PhD Studentship: Pain in Early Labour: Developing Support for Women in the Latent Phase of Labour

Bournemouth University - Faculty of Health & Social Sciences

Lead Supervisor name: Professor Vanora Hundley

The Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, Bournemouth University working in partnership with Dorset County Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is offering a Matched-Funded PhD Studentship for a clinical doctoral midwife. The successful candidate will spend two days per week working as a midwife at Dorset County Hospitals and 3 days per week working on the PhD research study. 

The latent phase of labour is recognised as a period of uncertainty for both women and midwives. Admission to hospital in the latent phase is often as a result of pain experienced in labour, which can be intense and may be influenced by anxiety and fear. Women’s experiences of early labour indicate fear of pain and anxiety are significant predictors for early admission to hospital, which in turn leads to a cascade of costly and unnecessary interventions. This interdisciplinary study will develop an understanding of labour pain in the latent phase of labour and identify predictors of pain, with a view to developing more effective care for women and their families.

The training programme will be directed by Prof Vanora Hundley and co-supervisors Dr Carol Clark and Dr Ben Parris, with the following objectives:

  • Formal training in understanding the multidimensional nature of pain, pain observation and collecting data relating to pain
  • Formal training in evaluation methods will be provided through Bournemouth University Clinical Research Unit.
  • Transferable skills: networking, communication, presentation and change management.

This is a fully-funded PhD studentship which includes a stipend of £14,777 each year to support your living costs.

What does the funded studentship include?

Funded candidates will receive a maintenance grant of £14,777 per annum (unless otherwise specified), to cover their living expenses and have their fees waived for 48 months.

In addition, research costs, including field work and conference attendance, will be met.

Eligibility criteria

Applicants must be a midwife currently registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council and eligible to practice in the UK.

The PhD Studentships are open to UK, EU and International students. Candidates for a PhD Studentship should demonstrate outstanding qualities and be motivated to complete a PhD in 4 years and must demonstrate:

  • outstanding academic potential as measured by either a 1st class honours degree or a Master’s degree with distinction or equivalent Grade Point Average (GPA)
  • IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 minimum (with a minimum 6.0 in each component) for candidates for whom English is not their first language.

BU will look closely at the qualities, skills and background of each candidate and what they can bring to their chosen research project in order to ensure successful and timely completion.

Closing date: The first call for applications will close on 30 April 2018.

For further information on how to apply click the ‘Apply’ button below or email

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