PhD - Exploring Eating Behaviours and Weight Management in Children Who have Asthma and Comorbid Obesity

Aston University - School of Life and Health Sciences

Fully-Funded Full-Time (Psychology) PhD Studentship in collaboration with

Birmingham Children’s Hospital NHS Trust

Supervisors: Dr Claire Farrow, Professor Helen Pattison & Dr Gemma Heath

Applications are invited for a full-time three year PhD studentship. The successful applicant will join the Applied Health Research Group and a team of other post-doctoral Psychology students and will be supervised by Dr Claire Farrow, Professor Helen Pattison and Dr Gemma Heath.

You should hold a first degree in Psychology or a relevant subject area. A Masters degree in Psychology or another related discipline would be looked upon favourably. This studentship would be particularly well suited to individuals interested in working in health care settings or those with an interest in Applied Health Psychology (specifically eating behaviour/ obesity or allergies such as asthma). This PhD will involve using a mix of qualitative and quantitative research methods, as well as conducting research within an NHS setting. Applications are invited from ambitious and self-motivated candidates with an interest in paediatric eating behaviour, weight management or asthma.

Summary of PhD:

Children with asthma are much more likely to be obese than other children, and this can significantly worsen their symptoms. Treatments for childhood obesity tend to not work for asthmatic children because they are not tailored to the unique needs and anxieties that are related to having asthma, or parenting a child who has asthma. This study will examine differences in attitudes towards eating and exercise in children and families where children have asthma and are obese. It will also explore child, family and hospital staff views on the best ways to manage obesity in children with asthma. Bringing the findings together we will develop a tailored intervention for families to address obesity in children with asthma.

Financial Support:

The studentship comprises of the current RCUK tax-free stipend of £14,296 p.a. and payment of Home/EU tuition fees only. The studentship is available for three years, subject to satisfactory progress review at the end of the first year with an anticipated Registration date of 1st January 2017.

Application Requirements:

  • Eligible Applicants should hold at least a Bachelor (Hons.) Degree of either 1st Class/ 2.1 or MSc/MRes in a relevant discipline.
  • EU Applicants will need to demonstrate adequate proficiency in English Language skills, with a minimum overall score of 93 (Internet Based) (with a minimum score in each section of: R: 18, W: 23, L: 19 and S: 19) in TOEFL or IELTS with minimum marks of 6.0 in each section and an overall band of 6.5.
  • Informal enquiries should be addressed to Dr Claire Farrow (E-mail:
  • To apply please complete the on-line application form here: (Select: 'Postgraduate Research' and 'Research Health Sciences' Programme) quoting the Reference: 'PhD_Farrow' on all applications.
  • The Closing Date for Applications is: Sunday, 4th December 2016
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Midlands of England