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Fully Funded KESS II MSc by Research Scholarship: Feasibility of conducting a randomised controlled trial (RCT) of Resilience Intervention Training in undergraduate paramedics and emergency medical technicians

Swansea University - Psychology

Location: Swansea
Salary: £11,586 p.a.
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 5th March 2019
Closes: 21st June 2019

*This scholarships is part funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) programme for East Wales.*

Start date: October 2019

Studies have found that paramedics and other emergency ambulance staff score higher than other professional groups on validated assessments of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This may be due to frequent exposure to traumatic events that have the potential to lead to mental health problems. The project aims to see if a programme of Resilience Intervention Training (RIT) can protect emergency service personnel from the development of mental health problems and symptoms of traumatic stress.

The first step in this programme will be to develop the Resilience Intervention Training based on extant intervention programmes and develop the materials for the intervention.

The intervention will then be delivered to half the students on the undergraduate paramedic programme and emergency medical technician training course, based at Swansea University. Qualitative and quantitative measures of opinions about the Resilience Intervention Training will be taken with a view to obtaining feedback from trainees and improving palatability and acceptability of the intervention.

The effectiveness of the Resilience Intervention Training will be evaluated via a “trauma-challenge” paradigm using both psychological and psychophysiological measures (e.g. heart rate variability). Responses to the challenge will be compared in students that have received the Resilience Intervention Training against those that did not.

Results from these studies will be used to design a Randomised Control Trial (RCT) and apply for funding to implement this RCT. If successful, the MSc candidate could potentially be upgraded to a PhD and could evaluate the implementation of the RCT.

The project will be supervised by Professor Nicola Gray (Swansea University) and will be overseen by a Research Development Group that consists of Nigel Rees (Head of Research & Innovation, Welsh Ambulance Service), Professor Paul Bennett (Swansea University), Neil Hore (Programme Manager for the Paramedic Science course, Swansea University) and Professor Robert Snowden (Cardiff University).

Scholarships are collaborative awards with external partners including SMEs and micro companies, as well as public and third sector organisations. The scholarship provides 1 year funding with a 3 month period to complete the thesis. The achievement of a postgraduate skills development award, PSDA, is compulsory for each KESS II scholar and is based on a 30 credit award.


Academic requirements:

Candidates should have a 2.1 or above in their undergraduate degree in psychology or a related subject.

We would normally expect the academic and English Language requirements to be met by point of application. For details on the University’s English Language entry requirements, please visit –

Residency criteria:

Due to funding restrictions, this scholarship is open to UK/EU candidates only.

The scholarship covers the full cost of UK/EU tuition fees, plus a stipend. The bursary will be limited to a maximum of £11,586 p.a. dependent upon the applicant’s financial circumstances.

There will also be additional funds available for research expenses.

For more information on eligibility please visit our website.

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