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Development and evaluation of self-management interventions for Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) in Nepal

Research Area: Development and evaluation of self-management interventions for Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) in Nepal

Scholarship Title: New Horizons PhD Studentship

Supervision: Dr Narayan PoudelProf Padam Simkhada; External Associate Supervisors: Prof Shiva Gautam, University of Florida, USA; Dr Om Kurmi, Coventry University, UK

Duration: 3 years full-time (part-time study over 6 years may be possible in some circumstances)

Background

The prevalence and incidence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are rising. The health system of Nepal has not been able to address this, particularly due to a lack of skilled clinicians and healthcare staff. Self-management of chronic diseases presents a potentially-scalable means of mitigating the growing burden of NCDs in Nepal and LMICs and improving quality of life for people living with these conditions.

MULTI-SECTORAL ACTION PLAN FOR PREVENTION AND CONTROL OF NCDS 2021-2025

Outline & Focus

The prospective, longitudinal ‘Nepal Family Cohort Study’ (NeFCoS) (https://nepalstudy.org/) presents an opportunity for a PhD student to explore the effectiveness of self-management interventions with NCDs. This study, developed by researchers from Nepal and several leading international universities, aims to understand the various determinants of health conditions using questionnaires, objective measurement of health conditions and collecting healthcare-based data (e.g., health status, various risk factors including lifestyle factors and quality of life data). Through this, early identification of risk factors can be achieved, and suitable interventions can be tested for prevention and management of NCDs and related adverse health outcomes. The study has collected data from about 3000 participants and baseline data acquisition is ongoing.

Focusing on one of the most common NCDs (e.g., cardio-respiratory or diabetes or mental health) in Nepal, the PhD candidate will consult with stakeholders to develop, pilot and evaluate a self-management intervention to improve self-care in a small cohort of the targeted population, using a randomised control trial (RCT). It is expected that the PhD student will also carry out an extensive review of international and national peer-reviewed literature. We acknowledge the challenges of doing an RCT in a PhD study. However, the PhD student will have full support from the study team. We invite proposals outlining initial ideas for a self-management intervention for one NDC, and welcome innovative ideas for how this might be evaluated, though these ideas may need later modification during the PhD, in consultation with the project team.

Eligibility criteria & conditions
  • Achievement that equates to first-class honours at undergraduate level or a distinction at master’s level in a relevant discipline. Our preference is for applicants who have already demonstrated excellence at master’s level, but we will consider exceptional applicants without a master’s.
  • Applicants who are expecting to achieve the above standard before October can still apply, as long as there is already clear evidence from coursework marks that they are on target to achieve a first/distinction.
  • If your first language is not English, you will need to meet the minimum requirements of an English Language qualification. The minimum for IELTS is 7.0 overall no element lower than 6.5, or equivalent.

A condition of the scholarship is that you will contribute an average of six hours per week to assisting with undergraduate teaching, preparation and marking and/or supporting staff research and broader School activities, without additional payment.

The student will have an opportunity to spend some time at Coventry University and Florida University during their PhD.

Funding amount
  • Stipend matched to UKRI rates (currently £17,668 p.a. for full-time)  
  • Waiver of the equivalent of home fees (International students will be charged the difference between home and international fees
  • Modest costs for field work and conference attendance

[Partial fee-waivers may also be available to excellent candidates who are unsuccessful for the studentship]

Funding for: UK Students, EU Students & International Students

Application deadline – Friday 26th May 2023

Start date – October 2023

OFFICIAL INFORMATION: READ MORE AND APPLY NOW 


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