Technology enhanced community rehabilitation and reablement services for health and wellbeing studentship

An opportunity for a fully-funded PhD Studentship linked to multidisciplinary research centres at UWE Bristol and Coventry University.

The closing date for applications is Monday 6 February 2017.

About the studentship

The successful applicant will have a unique and exciting opportunity to join multidisciplinary research teams working across disciplines in health, technology and social sciences. You will work in care settings and the robotics laboratory to gain research experience in advanced data processing and data driven technologies. Planned research will examine the potential population impact of technology and sensors to support care tasks remotely using mixed methods social research (systematic review, observation, qualitative methods and economic analysis).

Community rehabilitation and reablement services aim to speed up discharge from hospital, improve or maintain independence in personal care and prevent admission to permanent care. This applied research will directly influence the future development of technology to improve delivery of care in assisted living, as well as having wider implications for the economics and social policy of health and wellbeing in later life.

The successful applicant will be based at UWE Bristol in the Faculty of Health and Applied Sciences and will become a member of the Public Health and Wellbeing Research Group (PHWB), the Centre for Health and Clinical Research (CHCR) and the internationally recognised Bristol Robotics Laboratory - BRL (UWE Bristol and University of Bristol). They will be part of a thriving and active postgraduate student community working with a range of senior academics in cross-faculty teams at UWE Bristol and the Centre for Technology Enabled Health Research (CTHER, Coventry University).

About the academic centres and groups

PHWB has expertise in health economics, social policy, public involvement and conceptualising evidence for change in social and physical environments.

CHCR brings together researchers working in the fields of long-term conditions, children and young people and emergency and critical care. 

Bristol Robotics Laboratory in the Faculty of Environment and Technology at UWE Bristol spearheads efforts to be a world leader in modern advanced robotics including assisted living.

CTHER, Coventry University conducts research to empower children, young people, adults, families and healthcare providers in disease prevention, management of health and independent living. There will be an opportunity to spend time in Coventry working with your supervisor at CTHER and care providers.

Project aims

The aims of the project are to:

  1. examine work practices in one service organisation to identify activities and interactions which could be carried out remotely
  2. review technology to determine sensors that could be applied to support care tasks remotely, and user acceptance of these
  3. capture the resources and outcomes associated with the change in implementation of care pathways
  4. estimate the potential population impact of preventing admissions and earlier discharge from hospital.

Funding details

The studentship is available from 1 April 2017 and consists of an annual tax-free stipend of £14,296 subject to satisfactory progress, for three years. In addition, full-time tuition fees will be covered for three years.

The studentship will only fully fund applicants who are eligible for Home/EU fees. Applicants who are normally required to cover overseas fees will have to cover the difference between the Home/EU and the overseas tuition fee rates.

Eligibility criteria

We are looking for an exceptional student who will thrive amongst the successful interdisciplinary groups involved in the project. A successful applicant will be highly motivated, capable of independent working and with interests in the wellbeing of older people. Good interpersonal skills, flexibility and organisational ability are essential requirements.

Applicants must have a good honours degree (2.1 or equivalent) in relevant health, social sciences and psychology disciplines. A relevant Master’s qualification is desirable, but not essential, if the candidate has relevant research experience. Applicants should have experience working with human participants, mixed methods social research methods and data analysis. Experience of (or a willingness to quickly learn) about use of technology in social care and rehabilitation and health economics approaches are also desirable

A recognised English language qualification is required.

Willingness to engage with a wide variety of multi-disciplinary researchers, and travel to, and stay in Coventry as required are also desirable.

How to apply

Download and complete the application form and send it directly to the UWE Graduate School. Please ensure you include the title of the research project you propose to undertake and detail why you are interested in undertaking this PhD project and what relevant knowledge, experience and qualifications you would bring to the research. Please see the guidance notes for further information about how to complete the application form.

Please also complete the Equal opportunities form and complete the first section of the Application reference sheet before sending to your nominated referees.

For an informal discussion about the studentship, please contact Professor Jane Powell at, or Dr Ailie Turton at

Closing date

The closing date for applications is Monday 6 February 2017.

Further information

Interviews will take place in the week commencing 20 February 2017.

If you have not heard from us by 20 February 2017, we thank you for your application but do not wish to pursue it on this occasion.

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