Digital support for physical activity in rheumatoid arthritis: DASH-RA

Development of a prototype digital behaviour change intervention for people with rheumatoid arthritis, to facilitate sustained engagement with physical activity


An opportunity to apply for a funded full-time PhD studentship in the Faculty of Health and Applied Sciences, UWE Bristol. The studentship will be funded by Versus Arthritis

The expected start date of this studentship is 1 October 2021.

The closing date for applications is Friday 25 June 2021. 

About the studentship

Applications are invited from ambitious, self-motivated and enthusiastic candidates, with a background in a health-related discipline to work on a fully-funded PhD studentship. Funding and stipend are provided by Versus Arthritis to develop a prototype digital behaviour change intervention for people with rheumatoid arthritis, to facilitate sustained engagement with physical activity.  People with rheumatoid arthritis are less active than the general population and access to face to face interventions can be problematic.  The PhD will focus on which digital interventions are currently accessed by people with rheumatoid arthritis and the evidence base; and the optimal design for a digital behaviour change intervention to support physical activity to ensure that it is useable and acceptable to people with rheumatoid arthritis.  The PhD researcher will be primarily based at Glenside campus at UWE Bristol, within the Centre for Health and Clinical Research, and will be expected to directly engage with relevant healthcare professionals and people with rheumatoid arthritis.

For an informal discussion about the studentship, please email Professor Fiona Cramp:


The studentship is available from 1 October 2021 for a period of three years, subject to satisfactory progress, and includes a tax-exempt stipend, which is currently £21,309 per annum. The successful candidate may also be supported to apply to Versus Arthritis for an additional year of funding.

In addition, full-time tuition fees will be covered for up to three years (UK/EU rates only).


This opportunity is available to UK/EU applicants only.

Applicants must have a Masters qualification in a health-related discipline. Previous research experience is preferred.

A recognised English language qualification is required.

How to apply

Please submit your application online. When prompted use the reference number 2021-OCT-HAS05.

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.

Research proposal: please explain, in no more than 500 words, how your skill-set and experience could contribute to this proposed PhD project.

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 before you submit your application. 

Closing date

The closing date for applications is Friday 25 June 2021.

Further information

Interviews will take place on Tuesday 13 July 2021. If you have not heard from us by 9 July 2021, then we thank you for your application but on this occasion you have not been successful.