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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


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 £14,777 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 £ 14,777 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


Ulster University has very enhanced independent  learning.  I strongly recommend my students to go abroad to broaden their vision to get  new motivation.  I tell them that when studying at Ulster University, they will receive an abundance of knowledge, new experiences and strong technology to enhance their life.

Professor Stenver Lin - PhD Radiology

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I am currently the Director for the Department of Nursing-midwifery and Women's Heath at NTUNHS.  I studied at Ulster University for 3 years and it was a very happy time.  Ulster is very good for study, not only in academic work but it also shows you how to be a good teacher.

Professor Chein Huei Kao - PhD Health Science of Nursing

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Key dates

Submission deadline
Monday 19 February 2018

Interview Date
20th or 21st March

Contact supervisor

Professor Eilis McCaughan

Other supervisors


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