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PhD Studentship: Mapping posttraumatic growth or positive changes longitudinally in experiences of psychosis

Health Sciences

Location:  UK Other
Closing Date:  Tuesday 28 February 2023
Reference:  MED1922

Title: Mapping posttraumatic growth or positive changes longitudinally in experiences of psychosis

Applications are invited for a PhD studentship offered as part of the Evaluating Positive Changes in Psychosis (EPOCH) Study. To find out more about the EPOCH Study here

People with lived experience conceptualised as psychosis often report experiences of trauma. Trauma may occur during childhood, through symptoms or bad healthcare experiences. Some people have reported positive changes as a result of these experiences. This is called posttraumatic growth (PTG). Empirical studies have identified the cross-sectional correlates and mediators of PTG in psychosis. However, there are three major limitations to the current PTG in psychosis research. First, there is minimal research measuring PTG longitudinally. Second, the context or environmental factors which facilitate or hinder PTG have rarely been examined. Third, there has been minimal prospective qualitative examination of experiences of PTG. 

The successful candidate will work as part of a National Institute of Health and Social Care Research (NIHR), University of Nottingham, and Institute of Mental Health (Nottingham) funded research programme (EPOCH Study). They will contribute to data collection as part of a planned longitudinal study within EPOCH. The aim of this PhD is to develop theoretical knowledge examining how PTG in experiences conceptualised as psychosis occur overtime. The proposed project will utilise a longitudinal design, however the successful candidate will be given the opportunity to design the focus of the thesis. 

This is a full-time PhD which will cover a stipend towards living expenses and one-year full time PhD tuition fees (at UK Home Fee rate). Further funding for PhD fees is subject to funding availability and progression. Funding is available from April 2023. The national minimum doctoral stipend for 2023/24 has been set by UKRI as £17,688. The successful candidate will be supervised by Dr Fiona Ng, Professor Mike Slade and Dr Chris Newby. The successful candidate will join the Recovery Research Team (led by Professor Mike Slade) and be based in the Institute of Mental Health and School of Health Sciences. 

Entry Requirements 

Applicants should have a First Class or Upper Second Class degree in Health Sciences or another relevant discipline and a Masters at distinction or merit in a relevant discipline. Applicants should have skills in or a genuine interest in statistical modelling.

Applicants must be a resident of the UK and qualify for home fee status. To check your fee status please check for guidance. International applicants are eligible to apply, however will need to self-fund the difference between the rates for home and international fees. 

Applicants should submit a single MS Word or PDF document which includes:

  1. CV (no more than 2 pages),
  2. Project proposal (no more than 2 pages) outlining their research project,
  3. Sample of writing (max 3000 words). The writing sample must be the work of the applicant and may be in the form of a published journal article.
  4. Names and contact details of two academic referees. 

Please send this document to no later than 28th February 2023. Please ensure the subject line of your email appears as ‘surname first name – PhD studentship’. 

Informal enquiries may be directed to No applications will be accepted via this email address.

Interviews are scheduled to be held in Nottingham in mid-March 2023

Shortlisted candidates will be asked to complete an application for PhD study in the School of Health Sciences in advance of the interview:   

Funding details

This PhD is funded through a National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Advanced Fellowship, University of Nottingham Anne McLaren Fellowship, and the Institute of Mental Health (Nottingham). The successful applicant will be provided with a full-time PhD stipend for a period of 3 years commencing April 2023. PhD fees are funded for 1-year full-time at the UK Home fee rate. Further PhD fee funding will be subject to funding availability and progress. 

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