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PhD studentship at the Cicely Saunders Institute

Development and validation of C-POS (children’s palliative outcome scale) - a mixed methods multicentre study to advance measurement of outcomes for children, young people and their families facing life-limiting and life-threatening illness.

To start: Start date negotiablebut must commence by January 2019

Award: A 3-year PhD studentship

School: Cicely Saunders Institute of Palliative Care, Policy and Rehabilitation

Supervisor: Professor Richard Harding

Sponsor: European Research Council  

Stipend: £17,000 per annum (PhD fees will also be paid)


Project Summary:

Person-centred care is a core health value of modern health care. The overarching aim of C-POS (Children’s Palliative care Outcome Scale) is to develop and validate a person-centred outcome measure for children, young people (CYP) and their families affected by life-limiting & life-threatening conditions (LLLTC). International systematic reviews, and clinical guides have highlighted that currently none exists. This novel study will draw together a unique multidisciplinary collaboration to pioneer new methods, enabling engagement in outcome measurement by a population currently neglected in research.

C-POS builds on an international program of work. The sequential mixed methods will collect data to determine the primary concerns of CYP and their families affected by LLLTC, the views of clinicians and commissioners on optimal implementation methods, and a systematic review of current data collection tools for CYP. We will then develop a tool (C-POS) and validate this is in a cohort of patients and families.

C-POS is an ambitious study that, for the first time, will enable measurement of person-centre outcomes of care for this group.


The student will be required to oversee the following tasks:

  • Systematic review of methods to engage children in self-report of outcomes
  • Conduct qualitative and quantitative interviews and analyses
  • Liaison with partners centres and participants
  • Draft and submit collaborative peer review publications

At the end of the project, the student will be an independent mixed methods researcher.

Eligibility: Home/EU/ International

Entry requirements:

MSc in Palliative Care or related subject (with a 2:1 degree), and to have undertaken at least some research in palliative care or paediatrics.

English Language requirements:If English is not your first language you will be required to provide evidence at the time of application that you meet the minimum English requirements for the Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery and Palliative Care PhD programmes (Band D) as prescribed by the University’s English Language requirements.  

How to apply: If you are interested in applying please send a letter (maximum 2 A4 pages) and CV to with the following details: 

  • State why you are applying and include a summary of your relevant research in palliative care or paediatrics to date
  • Show how the direction of this study fits with your personal aspirations
  • State when you would be available to start


Contact Information for enquires: /

Application closing date: 08/10/2018

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