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PhD studentship

Impact of a Population Health Management approach to end-of-life care.

PhD Studentship at the Integrated Care Academy at University of Suffolk, St Helena Hospice and the North East Essex End of Life Care Programme Board (RD22/001)

Applications are invited for an exciting an innovative three-year, full time PhD studentship funded by and aligned to the work of St Helena Hospice (Colchester), the North East Essex End of Life Board and hosted by the Integrated Care Academy at the University of Suffolk.

The supervisors will be Dr Karen Windle (Integrated Care Academy), Dr Karen Chumbley (Clinical Lead for End of Life care for the North East Essex Health and Wellbeing Alliance), and Professor Helen Langton (Vice-Chancellor of the University of Suffolk).

The PhD

The candidate will explore, assess and measure if an end-of-life population health management approach has an impact on people’s care outcomes and perceived experiences. Working alongside St Helena Hospice and the North East Essex End of Life Care Programme Board, the candidate will deliver a multimethod and translational research programme. A mixed methods design across four workstreams will be designed within the overarching framework of realist evaluation. The programme will first develop a logic model, underpinned through policy and documentary analysis, a rapid evidence review and in-depth qualitative interviews with stakeholders. Applying the logic model through the research, the use of health data by strategic and policy staff, commissioners and clinicians will be understood through in-depth qualitative interviews and mapped through a process mapping exercise. Patient’s engagement will be understood through qualitative face-to-face interviews, while the differences in care and impact of health determinants will be explored through secondary analysis of a large patient level database.

Aspects of the project are open to change as the candidate moves through the PhD process, planning and conducting research. In particular, there is scope to apply the methods to a number of applied problems during the later parts of the PhD.

The Successful Candidate

The successful candidate will need to be passionate about exploring how individual’s choices around end-of-life care and preferred place of death can be linked to existing health and care datasets, as well as measuring (through quantitative inferential analysis) how such data could be applied to inform service planning, provision and patient outcomes. In addition, they will want to work alongside patients to discuss why they, their unpaid carers and wider family decide to engage/ or not engage in detailing their wishes around end-of-life care.

2.1 or higher honours degree in a relevant discipline, have a good knowledge of integrated care, palliative and end-of-life care as well as strong understanding of quantitative methods and analysis. While not essential, a Masters’ level degree in a related subject would be advantageous. Your prior degree may be in policy, psychology, health and social care or, health economics.

Successful candidates will be based in the Integrated Care Academy at the University of Suffolk but will also work closely with St Helena Hospice and may be required to be regularly on site at the Hospice. They will also be expected to visit different research localities on a regular basis, and so should be able to travel freely. Funding is conditional on successful Disclosure and Barring Service clearance.

Funding Notes

The cost of your PhD fees and a yearly stipend at current UKRI rates will be covered by St Helena Hospice. There are also additional monies to support e.g., equipment, conference attendance, transcription, publications and travel. The studentship is open to UK candidates only owing to funding restrictions and will be available from February 2022 for three years (full time study, or pro-rata for part time study).

Informal enquiries

Informal enquires about this studentship should be addressed to Dr Karen Windle at

We are actively committed to growing and supporting a diverse workforce and welcome applications from all backgrounds and communities. We particularly welcome applications from black and ethnic minority candidates and from candidates with a disability who are currently under-represented within our workforce. 

We consider flexible working requests for all our vacancies.

Closing date: 
Friday, November 26, 2021 - 17:00

How to apply:

  1. Read the Guidance Notes and Privacy Notice
  2. If you think you might need a visa to work in the UK, please check your eligibility here BEFORE you apply for the role.
  3. Fill in the Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form
  4. Attach a curriculum vitae and a covering letter setting out clearly how you meet the essential and desirable criteria for the post

Please return them as Word (.doc) or Rich Text Format (.rtf) attachments by email to including the post title and reference number in the email subject heading.

If you a have a disability and need to use a different method to apply for the role then please contact our recruitment team so we can make the adjustments to the process for you.

If you would like to request support or ask questions about any of our vacancies, or us as an employer, please contact us via the email above or by telephoning 01473 338351.

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