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Disabled Dentists: Experiences of people training to be and working as disabled dentists in the UK. 

Project details

First supervisor: Dr Sasha Scambler

Second supervisor: TBC

Sponsor: n/a

Funding available: Self-funded.

Duration of award: 3 years if full-time.

Mode of study: Full-time or part-time.

Start date:  Open until suitable candidate is found.

Application deadline:  Open until suitable candidate is found.

Reference number:  2021/DOCS/04.

Project description

There is a growing body of research looking at the experiences of disabled people in relation to their oral health and accessing oral health care (see for example Scambler and Curtis 2019).  There remains, however, very little understanding of the experiences of disabled dentists.  In 2007, Goss explicitly called for dentistry to adopt the social model approach as means of focusing on environmental barriers, including attitudinal and awareness issues, within dentistry.  This, as with almost all other research in the area, focuses on improving access to dentistry and treatment of disabled patients rather than inclusion and the removal of barriers for disabled dentists and dental students.   

Research suggests further that barriers identified by disabled people in accessing dental care are often located in wider societal attitudes towards disability and disabled people and this supersedes the presentation of these barriers in the dental surgeries and amongst dental staff.  Members of the dental team, unsurprisingly, reflect the views and mind-set of the society to which they belong and are subject to health policies which provide insufficient funding to make the ‘reasonable adjustments’ necessary to fully support either disabled patients or disabled dentists. 

This research will explore the experiences of dental students and practicing dentists self-identifying as having a disability with a focus on identifying barriers to successful practice and the ways these are, or should be, being negotiated. 

Person specification

  • An interest in social and behavioural sciences would be an advantage.
  • An interest in disability or long-term conditions.
  • Research skills.

Research training

 Candidates will develop and enhance their skills in:

  • Qualitative research training.
  • Systematic review training.

To view entry requirements and further general information, see Dental and Health Sciences Research MPhil/PhD prospectus page.

Next steps

Please apply online at following these steps:

  1. Register a new account/login.
  2. Once logged in, select Create a new application.
  3. Enter ‘Dental and Health Sciences Research MPhil/PhD (Full-time)/(Part-time)' under Choose a programme. Please ensure you select the correct mode of study.
  4. Select a start date from the list under Entry requirements on this webpage.
  5. Please note: Applicants must include the project reference number (2021/DOCS/04) in the 'Research proposal' and 'Funding (point 5)' sections of the application.

Applications must be received by the deadline specified in this listing.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to discuss projects with the first supervisor prior to submitting an application. 

Contact for further information

Name: Dr Sasha Scambler


Related Centre: Centre for Host-Microbiome Interactions

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