Research Studentships


UK Centre for Musculoskeletal Health and Work - PhD Studentship

Improving communication between employers and General Practitioners to reduce health-related incapacity for work

The Faculty of Health and Medicine, Lancaster University, is pleased to offer a funded PhD scholarship for an outstanding student wishing to undertake full time doctoral research. Scientists from nine UK universities, led by Professor David Coggon at the University of Southampton, have been awarded £1.4 million by Arthritis Research UK and the Medical Research Council (MRC) to establish a major new national Centre for Musculoskeletal Health and Work. The Centre will undertake studies aimed at minimising adverse impacts of musculoskeletal disorders in the workplace, to advance knowledge in this increasingly important field of research and to drive the translation of knowledge into policy and practice, nationally and globally. It will also deliver training for a new generation of researchers, and provide a national focus of expertise for interacting with Government, employers, trades unions, patients and the public.

Lancaster University’s input into the Centre will focus on translating knowledge into employment practice to reduce health-related incapacity for work. Using interdisciplinary approaches, we shall study communication between employers and general practitioners and identify new tools for information transfer to enhance the efficacy of communication. The interface between employers and general practitioners is pivotal for ensuring informed decision-making to enable successful, individually-tailored outcomes for people whose health status impacts on their capacity for work productivity. We shall explore these issues in the context not only of long term musculoskeletal conditions, but also mental health conditions, and will involve employers and general practices across the North West of England.

This studentship is suitable for an academically-gifted, ambitious postgraduate from a relevant academic discipline (e.g. sociology, organizational health and wellbeing) or health profession who is seeking to develop their knowledge and research skills within this increasingly important field. The studentship will be based in the Faculty of Health and Medicine at Lancaster University, which is rated within the top 10 UK universities. The student will be supervised by Dr Paula Holland and Professor John Goodacre.

Awards will be made for a maximum of three years full-time study. Funding covers a generous annual stipend, a research training/fieldwork grant, and UK/EU PhD fees.

Applications, including a full CV, must be submitted via the electronic applications portal   ( Your CV should indicate your educational achievements, indicating the class of degree award achieved. Competition for bursaries is extremely strong; applications will only be considered from those who have achieved 2:1 or above from a recognised University in their bachelors’ degree.  Applicants with a Masters qualification should have achieved a Merit or Distinction. Your CV should also include employment details, methodological training/knowledge, research experience and any publications. Students whose first language is not English will only be considered if they have achieved an overall IELTS score of 6.5 or above, with a minimum score of 5.5 in each of the core components.

The deadline for full applications is Monday 19th October 2015 at 5.00 p.m. Applicants shortlisted for interview will be required to attend an interview in person (or by SKYPE/telephone for applicants outside of the UK). The interviews are likely to take place on Monday 2nd November 2015. The successful applicant will commence their studies by January 2016.

If you have any questions about the studentship please contact Professor John Goodacre or Dr Paula Holland

Terms of the awards

The terms of the award are as follows:

  1. Award holders must be registered to undertake full time doctoral study in the Division of Health Research by January 2016.
  2. Scholarship awards will be allocated to successful students in the form of a fees payment, stipend, and research training / fieldwork grant.  
  3. Where an applicant has received a Conditional Offer of a place on a programme of study, any award made will be conditional upon the conditions being met in full. 
  4. PhD Awards are made subject to continuing satisfactory academic progress and may be withdrawn at any time if progress is deemed to be unsatisfactory.
  5. Scholarships will not be paid to holders of UK Research Council studentships, Faculty of Health and Medicine Studentships, or the equivalent thereof. The Faculty reserves the right to withhold the unpaid portion of any bursary in the event that the holder succeeds in securing alternative external funding at any time during the period covered by the award.
  6. Applicants wishing to defer the start of their programme must apply in writing to the Associate Dean for Postgraduate Studies for permission to do so.  Any deferral of more than three months from the original start date of the programme will result in the withdrawal of the award.
  7. Students holding this award and wishing to intercalate during their studies must apply in writing to the Associate Dean for Postgraduate Studies for permission to do so, in addition to seeking the permission of their Head of Department.



ESRC-Funded Research Studentships

Lancaster University forms part of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)'s North West Doctoral Training Centre (NWDTC). A large number of studentships, covering tuition and maintenance, are available for those wishing to study in areas covered by the ESRC at Lancaster, Liverpool or Manchester. Some studentships are reserved for students seeking joint supervision across two or more partner institutions.

Details of the provision and funding offered by the NWDTC are available here.


Other Funding Options

For more information about postgraduate funding, please see Fees & Funding.