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PhD Studentship - NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre – Digital Biomarkers of Activity and Sleep in Ageing and Diverse Neurological Populations

Newcastle University

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: 100% tuition fees (paid at home rate) and a minimum annual stipend of £18,622 (2023/ 2024 UKRI rate) with support for research costs. International candidates will be required to fund the difference between the home and international fees
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 1st February 2024
Closes: 15th March 2024
Reference: TC082

Award Summary

100% tuition fees (paid at home rate) and a minimum annual stipend of £18,622 (2023/ 2024 UKRI rate) with support for research costs. International candidates will be required to fund the difference between the home and international fees 

Overview

We are looking for a motivated and talented individual to join a large multidisciplinary research group. Sleep disturbance is common in older adults and age-related multimorbid neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson’s disease (PD), Lewy body disorders and acute neuropsychiatric syndromes such as delirium. Disrupted sleep has been linked to poor health outcomes and can impact daytime activity. Conventional assessments of activity and sleep can be burdensome, subjective and affected by recall bias. Techniques like polysomnography are costly and only provide information for short periods in controlled environments. Consequently, there is a need for continuous, objective, quantifiable digital health outcomes (DHOs) reflecting activity and sleep. The PhD project will: 

  1. Evaluate the clinical validity of activity and sleep DHOs derived from a wearable sensor by correlating DHOs with patient-reported outcomes and clinical scales 
  2. Investigate activity and sleep digital profiles across neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric conditions affecting older adults to understand which DHOs are generic or pathology specific. 

The successful candidate will learn translational research skills, including clinical data acquisition, data harmonisation, data processing, and a range of statistical analysis techniques. They will further learn skills necessary from a Team Science approach, including collaborative working and communicating across disciplines. 

Number Of Awards: 1

Start Date: October 2024

Award Duration: 36 months

Application Closing Date: 15 March 2024

Sponsor: NIHIR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre 

Supervisors

Dr Rachael Lawson 

Dr Lisa Alcock 

Dr Silvia Del Din 

Prof John-Paul Taylor 

Eligibility Criteria

You must have or be expected to gain a minimum 2:1 Honours degree or international equivalent in a subject relevant to the proposed PhD project. A master’s qualification will be advantageous. 

Applicants whose first language is not English require an IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each subsection. International applicants may require an ATAS clearance certificate prior to obtaining their visa and to study on this programme.  

How To Apply

You must apply through the University’s Apply to Newcastle Portal 

In ‘Course choice’ tab, put ‘Postgraduate Research’ in 'Type of Study', ‘Full Time’ in ‘Mode of Study’, ‘2024’ in ‘Year of Entry’, code ‘8440F’ in ‘Course Title’, blank in ‘Research Area’. Press ‘Search’, select ‘PhD Translational and Clinical Research (FT)’, and save selection. 

Either upload a document or write into ‘Personal Statement’. Put code ‘TC082’ in ‘Studentship/Partnership Reference’. When prompted for research proposal, select ‘Write Proposal’. Type in the title of the research project from this advert. A research proposal is not required. You can also upload a covering letter and CV, please state how your interests and experience relate to the project.  

Degree transcripts/certificates and, if English is not your first language, a copy of your English language qualification if completed must be uploaded.  

Contact Details

rachael.lawson@ncl.ac.uk 

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