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Funded PhD Opportunity

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

Subject: Nursing and Health


Summary

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

Funding

    The University offers the following awards to support PhD study and applications are invited from UK, EU and overseas for the following levels of support:

    Vice Chancellors Research Studentship (VCRS)

    Full award (full-time PhD fees + DfE level of maintenance grant + RTSG for 3 years).

    This scholarship will cover full-time PhD tuition fees and provide the recipient with £15,000 maintenance grant per annum for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training studentship grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

    Vice-Chancellor’s Research Bursary (VCRB)

    Part award (full-time PhD fees + 50% DfE level of maintenance grant + RTSG for 3 years).

    This scholarship will cover full-time PhD tuition fees and provide the recipient with £7,500 maintenance grant per annum for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training studentship grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

    Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fees Bursary (VCRFB)

    Fees only award (PhD fees + RTSG for 3 years).

    This scholarship will cover full-time PhD tuition fees for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training studentship grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

    Department for the Economy (DFE)

    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 fee’s component of the studentship (no maintenance award is provided). For Non-EU nationals the candidate must be "settled" in the UK. This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training studentship grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

    Due consideration should be given to financing your studies; for further information on cost of living etc. please refer to: www.ulster.ac.uk/doctoralcollege/postgraduate-research/fees-and-funding/financing-your-studies


Other information


The Doctoral College at Ulster University


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Key dates

Submission deadline
Monday 19 February 2018

Interview Date
20th or 21st March


Applying

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Contact supervisor

Professor Eilis McCaughan


Other supervisors

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