THRIVE - Toileting Health pRomotion In eVery Early years opportunity 

Introduction

The Faculty of Health and Applied Sciences at UWE Bristol is offering a three year full-time PhD, funded in partnership with ERIC: Children’s Bowel and Bladder Charity, to conduct research to drive change in bladder and bowel health promotion in early years settings. This is important as over the last century, the average age that children are being toilet trained has moved from 12-18 months to an average of three or four years today. Before disposables were the norm from the 1960s onwards, over 92% of all babies were out of nappies by 18 months. The implications of this can result in late diagnoses of bladder and bowel conditions and increasing numbers of children starting school in nappies.

The studentship is available from 1 January 2023 for a period of three years, subject to satisfactory progress and includes a tax exempt stipend, which is currently £16,602 per annum.

In addition, full-time tuition fees will be covered for up to three years and overseas applicants are invited to apply. £4,670 will be available throughout the PhD to fund conference attendance and consumables required for the project.

Ref: 2223-JAN-HAS04

The expected start date of this studentship is 1 January 2023.

The closing date for applications is 31 August 2022.

Studentship details

The studentship is based within the Centre for Health and Clinical Research, UWE Bristol, which hosts a broad programme of research to benefit the health and wellbeing of individuals and society.

The PhD is part of a broader programme of research led by Professor of Continence Care, Dr. Nikki Cotterill, with the aim to improve continence care and the experience for individuals living with bladder and bowel symptoms. The PhD will be a key project for ERIC which is an internationally renowned charity leading the agenda in children’s bladder and bowel health. ERIC’s vision is for all children and young people to live a healthy and happy life regardless of any bladder or bowel issue they may face. The PhD will also contribute to a city-wide initiative, the BABCON (Bladder and Bowel CONfidence Health Integration Team). This is a systemwide approach to tackling continence difficulties through research, education and implementation.

It is recognised that this opportunity is likely to attract clinical colleagues who may wish to continue to work clinically during the studentship. We can confirm that a maximum of one day per week in a clinical role is permitted whilst undertaking a full time PhD at UWE Bristol.

The Project

Dealing with a toileting problem can have a devastating impact on a child’s learning, development and wellbeing with an increased risk of the development of a long-term health condition such as chronic constipation and recurring urinary tract infections. These conditions account for 15,000 hospital admissions each year in England.   Many problems are avoidable or treatable and good bladder and bowel education from birth could avoid up to 80% of these.  This PhD will provide a valuable exploration into factors that will lever a culture change in Early Years Bladder and Bowel Health Promotion (EYBBHP) and identify the benefits and barriers of an early prevention and health promotion approach to the whole system.

Objectives and methodology

The objective is to develop the THRIVE framework to enable systemwide, proactive EYBBHP. This will be achieved through:

  1. Review of existing literature, policy documents and national strategies to identify the drivers and frameworks, in addition to mapping the many and varied roles that are pivotal to achieving change in this area (stakeholder mapping and scoping review).
  2. Investigate barriers and facilitators to the implementation of EYBBHP interventions with the stakeholder groups identified in the first year, to derive the THRIVE framework underpinned by the COM-B model of behaviour change (qualitative enquiry and framework development).
  3. Test the THRIVE framework in two settings in collaboration with ERIC to evaluate feasibility in practice and identify required refinements (feasibility and preliminary evaluation.

Funding

The studentship is available from 1 January 2023 for a period of three years, subject to satisfactory progress and includes a tax exempt stipend, which is currently £16,602 per annum.

In addition, full-time tuition fees will be covered for up to three years and overseas applicants are invited to apply. £4,670 will be available throughout the PhD to fund conference attendance and consumables required for the project.

Eligibility

Applications are invited from ambitious, self-motivated and enthusiastic candidates, with a background in a related discipline. Applicants must have a Masters qualification or a 2:1 or First Class undergraduate degree in an appropriately related discipline. Qualitative research and previous early years‘ experience are desirable but qualitative and quantitative training will be included alongside experiential learning with the ERIC team, during the PhD. A comprehensive programme of support is also provided at UWE Bristol for postgraduate researchers to prepare candidates for future research careers.

The applicant will be primarily based at Glenside campus, Fishponds, Bristol. There is an option to also work in the ERIC office based in Kingswood given the close engagement with the organisation throughout the PhD. Travel will be required around the city according to the requirements of the project.

This opportunity is available to UK and Overseas applicants who meet the eligibility criteria.

A recognised English language qualification is required.

For an informal discussion about the studentship, please email Dr Nikki Cotterill on nikki.cotterill@uwe.ac.uk. For further information about the project please email Juliette Rayner, CEO at ERIC, at juliette.rayner@eric.org.uk

How to apply

Please submit your application online. When prompted use the reference number 2223-JAN-HAS04.

Supporting documentation: you will need to upload your degree certificates 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 the THRIVE 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. 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 31 August 2022.

Further information

Interviews will take place at the beginning of October. If you have not heard from us by October, we thank you for your application but on this occasion, you have not been successful.

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