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SCDTP Studentship - Reducing patient waiting times by improving chemotherapy scheduling

Southampton Business School

Location:  Highfield Campus
Salary:   £15,009
(19/20 UKRI rate)
Closing Date:  Thursday 23 January 2020
Reference:  1206119TR

Reducing patient waiting times by improving chemotherapy scheduling

A fully funded studentship awarded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) South Coast Doctoral Training Partnership (SCDTP) commencing in 2020/21 Academic Year.

Supervisory Team:

Dr Marion Penn, Lecturer in Management Science, Southampton Business School,

Dr Richard Guerrero-Luduena, Senior Research Fellow, Wessex Academic Health Science Network, Health Sciences University of Southampton,

Dr Steffen Bayer, Lecturer in Business Analytics, Southampton Business School,

Undergoing chemotherapy treatment is a stressful enough experience for patients, even without having to wait to start treatment.  Improvements in diagnosis rates and the development of new treatments have led to increased demand and pressure on chemotherapy departments.  This study will use advanced analytics, including statistical analysis and simulation, to ensure that despite this increasing demand, the most urgent patients are prioritised while the average waiting time for treatment is kept as low as possible. A scheduling system that takes into account variability in both treatment durations and in the times at which patients require a nurse’s attention has the potential to reduce unnecessary patient waiting time on the day and also improve nurse utilisation.  This project will develop new approaches for both scheduling problems (for each patient’s entire treatment cycle, and for each nurse on the day) and explore the interaction between them.

Skills Required

Strong quantitative background; ideally an MSc in Operational Research, Management Science, Business Analytics or related subject; keen interest in public sector and societal issues.


South Coast DTP Funding provides an annual maintenance grant (tax free) of £15009 (2019/20 UKRI rate), plus payment of all programme fees.  Other funding available for SCDTP funded students can be found on the SCDTP website (

Funding is provided for 3 years full-time PhD study (pro-rata for part-time students).  Applications for 1+3 funding for students completing a Master's year prior to the commencement of PhD study are also welcome (details available at

Application Procedure

The closing date and time for applications is 4.00pm on 23rd January 2020.  The full application procedure, the funding application form, and more information on the South Coast Doctoral Training Partnership can be found at:

For further information about this project, please contact the lead supervisor detailed above.  For questions relating to the application procedure, or for more information about the SCDTP, please visit the SCDTP website or contact us at

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

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