PhD Studentship in Cancer Diagnostic Research

University of Leeds - Leeds Institute of Health Sciences

Cancer Research UK PhD Studentship

Based in the Leeds Institute of Health Sciences

Faculty of Medicine and Health

University of Leeds


Patients’ and clinicians’ use and experiences of point of care tests in primary care for the diagnosis of possible cancer

Lead Supervisor: Professor Richard Neal

Funding: Cancer Research UK Catalyst Award

A PhD studentship is available for UK and EU citizens only. The studentship will attract an annual tax-free stipend of £19,000 for up to 4 years, subject to satisfactory progress and will cover academic fees at the UK/EU rate. The standard period of study for this PhD is 3 years, however the funding will also support successful candidates for an additional 12 months during their writing up period, up until their thesis deadline.

You should hold a first degree equivalent to at least a UK upper second class honours degree in a relevant subject. This project would suit a student with a strong background in psychology, social sciences, health sciences, laboratory sciences, or similar discipline.

The Faculty minimum requirements for candidates whose first language is not English are:

  • British Council IELTS - score of 6.5 overall, with no element less than 6.0
  • TOEFL iBT - overall score of 92 with the listening and reading element no less than 21, writing element no less than 22 and the speaking element no less than 23.

Research Project:

This PhD is funded through a Cancer Research UK Catalyst Award known as ‘CanTest’. This is an award that has been made to a collaboration between four UK universities and four international universities.

The overall aims of the CanTest Collaborative are to develop strategies that explore and accelerate improvement in cancer outcomes nationally and internationally through the transformative implementation in primary care of triaging and testing approaches to support early detection of cancer (

The PhD will involve several components:

  • Two review of reviews of the use and experiences of:
    • Point of care tests (POCTs) for possible cancer in secondary care settings
    • POCTs for other conditions in primary care
  • Systematic review of the scope of potential POCTs for possible cancer in primary care, where and how they fit into diagnostic pathways, early economic modelling, and acceptability to patients and primary care clinicians
  • Horizon scanning and identification of ongoing studies of the use of POCTs for possible cancer in primary care in the UK and/or international settings
  • Data collection & analysis (predominantly qualitative) from patients and clinicians regarding use and experiences of POCTs in the diagnostic pathways of possible cancer

How to apply:

To apply for this scholarship applicants should complete a Faculty Scholarship Application form and send this alongside a full academic CV, degree certificates and transcripts (or marks so far if still studying) to the Faculty Graduate School

We also require 2 academic references to support your application. Please ask your referees to send these references on your behalf, directly to by no later than Friday 19 January 2018.

Any queries regarding the application process should be directed to  or to Prof Richard Neal  (Please note that Prof Neal will be away from 8 January and will have limited access to emails).

Closing date for this studentship is Friday 19 January 2018

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Northern England