February 18, 2010
Location: Manchester, UK
Application deadline: Thursday 18 February 2010
Professors: Linda Davies and Dr Tim Millar
Developing effective and acceptable care models for substance use.
The objective of this project is to use health services research methods to address the development of interventions to reduce the frequency of relapse and lapses in treated drug users. It will also aim to reduce reliance on a revolving door approach to drug treatment. The studentship provides full support for tuition fees, associated research costs and an annual tax-free stipend at Research Council rates (anticipated to be £13,490). The project is due to commence October 2010 and is open to UK/EU nationals only due to the nature of the funding.
Rationale: Substance users seeking treatment typically receive a package of care over varying time periods and often have several relapses. There is limited evidence that care is effective and economical. However, the data are limited by the study designs and follow up periods used, leading to considerable uncertainty about the longer term benefits. Self management and peer support programmes may reduce relapses and associated revolving door care, but the evidence to support these and acceptability of programmes such as the 12 step plan in the UK is questioned.
A mixed methods approach will identify personal/social factors and barriers influencing attitudes to substance use and identify key substances and target groups of substance users. This information will be used to; (i) assess the current evidence base of the acceptability, effectiveness and cost effectiveness of treatment pathways to reduce substance use; (ii) develop a theoretical model of the complex relationships between health behaviours, social and environmental factors and health; (iii) assess preferences for treatment processes and outcomes; (iv) model the process and outcomes of a new intervention; (v) assess the acceptability and feasibility of the intervention and develop focussed research questions for its evaluation.
The successful candidate will join our growing team of leading health economists and collaborate with the National Drug Evidence Centre (NDEC). Both the health economics group and NDEC are part of the University of Manchester Health Methodology Research Group. They will develop and apply key health services research methods including: systematic review and analysis of quantitative and qualitative evidence; economic evaluation and modelling, statistical and econometric analysis of secondary and case linked data etc.
Upon completion of this project, the successful applicant will have gained valuable knowledge in the field of drug misuse research. This will doubtless be of significance to a range of drug misuse research posts, both academic and government.
Applicants should hold, or expect to obtain, a minimum upper-second honours degree (or equivalent) in economics or a related quantitative discipline relevant to health services research. An understanding of the need for (and principles of) health services research and health technology assessment would be beneficial.
Please direct applications in the following format to firstname.lastname@example.org
- A CV, including full details of all University course grades to date.
- Contact details for two academic or professional referees.
- A personal statement (750 words maximum) outlining your suitability for the study, what you hope to achieve from the PhD and your research experience to date.
Any enquiries relating to the project and/or suitability should be directed to Professor Linda Davies email@example.com. Applications are invited up to and including Thursday 18 February 2010.