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PhD Studentship: Understanding 'Dry Days' and Interventions to Increase Them

University of East Anglia - Health Sciences

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Norwich
Funding for: UK Students
Funding amount: £15,285 annual stipend
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 29th January 2021
Closes: 28th February 2021

Start date:  1 Oct 2021 

No. of positions available: 1

Supervisor:  Dr Felix Naughton  

Project description:  Over 10 million people in England drink at a harmful level. Alcohol is the third leading preventable cause of death and disability with huge costs to society and the NHS1. One approach to reducing drinking is the promotion of ‘dry days,’ where people choose days of the week to not drink. This is expected to reduce overall alcohol consumption and may strengthen willpower to refuse alcohol. Research is needed on dry days to show what they mean to drinkers, how they can be achieved and whether they reduce a person’s drinking over time. The promotion of dry days might also work differently for different people based on their levels of deprivation or drinking. To expand the evidence for dry days, the PhD student will: 1) Review studies evaluating approaches for reducing drinking that include dry periods; 2) Interview drinkers about their understandings and experiences of dry days; 3) Ask drinkers to measure their drinking and related factors daily over a period of time and part-way through start using Public Health England’s Drink Free Days smartphone app to take dry days. This should tell us the app’s impact on dry days and alcohol consumption and what influences this. Participant interviews will also identify their experiences and views. 

Training Programme: Evidence synthesis, mixed and qualitative methods, statistical analysis including within-participant approaches, experimental evaluation, writing for publication, dissemination, and personal and professional development. 

Outputs: Thesis, publications, presentations, evidence to inform practice, potential future evaluation study. 

We are seeking a student with a good first degree (at least 2:1) and preferably a Masters in a related topic area (e.g., health psychology, public health, social science, research methods) or equivalent research experience. The student will have an interest in behaviour change, relevant research methods and data analysis, and will be committed and self-directed. 

Person Specification: 

Entry Requirements: Relevant 2:1 degrees include psychology, social science, public health, health sciences etc. 

Funding notes: 

This PhD project is in a Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences competition for funded studentships.  These studentships are funded for 3 years and comprise UK fees, an annual stipend of £15,285 and £1000 per annum for research training. Overseas applicants (including EU) may apply but are required to fund the difference between home and overseas tuition fees. 

There are no consumable funds provided. 

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