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PhD Studentship: Enhancing Clinical Trial Capability in Digital Interventions for Children and Young People's Mental Health

Medicine

Location:  UK Other
Closing Date:  Friday 08 March 2024
Reference:  MED1984

A 3-year funded PhD opportunity available on the topic of “Enhancing Clinical Trial Capability in Digital Interventions for Children and Young People's Mental Health”. The successful candidate will be supervised by Dr Charlotte Hall, Dr Kareem Khan and Kirsty Sprange. The project is a collaboration of leading experts in clinical trial delivery and digital interventions, which includes collaboration from Nottingham Clinical Trials Unit.  

We are recruiting a PhD candidate to join the Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre. You will be based in the Institute of Mental Health and join the vibrant and supportive Mental Health & Technology theme of the NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre. You will also be aligned to the Centre for ADHD and Neurodevelopmental Disorders (CANDAL), a research centre of excellence in the Institute of Mental Health, and MindTech, a health technology research centre in the School of Medicine.

Digital mental health interventions (DMHIs) have emerged as promising tools for addressing mental health difficulties among children and young people. To optimise the full potential of these interventions, it is essential to understand the existing research landscape and enhance trial design and capability. This PhD research aims to comprehensively investigate the current state of research into DMHIs for children and young people to propose strategies to improve trial capability. This will include exploring recruitment methods, engagement with interventions, and retention to primary endpoint. As part of the exploration, we will also investigate what components make a difference (e.g., difference between self-help and guided digital interventions) with a focus on the SPARX-UK trial. SPARX-UK is a pilot and feasibility randomised controlled trial with embedded process evaluation investigating a digital cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) intervention for adolescents with depression (https://www.institutemh.org.uk/research/projects-and-studies/current-studies/sparx/992-sparx).

The studentship is funded by government funding through the Mental Health Mission and will provide an annual stipend to cover living costs (approximately £18,622) and will cover Home University tuition fees for the duration of the project (36 months).  International students may apply, but the studentship will not cover international tuition fees.

Starting date: 1st July 2024. 

Requirements:

Candidates should have a Bachelor’s degree (minimum 2:1 or equivalent) in a relevant field such as Psychology, Psychiatry, Health Sciences, Clinical Trials, or a related discipline.

Essential: The successful candidate will be highly motivated with strong written and verbal communication skills and some experience with research including qualitative and quantitative methods.

Desirable: Experience in digital trials or child mental health. Commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion. MSc in a relevant field.

Informal enquiries can be directed to charlotte.hall@nottingham.ac.uk or kareem.khan@nottingham.ac.uk

How to apply

All applications are to be made by formally applying online via the University website at:

www.nottingham.ac.uk/pgstudy/how-to-apply/apply-online.aspx

In your application please include the following:

- In the Supervisor section, include ‘Dr Charlotte Hall’

- In the course section, select PhD Applied Psychology (36 months duration)

- In the research proposal section, please only include “Hall, Khan, Sprange advertised PhD position” in the title.

You are required to upload the following documents to your application:

  • C.V.
  • Personal statement (maximum 1 page) about why you are interested in pursuing the specific PhD, any relevant research experience, and a brief outline of ideas and issues related to the PhD theme. Include the details (email addresses) of two referees that we can contact. One of the references must be academic.
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