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PhD Studentship

University of Bedfordshire - Institute for Health Research

Are You Passionate About Starting A Research Career?

Exciting New Research Opportunity To Evaluate The Effecty Of A Frailty Framework On The Health Of Older People

Studentship: Fee-Waiver of EU/UK tuition fees and a Doctoral Stipend of £14,057 per annum

Fixed term:  3 years. Initially for 2 years for MPhil with a further year for completion of PhD

Closing date: 7th December 2018

Start date: 18th March 2019



The University of Bedfordshire ( are pleased to offer a studentship for a PhD in the subject area described below. This exciting new studentship has been made available through the collaboration of the Institute for Health Research and the Luton Clinical Commissioning Group (Luton CCG). The scholarship is offered in the Institute for Health Research, and will cover tuition fees, a bursary per annum, as well as research and conference attendance expenses.

The institution

The University of Bedfordshire’s vision is ‘to create a vibrant multi-cultural learning community enabling people to transform their lives by participating in excellent, innovative education, scholarship and research’.

The Institute for Health Research (IHR) is a centre of excellence in research. Currently, our staff and research students come from more than 15 countries to create a strong global research community with interests in public health, health inequalities, maternal and child health, health informatics, epidemiology, chronic and infectious diseases, primary care, biostatistics, mental health and health services research.

The IHR capitalises on local, national and international opportunities for collaborative interdisciplinary cross-boundary research and innovation in health. A major goal of the IHR research programme is to understand the factors which determine health and health behaviour and aspects of local contexts, health systems and political economies that influence the successful implementation of proven health interventions and technologies.

The emphasis in the IHR is on multidisciplinary working and integration to create synergy and use researcher strengths to maximum effect. The IHR has strong collaborative links in the UK and also in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and America. The IHR hosts an MSc in Public Health and offers extensive postgraduate research training to its approximately 50 doctoral students.

Our PhD School is a lively community comprising of a wealth of interests mainly in applied health research but also in global public health, epidemiology, nursing, midwifery, psychology and related disciplines.

Our aim is to provide a liberal and dynamic environment for PhD students from around the world to explore their interests and evolve into becoming the next leaders in health research.

The IHR is also part of the East of England NHS Research Design Service (RDS), which receives core funding from the NHS National Institute for Health Research. To find out more visit (

The Luton CCG plans, organises and purchases NHS funded health care for the people of Luton. This includes hospital services, community health services and mental health services. The Luton CCG is led by doctors and nurses and other healthcare professionals to ensure an effective, high quality health service, and continues to work to reduce health inequalities.

The candidate

The successful candidate will have experience in the health and/or social care sector and a very good, proven academic record. The studentship holder will be key in developing and maintaining local networks with an emphasis on harnessing the collaboration between partner organisations. It is expected that the successful applicant will help develop new national collaborations and foster knowledge exchange between the University and the health sector, thus ensuring the research has resonance and applicability beyond the immediate project.

You will be joining an international research centre of excellence with a strong postgraduate presence and culture.

Area of research

Frailty occurs when multiple systems of the body lose their ability to respond to additional stressors due to a loss of functional reserves, which leads to adverse outcomes, ranging from disability to death. Frailty is placing an increasing burden on healthcare services, particularly in primary care, when there is insufficient time to carry out a comprehensive screening for frailty. The aim of this study is to evaluate the Luton CCG Framework for Frailty, including the effectiveness of a Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment (CGA) carried out by a multi-disciplinary team and the subsequent intervention. The thesis will begin with a systematic review of the literature in this area, and will evaluate the effectiveness of the CGA. Likely outcome measures of the evaluation will include quality of life, the number of hospital admissions, institutionalisation, health and social care expenditure, and mortality.

In consultation with the supervisory team - Professor David Hewson and Professor Gurch Randhawa, the successful candidate and the experienced supervisory team will be responsible for developing the final project outline to ensure that it draws on the student’s interests, background and research expertise.


The bursary will commence in March 2019, initially for two years for the MPhil stage, with a further year for PhD completion, subject to satisfactory progress. The studentship is for three years and is available for UK and EU candidates meeting the Research Council criterion of having been resident in the UK for the previous three years. Students not from the UK or EU must fund the difference between the UK/EU fee level and the full international student fee. Please consult the University website to determine what these fees would be ( and note that the presently advertised fee is likely to rise on an annual basis.

The studentship will include tuition fees, a stipend of £14,057, research support and travel.

Entry criteria

  • An honours degree (2:1 or above) in health-related studies or cognate discipline
  • Masters-level degree in a subject related to the project
  • Applicants for whom English is not their first language are required to demonstrate their ability in English, typically B2 level English qualification such as IELTS 7.0.

How to apply

For an application pack or any queries, please email quoting the appropriate reference number. Applicants need to submit a 2,000 word proposal setting out how they would approach the proposed subject area as a PhD study. In addition to a CV, all applicants will need to send a cover letter with supporting information on their experience and skills and how these relate to the advertised PhD.

Interviews will take place on January 8th 2019

For informal discussions or non-application related queries, please contact Professor David Hewson, Director of Studies, via email

Closing date: 7th December 2018

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Luton
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: £14,057 research support and travel.
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 8th November 2018
Closes: 7th December 2018
Reference: IHR-FRAILTY
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