PhD Studentship: Developing an evidence-based cognitive screening pathway for people with Multiple Sclerosis

University of Nottingham - Psychiatry & Applied Psychology

Applications are invited from UK/EU students for a three year PhD studentship that will focus on developing and evaluating a cognitive screening pathway for people with multiple sclerosis (MS).This studentship is funded by the UK MS Society. 

There are over 100,000 people in the UK living with MS. Cognitive problems affect 40-60% of people with MS. They cause severe disruption to people with MS and affects personal, professional, and social aspects of their lives. Cognitive problems also have a negative impact on society as a whole, as people with MS often have to leave work or education because of these problems, and with informal carers needing to provide additional support. The MS Society in conjunction with the James Lind Alliance has identified the treatment of cognitive problems as a top 10 research priority. However, for optimal treatment, we need to have reliable and efficient cognitive screening pathways. 

This PhD will involve three parts: (i) conducting a realist literature review, (ii) interviews and focus groups with relevant stakeholders including analysis using qualitative methods, and (iii) a randomised controlled trial to evaluate the feasibility of conducting a future study to investigate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the cognitive screening pathway in the identification and management of cognitive problems in people with MS. 

The studentship will be jointly supervised by Professor Roshan dasNair (Clinical Psychologist), Professor Avril Drummond (Occupational Therapist) and Dr Nikos Evangelou (Neurologist). The individual appointed will also have additional support in health psychology from Dr Gogem Topcu and health economics from Dr Sam Groves. The project will also have Patient and Public Involvement support from Dr Clare Bale. The PhD student will join a vibrant multidisciplinary team of other PhD students, postdoctoral fellows, and Doctorate in Clinical Psychology trainees. The student will be based at the Institute of Mental Health, Jubilee Campus, University of Nottingham.

We expect this will be an exciting and challenging PhD project. Therefore, applicants should have a first or upper second class degree in psychology, neuroscience, occupational therapy, or an allied subject. In addition, a relevant Master’s degree is desirable. Also desirable is experience in the conduct and management of research projects. 

The studentship will commence on 1st March 2018 and includes payment of fees at the UK/EU rate with a stipend of £14,553 in 207/18, which will rise in line with minimum Research Council rates. The PhD student will also have access to a number of research and project-related courses. 

The University of Nottingham is the top 1% of global universities and is ranked eighth in the UK on a measure of ‘research power’, with more than 80% of research rated as world-leading or internationally excellent. The University of Nottingham also offers a world-class research training environment for postgraduate students, including an excellent range of support and services.

General information about the Department(s)/Institution(s) can be found at:

School of Medicine:

Institute of Mental Health:

Applications, with a covering letter, detailed CV and the names and email addresses of three academic referees, should be sent as soon as possible by email to Dr Topcu will also be available to respond to informal queries regarding this post. 

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