of Infection, Immunity and Cardiovascular Disease (IICD), The Medical School

The Pulmonary Vascular Disease Unit in Sheffield is the busiest specialist unit in the UK for this condition and one of the busiest in Europe. Translational research in PH incorporates leading research in imaging, molecular science, interdisciplinary research, and clinical research. Each area of work exists in a relatively isolated sphere. Sheffield provides a rare opportunity to develop a comprehensive integrated biosocial model of pulmonary hypertension in a rare, complex disease.

Our hypothesis is that an integrated biosocial model can be developed that can be used to develop and test interdisciplinary interventions that will support broader and deeper understandings of this illness and research models, and result in enhanced research outputs, stratification and development of research questions, and markedly greater meaningful interaction across clinical and scientific divides.

The project will initially explore the landscape of PH practice and research in Sheffield. The student will examine the implicit and explicit models in play in the settings of clinical practice and research, translational lab science, imaging, and interdisciplinary working within structures such as Insigneo. The student will explore how different models drive research agendas and research structures, considering the nature of the illness, its treatment, and the relationships that govern interaction across disciplines and development of successful research.

The student will use these data to describe a model of research and clinical practice relationships. He/she will determine to what extent concepts of responsible innovation and co-responsibility are relevant, employed and understood.

The structure of this model will be examined, and areas where opportunities are lost to generate co-responsible innovation will be defined. A series of specific interventions, such as workshops that explain and challenge limitations on successful research of existing structural models will be convened. Within this workstream, simple interventions will be piloted and assessed for their ability to reshape understanding of research outputs and their consequences for improved clinical care. 

The Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry & Health Doctoral Academy Scholarships cover Home/EU fee and RCUK rate stipend for three years. Overseas students may apply but will need to fund the difference between the Home and Overseas fee from another source.

Proposed start date: October 2017

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Northern England