PhD Studentship: Modernising cognitive assessment

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. 

Modernising cognitive assessment” : PUPSMD-17-18-010 

Start date: 1 April 2018

Director of Studies: Dr William Lee
2nd Supervisor:  Dr Craig Newman
3rd Supervisor: Dr Kara Stevens


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.

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 the development of assessment tools used in cognitive difficulties, including dementia and delirium, or another field of health services research. This PhD is about the further development of the digital cognitive assessment tool named ACEmobile (, which was developed in Plymouth and is widely used in clinics around the world. Research by the PhD student is expected to improve the visuospatial components of the ACEmobile test (especially clock drawing), so that the use of one of these elements alone will provide a cognitive test of high utility and brevity. The acceptability and feasibility of its use for clinicians and patients will also be evaluated. 

The student will undergo training to develop psychometric skills and qualitative skills, which are of value in careers in health services research.

The supervision team includes an academic psychiatrist, an academic clinical neuropsychologist and an academic medical statistician, providing a strong support network.

For further information regarding the project, please contact Dr William Lee. 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-17-18-010 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