4 PhD Studentships: Peripheral Arterial Disease in Diabetes Cluster

University of Hull

To celebrate the University's research successes, the University of Hull is offering a full-time UK/EU PhD Scholarship or International Fees Bursary for candidates applying for the following projects. The highest scoring applicants to 3 of the 4 projects will be appointed. 

Closing date: Monday 26th March 2018

Studentships will start on 17th September 2018

If you are interested in one or more of these opportunities, please contact either of the cluster leads:

Mr George Smith – georgeedsmith@gmail.com
Mr Dan Carradice – d.carradice1@gmail.com

Summary of Cluster

Diabetes is a national and international epidemic. In the UK a new person is diagnosed every 2 minutes and care of diabetes costs the NHS £1million per hour, every hour. Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) affects 1 in 3 people with diabetes over 50 years of age and the incidence of limb loss is 15 times higher in diabetics. These patients also suffer excessive mortality related to surgical interventions with up to 70% dying within 5 years of surgery. Outcomes for these patients locally are some of the worst in the UK.

To help address this problem he University of Hull is offering the following PhD projects which together will form a cohort of students bridging the gap between basic sciences and clinical applications and trials in this important disease. Projects include collaborations between some of the strongest and most active basic science and clinical research departments within the university.

Summary of PhD Project 1: Improving the organisation and delivery of regional diabetic foot services.

Delivery of and patient access to both elective and urgent foot care is critical in preventing major amputations. This mixed methods project will include:

  • a qualitative review of patient experience and potential barriers to accessing care including a patient priority setting exercise to identify diabetic service research needs
  • an evaluative investigation of current care delivery in management of diabetic foot disease in primary and secondary care

The above will be undertaken with a view to designing a structured intervention or remodelling of care with assessment of interventions by care providers and users

Summary of PhD Project 2: Identification of predictors of successful revascularisation and wound healing in diabetic PAD patients.

This project will aim to determine the most appropriate physiological measures for assessing outcomes in diabetic PAD, which does not register normally on the more commonly used clinical measurements of perfusion. Emerging measurement devices and imaging technologies have potential to more accurately predict which patients require additional invasive intervention to improve perfusion, with the associated risks this brings, and at what point that perfusion is adequate for repair of tissue loss.

Summary of PhD Project 3: Pre-operative optimisation of diabetic patients prior to major lower limb surgery.

Diabetes leads to complex interplay of dysfunction in multiple physiological systems which lead diabetic patients to suffer an excessive morbidity and mortality with major surgical intervention. This project will investigate how this high risk group might benefit from a preoperative pathway to assess cardiac, respiratory and renal function, anaemia, nutritional status and diabetic control with targeted interventions for optimisation prior to surgery. Patients will also receive counselling for conditioning of expectations during and after surgical admission. The project will aim to develop and test the impact of such a pathway with regards feasibility of introduction, acceptability to patients, clinical impact on patient outcomes and health economic potential.

Summary of PhD Project 4: Investigating the rehabilitation potential profiles following different levels of major lower limb amputation.

This project will be based around a pilot and feasibility randomised controlled trial of above knee versus through the knee lower limb amputation for advanced diabetic PAD. The trial will investigate both the clinical (blood loss, infection and healing rate, recovery time and quality of life) and biomechanical outcomes (time to prosthetic fitting, assessment of gait/balance, energy requirement in mobilisation) of varied levels of lower limb amputation.

Applicants should have at least a 2.1 undergraduate degree in a related discipline, together with relevant research experience. It is anticipated that the successful applicant will have a 1st class undergraduate degree or Masters level qualification.

Medically qualified applicants in relevant specialties will have the opportunity to undertake clinical sessions and on call duties, with appropriate remuneration, alongside their research.

Applications should be made through the HYMS web site stating the project title and supervisor’s name for PhD in Medical Sciences 2018 October full time.


Full-time UK/EU PhD Scholarships will include fees at the ‘home/EU' student rate and maintenance (£14,553 in 2017/18) for three years, depending on satisfactory progress.

Full-time International Fee PhD Studentships will include full fees at the International student rate for three years, dependent on satisfactory progress.

PhD students at the University of Hull follow modules for research and transferable skills development and gain a Masters level Certificate, or Diploma, in Research Training, in addition to their research degree.

Successful applicants will be informed of the award as soon as possible and by 23 April 2018 at the latest.

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Northern England