Postgraduate Research Opportunity

Stroke - Accessing health services in coastal areas


Title: ESNEFT Programme 1: Stroke - Accessing health services in coastal areas

Funding: Full time Home tuition fees and a stipend of £16,062 p.a. (UKRI rate for 2022-23.) Home and international applicants are eligible to apply. International applicants will be liable for Overseas tuition fees, minus the value of the Home tuition fee waiver.

Application deadline: 31st October 2022.

Start date: January 2023

Duration: 3 years (full time)

Location: Colchester Campus

Based in: School of Health and Social Care

About this studentship

The School of Health and Social Care is working in partnership with East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) supporting two PhD studentships.

Applications are invited for a fully funded PhD studentship from January for three years (full time study). The PhD studentships are aligned to the School Research Strategy and to the School's Public Health and Social Policy research group.

This advert is for Programme 1: Stroke - Accessing health services in coastal areas. We also have Programme 2: Fundamentals of care.

The project

This programme is very much about working with our partner and work will focus in the local area. It will look at health inequalities/EDI in accessing health care around stroke services; with a focus on early intervention and access of services and care targeting barriers and exploring facilitators, specifically in coastal areas of deprivation. Target population to be explored based on existing health data.

The PhD research question and proposed programme of work must align with the ESNEFT programme theme.

We are particularly interested in supporting a project which involves secondary data analysis using the Understanding Society dataset based at the Institute of Social and Economic Research within the University of Essex. The research would use this dataset to address research questions concerned with understanding the issues around accessing services by certain groups particularly in coastal towns.

The proposed project should aim to work with the partners and key stakeholders involving patients, service users, carers and members of the public with experiences relevant to the project aims. Project proposals should set out plans for working inclusively with people in communities to design, carry out, share and implement research findings.


The studentship comes with a yearly tax-free stipend at current UKRI rates (rate for 2022-23 will be £16,062) plus Home tuition fees, and £2,500 training bursary via Proficio funding, which may be used to cover the cost of advanced skills training including conference attendance and travel.

Home and international applicants are eligible to apply. International applicants will be liable for Overseas tuition fees, minus the value of the Home tuition fee waiver.  

The successful applicant will enrol at the University of Essex.


We are looking for candidates who match the following criteria:

  • Applicants should have a 2.1 or higher Honours degree in a relevant discipline, a good knowledge of health or social care, and an interest in primary or acute health care research relevant to issues of socio-economic inequality, access, and health and well-being.
  • Applicants should be committed to public involvement in health and social care research.
  • Applicants with a Master’s degree and/or experience of using large secondary datasets are especially welcome to apply.
  • Applicants must demonstrate how they will add value to NHS/health, social care or other provider organisations.

How to apply

Please apply through our online portal.

You will need to provide the following information and documents:

  • A CV/resume (2 pages maximum).
  • A personal statement (maximum 500 words) in support of your application.
  • A research project proposal (maximum of 1000 words) that explicitly addresses the work you would like to carry out, how it relates to the theme, and it addresses the concerns mentioned in the project details.
  • Contact details of two academic referees.

Instruction to applicants

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

  • For "Course title" please put; PhD Public Health (this can also be changed at a later date), with a January 2023 start date.
  • For "Proposed research topic or area of research" please put the title of this studentship (ESNEFT Programme 1: Stroke - Accessing health services in coastal areas).
  • For "If you have contacted a potential supervisor..." please put the name of the Director of Research and Impact (Professor Camille Cronin).

If you have any informal queries about this opportunity please email Professor Camille Cronin, Departmental Director of Research ( or Dr Reza Majdzadeh ( in the first instance.

The closing date for applications is 31st October 2022. Applications received after this time will not be considered. Applications not including any of the above information will not be shortlisted.

The studentship will commence January 2023.