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PhD studentship: Exploring the impact of public involvement and engagement: methods, outcomes and learning for best practice

Human Development and Health

Location:  Southampton General Hospital
Closing Date:  Sunday 09 September 2018
Reference:  1047618AF

Lead Institute / Faculty: Faculty of Medicine 

Main Supervisor: Mary Barker

Other members of the supervisory team: Caroline Barker, Steve Dorney, Claire Ballinger,

Duration of the award: 36 months, full time

Project description: 

Patient and public involvement (PPI) is a phrase used to describe research carried out in partnership with the people affected by the research, while engagement is the sharing of knowledge and information about research

Despite growing Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement (PPI/E) activity within health research programmes and organisations, little is known about the impact of PPI/E on health research. We need to understand PPI/E impact in order to involve and engage the public in research in ways which are meaningful. There are also increasing pressures on health resources and we want to understand the cost- and time-effectiveness of our activities.

The overarching aim of this project is to better understand the impact of PPI/E activities on health research. This will be achieved by exploring the evidence base to clarify what works for whom, in what circumstances, in what respects and how. Using this information, the successful candidate will be expected to design ways of evaluating PPI/E impact on health research and study the use of these approaches in practice. 

The project will be carried out in partnership with all those impacted by PPI/E, ensuring that the priorities of each group are welcomed and considered. This will include staff working in the field, researchers and, importantly, the public.

Candidates should have a passion for and interest in working in partnership with the public. Experience of involving or engaging the public in service delivery, education and/or research is desirable.  Candidates will need to be confident working in a multidisciplinary team, communicating across all levels of the organisation.

Please contact: Caroline Barker,

Person Specification: See below

The successful candidate is likely to have the following qualifications:

  • A 1stor 2:1 degree in a relevant discipline and/or second degree with a related Masters

Funding information:
This PhD studentship is jointly funded by a University of Southampton Postgraduate Research Scholarship (Presidential Scholarship) and the National Institute for Health Research Southampton Biomedical Research Centre.  This funding will cover all fees and stipend (£14,777/year). 

Administrative contact and how to apply:

Please complete the University's online application form, which you can find at

You should enter Mary Barker as your proposed supervisor. To support your application provide an academic CV (including contact details of two referees), official academic transcripts and a personal statement (outlining your suitability for the studentship, what you hope to achieve from the PhD and your research experience to date).

Informal enquiries relating to the project or candidate suitability should be directed to Caroline Barker (

Closing date: Sunday 9th September

Interview date:Tuesday 18th September

The closing date for this job opportunity has now passed, and applications are no longer being accepted for this position

Further details:
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