Medical traumatic stress in individuals with congenital craniofacial conditions


An opportunity to apply for a funded full-time PhD in the College of Health, Science and Society, UWE Bristol. The studentship will be funded by UWE Bristol.

Ref: 2223-APR-CHSS02

The expected start date of this studentship is Saturday 1 April 2023.

The closing date for applications is Sunday 12 February 2023.

Studentship details

Congenital craniofacial conditions result in a range of functional and aesthetic impacts, which can affect an individual’s quality of life and psychological health. Surgeries, hospitalisations, and ongoing medical monitoring can represent a significant and ongoing stressor for those affected, particularly if treatment is likely to alter facial appearance. The aim of this studentship is to understand key points of risk and support needs in young people with craniofacial conditions, and to assess the acceptability and feasibility of a potential intervention to reduce psychological distress.

The successful candidate will be based at the world-leading Centre for Appearance Research, UWE Bristol, which hosts a thriving postgraduate community and has strong links to the National Health Service and charitable organisations. The studentship will be supervised by a highly experienced team, including Associate Professor Nicola Stock and Professor Diana Harcourt (Centre for Appearance Research, UWE Bristol), and Associate Professor Canice Crerand (Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Ohio, USA). The work will also be guided by an expert panel, consisting of adults with craniofacial conditions, specialist multidisciplinary clinicians, and charity representatives.

The candidate will work with the supervisory team to design a programme of research which will make a novel contribution to the field and have real-world impact. This is likely to include literature reviewing, mixed methods investigations, and piloting an intervention. In addition to providing evidence-informed resources, this studentship will offer an excellent training opportunity to develop the skills and expertise needed to establish a career in applied health research.

For an informal discussion about the studentship, please contact Dr Nicola Stock at


The studentship is available from Saturday 1 April 2023 for a period of three years, subject to satisfactory progress and includes a tax exempt stipend, which is currently £17,668 (2022/23) per annum.

In addition, full-time tuition fees will be covered for up to three years (Home).


Applicants must have an undergraduate qualification in Psychology or related field and ideally will have a postgraduate qualification or other relevant training/experience in Psychology or a related field, demonstrating a sound knowledge of research methods and clinical practice.

A recognised English language qualification is required.

How to apply

Please submit your application online. When prompted use the reference number 2223-APR-CHSS02.

Supporting documentation: You will need to upload your research proposal, all your degree certificates and transcripts and your proof of English language proficiency as attachments to your application, so please have these available when you complete the application form.

References: You will need to provide details of two referees as part of your application. At least one referee must be an academic referee from the institution that conferred your highest degree. Your referee will be asked for a reference at the time you submit your application, so please ensure that your nominated referees are willing and able to provide references within 14 days of your application being submitted.

Closing date

The closing date for applications is Sunday 12 February 2023.

Further information

It is expected that interviews will take place on weeks commencing 6 March 2023. If you have not heard from us by this date, we thank you for your application but on this occasion you have not been successful.

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