PhD Studentship: Becoming a Digitized, Informed Cancer Patient: The Impact of E-books on Patient Experiences of Care

Lancaster University

PhD CASE Studentship, Sociology Department, Lancaster University Becoming a digitized, informed cancer patient: The impact of e-books on patient experiences of care.

This fully funded ESRC-funded CASE Award aims to make a difference to women’s experiences of gynaecological cancer. It is a full-time three year PhD studentship, starting as soon as possible, working in collaboration with Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. This is an opportunity to undertake a PhD in a professional context and to produce research that will resonate inside and outside academia.

Supervisors are: Dr Vicky Singleton (Department of Sociology, Lancaster University), Dr Lisa Wood (Lancaster Medical School, Lancaster University) and Professor Martin-Hirsch (Consultant Oncologist and Gynaecologist, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Honorary Professor at Lancaster Medical School).

Project Description

The student will conduct an ethnographic exploration of the development and use of two electronic patient information books ‘(e-books’) for women diagnosed with gynaecological cancer. It will provide timely qualitative research about how e-books impact on patients’ and carers’ experiences of cancer at a time when e-books are heralded as a major contribution to patient care.

The research will draw upon recent work in Science and Technology Studies (STS) and Medical Sociology about knowledge practices. It will explore whether and how the e-books are sensible to and embedded within patients’ values, knowledges, feelings and daily practices. The project will attend to the role of patients’ experiential knowledge and how biomedical knowledge is/not epistemologically privileged in the design and use of e-books. The research will attend to the materiality of e-books, investigating how assumptions about the user and the social and material world in which the e-books circulate are built into the technology, and detailing what happens in their use. The project will also explore how the e-books affect care practices.

Person Specification

  • Applicants must hold a Bachelor’s degree equivalent to a First Class or Upper Second Class Honours UK degree and a recognised Masters’ degree. We welcome applicants with relevant employment experience.
  • Applicants will preferably have an academic interest in health care practice and be willing to engage in multi-disciplinary thinking and analysis of such. Knowledge of relevant academic debates will be of significant advantage.
  • Candidates must satisfy the ESRC's academic and residential eligibility requirements; find out more about this here:

The studentship covers academic fees and provides a stipend (£14,057 in 2015/16 – rate subject to confirmation from the RCUK for 2018 onwards).

Application Information
Enquiries about the vacancy should be directed to: Dr Vicky Singleton (

Apply by the 15th January of 2018 by emailing the following to Vicky:

  • A full CV, including two named referees (one of whom should be your most recent academic tutor/supervisor)
  • Copies of your first degree and MA degree transcripts.
  • A letter of application (not exceeding two pages of A4, double line spaced) outlining your suitability and reflecting on how you would anticipate approaching the research.

Interviews will take place in Lancaster, week commencing 22nd January 2018. Candidates invited for interview will be eligible to claim back reasonable travel expenses to attend.

The successful applicant will be required to submit a full application to study for a PhD in the Department of Sociology, Lancaster University and will need to be offered a place on the programme.

Share this PhD
  Share by Email   Print this job   More sharing options
We value your feedback on the quality of our adverts. If you have a comment to make about the overall quality of this advert, or its categorisation then please send us your feedback
Advert information

Type / Role:



Northern England