PhD Studentship: Assessment and monitoring of treatment fidelity in a complex intervention

University of Plymouth - Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine & Dentistry

Two PhD studentships available full-time or part-time within PUPSMD. Applicants may apply for one or more of the three projects listed. A selection process will then take place, with the top two candidates being awarded the funding. 

Assessment and monitoring of treatment fidelity in a complex intervention” : PUPSMD-17-18-012

Start date: 1 April 2018

Director of Studies: Professor Adrian Taylor
2nd Supervisor:  Dr Lynne Callaghan
3rd Supervisor: Dr Tom Thompson


Peninsula Schools of Medicine & Dentistry (PUPSMD) are seeking to attract PhD candidates to join their exciting and rapidly expanding programme of internationally rated research. PUPSMD are committed to research excellence, with a recent £25 million investment in staff and facilities. Medical research at PUPSMD was ranked first for outputs in REF2014. Since 2014, the Community and Primary Care research group have been awarded over £6m of NIHR research funding for designing and evaluating complex health interventions.

PhD Opportunity

Applications are invited from graduates with a 2:1 or above. International students must also have an IELTS score of 7.0 or above (with no less than 6.5 in any element).

The successful applicant will have an interest and/or some experience in health psychology and behaviour change, and intervention development and evaluation, including the use of mixed methods to assess fidelity in the delivery of complex interventions. The primary data for the PhD will come from participants and members of the research team, including health trainers working with participants, involved in a large multi-centred trial. The trial will investigate the effects of health trainer support to reduce smoking and increase physical activity on long-term smoking cessation.   

The student will develop mixed methods research skills by collecting and analysing quantitative and qualitative data, including coding health trainer sessions, conducting and coding interviews, and exploration of survey data to determine if the health trainer intervention demonstrated Design, Training, Delivery, Receipt and Enactment fidelity. A key outcome of the PhD will be the development of methods to measure these treatment fidelity domains.

The supervision team includes experts in the design and evaluation of complex interventions, health psychology and behaviour change and mixed methods.

For further information regarding the project, please contact Professor Adrian Taylor. However, applications must be made in accordance with the details shown below.

Funding Notes:

The studentship is supported for 3 years and includes full Home/EU tuition fees plus a stipend of £14,553 per annum. The studentship will only fully fund those applicants who are eligible for Home/EU fees with relevant qualifications. Applicants normally required to cover overseas fees will have to cover the difference between the Home/EU and the overseas tuition fee rates. For the 17/18 academic year, the difference in fee is £10,350 per annum. If selected you will be required to provide financial assurances.

To Apply:

Follow the link and click ‘Apply’ to access the application form.  Please mark the application with REF: PUPSMD-17-18-012 for the attention of Francesca Niedzielski. A project proposal is not required.

Further information on the application process. If you have any questions on the admissions process contact  

The closing date for applications is midnight on Sunday 28 January 2018. Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interview in February 2018. Applicants who have not received an offer of a place by 28 February 2018 should consider their application has been unsuccessful.

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South West England