Postgraduate Research Opportunity

Dementia - Fundamentals of care


Title: ESNEFT Programme 2: Dementia - Fundamentals of care

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 October 2022 for three years (full time study). The PhD studentships are aligned to the School Research Strategy and to the Physical and mental health and wellbeing across the lifespan research group.

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

The project

This programme explores nurse and allied health professionals providing fundamental care within the wider system with a focus on care and factors influencing delivery focusing on nutrition and hydration, positive relationships, and activities of daily living affecting patient safety in the acute sector.

Focus should explore “Time to care” and mental health of the physically unwell as well as the psychological such as privacy, dignity, emotional care, and social interaction and relational (such as empathy, compassion and support).

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 explores the evidence of and around fundamental care highlighting the primacy of engaging with patients and those that support them who have both physical and mental health care needs. This programme is very much about working with our partner and work will focus in the local area.

Proposed projects 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. To be eligible for this award you must be a Home student (i.e. UK national meeting residency requirements).

The successful applicant will enrol at the University of Essex.


Along with the lead and co-supervisors listed below, there will be additional support through a supervisor team that will include a Senior Research colleague.


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 2: Dementia - Fundamentals of care).
  • For "If you have contacted a potential supervisor..." please put the name of the lead supervisor (Professor Camille Cronin).

If you have any informal queries about this opportunity please email Professor Camille Cronin, Departmental Director of Research ( or Mr Thomas Currid ( or 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.