Rheumatic condition

This opportunity is on the topic of understanding the factors that influence participant engagement in virtually delivered rehabilitation interventions for those with a rheumatic condition.


This funded full-time PhD studentship is in the Faculty of Health and Applied Sciences at UWE Bristol. The studentship is part funded by the Bath Institute for Rheumatic Diseases: Ref 2021-OCT-HAS04.

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

The closing date for applications is Thursday 6 May 2021

Studentship details

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, multidisciplinary rehabilitation interventions for people with rheumatological conditions has rapidly moved from face to face to virtual contact in order to adhere to government social distancing guidance. For specialist clinical services delivering rehabilitation and management interventions for long-term rheumatological conditions, this requires a fundamental shift in how programme content is delivered in order to meet these new requirements. Therefore, the COVID-19 pandemic provides a unique opportunity to investigate the impact of imposed non-contact regulations on patient treatment.

The proposed doctoral research question, which the successful candidate will be expected to shape as part of their studentship, is 'What are the factors that influence participant engagement of a virtually delivered complex rehabilitation intervention for those with a rheumatic condition?'


This studentship provides the opportunity to explore what the potential and actual barriers to patient access and participation are, and whether there are any unintended consequences associated with virtual delivery. You will have an opportunity to work with Professor Candy McCabe and Dr Jenny Lewis, who have extensive experience in clinical research and clinical rehabilitation service delivery.

The studentship will be based at the University of West of England’s Glenside Campus within the Centre for Health and Clinical Research, which provides support for doctoral students. However, due to the current COVID-19 restrictions that limits onsite working, you will access academic support via remote working.

For an informal discussion about the studentship, please email Jenny4.Lewis@uwe.ac.uk.


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 £15,285 per annum. 

In addition, full-time tuition fees will be covered for up to three years (Home/EU rates only). Overseas applicants will be required to cover the difference between Home/EU and the overseas tuition fee rates in each year of study.


Due to potential future COVID-19 restrictions the successful candidate will need to have adequate computer facilities and internet connection to access electronic resources via remote working.

A recognised English language qualification is required.

How to apply

Please submit your application online. When prompted use the reference number 2021-OCT-HAS04.

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 Thursday 6 May 2021.

Further information

Interviews will take place online in May. If you have not heard from us by Thursday 20 May 2021, we thank you for your application but on this occasion you have not been successful.

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