Postgraduate Research Opportunities

Developmental Language Disorder in adults: nature, prevalence and availability of NHS support services

Details

Title: SCH40: Developmental Language Disorder in adults: nature, prevalence and availability of NHS support services

Funding: A full Home/EU fee waiver or equivalent fee discount for overseas students  (£5,103 in 2020-21) (further fee details - international students will need to pay the balance of their fees) plus a doctoral stipend equivalent to the RCUK Minimum Doctoral Stipend (£15,285 in 2020-21).

Application deadline: Tuesday 31 March 2020

Start date: October 2020

Duration: 3 years (full time)

Location: Colchester Campus

Based in: School of Health and Social Care (in collaboration with Department of Psychology)

Overview

Approximately 10% of children have Developmental Language Disorder (DLD), a language disorder of unknown origin, experiencing significant difficulties in the understanding and expression of language. These difficulties have been linked to poorer outcomes in education, employment, and health and wellbeing in adulthood.

However, because most research has focused on children, little is known about the prevalence or trajectory of DLD post adolescence.

Without clear knowledge of how DLD presents in adulthood, its impact on longer-term health and wellbeing, and the availability of support services have not been explored.

The project

This study will tackle these four questions (nature, prevalence, long-term impact and services) using a mixed-methods approach containing three work packages:

  1. A cross-sectional experimental study to investigate the verbal and non-verbal processing in a group of adults (over 18 years) with DLD
  2. An online survey of speech and language therapists about the current prevalence and service provision for this group
  3. Semi-structured interviews with adults with DLD, and their caregivers, to identify their needs and shape future provision.

Greater awareness of the nature of language difficulties in adults with DLD will inform our understanding of language development across the lifespan, and assist in setting up appropriate services.

Funding

The award consists of a full Home/EU fee waiver or equivalent fee discount for overseas students (further fee details), a doctoral stipend equivalent to the Research Councils UK National Minimum Doctoral Stipend (£15,285 in 2020-21), plus £2,500 training bursary via Proficio funding, which may be used to cover the cost of advanced skills training including conference attendance and travel.

Criteria

  • MSc in Speech and Language Therapy, OR
  • BSc in Speech and Language Therapy and an MSc in a subject related to SLT or research.

How to apply

You can apply for this postgraduate research opportunity online.

Please include your CV, covering letter, personal statement, and transcripts of UG and Masters degrees in your application.

The University has moved to requiring only one reference for PhD applications and these can be received after a conditional offer has been made so the absence of these will not hold up the recruitment process.

Instruction to applicants

When you apply online you will be prompted to fill out several boxes in the form:

  • For "Course title" please put "Speech and Language Therapy", tick "postgraduate research" and hit "search". This will bring up a list of matching courses, select the one marked "full time" and "PhD".
  • For "Proposed research topic or area of research" please put the title of this studentship (SCH40: Developmental Language Disorder in adults: nature, prevalence and availability of NHS support services)
  • For "If you have contacted a potential supervisor..." please put the name of the lead supervisor (Professor Victoria Joffe)

If you have any informal queries about this opportunity please email the lead supervisor, Professor Victoria Joffe (v.joffe@essex.ac.uk).

You can find the terms and conditions of this studentship here (PDF).

Student and academic working at a board together
Postgraduate research opportunities

Thinking about postgraduate research at Essex? We advertise studentships and funded opportunities throughout the year.

View our latest opportunities