Expression of Interest: PhD

Expression of Interest: PhD

We have available under our 4 themes, the following:

  • Implementing automation tools for systematic reviews. (Supervisor¬† Prof Paul Glasziou, Dr Alexandra Bennard-Brown)

Several tools to automate steps in a systematic review are available, including machine learning software, and tools that eliminate repetitive tasks. We would like to evaluate their real-world usefulness. This PhD would combine areas of information technology, review efficiency, and workload measurement, and medical research.

  • Exploring how helping health professionals think about treatment effectiveness (Supervisor Prof Tammy Hoffmann)

Health professionals often do not have accurate expectations about the benefits and harms of treatments, which means that some patients do not receive accurate information or make informed decisions. One possible explanation is that some clinicians approach treatment effectiveness by thinking about pathophysiological mechanisms (that is, why a treatment should work), rather than trial-based research evidence (that is, does a treatment actually work). This PhD would use a mixture of research methods to explore this idea, with implications for clinical thinking and evidence-based practice.

  • De-implementation of low-value health care (Supervisors Assoc Prof Rae Thomas, Dr Louise Craig)

The de-implementation of ineffective and inefficient healthcare practices to improve patient health and safeguard appropriate resource allocation is a fast-evolving field of study. There is a pressing need to understand more about the use of appropriate and potentially unique approaches to tackle low-value care in clinical practice. This PhD offers an exciting opportunity for the scholar to identify the barriers and facilitators for the de-implementing of specific low-value practices, and to advance the development and piloting of de-implementation interventions. There will be a focus on patient-mediated/led de-implementation strategies. Projects will be both quantitative and qualitative and incorporate the public and healthcare professional perspective.

  • Engaging communities in health policy decision making (Supervisors Assoc Prof Rae Thomas, Dr Anna Mae Scott)

Engaging community members in health policy decisions enhances the legitimacy and acceptability of those decisions to the public. However, methodology in this area is under-developed. This PhD will investigate existing practices for community engagement methods in health policy, develop and test quality frameworks for community engagement, and implement community engagement initiatives. These projects will involve a mix of qualitative and quantitative research designs.


If you are interested in any of these, please contact the Centre Manager on

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