Funded PhD Opportunity Development, testing and delivery of a pelvic floor exercise programme to improve sexual health and well-being after prostate cancer

This opportunity is now closed.

Subject: Nursing and Health


The pelvic floor muscles are an important structural and functional component of the pelvis. There is evidence that pelvic floor exercise (PFE) for men is an effective means to strengthen local muscles and improve circulation. It is proposed that these and other effects of PFE could potentially be used to promote sexual health and well-being in men after treatment for prostate cancer. While there is some evidence exploring the effects of PFE on urinary function after surgery for prostate cancer, there is little evidence examining the effect of such exercise on sexual health and wellbeing. One of the challenges limiting adoption of this form of exercise is that there are few evidence based, comprehensive, PFE programs. Consequently, PFE is not widely utilized and where it is used, men often only receive limited verbal or written instructions on performing PFE exercises.

The proposed project will use a mixed methods approach and will include the following components:

  • A systematic evidence review to identify effective components of exercise interventions for men with prostate cancer.
  • Qualitative methods to explore service user and health professional perspectives on the feasibility of using PFE to improve sexual function and overall quality of life in men with prostate cancer.
  • Development and testing of an appropriate, evidence-based PFE programme for men with prostate cancer using an established theoretical framework

Essential Criteria

  • Upper Second Class Honours (2:1) Degree or equivalent from a UK institution (or overseas award deemed to be equivalent via UK NARIC)

Desirable Criteria

If the University receives a large number of applicants for the project, the following desirable criteria may be applied to shortlist applicants for interview.

  • Experience using research methods or other approaches relevant to the subject domain
  • Relevant professional qualification and/or a Degree in a Health or Health related area


    Vice Chancellors Research Scholarships (VCRS)

    The scholarships will cover tuition fees and a maintenance award of £15,009 per annum for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). Applications are invited from UK, European Union and overseas students.


    The scholarship will cover tuition fees at the Home rate and a maintenance allowance of £15,009 per annum for three years. EU applicants will only be eligible for the fees component of the studentship (no maintenance award is provided).  For Non EU nationals the candidate must be "settled" in the UK.

Other information

The Doctoral College at Ulster University

Launch of the Doctoral College

Current PhD researchers and an alumnus shared their experiences, career development and the social impact of their work at the launch of the Doctoral College at Ulster University.

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From my personal experience, I know Ulster University is extremely welcoming, and it provides students with fantastic facilities. In Nursing and Midwifery, it is renowned in the UK. So I sincerely encourage and advise you to consider studying at Ulster University as your top option.

Professor Chien-Huei Kao - PhD Midwifery

Key Dates

Submission Deadline
Monday 19 February 2018
Interview Date
20th or 21st March

Contact Supervisor

Professor Eilis McCaughan

Other Supervisors

Apply online

Visit and quote reference number #238432 when applying for this PhD opportunity